Internet Impacts Purchase Decisions

Monday July 7, 2014 0 comments

The Internet is so much a part of our world yet 52% of small business owners still do NOT have a website (click to read study).

This is shocking to me when you consider the fact that 99% of consumers who have an annual income of $75,000 or more use the Internet. Their activities online vary but I believe that many of them research companies, products, services before making purchase decisions.

We're beyond just using TripAdvisor to decide which hotel to book, folks. Consumers empower themselves with research online before investing hard-earned money. You're here, right now, researching my company. Am I right? :)

The Yodle Study from 2013 says more than half of small business owners do not have a website (52%)": "more than half of SMB owners do not have a website (52%) or even measure the results of their marketing programs (56%)." 

Being in the business of building Responsive websites and providing online marketing, I'm surprised at these statistics yet I also see an educational opportunity for me to write more blog posts about Web Design and Online Marketing, including Social Media Marketing and Email Marketing.

I always like to look at WHO was studied when I come across interesting research like the Yodle Study. It's important to know age range; gender; income; etc. of study participants. So, the fact that the majority of respondents in this study were over the age of 50 and over half the respondents don't yet have a website does make sense, now that you think about it. People over the age of 50 didn't grow up with technology or the Internet. Thinking of the Internet and a website and other online marketing as a way to increase revenue just doesn't come as naturally to their minds as it does to those who were born after 1990.

No matter what your age, dear business owner: the fact that you're reading this tells me you are wise enough to know you've got to get your website going or re-designed so it's easily viewable on any device (this is called "Responsive Design") and that you're in need of online marketing in the form of SEO; social media marketing and email marketing. So, here's some advice from someone who's been blessed to do this work since 1995...

Choose an Online Marketing Company Whose CEO is Social
Keep doing your research so you find the Web Design Studio and Online Marketing Agency that's a good fit for you. A good sign that you're on the right track is to choose an Online Marketing Agency whose CEO is Social - in Twitter, Facebook, GooglePlus, Pinterest, or certainly a LinkedIn profile that's detailed and has hundreds of endorsements and/or recommendations. Choose a company who regularly writes helpful content in their blog and newsletter. The CEO's Klout score should ideally be in the upper 60's, which makes up the 5% of all Klout profiles who are considered Influential online.

Of course, I hope you'll consider giving me a call but just in case you're still studying the level of my expertise, be sure to read my blog; read My Story;  Follow Lori Gama in Twitter; LinkedInGooglePlus; Facebook; Pinterest. And check out my 1,000+ endorsements in LinkedIn and 50+ recommendations, reviews and testimonials.

Influential Measurement is Important
With the overflow of data available to measure marketing campaigns, website bounce rates and SEO, it's also easy to measure the influence and credibility of a company. Check its Online Reputation. There should be at least 95% or more positive search results about the company and/or the CEO.

Don't work with an Online Marketing Agency whose CEO doesn't use social media himself/herself or who doesn't blog. If you were training to be in the Olympics to land a gold medal in swimming, would you work with a coach who's never won the gold or never been to the Olympics? It's the same thing. Experience matters and has the results to show for it.

Today's marketing is quite different than what it was just three years ago. Transparency and trust are the new strategies. Consumers want to see how transparent and trustworthy your company is before they invest in it. Think back to 2008. You probably weren't using Twitter like you use it now (or want to use it now). You weren't in Facebook yet or certainly weren't posting as frequently as you do now. The same is true for your customers. They are much more social online. It's so pervasive we barely notice it anymore. The lines between online and "real world" are blurred because we go back and forth so often that there really is no more "back and forth" - but just here and now. That's why your company has to be "everywhere." Or at least where your customers are. 

When you're ready, give us a call at 970-378-7822 or fill out the contact form here on our website.

Here are other ways the Internet, and in particular, social media and mobile devices, impact purchase decisions:

67% of companies with active blogs have reported an increase in leads. (Source)

75% of buyers use social media sometime during the buying process. (Source)

61% of U.S. Marketers use social media to generate leads. (Source)

58% of U.S. adults have a smartphone 58% of adults own a smartphone.

42% of U.S. adults own a tablet device (iPad, for example).