Understanding the Digital Consumer Behaviour

Understanding the Digital Consumer Behaviour 1024 538 Sofia Alves

The Get-Clicked team recently attended TEDxBerlin, under the topic of superpowers. One of the talks was fully dedicated to the power of understanding “how people actually act in the marketplace, as opposed to how they should or would perform if they were completely rational”. This got us thinking that we should share our insights on something we do daily – helping our clients understand their target markets and successfully engage with them.

A quick search on Google will show endless articles on consumer behavior, spawning from industry specialized mediums, mainstream news sources, and even academic papers. This comes as a result of living in a time when the dynamic between digital marketing and digital consumerism has completely broken the mold of what used to be the established norms between brands and consumers. Therefore, it comes as no surprise to see such a peak interest in knowing, understanding – and, above all, profiting from – how (instead of what) we engage with digital products and services.

First, what exactly is a digital consumer and how do we define their behavior? Simply put, a digital consumer is someone who uses technology to buy and sell products and services. The digital consumer’s behavior is anything a person does online. That includes devices used, websites visited, pages navigated, ads clicked, and the average time spent on each action.

Classic Key Factors Influencing Consumer Behaviour:

  • Psychological (motivation, perception, learning, beliefs, and attitudes)
  • Personal (age, life-cycle stage, occupation, financial status, lifestyle, personality)
  • Social (reference groups, family, roles and status)
  • Cultural (culture, subculture, social class system)

Classic Key Factors Affecting Consumer Perception:

  • Product Price
  • Product Quality
  • Service Quality
  • Packaging and Branding
  • Brand Reputation

These are all logical and easily identifiable factors, both from psychological and economic angles. From a macro level perspective, we are creatures of habit. At our core, we have basic instincts and needs, no matter our cultural or generational background. However, you must ask yourself if, almost 20 years into the Twenty-First Century, it is enough to understand and tackle these classic factors to effectively reach digital consumers, especially Millennials and the coming of age (read: purchasing power) GenZ.

Let’s not forget that Millennials were the very last generation to be born into a world without internet and smartphones, whereas GenZ is the very first generation to be fully born into a digital world. This phenomenon is not only worthy of social and anthropological reflections but also of business and marketing analysis. After all, to build a successful business, these are the very target audiences you need to reach. Audiences who hold – quite literally – in the palm of their hands, all the information in the world.

Therefore, beyond understanding the human psyche and our financial motivations, a business trying to successfully position their brand in the digital space must carefully attend to these changing trends in consumer behavior:

  1. Quality & Standards – You must look outside your industry to attract new customers. Consumers no longer compare just the product, but the company and their brand elements as well. Indicators such as service, quality, customer satisfaction or, taking into consideration the current international political climate, even the company’s political actions. All matter to socially and environmentally conscious generations.
  2. Information & Satisfaction – Currently, many consumers do not make new purchases (online or analog) without extensively reading online reviews. Moreover, social media has made it abundantly easy for consumers to complain (and downright destroy) brands whose products and/or services they are dissatisfied with. Between social media, consumer forums, and the (almost sacred) power of influencers, brand reputations can fall overnight through the easy and fast exchange of information (on a global level) between users. Therefore, brands must accept that customer expectations are much higher, and they need to act accordingly, with quality and transparency, to retain their user base.
  3. Loyalty & Trust – Deriving from the aforementioned points, gaining customer loyalty is a daunting task for any brand in the digital age. Customers are no longer willing to accept cheap products and services, they prefer value for money and are willing to pay for it. You might trick them once, but photos of broken products and angry testimonials will soon make their way into social media, driving away hundreds (or even thousands) of potential (and existing) users away from your brand. On the other hand, a satisfied and happy customer will passionately share your brand online. And there is nothing companies love more than getting free (positive) publicity.
  4. Promotion & Communication – Both are paramount for brands to understand how to communicate with customers in the digital age. With generations that value chatting over calling and are perpetually engaged with their phones, being active on social media and embracing real-time conversations with consumers, is key to establish a solid B2C relationship. In other words, it is not enough to set a nice Instagram page or a sleek webpage. You must create the space and resources to actively be there, “on the ground”, answering questions, and steering consumers to your checkout.

As you may have noticed, the recurring values in these points were quality and communication. In other words, consumers in the digital age have high standards and love to share their opinions with the world. So, what does this all mean for the effective promotion of your online business? It might all seem overwhelming but the truth is, if you clearly inform yourself about your target markets, make sure you engage with them correctly and provide a product or service people enjoy using, the digital position of your brand can be a complete success at a low cost. Get-Clicked and our team of digital marketing experts are here to help you make that happen!

To discover Get-Clicked and the digital marketing services we offer, visit our website and get-in-touch!

To learn more about the TEDxBerlin 2019, click on this link.

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