Digital marketing has transformed the marketing game and touched new heights, so much so that the ones who were not anywhere close to this field are now wanting to use this to promote their brand. With the shift of marketing techniques from traditional to digital, the process of consumer decision making has also changed beyond recognition. As per reports, as of October 2019, almost 4.48 billion people were active internet users, encompassing 58 per cent of the global population.
Digitisation and access to the internet has created a new growth story for businesses and consumers alike. Nowadays, to make a purchase, consumers quickly turn to the internet to research and make their decision a couple of hours, or perhaps even minutes. Consumer behaviour is much more streamlined today and the business model is also briefer compared to the earlier ones.
Here are some insights to help you understand the impact of digital marketing on consumer behaviour.
1. Consumers have become researches
With easy access to the internet, consumers today are much more enlightened and empowered. They are flooded with digital content each day. With almost every brand marketing their products on the digital platforms today, it’s more than convenient for consumers to research & compare online. Their purchase decision is highly influenced by the interactions they have with the brand and other influencers online.
2. Digital word of mouth is trusted the most
Earlier, word of mouth used to be the most trusted form of recommendation that consumers believed. In today’s digital age, word of mouth is done in terms of customer reviews, influencer recommendations, ratings, testimonials, etc. Maximum consumers make sure to look at what the current brand users have to say about the product/service before making their purchase decision.
3. Consumers are not afraid to experiment
Consumers in the earlier days were very sceptical to change brands that they have been using all along. However, things have changed with time. The mindset of consumers has evolved massively today. They have become more welcoming towards products and brands that offer better features than before. All this was only possible through digital marketing that has made it easier for these new brands to reach out to the customers.
4. Consumers frequently switch brands
Brand loyalty used to be a huge thing in the past. Very rare is when you’d see consumers switch brands. However today, consumers are quick to switch brands provided the new one is offering better features. With a heap load of options available in the market, consumer loyalty is difficult and switching is easy.
5. Consumers now have a lower tolerance level
Lastly, consumers today are not okay to settle or compromise in any manner. They expect an immediate response to their queries and grievances if any. They openly share their thoughts and views on the digital platforms which can make or break a brand’s image in seconds. Generally, consumers tend to easily believe negative news/reviews and only a few actually share positive reviews. Also, a lot of competitors misuse this by posting negative reviews on brand pages through fake accounts.This can be managed with a strong Online Reputation Management (ORM) Strategy, where interactions with the consumers can potentially convert their negative image to the positive.
Consumer behaviour in today’s digital age keeps changing and expanding every now and then. Being in sync with consumer’s preferences and the current trends is the only way that can help brands stay in the game.
(The author is manager - digital promotions and analytics, Spicetree Design Agency.)