Businesses and individuals alike often research the goods and services they are interested in before they make a purchase. It is important that, as a business, you understand the ways in which buyers perform this research and why. That way, you can make better choices for your marketing and your website, ensuring that you get the right information in front of customers where they are searching.
The Internet has changed the way people research, as it has done for just about everything else. Here are a few things you need to know about how customers and other businesses research goods:
Getting Company Information
Company information isn’t as readily available as it used to be. The number that many companies include on their bill or their product packaging leads to an automated recording, not an actual person. Finding a number that leads to a live person can feel impossible for some companies. Customers may also want to find a number or address for a company when they are researching its background to determine if it provides quality goods and services. For example, customers may want to make sure the company isn’t based in a third-world country especially if they are doing so in order to exploit laborers.
Savvy customers use services like Corporate Office HQ to find the contact information and details for all types of companies. They may then decide to reach out with a phone call or letter, or they may use the location information to learn more about the company’s labor and production practices.
Webrooming for Product Research
A lot of people perform an Internet search to get more information about particular products (often called Webrooming). For example, a person might decide to buy a blender but wants to find information about the different types of blenders available. The person might look at prices, specifications such as speed or power, and how different brands compare to one another. The person may even ask questions on social media or in forums. Then they might buy the blender they’ve determined to be the best online, or they might go into a brick-and-mortar store to buy it.
This phenomenon can be frustrating to businesses that operate exclusively online or who put a lot of money into online advertising but don’t see the payoff in online sales. People, however, often feel a greater sense of satisfaction when they buy products in person. Online-only businesses can capitalize on this by using virtual reality to market their products, giving customers a sense of the same experiences. Brick-and-mortar stores can get a better sense of how their online marketing is paying off when they ask customers how they were referred to the store, even during in-person transactions.
Learning about Customer Experiences
We are more spread out than we have ever been, and the Internet helps bring us together. We can buy products from companies located on the other side of the world. And when we don’t know people who have purchased products from those companies and can tell us about their experiences, we can go online and find others who are willing to share their opinions. That’s exactly what many consumers and businesses do before they purchase from a company.
Hopefully, you will have plenty of positive reviews of your company and your products or services on sites like Yelp, Amazon, and wherever else is appropriate. If you don’t, you can encourage more reviews by simply asking for them.
Including a note to customers to leave you a review if they were satisfied with their transaction. Follow up with a phone call asking them to do it. You can even encourage reviews as part of a contest or giveaway (but you shouldn’t require the review for entry).
Of course, you can also sponsor a review through certain websites, though these reviews will be marked as paid. You don’t influence the content of the review, but the sponsorship will get you consideration when you wouldn’t have gotten it otherwise.
Knowing the research habits of your customers can help you understand how to tweak your marketing practices so that you can get more brand visibility, as well as more leads and sales. Fortunately, the Internet makes it easy for you to track your target audience’s movements, as well as to meet them where they are with the right marketing efforts.