Purchasing behavior of consumers has changed with the dominance of Internet, Calgarians more now than ever look to the internet for information about products and services that they might in interested in purchasing. Individuals no longer browse catalogs from their mailboxes. Rather, they browse the Internet hunting for the newest products, trends, and styles. Next year Google estimates 50% consumers will browse the internet using mobile devices. This gives an opportunity that can be seized by successful companies looking to take their business to the next level.
In essence, Calgary’s consumers may already have interacted with a local or national brand prior to their visit to a store –- virtual or physical stores. It is through the integration of mobile technology that branded labels and manufacturers can reach out to their niche.
Just as Calgary consumers turn to social media to research a product, online trends have also given birth to online word of mouth advertising. In fact, a survey revealed that over 75% of users willingly recommend trusted companies to their acquaintances. This data is backed by more studies that show that over 80% of consumers are convinced that user-generated content is highly influential on their purchase decisions. Additionally, over 60% of all online shoppers course through websites with user reviews and feedback.
As such, it is vital for companies to take advantage of these points. One way to thrive online is to formulate a social network where consumers can share recommendations and interact through social media, forums, blogs, and e-commerce websites.
Approximately 60% percent of consumers are likely to make a purchase following a friend’s referral. Experts found two reasons for buying online. Consumers were either driven by a friend’s strong recommendation or shared discounts with their friends, ie. deal sites.
The heightened influence and reliance of recommendations from friends has also altered the purchasing behavior of buyers. This gives a reason for brands to seek methods on how they can facilitate sharing valuable information. It is imperative for them to induce actions from the marketing plan to come up with viable level of social content. To put it simply, brands must create content that is shared by their patrons with each other!
When companies and brands inject humor into their marketing campaigns, they gain a greater chances of making profits. And while television still serves as the best avenue for ads, the simultaneous integration of mobile devices can boost success. Note that over 80% of tablet owners and around 90% of smart phone users admit to tinkering with their gadgets while watching the television.
For added impact, businesses can then tailor their advertising strategy to collaborate with on-screen integrations.
Image-based Social Media
A picture is worth a thousand dollars when the popularity of mobile photo-sharing features of social media is utilized for building up the image of a brand. Marketing strategies should also be image-oriented. They should not only be attention grabbers, but also drivers of interaction points. They should create a buzz and be talked about.
Conversion to Sales
In a physical store, sales people greet consumers as they enter a store and convince them to buy an item.
This could be a challenge in the online business arena as consumers interact digitally through mobile devices. But there are techniques that allow entrepreneurs to make lower-funnel access to their niche to lure them into making a purchase.
Use of Social Shopping Applications
Consumers generally need uninterrupted connection to assess products and offers, grab the best deals and have a clear line of communication. Thus, 1/3 of consumers utilize their mobile devices to hunt for sales and special offers, while another 1/3 of them go online to check ratings and reviews. Buyers always aim to make smart purchasing decisions.
Brands then should be prepared when consumers start to look for vital information. Web content should be readily available. They can also collaborate with advertising app developers.
Performing Location-based Marketing
Delivering the right product and content to the right consumers at right time through the right medium is vital. Location-based marketing is in-charge of ensuring that the place and timing is right. This strategy can be performed by having real-time exclusive deals. Twelve percent of smart phone users tap into their gadgets to look for the nearest stores. Facebook and Foursquare can provide locations, but the plan can extend to targeting areas with high index of technology and use of social networks. Chances are, consumers who are looking for services with the closest proximity are concentrated in these areas.
Introduction of Augmented Reality Apps
Amazon.com recently adopted an app which allows buyers to view the items in person and compare prices. But this augmented reality app technology is relatively young. But the “try before you buy” concept is promising.
Experts are forecasting that augmented reality will soon take over in online shopping, as this allows companies to move at the same pace with consumers. Some of the app usages include navigation, content delivery and simulated product experience.
Marketing does not stop as consumers walk out the store. Brands can tap social media to retain connection with consumers. Ensuring consumer satisfaction and rapport was found to extend the merchant-consumer relationships, thereby giving companies a greater chance to retain their leads.
Aside from the usual telephone customer service, users now clamor for faster access through social media. Businesses should then do their best to give the consumers what they demand and integrate technology that allows for a quick response. Remember than on average, a customer can tell 42 people about a good customer service. When things go wrong, 53 people will hear about it.
Companies should be prepared to interact through social media. Real-time communication is highly desirable as consumers find more convenience from quicker ways to converse when they experience pressing problems. At the same time, social customer services should appear empathizing to the consumers.
Influencer relations are one of the growing focuses of marketers in that it allows companies to start a conversation with consumers quicker. It ensures that the right messages are sent across to the right people in the right positions, thus expanding the businesses’ potential reach.
Friends, co-workers, and family members are great influencers. They can sway purchase decisions and relay information about a brand.
Opportunities endowed by social media marketing can be seized by companies in developing more interactive content, announcing deals, and gaining more recommendations. This calls for the need of marketers to move with technology. Still, it has to be noted that this is no silver bullet. There are still more factors that contribute to the success of an online business. This is only one of them.