What are customers really searching for?

July 11, 2017

What are customers really searching for? Well, for most, it’s the right product or service to meet, in the right place at the right time, wrapped up in a good, or even better, great experience.

In a physical shop or restaurant, the most successful employees and professionals know how to help customers find and select what they need, creating a satisfying and memorable experience, but in an increasingly diverse and digitally connected marketplace it isn’t easy to understand and meet individual needs; online customers are often faced with confusing and less-satisfying experiences.

On-line shoppers look for many of the same clues and cues that in-store buyers do: They browse for alternatives, read descriptions, compare products and pay attention to reviews; often placing products in and out of their baskets, whilst considering their final actions.

Context is key to understanding: Asking questions, like: Who? What? When? Where? Why? And How? customers buy. They will have a different approach depending on the specific channel, the device they’re using, their location, even the time of year and time of day. Understanding this helps you to determine their personal lifestyle choices, preferences and motivation, which means you can begin to model different behaviours and adapt how you sell to be more personal and more effective.

To help your organisation to create better on-line experiences important and relevant data needs be gathered and analysed against specific objectives. Agile, fluid processes involve learning from real sales made by real customers and using insights to adapt, improve and optimize your performance.

The first thing the undecided customer does when shopping online is search. They may know what product they want, but they need help, advice and reassurance to make the right choice. Excellent and accessible web presence, which responds to personal preferences and needs, fuelled by informative, engaging and relevant content is crucial to achieving success. Content is quickly becoming the driving force behind search results and includes the creation of content that can be shared on social media and generates conversations with customers.

Whilst there are large brands with large budgets for buying exposure and online presence, most companies must make the most of what they’ve got. Increasingly, this means reducing expensive outbound (push) advertising with effective inbound (pull) content driven campaigns.

Increasingly, content must also be personalized to customers’ individual needs, local market requirements, and preferred languages, in the multi-channel digital world it’s the cost of doing business, therefore considered investment and ability to measure return are vital.

To be effective, content needs to be personal fresh and relevant, ensuring your ability to reflect and adapt, So, it’s important that your e-commerce platform can cope with change, allowing you to quickly and easily update and personalize your content, resulting in greater inbound traffic, more engaged customers and, ultimately, higher sales and profitability.

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