Digital Marketing: 11 ways how it impacts Consumer Behaviour

This image depicts the impact of Digital Marketing on Consumer behaviour where it shows consumers doing online shopping

Introduction on Digital Marketing & Consumer Behaviour:

Consumer behaviour is basically the purchasing patterns and decision processes of consumers. Consumers/End Customers are the people that are looking for products or services for personal consumption. Digital Marketing has given all kinds of organizations a chance to market and advertise their brand on a global platform. It also has had an effect upon consumers on how consumers interact and associate with the different available organisations and brands. Consumers are now enabled with more options on brands and products to choose from and thus affecting the decision-making behaviour of the consumers at the time of purchase.

This information about consumer behaviour is important to businesses and marketers to understand consumer’s needs and expectations, thereby plan the marketing strategy that helps to grow the businesses and markets. The study of consumer behaviour helps marketers to make changes in their marketing strategies so that it will empower consumers to make better purchasing decisions. The study involves information about what, where and when the consumers buy, information regarding the intent, buying frequency, and more.

Here are 11 ways that digital marketing influences consumer behaviour:

1. Ability to Research and Experiment

With smartphones dominating the digital device space in the present day, consumers search for any information they want on smartphones. Unlike the traditional way wherein consumers used to visit the nearest stores to check on the products or services they need, today they first search online.

Additionally, due to the availability of enormous sources of information online, consumers have become exceptionally good researchers while deciding on their purchases. They are able to gain more insight and awareness about the product and compare different brands of product before making a final purchase decision. Thus, they are doing informed purchases.

The wide options of brands available online are helping consumers to experiment with different brands basis their requirements and come to a conclusion. While they allowed brands to influence their purchasing decisions, Digital Marketing has empowered consumers to a huge extent by making consumers get a better understanding of the products and services and the transparency of the brands.

2. Consumers always want the BEST

As consumers have access to enormous resources online to research a product and service, they want to get more in-depth information on the product and service. This has led consumers to look for the best and relevant information online. If consumers don’t find any or much information about the product or service on a particular brand, that leads them to opt that brand out. 

Consumers want exhaustive knowledge of a particular product or service they are looking for. If the most important information about the brand is not conveyed effectively in the first few sentences, you are bound to lose prospects.

Thus valid, qualitative and informative content about the product and service becomes more important to be present in the consumer’s options list while making the evaluation process and purchasing decision.

3. Accessible Word-of-mouth

For marketers, Word-of-mouth also called Social-proof is one of the most important old-school methods adopted to increase the trust of customers and thereby increase their sales. With digitization, social proofing has become even more important and is often referred to as Digital Word-of-mouth.

Social proof can either be user-generated content (UGC) or Influencer Marketing.

User-generated content (UGC) is the one in which consumers share information/feedback after experiencing the product or service. It can be product reviews, testimonials or recommendations based on their experience. In this digital era, consumers have the power of sharing this information by different means. They use different digital platforms like social media platforms or comments on brand’s websites or e-commerce sites or comments on sponsored posts etc. to post their experience. It reaches a larger audience and influences the decision-making of new customers. 

On the other hand, Influencer Marketing is the recommendations or reviews done by bloggers, vloggers etc which impacts the decision-making of purchasing for the consumers looking for that particular product or service. Consumers chose the products or services based on what their role models endorse or what others recommend.

The brand with good digital word-of-mouth will more likely to gain customers trust and increase their purchases. The brands have to give good end-to-end customer experience right from the time of product or service sales, to post-sales support. This helps to gain more trust from the consumers thereby helping to get good Digital Word-of-mouth and thus increasing the sales significantly.

4. Boost in Customer Engagement

With constant improvement in technology and digital footprint, there has been a significant increase in customer engagement. Every digital channel provides a platform for customers to engage with their favourite brands and customers won’t let go of these opportunities. Customers actively engage with their brands on social media pages or on consumer forums etc. This gives them the opportunity to share their opinions, questions, issues and experiences of any product or service. If the brands respond to their concerns or any questions quickly and accurately then they will ultimately gain more trust from the customers which leads to more engagements and witness a growth in sales. 

The genuine effort by businesses/brands to connect with their customers and engage with them will instil a sense of trust in them. If the questions, confusions and grievances of the customers are addressed sincerely and efficiently and show empathy while addressing the concerns helps the brands gain customer validation and thus the sales increase.

5. Unreliable Clientele loyalty

Prior to Digital Marketing, customers were partial towards their brand choice for any product or service. They were going for the same brand repeatedly just because they are already familiar with it or else there was low exposure to the different available products or services in the market. However, today’s digitisation in the marketing world has given customers exposure to a vast range of products and the freedom to pick and choose or experiment with different brands.

While looking for a particular product, customers search for products from different brands to compare the products based on different ranges of criteria like Cost, Sales and discount offers, Quality of the product, technical specifications, Customer Support, Value for money etc. to name a few. They don’t hesitate to replace their go-to brand with a new brand basis the criteria requirements.

Brands or businesses have to constantly deliver the best experience to their customers end-to-end to keep their customers loyal to them. It might be with increasing the product quality or a better deal at the purchasing time or good customer support for any issues and concerns raised by customers etc. The increase in transparency of their business like the details of who they partnered with or details of materials used for the product construction or how the products are handled during shipping etc. will also help to increase customer’s confidence in the brand and the chances are they would be loyal to the brand.

