In the retail sphere today, consumer behavior is one aspect that is always under strict speculation. The reason is simple. It just keeps on changing. Retailers look to control the buying behavior of customers through the various retail operations they undertake. A lot of the retailers’ focus lies on how an item or product is marketed or promoted. Retailers try to influence customers through hardcore retail marketing, promotion, etc. Whether its FMCG marketing or marketing for apparels, retailers try to make a significant impact on the customers through their initiatives.
However, retailers need to exercise caution while deploying their retail marketing initiatives. In quest for exercising control over customer behavior, they might just make things worse. One such factor that further alters the way customers behave is false claims or promises made by retailers and brands. In recent times, false news has changed the way customers behave. Before we make mention of how false news changes the way customers behave, let’s have a look at the general behavioral tendencies of customers that has been prevalent in recent times.
The Role of Online on Purchasing decisions
Retailers and brands have altered their retail marketing initiatives to meet the customers’ interests. But in recent times, customers have developed a liking for the online medium. The eventual purchasing decision of majority of the customers has been influenced by what they have been subject to online. As per a recent study conducted by Moz.com, as many as 67% of customers felt that online reviews are either (fairly, very or absolutely) important to their online purchasing decisions. As per another study by GlobalWebIndex, 28% of customers spent their online time visiting social networking sites.
For a long time, retailers have felt that customers see and trust digital ads. Although this is true, retailers should not look to take undue advantage of it. Making false claims and not delivering can and is affecting the customers’ belief on digital ads. Once the belief is hampered, it will not take much time for their behavior to change. That is exactly what is happening. Let’s find out how.
The changing customer behavior due to false news/claims
Promotion and retail marketing does have an impact on customers. However, they are far from being daft for a long time. Customers today are wary of the unreasonable claims and promises that brands and retailers make. Any information that is misleading tends to work against the brand or the retailer. Online retailers especially should keep this in mind. This is because a lot of shopping happens online. A lot of the advertisement done online make unreasonable promises. Customers have come to recognize this and are reacting accordingly. The following illustration provides some startling facts.
According to the illustration, false news has led to the changing behavior of customers in the US. When it comes to making a purchase decision, customers show more trust in Print and television ads over online. Apart from Search engine ads which is trusted by 61% of the customers, not even half of the Americans trust any form of online ads. 82% and 80% of the customers trust print ads and television ads respectively. This is a shocking statistic considering that so much of shopping today happens online.
Thus, retailers should understand that flexibility in retail operations and retail marketing is important to better attend to customers. But, customers today are wiser than before, and don’t particularly appreciate false or unreasonable claims.