Online Consumer Behavior Trends in 2014
Consumer behavior isn't a fixed thing. It constantly changes, particularly in the fast-moving world of online retail, and marketing strategies have to change to keep pace.
In 2014, there are three major trends of buyer behavior across search, social, email and the wider web and they all revolve around consumer empowerment. Consumers are typically becoming better informed, they increasingly know how to opt out of marketing communications and they have higher expectations.
Consumers Are Better Informed
Consumers are better informed about the products, services and businesses they use than ever before. They can access detailed specs, pricing and reviews about goods and services 24/7 and, thanks to the rise of the smartphone, they can do so from anywhere. A Motorola survey found that nearly half of younger shoppers felt that their smartphones and other mobile devices provided them with more useful product information than salespeople and store associates. Forty-six percent of Generation Y shoppers (those aged 18 to 34) and 38 percent of Generation X shoppers (aged 35 to 49) reported that accessing data via their mobile devices was more useful than engaging in conversation with in-store staff.
In addition to checking product specs on the go, consumers are also researching from the comfort of their own homes. A survey by Nielsen found that 61 percent of shoppers used the internet to research their grocery shopping, including reading reviews and comparing prices. Online grocery shopping is on the rise, but many consumers prefer to inform themselves by researching online then buying the products in person.
Online word-of-mouth via social media, user reviews and personal recommendations is also very important. According to a recent Global Trust in Advertising Report, 92 percent of global consumers said they trusted earned media such as personal recommendations above any other form of advertising. Online consumer reviews were the second most trusted source of brand information, with 70 percent trusting this information.