Oct 25

Shopping Has Changed… Has Your Online Marketing?

Buyers shop and learn in a whole new way compared to the past, so marketers need to adapt or risk extinction. People now use the internet to shop and gather information about products, businesses and brands. Marketers need to understand where they go.

This blog will look at how shopping has changed and now you need to focus your efforts on – Online Marketing.

1. Shoppers know as much as salespeople

In the past, people went directly to the store/business with little to no knowledge and relied on a salesperson to advise them on what to buy. Instead of solely listening to a sales person, today’s shoppers have become accustomed to doing their own research online to get the maximum value out of every pound they spend as well as to feel secure about the purchases they are making.

With this power shift comes a great opportunity for businesses active online. And those that are involved in activities to gain insights from the web such as keywords, blogging, social media and analysing webpage visits stand in good stead. The customer journey has changed and smart marketers need to be there when consumers start researching purchases online.

2. Context and Content

In our constantly connected world, a device is just a substitute for what really matters — getting to know your customers. The devices provide context, helping us learn what matters to a person in a particular journey – helping us understand our target personas.

With the intent provided by Google search, it can help businesses deliver relevant suggestions within their content – blog, website, emails etc.

The right message at the right moment is the next level of customer service — it can quickly and easily turn intent into action.

Context also allows businesses to better than ever anticipate what a customer might need based on when, where and how they arrive at your website and help them decide how to respond to them. People are constantly looking for product information, deals, local availability and local discounts online — and businesses who aren’t there to supply the right information when people raise their hand will lose out.

3. Your website needs to provide the complete shopping experience

Before finding the right business and the product/service you needed depended on familiarity, or luck. Now, as the lines blur between online and offline, the search element doesn’t end once the someone visits your website. For example, at some point, we have all been lost in the supermarket, searching the aisles for an elusive item.

Websites need to be a map, a shopping list, a personal shopper, a salesperson and a product finder all at once. Also, smart businesses are integrating mobile into their website experience. With the ever increasing usage of smartphones and tablets to browse online websites need to be responsive to mobile.

4. Word of mouth carries more weight than ever

Buying is an activity shared by friends and family — and word of mouth was a social force that transformed new products into must-haves and small shops into retail empires. Today, this is truer than ever. With YouTube and social networks like Google+, Facebook, Twitter etc. people are now sharing their opinion on products not just with a group of friends, but with millions of people.

For example, this is why Google Shopping incorporates reviews and introduced shortlists to make it easy for people to discuss products and purchases with friends and family. Smart businesses are recognising the opportunities that lie in digital where instead of basing campaigns on the broadest reach possible they can now zero in and speak directly with the individuals, or communities of fans, who love their products most.

Businesses are also seizing the opportunities around online comments by writing content against terms like ‘reviews’ and working to promote the positive and counteract the negative.

Please let us know if you have changed your marketing? If you need help with your online marketing strategy then download our free guide to help you create your plan:

The Essential Guide To Creating An Inbound Marketing Strategy

About The Author

I am a Chartered Marketer with 12+ years of business experience. Over the years, this has helped me gain the necessary skills to understand clients pains and help them discover their solution, creatively. I work, closely, with clients to understand their strengths and make plans to utilise these most effectively to generate sales qualified leads.