How Has the Internet Changed Shopping Behaviors?

Today’s consumers rely on the internet to help and improve many aspects of life. This includes shopping. Consumers no longer have to waste their time driving to different stores and standing in long lines to get the products and services they desire. Now, they can simply go online and look up practically anything they could need or want. Keep reading for a closer look at how the internet has changed our shopping behaviors and how businesses can use these changes to their advantage.

Online Searches

Did you know that Google handles more than 3.5 billion online searches every day? Search engines like Google make it easier than ever for people to find the information they’re looking for, any time of the day or night. Many of these searches are for products and services that people are interested in using. Before the internet, consumers had to go to the store, ask questions, and trust the word of the salesperson they were talking to in order to make a purchasing decision. Now that consumers can go online to ask questions and find answers they can trust, they have more power when it comes to making smart purchasing decisions. Businesses can utilize search engine optimization practices to create high-quality websites that are more likely to show up in online search results.

Mobile Devices

According to eMarketer, people are spending more time on mobile devices and less time on other forms of media such as TV and desktops or laptops. People are now able to access the internet almost anywhere they go thanks to mobile devices. Smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, and other devices allow users to go on the internet even when they’re not at home. This means that consumers can find information and reviews about products they’re looking at in stores in real time. Instead of just hoping they’ve found the right product that will meet their needs, consumers can now quickly look up reviews and make sure they’re choosing the best product in the right price range.

Consumer Reviews

Online reviews signify one of the biggest impacts that the internet has had on shopping behaviors. Consumers have multiple platforms where they can post reviews of products and services, including corporate websites, review sections of e-commerce sites, social media pages, and their own blogs. Other consumers value these reviews because they represent regular peoples’ honest feelings and experiences, instead of being the result of a paid endorsement. In fact, Moz reported in 2015 that 67% of consumers surveyed considered online reviews an important deciding factor when making purchasing decisions. When businesses provide excellent products and services, their customers are more likely to have positive experiences and share those experiences on the internet. When other consumers see these positive reviews, they’ll be more likely to shop with that business.

Social Media

People spend an average of 2 hours each day using social media, and consumers like and follow businesses they enjoy on various social media platforms. This allows them to get regular updates about businesses’ products and services in the form of photos, videos, product descriptions, and links to blog posts and other informative web pages. Social media opens up new opportunities to interact with consumers and provide the best customer service possible, which is why it’s important for businesses to build and maintain an active online presence. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram also make it easy to share content, which allows businesses to post engaging content and encourage their fans and followers to share it on their own timelines. Consumers want to find businesses on social media so they can get answers to their questions, read reviews from other users, and promote the brands they love to their own friends and followers.

E-Commerce

People don’t just use the internet to research products and services—they also use it to buy the products and services that interest them. Almost anything can be purchased online, from smaller items like toiletries to larger items like furniture. Instead of spending time traveling to stores and hoping they have the right item in stock, consumers can go online—either at home or on-the-go—and order the right product at the right price and scheduled to be delivered in a matter of days. By providing easy online sales, the internet has completely changed how people shop as well as the types of items they buy regularly. According to BigCommerce, 96% of Americans surveyed have purchased something online, while 51% of respondents prefer online shopping to in-store shopping. Businesses can take advantage of this trend by offering online sales to their customers.

Consumers are online. Your business should be, too! Pennington Creative offers a variety of digital marketing services that can help your business become more visible online. Learn about our Tucson content marketing services by visiting our website or contact us today to get started.

About the Author

Jessica - Digital Marketing Manager, Social Media Services
Jessica DeMilt

Digital Marketing Manager, Social Media Services

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