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Understanding consumer behaviour: Our latest research.

The author

Epiphany Search

The proliferation of technology among the general public presents huge opportunities for marketers: online search and advertising are driving in-store and online sales, while developments in tracking and analytics are making it easier than ever to understand customers.

The path to purchase, however, is becoming ever more complex, with people using multiple devices and moving across channels.

There’s a tendency to think ‘device-first’ or ‘channel-first’ when developing an online marketing strategy, but marketers really need to think ‘audience-first’.

Different audiences behave in very different ways so if you want to really target your audience, it’s crucial to understand their online behaviour.

We commissioned a piece of consumer research to explore the customer journey and understand the motivations behind purchases. We’ve rounded up a selection of the key findings below, but you can download the full report and findings here.

  • Social media is a key research channel for younger consumers:
    A quarter of younger consumers aged 18-24 use social media to research purchases. This changes for those over 55; 63% of this age category said they don’t use any social media platforms at all for pre-purchase research.

  • Video – especially YouTube – plays a big part in the path to purchase:
    Almost a third (28%) of those aged 25-34 use YouTube for detailed research ahead of buying, making it a great option for brands to engage customers with useful, educational or entertaining content.

  • People purchase on smartphones:
    Some 36% of the overall population use their mobile phone to make purchases, but that figure jumps to 60% for those aged 25-34.

  • Facebook advertising is more effective than any other social media channel:
    Almost a fifth (19%) of those surveyed had clicked on a Facebook ad between June and September 2016. This figure jumps to 35% for those aged 18-24 – and 10% of this age group has also made a purchase after clicking on a Facebook advert.

  • Local online advertising is a powerful influence on driving in-store traffic:
    Almost a quarter (24%) of those surveyed said that they would be more likely to visit their local store at some point if they saw an online advert for that brand.

By taking a holistic view of your customers, you can determine which channels are the most effective while creating targeted communications that develop deep relationships with them.

This means more useful data on purchase patterns and behaviours, creating a virtuous circle of activity – and, above all, an engaged, satisfied audience.

Download the full report and findings with our analysis here.