Introducing technology into our society radically changed the way we go about our lives. In the 21st century, digital marketing has changed the way consumers make decisions on which brands to support and which products they want to invest in.
Some of these trends are becoming more relevant to businesses in order for them to appeal to their target audience. And, while companies’ digital marketing strategies have changed consumer behavior, consumers have also shaped brands’ behavior. This change results in the eight points below.
1. The Power of C-Commerce
On trend with hyper personalization, the term c-commerce was coined by Amir Zwickel and it stands for “customer-centricity”. The idea of customer-centricity is that the product and marketing is centered around the customer’s wants and beliefs, instead of the marketing being centered around the product. Consumers want personalization. They want to be marketed specific products and services that fit their personality and lifestyle.
“Landlords [of malls and shopping outlets] need ‘cool’, youthful brands to attract shoppers.” Mr. Zwickel says. Consumers, especially in the younger generations, are easily influenced by the trends – be it fashion, electronics, TikTok dances, and more – and ads they see online, meaning that their behavior and what appeals to them tends to be youthful and cool. What brands put in their stores needs to match what these digital ads and platforms – like TikTok – are putting out.
2. Deciding on a Purchase is No Longer Simple
There are billions of ads, millions of reviews, a wide array of influencers, friends, family, and other factors that affect a consumer’s purchase decisions now. They have the whole internet, including social media, to explore different brands and products. This can also trigger FOMO. This makes fighting for a potential customer’s attention even more difficult than it used to be.
3. Brand Loyalty Doesn’t Exist
As we said before, consumers are faced with millions of ads every day. They have so many options at their figure tips and it is very easy to buy from different brands. We are no longer seeing brand loyalty like they once did. Consumers are constantly moving around from brand to brand to find the best price or products with the most unique design and features. They don’t look to one company for all of their products anymore. They have begun to experiment and try out different things.
4. Social Media is Key
Social media is probably the one crucial factor in all consumer behavior, as well as in an effective brand strategy. Consumers use social media to find everything now. Whether it’s fashion or tech, they use their accounts to shop.
Moreover, they follow people that can give them reviews on things they are interested in and influence them towards or away from different brands. According to Natalie Howells, consumers expect brands to be on top of their social media, reply through these platforms, and always be available.
5. A Need to Get Away From Advertising
Being constantly marketed and advertised to has begun to annoy consumers, which has resulted in a rise of different ad-blockers and other ways to get out of seeing all of these advertisements. While getting your brand’s message out there is important, it is clear that the more we advertise the less potential customers want to see them. This means we need to start finding the right amount of advertising to attract and appeal to these potential consumers.
6. Consumers Expect More from Brands
The expectations for brands have risen by a lot. Consumers expect companies to be on top of the latest trends, to always be available to answer questions and provide customer support, to be eco-friendly… the list goes on. For a potential customer to invest in a brand, they want more than just a product.
They want those hyper-personalized, tailor-made experiences and they want them because technology and digital marketing have made them available. In a recent Special Report on The Future of Shopping, The Economist highlighted that consumers have “…more intent on ensuring that what they buy reflects what they believe…”. Consumers want the best of the best and they expect brands to give them just that.
7. Customers Do Their Own Research
Gone are the days where customers would rely on a brand’s own marketing or even on the brand themselves. With easy access to the internet, consumers are now doing their own research, putting in effort to find the right brand for them. They don’t want to just rely on a company’s advertising, they want to rely on themselves to find the perfect product to invest in.
8. The Internet is a Hub
We’ve mentioned the internet throughout this article, but just how important is it in the changed consumer’s behavior? The answer: it’s crucial. Videos, online review, display ads, social media, mobile, additionally to potentially viewing products in store, all make up the final purchase decision.
The internet is the basis for a consumer’s entire behavior. Whether it’s the advertisements they see, the influencers and reviews they follow, the stores they visit… it is the internet, and the digital marketing opportunities that come with it, that ultimately help consumers in making their purchasing decisions.
Co-authored by Quinn Donovan