The direct way digital marketing affects consumer behaviour is through the frequency and volume of online ads. Digital Marketing has propelled marketers around the globe to transform the marketing game. But not limited to games, the shift in technologies has even evolved consumer behaviour and their decision making abilities.
Through this post, I am going to help quantify the changes in consumer behaviour since the digital era has begun. This will help you understand the importance of the latest consumer trends, and build better online marketing strategies.
What is consumer behaviour?
Consumer behaviour is the purchasing pattern and decision process of consumers. In other words, consumer behaviour includes the acts of individuals directly involved in obtaining and using the services or goods. These are the results of sequences of decisions made by the buyer. The buyer’s decisions are influenced by various factors. Therefore, consumer behaviour is the process by which individuals decide whether, what, when, where, how and from who to purchase goods or services.
Such information about consumers is important to businesses to boost their shopping experience and eventually increase sales figures. The study of consumer behaviour allows them to understand the expectations of the consumers. It also helps them to make changes that will empower consumers to make better purchasing decisions. The study involves information about what consumers buy, where they buy and when. It also gives information regarding their intent, purchasing frequency and more about the buyer.
8 Ways Digital Marketing affects Consumer Behaviour
Here are some of the ways digital marketing has affected consumer behaviour
1. Boost customer Engagement
Consumers always like to be a part of bigger things. They don’t let go of an opportunity to interact with their favourite brand. There has been a significant increase in customer engagement due to the increased use of mobile technology and the internet.
Social media sites are accessed by everyone. People are actively engaging with their brands on social media pages and consumer forums, while consumers always have the power to choose their brand and build its reputation, digital marketing has amplified their capacity.
Due to the availability of social media platforms, search engines and review websites, they can now instantly share their opinions. In return, if the brands respond to their feedback quickly, they will ultimately receive even more engagement and see growth in sales.
2. Accessible word-of-mouth
Word of mouth is definitely the biggest factor that affects consumer behaviour. It is not something new. It is used both by brands and consumers to make business happen.
Buyers are always looking for what others share opinions about a brand. For brands, it means a lot when a consumer shares their experience with their network of people.
With the advent of technology, especially social media, consumers now have the power of projecting their opinion to a large audience. For instance, reviews by bloggers, comments, customer reviews etc have all helped people widen their approach to consumerism. This has helped businesses maintain an online presence. Word-of-mouth can significantly affect any brands’ sales figure. It would also be safe to say that digital marketing has put consumers in the driving seat.
3. Impulsive buying behaviour
Digital marketing has successfully increased the impulse buying phenomena. An impulse buying decision is made directly before making an actual purchase – a spontaneous decision that is made in the spur of the moment, when generally, customers usually pre-plan their purchases and pre-choose the products that they wish to buy.
This is used by digital marketers to positively steer consumer behaviour, through advertising online, brands highlight attractive deals, discounts and offer that customers are happy to explore.
Brands use social media platforms and third-party websites to consistently promote their featured deals, which in turn, affects consumer behaviour.
4. Ability to research and experiment
Buyers have become smarter and exceptionally good at researching when it comes to making a purchasing decision. They are gathering more insights and awareness as technology empowers them with a critical approach to making decisions online. They are being exposed to a magnitude of content as brands try to market their products on the internet. The amount of information available on the internet has even allowed them to experiment with brands. While they have allowed brands to influence their purchasing decisions, the same technology has empowered them to a huge extent.
Digital marketing has helped customers make the most of the transparent relationship brands are willing to have with them, in addition to providing them with a better understanding of certain services and products
5. Artificial Intelligence impacts consumer behaviour.
Artificial Intelligence is going to have a huge impact on consumer behaviour since brands that make use of artificial intelligence are able to present their products and services more efficiently than those that don’t. For example AI technology plays a huge role in search engine optimisation and Google algorithm works. Google looks for user intent on a search into consideration for adapting the search results. Eg., if you search digital “marketing company in Siliguri” from Delhi, the results will be definitely different than if you are searching from Kolkata for the same query.
Features like these are definitely going to affect consumer behaviour and make an impact on many brands’ online success.
6. Inconsistent customer loyalty
Digital marketing has also made it difficult for consumers to stay loyal to a particular brand. Before the digital marketing revolution, consumers were always partial to a brand of their choice. They often preferred to stick to familiar products and brands. This was due to the fact that they were not exposed to a large range of products and services like they are today. Nowadays customers are looking forward to products that provide them with better value for the same amount of money. They even take other factors into consideration like customer support, brand value, discounts, after-sale service etc. They show less hesitation when switching from their goto brand to a completely new one.
When it comes to customer loyalty, we can say that digital marketing did not change consumer behaviour. It only highlighted it. This has made brands compete more fiercely, which only helped customers get better services at lower costs.
7. Less patience, high expectations
With technology, the consumer has become more aware of the quality of the services and expectations. Exposed to online customer reviews and forums they receive real feedback on the service. Substandard services and facilities are unacceptable. The customer expects brands to respond to their queries as soon as possible, they express their dissatisfaction publicly on social media which directly impacts brands’ reputation.
The abundance of information they get through digital marketing has a serious implication on their purchasing behaviour. Services like hassle-free exchanges and next-day delivery are quickly raising the expectations of consumers across the globe.
Almost every brand is looking to provide standard features and services. However, it is the brand that goes on to provide more value that wins the competition.
8. Personalised Shopping experience
Digital marketing has also accustomed consumers to a personalised shopping experience.
Today, they don’t want to spend a great amount of time researching and purchasing their desired products.
Brands have realised this change in consumer behaviour, and they have geared their online marketing and branding strategies towards providing a personalised experience to all consumers by curating personalised content.
This tailors the entire shopping experience to fit the needs of each individual website visitor.
We have shared some of the many ways digital marketing has affected the consumer behaviour towards brands. With the emergence of advanced technology, customers are going to get more power over their shopping experience. For businesses, however, the same incessant development in technology helps manipulate the purchasing habits of their potential customers. It’s going to be quite interesting to see how digital marketing will shape the future of consumerism.
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