Consumer behavior is always changing. As consumers evolve, so do the marketing strategies.

Just a decade back, we all knew that most customers were passive observers. Their respective minds were trained to absorb traditional marketing messages which came their way through television ads or print media. However, those days are of the past and are now long gone. 

Today customers have become more digital savvy. They are much more empowered. They are also quite proactive and have taken the driver’s seat especially when it comes to making buying decisions. 

The rise of digital marketing has broken strides in this transformation. 

With a great many tools at their fingertips, from social media (Facebook) to organic search (Google), today’s consumers have become researchers, critics, and influencers all rolled into one. 

They are no longer content with simply being told what to buy; instead, when they are planning to purchase something, they simply go through the information, compare options and see what fits best for their particular requirement. It helps them make better and more well informed decisions. 

The following shift in consumer behavior has definitely compelled digital marketers to rework their marketing strategies. They are now looking for new ways to reach and engage this much more empowered audience. 

In this modern consumer centric day and age, digital marketers are now always found on a constant quest. The idea behind their efforts is to simply establish more authenticity in their respective work. They look for new innovative ways to better connect with their end customers & build trust with them. 

So, how exactly does digital marketing influence consumer behavior? and what strategies can digital marketers employ to win in this ever expanding digital landscape? 

Let’s explore and learn how digital marketing impacts consumer behavior in general. 

Understanding the Digital Marketing Landscape 

When we talk about marketing – it’s definitely not easy. 

It isn’t just a strategy. 

Digital marketing is a dynamic dance, a place where competition is always hot. 

It’s a world where marketers are always on their toes. We have this notion in the digital marketing landscape that if you’re not agile and adaptive, you’re definitely not staying ahead in your game. 

With constantly changing digital environments and more nuanced challenges, it has become quite important for digital marketers to come up with more robust forms of strategies so they can easily cut through the noise and focus on what matters more, meeting the lead generation criteria for organizations. 

Concepts such as personalization have become a key differentiator. Consumers are now looking forward to more tailored experiences that meet their unique requirements. 

To build better connections with their target audience, digital marketers are always tracking performance of their implementations using data analytics so they can create personalized journeys. 

At the same time, the influence of social media and content creators should not be placed on the back burner. Many consumers often come to individuals for advice & recommendations. 

It shapes their purchasing decision. 

On the contrary, user-generated content has become the new norm. It’s where consumers themselves become brand ambassadors and contribute in shaping the customer behavior for the better. 

With real-time data analysis, it shows how consumers are more into, ‘for the people by the people’ narrative rather than massively machine-generated content which is circulating the Internet these days. 

That and the ability to adapt campaigns quickly are equally essential for staying relevant. 

All such efforts are worthwhile to create a compelling brand experience. Not only to perform well in the digital landscape but also to bring valuable results. 

How Digital Marketing Influence Consumer Behavior? 

graphic-design

Targeting & Personalization 

Personalization is all about coming up with practices that make customers feel more interconnected. 

It’s about customizing the experience of a customer based on their particular behaviors and interests. It’s like going to a digital store who knows exactly what you’re looking for, eventually becoming your assistant. 

When was the last time you browsed the Internet to buy something? Has it been a while? Go ahead, take out your smartphone and search up something like hiking gear. Read a couple of informative articles on the niche & choose something that you’re interested to learn about, let’s say swiss army knives. 

That’s because swiss army knives are my favorite :)! 

When you visit Amazon or any other online store and search for hiking gear, do you feel like the Internet is reading your mind? That’s personalization at work.

Personalization uses your browsing history and past purchases to recommend products you might like.

For example, an online retailer uses your browsing history to offer personalized recommendations. This could be a standalone digital store or a public outlet like eBay or Amazon.

Let’s say you’re a traveler looking for hiking gear and you visit your chosen website. Assume you’re also searching for a Swiss army knife.

Besides the army knife, the website shows you other products like hiking boots, backpacks, or waterproof clothing. These might not be your immediate need, but you may want to buy them later. 

They could be useful for your future travels.

Targeting is all about identifying and segmenting specific customers. It’s the process of customizing messages & advertisements and then sending it over. Targeting is more likely performed based on various factors such as demographics, geographic location, or consumer behavior. By targeting specific consumer segments, digital marketers ensure their message reaches the intended audience effectively. 

