Consumers are increasingly using the web to research products and services before they buy, according to a new report from Initiative. This highlights the importance of having using SEO to make businesses visible in search.
Nearly half of respondents (43 percent) said they wouldn't purchase a brand without being able to carefully research it online beforehand. For high-cost items, such as cars or smartphones, this percentage grew, signaling a correlation between the costs of difference products or services and the time spent researching it online.
While consumers are looking for more information online, they are also more likely to share branded content. Initiative's study found that 54 percent of respondents would share content such as coupons and incentives through email and social media to inform friends' purchase decisions.
“Consumers are becoming ever more active in their brand choice, and [they're] engaging in brand messaging across earned and owned channels, particularly online,” the report notes.
For businesses looking to win over discerning shoppers, a recent Forrester Research study also suggested demonstrates that highly relevant content helps brands engage consumers. Online audiences' daily content consumption has increased by one hour and 21 minutes more per day in the past decade.