We talk a lot about how research can benefit your business, but what you may not fully appreciate is that your customers are becoming masters at the research game themselves. The ability for people to impulse buy and get a product delivered to their door within an hour is undoubtedly on the rise. However, the flip side to this coin is that people are becoming more and more aware of the choices they have when they go to purchase a product/service and there are greater ways for them to research that purchase before they hit ‘BUY’.
Reviews are the greatest indicators for people looking for peace of mind when buying a product or service. Keeping those star ratings high and the reviews as positive as possible is of paramount importance to any business. There’s no secret formula to this… provide a great product/service backed up by a superior customer experience and the stars will align.
Gone are the days of spending hours walking the aisles of white goods struggling to make sense of it all. The ability to compare products online against one another has become a valuable research tool for customers. Understanding the list of features, and the pros and cons of each product, before making that final purchase decision has become the norm for many customers.
Customers are using social media and online forums more and more to ask for recommendations. Many online communities provide the perfect space for people to gauge which is the best product to meet their needs. Members within the communities are becoming increasingly engaged in these conversations. Again, ensuring your product/service and customer experience is of the highest quality will mean your business is highlighted within these conversations for the right reasons!
This is obviously an area that is researched most prevalently and, as a result, is having a huge impact on our High Streets. However, many assume customers will immediately go for the cheapest option, and that is not always the case. Your offering may well be more expensive but if a customer has researched your business and knows you provide a superior customer experience, the price is not always the determining factor.
As with everything these days, the customers’ ability to research products is available wherever/whenever they need it. There is a huge rise in ‘finder apps’ where, for instance, someone can be out and about, see a piece of clothing they like, take a photo of it, and within seconds the app will display an array of similar options for them to research. An exciting development for both customers and businesses alike.