Lauren Kaye

A diverse content strategy is key to getting in front of consumers before the holidays as they spend more time online, learning about the best products and services. According to data collected by Google and Ipsos, people spent between 12 and 15.8 hours researching popular product categories last year.

This is part of a broader trend. Over the past three years, buyers have upped the time they dedicate to finding the best items and deals drastically. In 2010, the average shopper spent just over three hours researching purchases. By 2014, that had risen to nearly six hours – and it’s increasing as consumers look to even more providers for information.

Brafton recently reported that the average buyer now consults about 12 different sources before cementing a purchase decision. Browsing patterns suggest people look across channels and formats to conduct a thorough analysis of the items they’re considering, from objective reviews written by consumers to product videos created by brands.

With impulse buying becoming a behavior of the past, companies need to realign their marketing approaches. Empowered customers want to see detailed pictures of items online and check reviews and prices before they commit to driving to a store and making a purchase.

Brands that strategically distribute custom content across channels consumers consult – search, social and email – can supply their target audience with the information they want and need before they buy.