[By: Aaron Brooks] [Mumbrella] [Read More]
Word-of-mouth recommendation is the primary driver behind up to 50% of all purchase decisions. The power of influencers cannot be denied, says Aaron Brooks, but are they the clincher that pushes customers through to cart completion?
As social marketing disrupts traditional marketing communications models, things are also changing in the way consumers make purchase decisions.
Today’s customer has access to more information than ever before, so they’re taking more time researching and comparing before buying.
While they’re considering, they’re interacting with influencers on social media, and those influencers’ recommendations can make a big difference at checkout.
Left their shopping? They’ll be back
Modern consumers enter the market on the front foot. They know what they want, and are already gathering information so they can be confident in their purchase decision. So much so, they’re researching right up until checkout.
A study by Forrester Research asked 3,000 online customers why they abandoned their cart instead of going through to purchase. As you can see in the video below, three of the top five reasons related to the customer wanting to do more research before committing to checkout.
Furthermore, website conversion company SeeWhy tracked the behaviours of 600,000 consumers across numerous e-commerce sites to determine whether those who abandoned their carts would reappear.
Before the results were published, a group of online marketing specialists were asked their thoughts on those who abandon their carts. 81% believed the majority of abandoners would never return.
Surprisingly, that wasn’t the case. In fact, 75% of shopping cart abandoners would return to the site within a 28-day period.
According to SeeWhy’s Charles Nicholls, not only are these abandoners more likely to finish their purchase; they’re 2.3 times more likely to make future purchases than new visitors.
How do marketers increase the likelihood that their customers will come back to claim their cart?
When working with influencers, you’re not just reaching out to potential return customers. You’re giving them a friendly, gentle reminder of what took them to your website in the first place, through content they care about. Add the recommendation of an influencer whose opinions they respect, and you’re giving them more information to digest, and more reason to return.
Consumers are taking their time
What were once savvy marketing ploys don’t cut it anymore. They just don’t offer the amount of information that customers crave before purchase. Now that the decision making process has been extended, the traditional cycle of buyer behaviour has shifted.
The new buying cycle looks like this:
- Consult Friends/Browse
Working with influencers is particularly important in stages four and five, where their opinions hold significant weight. As demonstrated above, influencers are one of the last avenues consulted before the sale is closed.
It’s old wisdom that people buy from people. That’s where influencers come into their own. They trigger the principles of liking and social proof, not just through their own content, but by facilitating others.
They don’t just offer guidance in the research and consultation phases through their personal recommendation; they encourage confirmation through the participation of the influencer’s audience, allowing existing other customers to share their experiences.
When the consumer sees that fellow fans are also endorsing the product, the argument in favour of your brand becomes even more persuasive. If they’ve already been considering your product, this can get them back on the road to checkout.
Followers consider influencers their peers.
It’s clear that we value the input of those around us. According to Nielsen, 90% of consumers trust peer-to-peer recommendations over advertising.
Word-of-mouth recommendation is the primary factor behind up to 50% of all purchase decisions. We want people with whom we have a personal connection to help us make these decisions.
Technology has caused our circle of influence to grow exponentially, allowing relationships built between content creators and their followers to become incredibly strong and compelling.
With 74% of consumers relying on social media to inform their purchase decisions, influencers can play a huge part in a brand’s success.
Having influencers promote your product doesn’t mean immediate conversion to a sale; it’s about using them to build a long-term narrative across multiple channels, giving consumers enough to inform themselves but almost make it their idea to convert. They feel empowered because they’ve gathered all the information they need to justify their spend.
Companies like Frank Body and Daniel Wellington have already capitalised on the long buying cycle through collaboration with content creators, inviting everyday consumers to find their place in the brand’s story. Maintaining that connection keeps your brand top of mind, reminding the customer that their abandoned cart is always ready to pick up where they left off.
Aaron Brooks is the executive director and co-founder of Visual Amplifiers