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5 Online Retail Lessons from Consumer Behavior Studies

The abundance of data and consumer research studies means that your marketing campaigns, especially the online ones, can be more effective and better targeted.

Here are five research-based principals to consider when strategizing for your online retail operation and advertising.

1. Consumers are drawn to brands that are advertised alongside their personal data on Facebook.

Targeted marketing works powerfully for consumers who have high self-esteem. According to a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, when a Facebook user sees an ad near his personal information, he then views the ad (and the product being advertised therein) to be much more favorable than when he sees the same ad on a stranger’s Facebook page.

2. Consumers selectively process a product’s negative and positive reviews.

According to a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, consumers react to online comments according to the number of comments present and whether or not they are oriented to view the product positively or negatively.

What this means for online marketers is that if there are a large number of mixed comments (both positive and negative), the possibility of turning off a buyer is less. But when the online comments are only a handful, that’s when you get a problem with negative reviews.

3. Consumers are drawn to advertising conveyed in mobile apps.

A study published in the Journal of Interactive Marketing offers a glimpse on the power of interactive applications in mobile phones when the apps are exploited as advertising media. The study also uncovered that mobile apps that provide information or are helpful to the user are more likely to deliver strong and positive impact than gaming-based or entertainment-related mobile apps.

4. Consumers who are confronted by a lot of product options are more likely to make buying decisions based on product quality.

According to a study published in the Journal of Marketing Research, consumers who are made to choose from many available product options tend to select the one they think possesses superior quality.

You might want to consider this if your product is sold on the same ecommerce page as those of your competitors. When this particular situation occurs, the customer may no longer focus on the price. In this case, a concise and compelling product description becomes invaluable.

5. Consumers faced by company slogans that tell them to save money end up increasing their spending habits.

A study published in the Journal of Consumer Research reveals the stunning discrepancy between the brand and the slogan that reiterates the brand.

The example given is Walmart, a retailer of choice for consumers who want to save money. But being exposed to the company’s save-money-live-better slogan can drive a person to spend more. The money-saving slogan is subliminally making the shopper more enthusiastic at making a purchase (and thus spending more) because of the pre-conditioned feel-good message of saving money.

About Omar Kattan
Omar is MD & Chief Strategy Officer at Sandstorm Digital. His experience includes 10 years in traditional marketing and advertising in the Middle East and a further 10 years at two of the largest media agencies in the UK. Follow Omar on Twitter for updates on the latest in digital, branding, advertising and marketing.

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