A good example of targeting that I can think of is location-based marketing. 

Marketers can now design campaigns that allow businesses to leverage real-time location to reach desired audiences. For example, a coffee shop may send promotional offers on customer’s mobile devices as they are walking past the store or show them with discount offers when they are in a certain radius.

With targeting, businesses can easily acquire customer attention. 

The following combination of personalization and targeting is what makes a digital marketing campaign for a business truly successful. When you understand customer preferences and learn about their behaviors, it becomes easy for you to deliver them the right message. Such practices not only improve customer experience but it also increases their chance of conversion. 

Social Proof & User Generated Content 

Camera-Image

Social proof is like a virtual high-five from the peers. 

It’s the feeling of “everyone’s doing it” which makes you want to join in. 

Think about it, your brand getting five star reviews on Google. Imagine it’s receiving all the likes and shares it deserves, and definitely there are all sorts of social proof that something is worth the attention. 

When we see that others have tried and loved a product or service, we’re more likely to give it a go ourselves. It’s just like going to a store that has customers talking about it all over the Internet. 

A good example which I can quote here for social proof is that of a food delivery app such as FoodPanda. Imagine, you are scrolling through FoodPanda thinking about ordering food from a nice place. 

The decision about what to order for lunch can become a bit overwhelming especially when there are plenty of options on the menu. So what do you do? You’re most likely to choose a restaurant with dozens of positive reviews and high ratings, right? That’s social proof in action – the collective thumbs-up from other diners is good enough social proof influencing your buying decision. 

Just as much as social proof is important, the other aspect that establishes trust among customers is user-generated content that influences consumer behavior. Now, user-generated content takes things a step further. It’s like a digital testimonial, but instead of coming from a brand, it’s straight from the horse’s mouth – or, in this case, the consumer’s keyboard. 

It could be anything from customer photos and videos to blog posts and social media comments. When we see real people sharing their honest experiences, it feels more trustworthy and relatable than traditional advertising. Say you’re thinking of buying a new pair of sneakers. 

You might head online to check out some reviews, but what really catches your eye are the Instagram posts from real people showing off their new kicks. Seeing how the shoes look on everyday folks, reading their honest reviews, and hearing about their personal experiences – that’s user-generated content influencing your decision-making process.

The beauty of social proof and user-generated content is that they tap into our desire for authenticity and community. 

We trust the opinions of our peers, and we’re more likely to believe that a product or service is worth our time and money if others vouch for it. 

This influence can be especially strong for millennials and Gen Z, who tend to value the experiences and recommendations of their peers highly. 

Consumer behavior is not only fueled by what the brand tells you – it’s about what your fellow consumers say and do, too.

Convenience & Accessibility 

When it comes to digital marketing, convenience and accessibility are two of the most essential considerations. It’s transforming the way we shop and interact with brands.

Thanks to the digital revolution, consumers now have the world at their fingertips, and businesses are racing to meet their expectations for instant gratification.

So let’s create a hypothetical scenario; it’s late, you’re cozy on the couch, and you suddenly realize you need to buy a gift for a friend’s birthday tomorrow. In the past, you might have had to rush out to the stores, but now? You can simply reach for your phone or laptop and voilà – the world of online shopping is at your service. Digital marketing has made it possible to discover, compare, and purchase products or services from the comfort of your own home (or couch, or bed – no judgment here!).

The beauty of digital marketing is that it brings the store to the consumer. 

With a few clicks or swipes, we can explore a vast array of options, read reviews, compare prices, and make informed decisions. No more driving from store to store or flipping through catalogs – everything we need is right there on our screens. This level of convenience is a game-changer, especially for busy individuals or those who live in remote areas with limited access to physical stores.

But it’s not just about convenience; it’s also about accessibility. Digital marketing has broken down barriers, making products and services more accessible to a broader spectrum of customers. 

For individuals with mobility issues or those who can’t easily get to physical stores, online shopping can be a lifesaver. With just an internet connection, they can access the same products and services as everyone else, enjoying the same level of choice and convenience.

The rise of mobile commerce, or m-commerce, has taken this accessibility even further. With smartphones and mobile apps, consumers can now shop on the go, during their commute, or even while waiting in line. 

