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Online search and advertising are driving more and more in-store and online sales, but the path to purchase is ever more complex, with people using multiple devices across channels.

how this report helps you.

Different audiences behave in very different ways so it’s crucial for marketers to understand consumer behaviour online if they want to target their activity effectively.

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’ in this new landscape.

With this in mind, we commissioned a piece of consumer research with YouGov to explore the customer journey and understand the motivations behind purchases. This report includes all of the key findings from the research and our analysis into what this means for brands.

sector highlights.

  • Social media is a key research channel for younger consumers as 24% of those 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.

  • 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.