As the 4,0 era develops, the digital marketing industry is growing at around 22% each year. It might be a good chance to reflect on the changing consumer behavior and society with the explosion of online marketing.
We all know digital marketing makes a significant impact on customer behavior. But how does it affect customer behavior? That’s what we'll discover now, within this blog post.
Customer behavior change from past to present
Each discovery or technology has improved society if we look at the history of human beings.
Although the printout was known to humans at least five thousand years earlier, Johannes Gutenberg's invention of the printing press changed customer behavior in the 1500s.
The humble newspaper gave manufacturers the power to reach thousands of people.
Manufacturers then would advertise in newspapers to change consumer behavior.
And if we consider, we’ll find the daily newspapers show their effect as they continue to change consumer behavior.
This was also seen during the 1910s and 1920s, when commercial radio appeared.
Although government monopolies in those ages, radio stations found companies ready to pay for their ads.
Another media is TV, which has brought consumers together with movies to a whole new paradigm. Whereby watching famous people do something or use a product has an enormous influence on consumer behavior.
Digital marketing does the same in our era. In contrast to anything previously seen in newspapers, radio, TV, cinema, or offline media like on-road hoardings and displays, digital marketing makes a different change in consumer behavior.
It still keeps affecting consumer behavior by providing Internet proliferation and relatively cheap devices for access to the Web.
How powerful is digital marketing?
When mentioning digital marketing, it’s any marketing activity using electronic devices and/or the Internet.
Email, social media, mobile apps, websites, and blogs are among the most popular digital marketing channels. It's no surprise that there were 313 million internet users in the USA, and almost 50 million in the UK in the 2020s.
There are 7 major social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Reddit) and millions of websites.
These statistics illustrate the importance of digital marketing for business and individual success.
It would take time to talk about all kinds of digital marketing. However, the graph below represents the essential practices of a marketing team.
It doesn’t mean to switch off traditional marketing channels to digital because if your customers prefer direct mails or phone calls, you might raise a bad effect on your ROI when you stop doing the traditional activities.
However, digital marketing is a savior for those who want to imagine customer journeys on a tight budget.
Digital marketing and traditional marketing
There are several reasons why digital marketing is transforming consumer behaviour.
Firstly, digital channels don’t rely on broadcasting to communicate with a customer.
Secondly, customer networks are more involved and connected with the consumer, regardless of whether they are social media comments, email chains, or live chat.
Thirdly, audiences that can reach a brand instantly will behave differently from those who have to wait on mail or phone calls.
Fourthly, thanks to digital marketing, you can solve customer issues immediately without wasting anybody's time.
Anyone who goes online is a potential customer.
Digital campaigns expand your market while traditional marketing tends to stick to local or national campaigns but just about someone who has a chance to become an international company.
With digital marketing, you can narrow down your segments with such a large volume of data available to find people who produce a ROI regardless of whether they are.
The impact of digital marketing and e-commerce on customer behavior
Reflecting your purchasing and spending patterns as a consumer. Compared to the last two decades when digital marketing just emerged, you will notice an obvious change.
And below are 12 impacts that digital marketing brings to customer behavior.
You bring your business to the global market
Unless you can’t import goods in your country, you can access products from markets around the world through digital marketing.
With a mouse click or a touch on your smartphone screen, you can quickly buy and sell everything from most countries and continents.
As a result, an increasing number of people buy high-end or rare imported products, which were previously not readily available.
People are therefore fond of foreign goods with the refined tastes of purchasing expensive goods from abroad.
Customers spend time researching
Another significant change in the behavior of consumers is the way they search for a product before placing an order.
Whether this is a bath-soap or an expensive bag, an ever-increasing number of consumers tend to investigate an item’s advantages and disadvantages via blogs, reviews, manufacturer's websites, and social media.
It’s totally different from their activities three decades ago.
Digital marketing studies and research indicate that, during the first phase of the consumer's buying process, at least 80% read blogs and product reviews, to make the right choice that best money value.
So, no manufacturer can ignore digital marketing and its impact on consumers.
If your goods or service have negative reviews, you know they won't do well on the market.
That’s why you have to produce things that inevitably receive positive feedback to win the customer's favor.
Consumers can shop anywhere at anytime
Digital marketing has enabled consumers to do shopping online from various sources.
They can buy anything at cheaper rates or good discounts from dozens of shopping sites. This causes brand loyalty diluted and requires businesses to try harder to satisfy every customer.
E-mail marketing, Facebook posts, tweets on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest ads, and pop-up ads well inform customers about various choices and price options while browsing the Internet.
Thanks to Google AdSense, such focussed ads are not lacking, depending on a consumer’s browsing history.
In fact, sellers and consumers are now free to their order time at online sales stores.