Mobile wallets and one-click payment options have made the purchasing process faster and more convenient than ever. Now, no more fumbling for cash or cards – just a quick tap or scan, and you’re done. 

Digital marketing has also opened up a world of information and reviews. 

With performing just a few searches, consumers can read detailed product descriptions, watch unboxing videos, and learn from the experiences of other customers. This abundance of information helps consumers make more informed decisions, reducing the risk of buyer’s remorse. 

It’s like having a personal shopping assistant, but without the price tag.

Reviews & Rating

Reviews and ratings are like a digital compass, guiding consumers through the landscape of products and services. Directly or indirectly, it influences an individual’s purchasing decision in a powerful way. 

We live in an age of information overload, these little stars and written testimonials can make all the difference especially when it comes to standing above the competition. 

When we’re considering a purchase, especially online, we often seek reassurance that we’re making the right choice. That’s where reviews and ratings come in. 

They provide social proof – a virtual thumbs-up (or down) from fellow consumers who’ve been there, done that. Positive reviews can boost our confidence in a product or service, while negative reviews might give us pause and send us in a different direction. 

Think about the last time you booked a hotel room. Chances are, you didn’t just go with the first option you saw. You probably scanned the reviews, looking for insights into the cleanliness of the rooms, the friendliness of the staff, and the overall experience. 

A string of five-star reviews might have sealed the deal, while a bunch of one-star ratings might have had you running for the hills (or at least, the next hotel on the list).

Reviews and ratings are powerful because they offer a glimpse into the experiences of others. We trust the opinions of our peers, often more so than traditional advertising. 

After all, a brand can say whatever it wants about its products, but unbiased reviews from real people feel more authentic and trustworthy. The impact of reviews and ratings goes beyond just influencing individual purchase decisions. It also contributes to the shaping up of a brand’s reputation. As more and more review platforms are emerging, a single negative review can often become viral and bring the credibility of your business down. 

Whereas, a string of positive reviews can take your brand visibility up a notch giving it a well deserved exposure. Today, there are many consumers who are actively reading reviews online before making a purchasing decision. If a business has a lack of reviews, it’s highly likely to be off the charts! 

Fear of Missing Out & Urgency 

Fear-of-missing-outConsumer behavior can be controlled with the fear of missing out or FOMO. The concept works as a powerful strategy that allows digital marketers to master the art of influencing consumers. 

When brands create a sense of urgency, they compel customers to take action which results in increased sales & better engagement. The fear of FOMO is very real and works as a potent tool in a marketer’s toolbox. 

A good example which I can quote here is that a fashion retailer might promote a flash sale with a countdown timer on their website, offering 50% off for the next 12 hours. Or a software company might offer an early bird discount for their new app, encouraging consumers to pre-order and “be among the first to experience it.”

Here are a few ways how digital marketers normally implement to create a sense of urgency. 

  • Limited-Time Offers:
      • Flash Sales: Marketers will promote short-duration sales, like a 24-hour flash sale, to create a sense of urgency. With a ticking clock, consumers are more likely to make impulsive purchases for fear of missing out on a bargain.
      • Countdown Timers: You might see countdown timers on websites during sales events. These timers create a visual representation of the passing time, urging consumers to make a decision quickly.
  • Exclusive Deals:
      • Early Bird Specials: Offering discounts or perks to early adopters creates a sense of exclusivity. No one wants to miss out on a deal that’s only available to the first few customers.
      • Member-Only Sales: Similar to early bird specials, member-only sales create a sense of exclusivity. Consumers are encouraged to sign up or subscribe to gain access to special deals.
  • Scarcity and Limited Stock:
      • Low Stock Warnings: Many websites now display low stock warnings, such as “Only 2 left in stock!” This tactic plays on the fear of missing out on a desired item.
      • Limited Edition Products: Releasing limited edition or exclusive products creates a sense of urgency as consumers rush to get their hands on something unique and scarce.
  • Dynamic Pricing:
      • Dynamic pricing strategies, such as surge pricing or real-time pricing, create a sense of urgency by fluctuating prices based on demand. For example, ride-sharing apps might increase fares during peak hours, encouraging consumers to book immediately.
  • Social Proof:
      • Marketers often use social proof to create a sense of FOMO. They might showcase how many people are viewing a product or how many have recently purchased it. For example, “300 people are looking at this item right now” or “Join the 1,000+ happy customers.”
  • Email Marketing:
      • Subject lines like “Act fast!” or “Don’t miss out!” create a sense of urgency in email campaigns. Marketers might also send follow-up emails reminding consumers about items left in their online shopping carts.
  • Live Events and Webinars:
      • Live events and webinars create a sense of urgency as they happen in real-time. Marketers might offer exclusive deals or bonuses to those who attend or make purchases during the event.
  • Retargeting Ads:
      • Retargeting ads follow consumers around the internet after they’ve shown interest in a product. This constant reminder creates a sense of FOMO and can lead to impulse purchases.
  • Influencer Marketing:
    • Influencers often promote exclusive deals or limited-time offers to their followers, creating a sense of urgency and leveraging their influence to drive sales.