6. Customers exhibit a lower level of patience

In today’s time, Customers demand swift and fast responses to their doubts and grievance. This prompts them to check the digital option to put forth their concerns to the brands. If the brands are swift enough to address their concerns in an effective way, this boosts the customer’s trust. On the contrary, if the brands are not fast enough to respond to the customer’s doubts or grievances, this tests the customer’s patience as the customer doesn’t want to wait. This causes an increase in the chances of losing out customers to any other brand for the next time purchase.

There is even a chance of losing out on new prospective customers as they look at the feedback of existing customers on any of the digital platforms before making a purchasing decision. If the customer is not getting a swift response, he might give negative reviews on digital platforms and it is a known factor that the digital platform has a wider audience.

Thus, businesses have to be actively present on all digital platforms to engage with customers, use different campaigning options, and share product updates timely. They also have to enable customers to reach easily and hear out the questions and concerns of customers actively through different digital platforms and work towards addressing the same efficiently. The businesses/brands have to provide customers with tailored experiences to address unique and rare concerns.

7. Customer care service is the key

Customer care service is the most decisive point for testing customers’ patience. Brands have to map out impeccable customer care service to impress consumers. This helps to gain more customers through digital word-of-mouth by existing customers. Also, this helps to establish a business’s reputation and top the rank in the long run.

With digital channels, businesses can provide customers with different options to connect to their customer care service in a way that is easier and faster to reach the brand for their concerns. Brands should try to give flawless customer care solutions to the customers’ complaints or problems with effective solutions. The customer support team should exhibit patience, and empathy towards customers at all times. If the customers are treated rudely or patronised it can be detrimental to the interest of the brand’s reputation.

8. AI Impacts Customer behaviour

With the gain in popularity of Artificial Intelligence, one should not underestimate the role of the same in influencing consumer behaviour. This powerful medium enables customers to make better choices. Brands that use artificial intelligence can present their products and services more efficiently than those that don’t. This enables consumers to get the required convenience while purchasing the products and opt for such brands. 

9. Authentic and Relevant Information

The content shown on any digital platform should be authentic and relevant to the business/brand. This is one of the most important factor as the content helps consumers to know about the brand and its products and services and make an informed purchasing decision.

If any kind of false information is written on any of the platforms that are not in line with the brand’s promises, customers will be disinterested in the brand and its products and will never come back to these products.

Contents that are not in line with the facts might help gain sales in the short run but in later times the business will get the impact. As, in this digital era, reviews, testimonials, and feedback have become very easy to post and view for customers. Both positive and negative reviews have a greater effect on the consumers purchasing decisions. 

In digital marketing, creative content that is highly appealing to customers would gain more reach. However, brands should make the content creative with keeping the basic facts and promises in line. In the context of creativity, the authenticity and relevance of the brand should not be lost.

Thus, content in any form on a digital platform will influence the customer’s purchasing decisions based on the authenticity and relevance of the content.

10. Impulse Buying

Digital Marketing enables brands to endorse their products at the right time and in the right place, where consumers are most likely to make spontaneous and impulsive purchases.

Tactics like Online deals, discounts, offers etc are used by the brands to sway customers and drive them towards impulsive purchasing. 

The same marketing tactic can be used offline also, but it is highly unlikely that consumers are making impulsive purchases offline.

With digital marketing techniques like Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies, the visibility of the brand in organic search results increases or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising that reaches target audiences quickly and easily. This helps customers who are looking for dire purchasing as chances to notice the brand, at first sight, are more. These techniques help the brand to get to be in the eyes of customers who are looking for urgent immediate purchases.  

Voice search is becoming more and more popular among consumers. The simple reason is, it is easier to speak and ask what you want than type it every time. It is also gaining popularity among people who are not tech-savvy, as it is much easier to use voice search for the required information than typing it. 

With various assistance like Alexa, Siri, and Google assistant people are more and more used to voice assistance while exploring the digital space. Customers want to prefer brands that give voice assistant experience. 

Businesses that are improving their applications and websites to accommodate voice assistants can increase their reach and accommodate customers’ preferences.

The main aim of businesses is to provide improved customer experience and voice search helps to do exactly that. The voice assistant tools help customers get desired results in a few seconds. Thus provides optimal customer service that helps to strengthen the relationship between the consumer and the business.

Conclusion

Digital Marketing with the help of varied tools like social media, email marketing etc. can reach customers and inform them about new products, offers, discounts, or promotions. Consumers are more likely to purchase a particular product when they feel that the brand provides something unique while still maintaining the quality of the product. This helps customers to build trust in the brand and their products.

Digital marketing allows businesses to track consumer behaviour to determine what content their audience wants. Businesses can use this data to design different tailored campaigns that are specific for different segments of their customer base. This helps customers to do more informed decision-making of purchases and thus ensures better conversions from digital campaigns as compared to the conventional methods of offline marketing.

Overall, Digital marketing has reformed how businesses interact with customers by allowing them greater control over their shopping experiences. Businesses can create an experience for each customer by creating targeted content and using analytics to measure success rates thus resulting in higher conversion rates and improved engagement levels.

To know more on digital marketing, please do read my other blog on the Basics of Digital Marketing.

https://www.tutorialspoint.com/how-digital-marketing-affects-consumer-behavior

https://www.prmoment.in/opinion/does-digital-marketing-influence-the-consumer-purchasing-decision

Leave a Reply