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The Why Before the Buy: Study Reveals New Insights on Consumer Behavior and Local Business Impact

contextual content, local marketing, Local Search Association, Marketing, marketing solutions, Pr, Public relations, purchase decision, shopping influencers, shopping patterns, Thrive Analytics, Why Before the Buy, YPNew research from local marketing solutions provider YP, publisher of yp.com and The Real YellowPages, conducted by Thrive Analytics and the Local Search Association, examines the “Why Before the Buy”—a unique perspective on the factors that influence a consumer’s shopping patterns and their decision to make a purchase (or not to make a purchase).

“Consumers today zigzag between devices, platforms and locations to discover products and services, and we wanted to find out why,” said Allison Checchi, chief marketing officer at YP, in a news release. “Our goal was to get a deeper understanding of what influences consumers to make a decision to go with one business over another. We’re excited to share this information to help business owners better connect with consumers.”

Consumers Value Basic Information and Contextual Content

According to the research, consumers value two kinds of information when looking for businesses: primary information, such as price, availability of products and services, location and customer service, and secondary information, such as offers, testimonials, ratings, recommendations, and photos or videos.

While nearly 52 percent of consumers make their decision based on primary information, 48 percent made their buying decisions based on secondary information, and consumers who said their decision was based mostly on secondary information spend an average of two times as much as those using only primary information.

Consumers Won’t Consider a Business with Wrong, Inaccurate or Incomplete Information

Just as there are key factors consumers consider before making a purchase, there are factors that influence a consumer’s decision to not consider a business. While high prices are the number one reason to not consider a business at 62 percent, other reasons not to buy include negative ratings and reviews (55 percent), inconsistent information from one place to the next (37 percent), inaccurate information on a business’s website (37 percent), wrong contact information listed online (32 percent), no testimonials, ratings or reviews (27 percent) and no photos or videos of the business (17 percent).

Consumers Turn to Mobile Devices to See Nearby Locations

The majority of consumers (64 percent) are device hopping, with smartphones playing a role at some point in the search process. Aside from convenience and speed, some of the top reasons for using a mobile device are the ability to use the functions integrated into the phone to be able to see a nearby location and the ‘click-to-call’ feature.

“A strong digital presence is critical to connecting local businesses with consumers wherever they are, on whatever device they’re using,” said Checchi. “This research shows that consumers won’t even consider a business that has an inaccurate or incomplete online presence and that businesses are missing out on opportunities if they don’t have basic information and contextual content.”

Download materials from the study here.

Thrive Analytics surveyed 5,418 U.S. adults online from July 29 to August 10 about their past 90-day local shopping activities. The study focused on the sources of information adults used while shopping for local products or services, their reasons for using those sources, and post shopping related activities. The study targeted shopping behaviors and activities for eight business categories and 90+ subcategories.

Source: Business Wire; edited by Richard Carufel

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