by Laurie Sullivan
When designing a search campaign, marketers can benefit from a better understanding of how and why people shop.
Culture, current events, weather and mood all contribute to the reasons -- but what about information and experiences, not to mention efficiencies in the way the brand conducts business?
Valassis, which focuses on consumer engagement and technology, released the findings from a study conducted with Kantar in which they surveyed 1,000 U.S. consumers. The study -- The Future of How People Shop -- focuses on five key points. Two of the five points provide nuances in the process that suggest specific online information is becoming easier to find.
For starters, it may seem intuitive that information drives not only the purchase, but how consumers find the products. That information could be in the form of a search ad -- an early concept Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page emphasized.
Apparently the ability to find information online and in ads continues to improve. Some 68% of all consumers believe they have become better equipped to make informed purchase decisions compared with five years ago. It’s no surprise that 60% of consumers often research products online before making a purchase, and 62% said they closely read product labels.
Consumers also want experiences and efficiency. Shoppers, for example, expect advertising to act as an in-store pathfinder -- 43% of consumers participating in the survey believe targeted advertising should be able to guide them through the store to locate products.
The findings suggest consumers value advertising when it supports their needs. Of those participating in the survey, 47% wish relevant advertising appeared when researching solutions to address personal needs.
While the survey didn’t reveal how consumers feel about privacy and data, it did find that 34% of consumers appreciate when companies use their data to deliver personalized advertising.
Consumers look to brands to facilitate exploration with 51% of all consumers -- and 68% of parents -- expressing a desire for advertising to help educate consumers and help them attain the best experience following purchases.
Surprisingly, the research shows that 24% of consumers have signed up for auto-replenishment services, with the decision driven by brand loyalties and demand for convenience. Some 39% also said they prefer to shop at a retailer that provides buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS) options.
Although consumers are adopting time-saving measures, shoppers recognize there could be better options, and 38% wish that advertising would help them discover something new.
When it comes to social media, 28% of consumers enjoy engaging with brands, but 30% expect brands to “respond immediately” if they share a negative experience with a brand.
One-quarter of those who participated in the survey trust advertising more when it features influencers or celebrities they follow online.
Millennials have developed an even deeper trust for influencers, with 48% noting "heightened" trust.