Affiliate marketers, who are primarily bloggers and digital marketers, provide honest and excellent reviews which influence consumers and guide them through affiliate links to instant shopping.
We also have retailers and craftsmen from various selling channels via Facebook, Facebook Marketplace, and online markets like Etsy or Shopify.
As a result, consumers have a bunch of shopping channels to buy only one thing.
Consumer’s discount mindset grows
Consumers all love discounts before, and they even love more now. Thanks to digital marketing, online marketers often offer discounts on almost every product.
For instance, Walmart or Lazada always serve online discounts for certain products at certain times.
Amazon, eBay, and other websites’ shoppers will discover that all online prices already carry a low discount.
Compare this with earlier times where a consumer had to haggle out a few dollars off the tag price with owners or sales assistants, it’s such a bargain!
Email marketing motivates FOMO
E-mail marketing is an integral component of digital marketing that enables consumers to remain informed and connected with their favorite suppliers.
Consumers don’t need to go to a direct store to learn new launches and discounts. Instead, you can find all information via an email.
As a result, consumers are not afraid of missing an offer or launch.
Rather, they can directly place orders because email marketing allows consumers to shop by clicking on an interactive link.
Consumer loyalty is lower
Nowadays, we have tons of online suppliers that offer high discounts to maintain consumer loyalty.
That’s why getting a loyal customer is more challenging than ever to any online or offline seller, brick-and-mortar stores.
And that makes every dollar a consumer spends more precious than ever. It also requires businesses to try their best to convince consumers to stay with them.
Amazon Prime is a classic example of such loyalty.
It offers shoppers a range of advantages for low annual rates, including free and faster deliveries, priorities for select items, free movies, music, and more.
This leads to a positive change in consumer behavior because they feel they have enormous values when shopping at Amazon Prime.
Buyers tend to use credit and have monthly support purchases
Buying patterns are an essential feature of digital marketing. It has a strong impact on consumer behavior.
Earlier, people didn’t frequently use credit cards to pay for their purchases. But this is now a familiar paying method in digital marketing.
The eagerness to pamper online customers forces retailers to offer purchases via Equal Monthly Instalments (EMIs) and other facilities.
Sellers also offer interest-free loans and EMI plans in some instances. Instead of postponing an expensive purchase, consumers will have to buy now.
Customers spend time doing surveys
Back to 10 years ago, do you think people will spend time on completing online surveys? The answer is 90% “no”.
Digital marketing has led to strong competition among companies to launch innovative products to steal customers. Therefore, companies release online consumer surveys to take feedback from them.
Consumers are more than willing to participate in these surveys, as market research companies reward their efforts with cash or free coupons from brands.
A change in marketing data
Back in the past to consider digital marketing campaigns. Marketers only had databases like age, location, and sex.
However, digital marketing now changes everything. We not only know consumers’ basic information, but we can also adapt each marketing campaign to specific consumers’ behaviors thanks to flexible digital marketing campaigns.
A customer finishes an action, it then triggers digital marketing. The activity leads to the following behavior, and the two work together in a continuous, data-driven environment.
Word of mouth marketing
Both businesses and consumers use word-of-mouth marketing. In the 4,0 era, word of mouth is the most significant factor affecting the consumers’ behavior.
The reason is, consumers always seek what others say about a brand or a product, especially with one they want to buy.
For brands, word-of-mouth marketing means a lot if a consumer shares his experience with others on blog post comments, social media, or other online channels.
The advent of technology, particularly social media, enables consumers to share their opinions with a vast audience.
Blogger reviews, sponsored post comments, and brand pages help people broaden their approach towards shopping activities.
This has contributed to the existence of online brands because word of mouth can affect companies' sales.
Digital marketing has also put consumers in the driving seat, letting them be active to do shopping.
Consumers expect more and are less patient
Technology has made consumers remarkably impatient with fast and efficient service expectations.
They receive sentimental, real feedback on products, services and are open to online customer reviews and forums.
Consumers expect brands to answer questions as quickly as possible. They express their disappointment on public platforms when they don’t get what they expect, which strongly affects brands’ reputation.
Digital marketing brings various information and effects on consumers purchasing behavior. Some services such as hassle-free trade and delivery rapidly raise consumer expectations.
Almost every brand wants to offer standard services, but brands that provide greater value are likely to win.
These 13 changes only scratch the surface of the consumer behavior transformation.
In a fast-moving digital world, change is guaranteed. It's all about creating customer relationships, putting yourself in customers’ shoes.
Big brands such as Amazon set a very high bar for small companies.
Personalized product recommendations, targeted email campaigns, free delivery (Amazon Prime), individual offers, reviews, and social services are now not the exception but rather the standard.
And you might lose your place on the market if you can’t adapt to the consumers’ changes.
So, take action today to renovate the business with the 13 advice.