Study: Most People Research Products Before Buying
Are you an impulse buyer? If so, you know how it feels to see a new product that immediately grabs your attention. You may just see one ad or spot the item in person, while walking around the store, and know that you have to have it. For some, impulse buys are reserved for small items that they can afford to regret. For others, price is no object, as they will buy anything that they want and trust their instincts. Either way, there's one thing that is true about these consumers: They're in the minority. Studies have found -- as you likely suspected if you're not an impulse buyer yourself -- that the majority of consumers will take the time to do their research in advance of almost any purchase.
According to Google, 53% of people say that their goal is to make the best possible purchase that they can, and so they always do research before putting their money down. They want to know exactly what they're buying and they'd never pick something up on a whim. The time they spend researching is not as valuable to them as knowing that they will get a product that meets their needs and expectations.
One thing to note is that these are the people who "always" do research. Many consumers might not fit perfectly into this category, in that they'll make impulsive purchases from time to time, but they still do their research 90% of the time. As noted above, price often factors in. Someone may be willing to spend $10 on a whim but will research any product that costs more than $100. Everyone's personal thresholds for this type of thing are different. Still, the total percentage of consumers doing research is well over 53%.
What Does This Mean for You?
This one statistic tells you a lot about how you need to focus on your web presence. If most consumers are going to do research, be sure you give them all of the information they need to make an educated decision. Even not being able to find something could be enough to turn them away from a purchase. This can happen even when your product does fit what they're looking for. If they can't be sure because they can't find the information they want, then they're simply not going to risk it.
You also want to cater your content to answer questions they may have. Research means different things for different people. For some, they want to understand every last detail before buying. For others, they just have one key question that needs to be answered -- how high the resolution is on a TV, for instance, or how fast a CPU can run -- and they're not worried about anything beyond that. Allowing customers to ask you direct questions over social media or other such channels may be the solution you need. Start with putting information online, on your product pages, but give people the chance to contact you, as well.
Plus, you should remember that some consumers could be turned off by getting too much information. This sounds like a bit of a Catch-22. How do you put up enough information for those who want to know everything without overwhelming someone who doesn't want to search through page after page of content for one specific answer? In short, you provide all of the information you can and then tell readers to contact you with specific questions, giving the person who doesn't want to read everything a way to get prompt results.
The Internet Is Everyone's Main Research Tool
By far and away, the main research tool that every consumer uses is the internet. They may see a product in a store that they like and then Google it on the spot to read reviews or get answers to their questions. They may look for online recommendations and then review all of the options. They may see a TV commercial, get interested, and then look the item up to learn more.
No matter how they find your products, most consumers are going to end up online, reading more about them. This usually starts with a search engine or even a voice search. Make sure your site is ready and that your SEO is set up to drive those consumers not just to your site, but to the specific pages they need. That's how you increase sales and conversion rates.