“Why do I need a website for my brick and mortar business?”

I hear this question often from folks who run a “normal” business, whether it’s retail, wholesale, or service oriented. Well, here’s the simple answer – because 81% of shoppers research their purchases online before they buy! (AdWeek.com)

Knowing your target market is one thing, knowing how they shop is quite another. And, developing an internet marketing strategy to reach them where they are shopping is just as critical. Having said all of that, while it is increasingly true that consumers have begun to return to in-person buying from brick and mortar outlets, it also remains true that their decisions on where to buy are increasingly influenced by online research.

In the contemporary world of internet marketing, you must understand how your target audience shops:

  • User reviews – 61% of shoppers check out product reviews before buying
  • Price comparisons – 52% of shoppers look for the best price before buying
  • Product information – more than half of shoppers check out product features and benefits online before buying
  • Warranty information – some two-thirds of shoppers examine warranties before buying
  • Deliveries and returns – both must be quick and easy, with 61% of shoppers saying they will leave a site that does not offer free delivery.

Beyond these data, keep in mind that 40-50% of shoppers perform their research on mobile devices – often while in- store – checking prices, availability, warranties, and return policies even as they shop.

What are consumers buying online?

Of course, knowing the facts above are important but, you must also know what it is that potential customers are actually buying from online sources. This infographic, from RitHoltz.com, offers insight into online shopping trends:

 

Online Shopping Trends