We talk a lot about how often consumers search online for local businesses, but what are consumers looking for, exactly? If they find your business, what kind of information do they want to find out about you?
In this post, we'll look at what types of information are the most important to consumers when they make a purchase decision. We'll also tell you how to incorporate this business information into your online presence and turn those curious consumers into customers.
A recent study found that, in order to choose your business over the competition, consumers want to know more than just product and pricing information - consumers also look at secondary information such as reviews, testimonials, photos and videos.
The study divided the information into primary and secondary classifiers:
- Primary information is the crucial information consumers need when choosing a business
- Secondary information is the supporting information that can be a determining factor in which business to choose
The study found that consumers look at much more than a business's primary information when deciding whether or not they're going to use that business, while secondary information is often a deciding factor in the purchase decision.
What primary information do consumers use to decide on a business?
- Products and services offered
- Availability of service
- Customer service
What secondary information do consumers consider when choosing a business?
Coupons and Offers
Thirty-nine percent of shoppers consider coupons and offers when choosing a business.Since 95 percent of retail sales happen in brick-and mortar stores, consumers won't need much incentive to purchase something inside your store. Offer sales or discounts to loyal customers or as an incentive to use your business a second time.
Testimonials and Reviews
We talk a lot about the importance of online reviews, and this study shows they are as important as ever. Reviews were the second-most important piece of secondary information for consumers, which means you can't afford to ignore review marketing.
Take a look at your online reviews across Google, Yelp, Facebook and any other websites customers can use to rate and review your business. It's important to be aware of what people are saying about you, resolve complaints and thank reviewers for positive comments.
Word of mouth has always been an important factor in purchase decisions. Still, the way consumers get recommendations has changed.
They'll check online testimonials and reviews before ever asking friends and family, and even if a family member recommends a business, the consumer will probably check your online information before choosing you.
And with new features like Facebook recommendations, consumers can use the internet to ask friends and family which businesses they recommend.
About Us or History Details
Customers also want to know about your business and its history. Make sure your website has a detailed about page. You don't need to write an essay, but give a brief history of your company and its core values so that consumers know enough to trust your business.
Photos and Videos of a Business
Customers are looking for your photos and videos as well. Make sure your Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp, Bing Local, and other business pages have high-quality, recent pictures of your business and staff.
Familiar Logo or Slogan
We've talked about the importance of building a strong brand image before, but now consumers are reaffirming this by saying they consider whether they recognize your logo and slogan (two important elements of branding) when deciding if they want to work with you.
What does this mean for your small business marketing strategy?
While primary information such as products and pricing is still important, customers are looking for much more than what your business does. They'll research your business fairly extensively - to gain their trust, you need to give them the information they are searching for.
Get a review marketing strategy and ask current clients for testimonials.
You need to provide the customer with enough persuasive information to influence the consumer's behavior, so keep this important secondary information in mind while working on your marketing strategy.
Make sure your marketing strategy is well-rounded and that your website, listings and social media display all the primary and secondary information local consumers will need to trust and purchase from your business.