By TECHNOLOGY TIMES Reporter
Lagos. July 21, 2013: Social media platforms have become key influencers of buying behaviour among today’s customers, underscoring the need for businesses to integrate them into their competitive strategy,a leading online retailer has said.
B2C market player SooBest.com, which offers a wide range of products such as women’s clothing, men’s clothing, fashion watches, fashion jewelry, among others says it has gleaned this much from recent consumer trends.
According to an insight on “Social Media Content Affects Buying Behavior” from SooBest.com, a growing number of businesses are recognising the importance of social media for market competitiveness.
More and more companies see the opportunities of social media, and as a result they regard social media as a very important platform and pipeline and use it to advocate their own products and services, the fashion retailer says.
“There is nothing wrong with this approach, of course; social media indeed helps marketing a lot, but one cannot just regard it as a sales platform.”
“We’ve been preaching pretty much the same thing for four or five years, that social is not a channel – it’s more of a behavior,” Matt Goddard, R2integrated CEO once said.
It’s clear that social media is more than a platform to sell products and offer services; its greater value lies in the way that it changes consumers’ buying behavior.
SooBest.com shares five pieces of evidence that social media affects buying behavior that cannot be ignored:
91% of people go to real stores because of the online experience (Source: Marketing Land)
This is a very intuitive, rational point. A customer will spend time investigating and searching for products / services, checking reviews, price levels and warranty services. So companies must ensure that their websites and social media have adequate and regularly updated information, allowing existing and potential consumers to find and read about their products. If they can’t find the relevant content they want, then the company probably misses an opportunity to make a sale.
89% of consumers use search engines to make buying decisions (Source: Fleishman Hillard 2012 Digital Influence Index)
Many consumers first go to Google to investigate a potential purchase. For your company to show up high in the rankings, one must have done a good job of SEO. In today’s society, social media’s credibility has become increasingly valued and used by search engines, and has become an important ranking factor. So no matter what social media platform you use, be it a Facebook fan page, Google+, Youtube, Twitter, or even a blog, you should regularly update information to play in the search ranking of social media’s influence.
62% percent of consumers finally complete their purchase decision in real stores after doing online research (Source: Marketing Land)
As mentioned above, search engines, websites and social media, any place where consumers might seek information needs to have the appropriate content in order to meet their decision-making needs and encourage favorable buying decisions.
72% percent of consumers trust online product evaluations the way they trust personal recommendations (Source: Search Engine Journal)
It is common for people to trust strangers’ words online, so one should strategize to encourage more social media users to leave comments on one’s products.
78% percent of consumers believe that companies’ social media posts affect their purchasing decisions (Source: Search Engine Journal)
Adding to this data is the exciting point that 81% percent of consumers believe that friends’ comments on social media will affect their buying behavior. The two sets of figures are very close, and tell us that the content the brand gives us is almost as important as a friends’ suggestion.
Today, consumers’ trust in traditional advertising has been gradually declining. Indeed, according to Hubspot statistics, over 75% percent of consumers do not think traditional advertising is based on facts. When consumers make a purchase decision, they will find related information online, so a company’s online content must be valuable and highly relevant. Furthermore, you need to maintain the regularity of production, because when consumers come knocking, there is only one opportunity to make a good impression and to draw consumers into making a final purchase decision.