“Where did you hear about us?” It’s a common question for businesses to ask consumers (and a good one to be asking), but the one word response you get from a consumer at the end of a transaction might not give you the full picture. Sure, maybe it was as simple as a friend recommending a local business to consumer, but in the modern age the research process has many more touchpoints. After getting that recommendation, let’s say for a salon or gym, what does the consumer do? Visit the website? Look the business up on Google? While searching, maybe they stumbled upon the business’s Yelp page for reviews. Maybe they saw the business has a Facebook page with promotional offers listed. Maybe they saw the business listing on a specific review site like SpaFinder. Maybe they looked at the location on Google Maps to see how far it is from home or work, checking to make sure the hours of operation worked with their schedule. Maybe after all of this…they don’t convert.
It happens. We have so much information available to us in many forms and it can make the decision process much more complex. Word of mouth can be praised as a key referral, but according to a recent study from Yodle, over one in four consumers surveyed stated that even if they heard about a local business offline, they will still go online to research the business. In total, the survey found that 75% of consumers go online at some point to find or research a business before they decide if it is the right choice to meet their needs.
With so much access to choices, consumers want to make sure they are making the best decision. In a 2014 study by BrightLocal, it was found that 88% of consumers have read reviews in the past year to determine the quality of a local business. Depending on the market, sometimes purchase decisions are a no-brainer. In my small rural hometown, there was one yoga studio within 30 miles. Not a hard decision to make. In my current city, I have over 50 different studios, gyms, and fitness centers from which to choose. Suddenly, every detail matters. I look for reviews, styles offered, instructors, location, and pricing among other factors. Recently I found a studio that looked wonderful and I came to the dreaded words “Please call for current class schedule.” Sure, I could call them, but if I can find this equivalent information for 40+ other studios with the click of a button, why would I go to the trouble?
Providing all the relevant details about your business not only makes for a better user experience, but can lead to better conversions. In a study by Google in association with Ispos Media CT and Sterling Brands, 3 out of 4 people who find local information in search results helpful are more likely to visit stores. And make sure it’s up to date and accurate! Mediative recently found that nearly 2 out of 3 consumers will lose trust in a brand if they get lost on the way to a location because of an incorrect address listing.
Consumers want information and lots of it. Make it easy for your potential customers to find you and learn what your business is all about. (And from us Millennials, please don’t make us have to pick up the phone to see what you offer!)
For more research insights on buyer behaviour and ways your business can improve its digital presence, feel free to get in touch with a DAC team member.