Understanding Consumer Behaviour in the Digital Age

Understanding Consumer Behaviour in the Digital Age

Traditionally, a mobile phone was a device you made calls on or sent messages from. Today, it performs a plethora of actions, including conducting internet searches. As of March 2024, there were 6.84 billion smartphone users globally.

Got a question? Ask Google. Want to buy a new pair of shoes? Visit your favourite store from your phone and order some. Fancy a pizza? Enter ‘Pizza restaurants near me’ and find your nearest pizza place.

This shift in how people access information has completely revolutionised how they interact with brands and make purchasing decisions. And in order for your business to succeed in this unique market, you need to understand these changes.

Want to better understand how your business can adapt to meet the evolving needs of your customers? Keep reading as we explore key aspects of consumer behaviour in the digital age…

The shift to online shopping

One of the biggest changes in consumer behaviour has been the shift from physical shopping to online shopping. Even before covid, it was popular to shop online.

This was thanks to:

· The plethora of products available to buy
· The ability to easily compare prices
· The convenience of purchasing products and having them delivered straight to your door

Since covid, online shopping became even more commonplace (and absolutely essential during lockdown). In 2023, there were 2.64 billion online buyers, which is 33% of the global population

Today, e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, eBay and Etsy (to name but a few!) have made it so easy for consumers to browse and purchase with just a few clicks. Many of these digital platforms even offer same-day delivery, making it easier than ever for consumers to get what they need within no time at all.

What are the implications of this on businesses?

If you run an e-commerce business, you inevitably want to succeed amongst the competition. So, what do you do? Well, the most important thing you can do is establish a strong online presence. This means:

· Having a user-friendly website
· Offering secure online payment options
· Ensuring fast and reliable delivery services.

What’s more, your business should make use of data analytics. Using consumer data is a superb way to understand your consumers’ individual preferences. From there, you can create data driven solutions, including personalised online shopping experiences.

The influence of social media marketing

Social media platforms have become integral to how consumers discover and engage with brands. Digital platforms like Facebook, Instagram, X and TikTok allow users to share their experiences, read reviews and interact with brands directly.

Influencers and user-generated content also play a role in shaping consumer opinions and encouraging purchasing decisions.

What are the implications of this on businesses?

It may sound obvious, but your business absolutely needs to be active on social media to meet the needs of your customers. Even if it’s just one social media platform, it’s essential that you have a presence in order to enhance your brand’s reputation and reach.

Social media is a fantastic way to engage with your audience. Here are some of the ways you can encourage engagement on social media:

· Post regularly (whether on your main grid or in Stories)
· Create shareable content
· Respond to comments and messages
· Use influencer marketing n to promote your products or services
· Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews
· Be consistent in your approach

The Power of smartphones

Smartphones have become an essential part of our everyday lives. Did you know that mobile commerce (i.e., m-commerce) is on the rise? As we mentioned above, mobile phones have skyrocketed in usage for activities such as browsing products, comparing prices, reading reviews and making purchases.

What are the implications of this on businesses?

If you don’t have a mobile app or optimised website, this makes it next to impossible to provide a seamless shopping experience for your customers. Therefore, you need to ensure that you have either of these – or even both!

Make sure your website or app is mobile-friendly.

The following features are absolutely essential:

· Easy navigation
· Fast loading times
· Secure payment options

You can also leverage push notifications to inform your customers about special offers and new products.

The importance of personalisation

In our heavily digitalised age, consumers expect highly personalised experiences. For example, they want to receive recommendations based on their individual preferences. They also expect tailored promotions and relevant content.

Thanks to data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI), it’s now easier than ever for your business to gain insights into consumer behaviour. From there, you can create personalised marketing messages that will hopefully inspire them to purchase.

What are the implications of this on businesses?

Investing in AI and data analytics tools can help your business to understand its customers even better. From there, you can create personalised experiences. This could include:

· Personalised email marketing campaigns
· Product recommendations based on browsing history
· Targeted ads on social media

The Rise of ethical consumerism

Many of today’s modern consumers are highly concerned about the ethical implications of their purchases. The following factors play a huge role in enhancing consumer trust and influencing purchasing decisions:

· Environmental sustainability
· Fair labour practices
· Corporate social responsibility

Consumers prefer to support brands that align with their values and demonstrate a commitment to ethical practices. This also ensures utmost transparency, which is one of the most important data protection regulations.

What are the implications of this on businesses?

Your company should prioritise ethical practices in its operations. For example, you should source materials responsibly, limit your environmental footprint and ensure fair labour conditions.
Also, you should clearly communicate these efforts to your consumers.

For instance, you can:

· Have a dedicated page on your website/app
· Create blog posts about your environmental efforts
· Develop applicable marketing campaigns
· Have relevant product labelling

The role of reviews and ratings

Another crucial factor in the decision-making process is online reviews and ratings.

Nowadays, one of the first steps in the customer journey is to read online reviews to determine the quality and reliability of a product or service. If the reviews are largely positive, this can boost a brand’s credibility and inspire consumers to make that purchase. If they’re mostly negative, this will deter potential customers.

What are the implications of this on businesses?

It’s essential that you encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews. Receive negative feedback? Be sure to promptly and professionally address it. Also, be sure to monitor review platforms and interact with customers who have issues that need resolving.

The impact of digital advertising

Tools like Google Ads, Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads allow you to reach your target audience like never before. With in-depth analytics, you can create highly targeted campaigns based on:

· Demographics
· Interests
· Online behaviour

With so much precision, your marketing will be much more effective and efficient.

What are the implications of this on businesses?

To make the most of digital advertising, your business should invest in creating compelling ad content. from there, utilise data analytics to track each campaign’s performance.
Understanding your target audience and continuously refining your ad strategies can lead to better results. This in turn leads to a higher return on investment (ROI).

The emergence of voice search

Thanks to virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant, voice search has become incredibly popular. In 2023, there were more than 125 million voice search users
Whether they want to search for information or make purchases, consumers can easily do this with voice commands. This shift is influencing how businesses optimise their online content.

What are the implications of this on businesses?

To optimise content for voice search, you need to use natural language and focus on long-tail keywords. Consider how your customers might phrase their queries when using voice search. Then, ensure your content is easily accessible through these methods.

Are you familiar with consumer behaviour in the digital age?

Consumer behaviour in the digital age is dynamic and continually evolving. Businesses must stay informed about these changes and adapt their marketing strategies accordingly.

By embracing the above trends and leveraging technology, our business can better meet the needs of its consumers to drive business growth in the digital age.

EWM is an award-winning digital marketing agency headquartered in Geneva. With a global presence, we’re dedicated to helping our clients establish digital relevance and increase their revenues. 

Contact our agency today to learn more about our services. 



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