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 transformed our behavior. With the shift away from brick-and-mortar stores comes new spending trends — or should we say overspending trends? 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 clearly committed to seeking out discounts.”
This fascinating combination of knowledge and impulsiveness has forced many companies to seek out new ways of targeting consumers. 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.
Online Advertising In 2019
It’s estimated that the number of potential online fashion customers is projected to grow to more than 1.2 billion by the year 2020. 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, improved engagement and trust between company and consumer, and, finally, better conversion rates and generated leads.
However, because consumers are savvier than ever, it often takes more than a pretty picture and the word “Sale” to catch their attention. They’re interested in ease of access; because there are so many businesses selling the same or very similar products, 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 is known for selling exclusively home furnishings, the market of which already generates a staggering $10 billion annually. By giving online consumers 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 2017, Amazon shipped more than 5 billion items worldwide. Online shopping has truly become the norm; in the U.S., an average of 15.8 million packages are shipped by UPS every day, revealing just how much we depend on — and enjoy — the simplicity of a point-and-click purchase. However, the more we get used to this method, the more we demand of it: approximately 78% of shoppers search for coupons before completing a digital purchase. The pickier Americans get as online consumers, the faster online companies will need to adapt their advertising techniques to match these shifting moods and trends.
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