What are the channels that have the greatest influence on consumer purchasing decisions? Through what channels do you discover new products and investigate potential acquisitions? Where do you meet new brands? Knowing the answer to those questions can make the difference between investing, or not, in the most profitable digital channels. And according to a new from Catalyst and Forrester Consulting, these are search engines and social media. Thus, this report reveals how consumers are using search and social media in the different phases of the customer journey, to help companies develop more effective strategies through these channels.

It should be borne in mind  Finland Email List that the linear customer journey was left behind, in which the consumer limited himself to buying what he found in the store. Today that journey is multi-channel and multi-device, and the client actively alternates them at each point of contact with the brands: from discovery, to purchase or recommendation. In this journey, both search and social play a key role, and it is important to know when, how and where users use these instruments in order to adapt the strategy in search of competitive advantages. The first conclusion of the study is that search engines are the main tool of consumers in their purchase process, and is the number one source of information. Thus, more than 90% of consumers use search engines to discover, explore and establish engagement with products and brands. Furthermore, consumers trust their search results more than any other digital channel. 9 out of 10 respondents say they use search in their buying process on a regular basis, and 72% believe that the search results are trustworthy.

But social media also plays a crucial role in the customer journey, complementing the role of search engines. More than 85% of consumers use these platforms to discover products and to consider whether to purchase them or not. But in addition, social networks provide information that really influences purchasing decisions: 81% of those surveyed acknowledged having known a product or brand that they had ended up buying through their connections on social networks. And even the companies themselves can influence, with 43% saying they bought something due to a company post and 30% due to social media ads.

Consumers who combine both channels spend more

The study also shows that consumers who combine the use of search engines and social platforms in their buying behavior are the most valuable for brands, since they spend more on them and also recommend them more actively. More than half of the respondents who used both channels in their purchasing decisions had spent more than $ 250 online in the last three months, and they were also 9% more likely than other consumers to act as brand ambassadors. Combining search engine marketing and social media strategies is therefore the perfect option to maximize the impact of your campaigns. With 58% of consumers claiming to use both channels in their purchasing decisions, the strategies they choose to use both represent an opportunity for brands to multiply their value to customers throughout their purchasing journey. On the other hand, social is also an important aspect of how organic search works: understanding that consumers will respond to social content while looking for information about a company, its products and its services, it can reward its most valuable consumers by offering them the content. fitting in the right context.

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