Understanding the Consumer Journey to Inspire Brand Love

blog title

Understanding the Consumer Journey to Inspire Brand Love

If you’re a business – small, medium, or otherwise – and you’re struggling to make a lasting impression across the crowded space of the digital world, then this article is for you. Facebook recently released a four-part series exploring how changes in digital media have disrupted the shopper journey, from trigger and evaluation to purchase and post-purchase. The data is pulled from Hong Kong and Taiwan consumers, but the trends gleaned can easily be applied to consumers everywhere. graph of cycle  

Consumer Triggers: Influencing the Shopper’s Journey

  The report doesn’t despair over the lost good ole days of retail; rather, it highlights the new and exciting opportunities now available to businesses to stand out from the pack.   There are so many chances available to brands to reach their target audience: the average global consumer spends about 7 hours per day on the internet. 7 hours. That’s more time spent on the internet than the average American spends catching Zzz’s.   To boot, consumers are more than willing to use cheaper ad-supported platforms overpaid premium services, and even welcome advertisements as helpful reminders of what they need or inspiration for their latest desire. That sounds almost too good to be true, so here are some stats to back that up:  
  • 84 percent of Honk Kong consumers from 18 to 34 years old are unwilling to pay extra for premium ad-free digital experiences.
  • 54 percent of consumers who have seen ads claim they act as a reminder to get something they need or prompt an idea of something they want.
  These ad-supported models offer more than the chance to be seen via static content. They offer the chance to engage consumers through increasingly immersive “shoppertainment”, such as Wi-Fi delivered video and live streams.   Platforms like Facebook and TikTok allow consumers to shop while they view content, significantly shortening the path to purchase. This instant purchase functionality offers consumers the immediate gratification we have all come to expect without disrupting their content experience.   Additionally, the tools exist to allow you to pull data from these platforms that can be leveraged to anticipate consumer wants and needs. Data is becoming more individualized, meaning deeper insights into unique behaviors and more accurate trigger predictions. You can predict what inspires consumers to begin their journey rather than wait around for the inspired consumer.  

Evaluation: Will Your Brand Pass the Test?

  It would be easy to assume that price is the main driver of consumer purchases, but today’s shopper is more sophisticated and has high expectations when it comes to choosing a brand – especially when there are so many to choose from.   Aside from price, factors affecting purchasing decisions include keeping products in stock, writing accurate product descriptions, and making products easy to find. bar graph of percents   And how are consumers evaluating whether a brand’s products or services will meet their expectations? More shoppers are turning to social media and search engines than going directly to the official websites to help them make a decision.   One external source that heavily influences consumer decisions that is often ignored by brands is reviews. 54 percent of Hong Kong shoppers report product reviews are the “most important” touchpoint in persuading them to make the purchase. You might think that you can’t influence what people write or say about you on Yelp or Google, but you’d be wrong – you can absolutely incorporate tactics to boost rave reviews in your digital marketing strategy.   But even with all this information at their fingertips, consumers can still end up paralyzed with indecision. Instead of attracting converts by undercutting your competitor’s prices, you can make the decision-making process effortless by, for example, engaging with people’s values or partnering with key influencers. (Just so you know, the study found 58 percent of Hong Kong consumers were more likely to purchase a product recommended by social media influencers.)   But above all, focus on creating thoughtful content. From the mouth of Chief Knowledge Officer, Eric Heller, of the WPP Center for Excellence for Amazon:   “Good content can get you a leg up on your competitors; if your page converts twice as well as theirs, you can get the same results with half the budget they are spending.”  

The Purchase and Post-Purchase Experience

  What do consumers expect from the checkout process? Items might be added to their cart, but sometimes consumers need a little more assurance that they’re making the right decision. You can do this by adding a conversational element to the checkout experience. Utilizing messaging services, such as chatbots, and live streams adds a personable touch that can help alleviate any remaining indecision.   Additionally, you want to make checkout as easy as possible. Keep this stat in mind when considering the number of steps required to finalize a purchase: 1 in 3 Hong Kong shoppers abandon their cart if there are too many steps during checkout. They just leave them behind like people who don’t return their shopping carts to the corrals – which is apparently the moral conundrum of our time.   If a consumer has followed through with their purchase, they still expect a brand to keep in touch, especially regarding the status of their newly acquired treasures. Being proactive is key: nearly half of Hong Kong shoppers expect to receive unprompted updates regarding their orders. Consumers are even eager to receive updates on brand events and offers – nearly 90 percent of Hong Kong and Taiwan shoppers opt-in. Just make sure not to bombard their inboxes or else they’ll begin to tune you out.   And a word regarding all that data you’ve collected as consumers interact with your brand: Keep. It. Safe. Data is a precious commodity that can unlock the secrets of consumer behavior. You need to earn the right to keep and utilize this data by proving to consumers you can safeguard their information against data breaches and leaks.  

Final Thoughts

  Brand loyalty is no longer a guarantee. In fact, only 8 percent of consumers say they are committed to their favorite brands. In the digital sphere, brands must continuously engage with their audience to prove why they deserve their business. Facebook’s report included this great infographic on the Six Universal Drivers of Brand Love that will inspire your path to better engagement: pie graph brand love   With the crippling number of choices now available to consumers, who have an infinite ability to comparison shop via the black hole that is the internet, brands can really shine by safely leveraging data to cater to unique individual intent and simplifying the shopping process to capture converts and inspire brand loyalty.   If you’d like to optimize your brand message for conversion, drop our digital media marketing experts a line at (805) 482-8312 or fill out our contact form here. We look forward to working with you!