Consumers today don’t just want the basics. They what more information, accurate information, and details about your past clients’ experiences — and they’re going to multiple sources to get it.
In a recent Adweek webinar, “What Influences Conversions? The Why Before (and After) the Buy,” representatives from YP Marketing Solutions and Thrive Analytics discussed the results of a recent consumer study of 5,418 adults in eight purchasing categories, including home-related sales and services. Most studies focus on the path to purchase, says Jason Peaslee, managing partner of Thrive Analytics, conductors of the survey, but there isn’t much data about why consumers choose one company over another.
The study looked at participants’ last 30 days of searches leading up to their purchase, and created a list of reasons people take action. “Path to purchase continues to get more complicated,” Peaslee says. Consumers are using more and more sources of information about a company before choosing to do business with them.
According to the study, 45 percent of people used from two to four sources of information before deciding to do business with a company, and 19 percent used more than five sources, including social media, ratings sites, online profiles, and friend or family recommendations. Thirty-six percent used one source.
Peaslee says there are two types of information your potential customers are accessing online: primary and secondary. Primary includes location of the business, price of the product or service, availability of service, and customer service — basic information they might get from your website. Secondary sources include ratings and testimonials, family and friends’ recommendations, history of the company, and photos or videos of the business.
Almost half of consumers — 48 percent — said they made a decision to purchase based on secondary information about the company, Peaslee says. And, they spent twice as much on average than those relying solely on primary information. In the home services category specifically, 45 percent of survey respondents said secondary sources of information influenced their decision.
When asked why consumers didn’t choose a business, 55 percent said it was based on negative reviews or ratings, and 37 cited inconsistent or incorrect information online. Also, a lack of information, such as no online reviews, photos, or videos of business also discouraged consumers.
Luke Edson, senior vice president of YP Marketing Solutions, offers some ideas for better reaching your prospects today.
- Ensure the information on your website and all your online profiles is up-to-date and accurate, including links and contact information.
- Get more personal about your company. Post photos, videos, and details about your mission.
- Don’t overlook online review sites. Make sure your testimonials are posted on your site and cross posted on other consumer review sites.
- Invest in mobile marketing: 57 percent of shoppers are using their mobile device during the research phase. They’re learning about you from their phones. If you can’t tackle mobile-friendly marketing on your own, partner with a company that excels in this space.
- Take a deeper dive to understand who your clients are and how they’re finding you. Take information about your past customers, look at your site’s traffic analytics, dive into location data — where your customers are when they search for you — and design your next marketing campaign to be more meaningful to the people who want to do business with you. “You’ve got to be relentless because the consumer is going to keep moving forward,” Edson says.
Find the entire study at www.whybeforethebuy.com.
—Erica Christoffer, REALTOR® Magazine