The percentage of consumers who conduct online shopping weekly has risen frequently year-over-year. Smartphones become the first go-to technology for this activity. As consumers are familiar with and trust digital technology more than ever, they are going online not only to purchase products but also try other services, such as consulting experts or doing an online medical treatment.
The rise of the online market, however, should bring more concern for businesses, especially those that haven’t digitised their services. With the online market becoming fiercer, business marketers should revisit their strategy to touch the heart of consumers to buy products or try their services, even on online occasions.
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Based on a study, marketers should focus on what customers say and, even more important, what other customers actually do. In a study analysing brand touchpoints of 14,000 people in North America and Europe over a one-week period, each person was asked to report their experiences during the week of a brand in one of four categories. The result is that marketers should focus on the following areas to improve the product/service buying.
1- Think about distinctive branding for the product in use, not just for the purchase moment. For instance, Apple’s early advertising of the iPod focused on associating it with the striking white earphones that were visible even when the iPod wasn’t, giving us a message that a good brand should always have its own distinctive point. The brand could be the same but what different value can it bring to the customer? That’s what really matters.
2- If decision-making is made by a group rather than an individual, marketers can influence a group. Coca-Cola is a good example of this. Coca-Cola’s customised cans called “Good for Sharing” have helped the company own the brand attribute that eventually drives drinks purchases, as it influences a group of people to distribute “Share a Coke” campaign. This campaign is a clever marketing strategy done by Coca-Cola. Up until now, Coca-Cola is known as having one of the best marketing strategies.
3- Expose normally invisible customer behaviours to their peers. The study showed that adding figures (buying percentage, customers’ review, and most wanted price list) to a website will increase sales. If these figures are classified into my group buying, it will result so much better. For instance, people are more likely to reuse their towel in hotels if they are given statistics on reuse within that hotel, rather than exhortations about the effect of reuse to the whole planet. In marketing cases, customers are more likely to buy what their peers buy if they know the statistics, instead of buying things that are not proven well by statistics.
4- Build in peer observation to product launches. Real-time experience tracking found that people were particularly noticing other travellers’ phones on the evening commute. Thus, to engage a tribe of young people to use certain products, it is important for a marketer to conduct peer observation in the real setting.
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