The Birth of the Investigative Consumer
Product research has become a full-scale investigation
Storeowners fear the recent decline in foot traffic is directly linked to the increase in online sales. In fact, the two are related but not exactly as you would expect. The Internet provides instant access to a wealth of information and allows today’s consumer to become fully educated before making a purchase. We are seeing better-qualified customers enter stores. Customers who know what they want and who are much more likely to buy when they come in.
A 2013 Harris Poll reports that 46% of shopper have visited a store for information, then gone online to find a better price. But that same Harris Poll says that 69% have done exactly the opposite; researched online, then bought in store. If the result of our online research is that we visit just one store instead of two, a 50% decline in foot traffic will be the direct result.
"In many instances, customers have access to more information online than when talking to an in-store sales associate. Online reviews and price comparisons enable them to feel more confident in their buying decisions..." - Jeremy Bogaisky, Forbes, Feb. 12, 2014
Customers have become more efficient with their time and money. They complete their research on product quality and pricing prior to making a commitment and without making trips to multiple stores.
B2B (Business to Business) sales are typically more complicated and worth more dollars. Buyers are doing much more research than they’ve ever done, before returning your salesmen’s calls. Customers who contact you have already formed an opinion about you based on available information. Whether it’s through your website, brochures or salesmen, you need to ensure you answer your customer’s questions before they contact you. This would mean that you need to have the proper research tools ready for buyers. Your website and brochures need to be more than a picture catalog, they need to persuade with strong reasons to buy.
Make sure they can find the persuasive evidence and confirm that your product or service is the right one for them.
Does your company allow prospects to complete their detective work?
Morty Silber, CEO
Mad Strategies Inc.
a Wizard of Ads Partner