The US is a consumer nation. Although we have always been driven by capitalism and encouraged to spend our hard-earned money on a wide variety of products, the creation of the Internet has changed our behavior. With the shift away from brick-and-mortar stores comes new spending trends; not all of them good. With that in mind, does the Internet encourage overspending? A recent survey found that two in five respondents said they had “blown their budgets” online within the past six months; interestingly enough, they’re doing it in a surprisingly smart way.
“While most consumers admit to occasionally overspending, retailers should take into account just how savvy many shoppers really are,” said Marc Mezzacca, CEO of CouponFollow. “Those using credit cards show a clear preference for cash-back, low-interest, and reward cards. And shoppers across the board are always seeking out discounts.”
This fascinating combination of knowledge and impulsiveness has forced many companies to seek out new ways of targeting buyers. In the past, people would pass by a “Sale” sign and make an unexpected purchase; while 16% of unplanned purchases in the modern day continue to be a result of this signage, online advertising tackles the problem in a different, albeit similar, way.
The number of potential online fashion customers will grow to more than 1.2 billion by the year 2025. With the prevalence of social media, this goal seems more realistic than ever. Many companies are going where their consumers are — be it Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter — and speaking directly to their interests and desires; the result is increased brand awareness and a farther reach toward your demographic, better engagement and trust between company and buyers, and, finally, better conversion rates and generated leads.
However, consumers are savvier than ever. As a result, it takes more than a pretty picture and the word “Sale” to catch their attention. They want ease of access. Why? Because there are so many businesses selling the same or very similar products. As a result, finding a one-stop shop can cause them to spend significantly more than they originally planned.
Make It Easy
Consider the popularity of sites like Amazon and Wayfair. The latter sells exclusively home furnishings, the market of which already generates a staggering $10 billion annually. By giving online buyers a vast selection of everything they could possibly want, right there at the click of a button and without the need to compare prices and brands, these companies — Amazon, in particular — have been taking the world by storm.
In 2022, Amazon shipped more than 4.75 billion packages worldwide. Online shopping has truly become the norm. In the US, UPS ships an average of 30 million packages every day. This reveals just how much we depend on — and enjoy — the simplicity of a point-and-click purchase. That being said, does the Internet really encourage overspending?
One thing is certain: the more we get use this method, the more we demand of it. The good news is, approximately 78% of shoppers search for coupons before completing a digital purchase. The pickier Americans get as online buyers, the faster online companies will need to adapt their advertising techniques to match these changing moods and trends.
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