Consumer habits are continuously evolving. The days when shoppers went straight to brick-and-mortar stores to make purchases or went directly to the Internet are slowly fading away. Today, their buying journey typically begins with online research.
A study published by Bazaarvoice shows that both online and brick-and-mortar shoppers conduct online research and read reviews prior to finalizing their buying decisions. Another study by GE Capital Retail Bank also came to the same conclusions. It was found that eighty-one percent of today’s consumers go online to research products and compare prices and reviews before going into a physical or online store to make a purchase.
“We took a deeper look at how consumers use digital tools to approach a major purchase, including the role of mobile devices and preferred search engines, keywords, and sites,” stated Toni White, the CMO of GE Capital’s retail finance business. “While online research plays a bigger role throughout the major purchase process, 60% of consumers start by visiting a search engine, then go to the retailer’s website, and ultimately, 88% made their final purchase in-store.”
With this being said, brands without a web presence and online marketing strategies are at risk of lagging behind their competition. It’s paramount that you provide business information online and adapt to your customers’ new buying journey to meet their expectations and stay ahead of the retail game.
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