We could go on all day about how often consumers search online for local businesses, but what, exactly, are they looking for? If they find your business, what do they want to know about you?
In this post, you'll learn about the primary and secondary information consumers want to find before they make a purchase decision. We’ll also tell you how to incorporate this business information into your online presence and turn those curious consumers into customers.
A recent study found that, in order to choose your business over the competition, consumers want to know more than just product and pricing information. What do they want to know? Well, consumers look at secondary information such as reviews, testimonials, photos and videos.
The study divided the information into two categories, primary and secondary:
- Primary information is the crucial information consumers need when choosing a business.
- Secondary information is the supporting information that can be a determining factor in which business to choose.
The study found that consumers look at much more than a business’s primary information when deciding whether or not they are going to use that business. And, secondary information is often a deciding factor in the purchase decision.
What primary information do consumers use to choose a business?
- Products and services offered
- Availability of service
- Customer service
What secondary information do consumers consider when choosing a business?
- Coupons and Offers
Thirty-nine percent of shoppers consider coupons and offers when choosing a business. Since 95 percent of retail sales happen at businesses with a brick-and-mortar presence, consumers won’t need much incentive to purchase something inside your store. Offer sales or discounts to loyal customers or as an incentive to use your business a second time.
- Testimonials and Reviews
We talk a lot about the importance of online reviews, and this study shows they are as important as ever. Reviews were the second-most important piece of secondary information for consumers, which means you can't afford to ignore review marketing.
Take a look at your online reviews across Google, Yelp, Facebook and any other websites customers can use to rate and review your business. It’s important to be aware of what people are saying about you, resolve complaints and thank reviewers for positive comments.
- Family/Friend Recommendations
Word of mouth has always been an important factor in purchase decisions. Still, the way consumers get recommendations has changed.
They will check online testimonials and reviews before ever asking friends and family, and even if a family member recommends a business, the consumer will probably check your online information before choosing you.
And with new features like Facebook recommendations, consumers can use the internet to ask friends and family which businesses they recommend.
- About Us or History Details
Customers also want to know about your business and its history. Make sure your website contains detailed information about your business and how you got started. You don’t have to write an essay, but give a brief history of your company and its core values so that consumers know enough to trust your business.
- Photos and Videos of a Business
Customers are looking for your photos and videos as well. Make sure your Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp, Bing Local, and other business pages have high-quality, recent pictures of your business and staff.
- Familiar Logo or Slogan
We’ve talked about the importance of building a strong brand image before, but now consumers are reaffirming this by saying they consider whether they recognize your logo and slogan (two important elements of branding) when deciding if they want to work with you.
What does this mean for your small business marketing strategy?
While primary information such as product and pricing info is still important, customers are looking for much more than what your business does. They will research your business extensively. To gain that consumer’s trust, you need to give them the information they are searching for.
You need to provide the customer with enough persuasive information to influence their behavior, so keep this important secondary information in mind while working on your marketing strategy.
Make sure your marketing strategy is well-rounded and that your website, listings and social media display all the primary and secondary information local consumers will need to trust and purchase from your business!