Think about how people shopped and consumed information just a couple of decades ago. Brick-and-mortar establishments, print, and television were the norm. Fast forward to today, and commerce is moving into a new era with a different kind of buyer. Digital natives — those who grew up influenced by modern technologies — are gaining purchasing power. And unlike consumers familiar with a more traditional method of shopping, these skilled tech users are turning to a variety of digital channels to buy.
A social media study found that 77% of users said social platforms inspired them to get more information about a brand or product. This was often a result of a company's website not having all of the details and answers that consumers were looking for, leading them to crowdsource better information for themselves. Yet up until recently, driving consumers to your website to purchase was the goal. In the past, channels have been more siloed. But omnichannel marketing and social media's powerful influence on buying have changed the game.
Retail leaders must invest in technologies that allow them to create digital experiences on the channels their customers prefer, making it feel seamless on their end. This includes implementing ways to effortlessly guide consumers toward a purchase on their site or the ability to purchase directly on a social platform. It's also about developing customer loyalty from the moment of awareness. These social and conversational channels are a powerful way to develop, build, and strengthen customer relationships and create brand advocates. By providing a consistent experience on consumers' preferred channels, brands are ensuring a simple purchasing process across all channels, increasing the likelihood of repeat consumers.