Key Takeaways 

  • Digital marketing has revolutionized the way consumers behave and make purchasing decisions, with today’s consumers being proactive, empowered, and well-informed.
  • Marketers need to stay agile and adapt their strategies to keep up with the ever-evolving digital landscape, focusing on what matters to consumers.
  • Personalization and targeting are key differentiators, allowing marketers to create customized experiences and messages that resonate with specific consumer segments.
  • Social proof and user-generated content are powerful tools that influence consumer behavior by providing authenticity and community trust.
  • Digital marketing provides convenience and accessibility, bringing the store to the consumer and breaking down barriers for individuals with limited mobility or access to physical stores.
  • Reviews and ratings act as a digital compass, guiding consumers’ decisions and contributing to a brand’s reputation.
  • Creating a sense of urgency and FOMO (fear of missing out) is a potent strategy used by digital marketers to compel customers to take action and increase sales.

Conclusion

In the end, we can safely assume that digital marketing has had a profound impact on consumer behavior. It empowers customers and online visitors to engage with brands in unique ways. Today, marketers are navigating the dynamic digital landscape breaching better and more authentic connections. 

With more user-generated content circulating the internet stratosphere, and with the rise of social media the power has shifted to consumers who now seek out information and compare options to make informed decisions. Convenience and accessibility have become key expectations, with digital marketing bringing the world to consumers’ fingertips. Reviews, ratings, and social proof all play an important role in guiding purchasing decisions, while the fear of missing out drives impulsive actions. 

To stay ahead, marketers must continuously adapt their strategies, embrace new technologies, and focus on delivering compelling brand experiences that meet the market’s growing needs. 

At Branex, we are the best digital marketing company in Dubai utilizing the power of a myriad of technologies to give your business a well-deserved exposure. Whether it’s SEO marketing, PPC marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, generative AI solutions, conversion rate optimization, or complete digital marketing services, we have a comprehensive suite packing all the punch you need to take your business to great heights. We are located in the heart of UAE, come visit us and have a chat!

Let us know what you have in mind and we will tailor your experience, just the way you want. 

June 4, 2024
How-Digital-Marketing-Affescts-Consumer-Behavior

How Digital Marketing Affects Consumer Behavior?

Consumer behavior is always changing. As consumers evolve, so do the marketing strategies. Just a decade back, we all knew that most customers were passive observers....
November 21, 2023

Scammer Alert: Important Announcement about Fraudulent Messages

We are putting up this notice to make you aware of a serious matter that has been brought to our attention. Branex would like to caution...
October 9, 2023

The Masters of Branding: Top 10 Famous Logo Designers

Designing a logo is one of the most important parts of branding that can create a positive, memorable impact on your business. It is the first...
November 10, 2022
App Development For E-commerce

App Development For E-commerce: Everything You Need To Know

According to e-commerce statistics, global e-commerce sales surpassed the $3.56 trillion mark in 2021, which is a 22.3% increase when compared to 2020. 79% of smartphone...
November 7, 2022
SEO For Tourism

SEO For Tourism: Get Found And Attract More Perspective Travelers

Travel and tourism industry is one of the worst affectees from COVID-19. According to statistics, the travel industry generated $712 billion in terms of revenue in...
November 7, 2022
SEO For E-commerce Websites: The Ultimate Guide To Generate More Sales

SEO For E-commerce Websites: The Ultimate Guide To Generate More Sales

According to e-commerce statistics, e-commerce sales will hit the $5 trillion mark this year while the numbers will surge to $6 trillion by 2024. It is...