If you have an online store, it’s fairly obvious that you need a robust digital presence. But recent research from the eCommerce Foundation reveals that every business is an online business – even brick and mortar only stores and B2B companies.
[Tweet “There’s an expectation that instant access to information is available in every setting.”]
Here are some highlights from the report for you:
88% of customers research purchases online before taking action. It doesn’t matter whether the eventual purchase happens online or in a brick and mortar setting – nearly 9 out of every 10 consumers are going online to inform themselves before making a purchase. This is true for very expensive items, as you might expect, but it’s also true for low-consequence purchases like sandwiches and sports drinks.
Half of all shoppers begin their research on Amazon. In fact 72% of surveyed shoppers planned on shopping Amazon during the upcoming holiday season. Shoppers who are looking for an alternative to Amazon are searching online, and they’re looking for local vendors. It’s very important that your website be mobile friendly to reach these searchers: Google reports that 80% of the searches for local businesses happen on a smartphone.
Having an online presence makes it easier for local customers to find you. Today’s younger shoppers expect to access a great deal of information up front. In addition to a business’ location and hours, they’re searching for insights about what type of experience they can expect. These insights come from a store’s website and social media; if these aren’t accurate or effective, the Millennial or Gen Z shopper will not hesitate to look elsewhere.
It’s important to understand that the shopping behaviors exhibited by Millennials and Gen Z in their personal lives influence what they do in the workplace. B2B brands are being made increasingly aware of how important an effective digital presence is for their companies. Inquiries that were once routed through a rep now go to a chat window; there’s an expectation that instant access to information is available in every setting.
With that in mind, it’s important for every company to regularly review their digital marketing presence for completeness and effectiveness. This process is known as an audit. An audit reveals your strengths and weaknesses and can help you pinpoint the areas where small changes can have a dramatic impact. To find out more about digital audits, or to schedule an audit for your company, visit this page.