Market research can discern digital behavior

OCTOBER 11, 2011 – Companies may have more success in their advertising campaigns if they use market research to determine consumers’ digital behavior and design marketing materials to suite those actions.

A study from Luth Research found that tracking how many times a person has visited a brand or company’s website gives the best idea of whether he or she plans to buy an item. However, the length of time, search engine used and number of web pages clicked through did not have any impact on the shopper’s choice.

The report also indicated that the day of the week a consumer went to a website also played a role in the decision to buy, with those who went to an ecommerce or brand site between Wednesday and Friday being the most likely to complete a purchase.

“By exploring the path to purchase in the digital world, marketers will be able to develop effective purchase and brand affinity strategies,” stated Becky Wu, Luth’s vice president of research. She added that consumers may be up to 400 percent more likely to make a mobile phone purchase if a wireless service provider were able to increase the number of visits six times within six months.

“Understanding the digital path to purchase gives marketers the power to add lift to consumer purchase intent,” she said.

For brands and retailers with physical locations, there may also be opportunities to influence a shopper’s behavior, other market research suggests.

A study commissioned by the Private Label Manufacturers Association indicates that even consumers who make detailed shopping lists before visiting a store can end up changing their minds or adding more items because of a display or promotional offer. The research suggested that increasingly popular smartphones and applications could also take on more of a role as a mainstream shopping tool in the future.

In addition, the PLMA study found that consumers have different strategies for shopping depending on the kind of store they plan to visit. People are more likely to make a list when going to a grocery store than they are when stopping into a drug store. Only a small group – 22 percent – of responding drugstore shoppers said they care about brand names when making a purchase.

The researchers suggest it is good news that consumers are willing to consider other options. “Not only are shoppers becoming more aware of store brands but they also are more than willing to switch away from national brands once inside the store,” they wrote.