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How the internet changed buyer behaviour
Posted by Lauren Lokker

Buyers are becoming more sophisticated, and understanding consumer behaviour is the key to a successful marketing strategy.

The rise of the internet has turned the traditional path to purchase on its head, as buyers are becoming increasingly well-informed. The modern consumer sees straight through traditional push-marketing tactics, and has much higher expectations when it comes to your brand’s value proposition.  

Global internet usage

According to Smart Insights, Google receives approximately 4,464,000,000 search queries per day - this shows the sheer volume of information available at the click of a button. 

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Image source: We Are Social

What sets the modern buyer apart from other consumers throughout history is the amount of research that they can - and do -  now perform before making a purchase. The internet has provided the means to perform thorough product research, in the form of content such as customer testimonials, online product demonstrations, and reviews.

Here are six ways the internet has influenced buying behaviour and the buyer’s journey:

  • Social media has amplified the power of the word of mouth. Businesses now have a unique opportunity to strengthen their relationships with consumers as they can communicate with people on a very personal level.

    If done right, social media opens up a world of new opportunities for brands to encourage customer loyalty, however, social media can also give unhappy or dissatisfied customers a platform to publically voice their concerns.

  • 54% of consumers would consider ending their relationship with a retailer if they are not given tailor-made, relevant content and offers,” according to software developers, InReality

Internet usage in South Africa

The following images are taken from the Digital in 2017 Global Overview Report which was carried out by We Are Social, digital agency and Hootsuite, social media management software developers. You’ll notice that South African internet usage (especially in the mobile sector) is growing rapidly. If you look at where South Africa sits in relation to international internet usage, you’ll also notice that we’re not too far behind the global average. This means that local businesses can’t afford to ignore the move to digital - it’s not just a first world trend.  

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Above four Images source: We Are Social 

These changes in buyer behaviour have created the necessity for brands to give the traditional marketing model a major overhaul in order to remain relevant in today’s marketplace.

Inbound marketing is a response to the need for marketing and sales to connect with a new generation of sophisticated buyers. The inbound methodology helps brands to adapt to a new marketplace (where consumers are in control of their buyer’s journey), and successfully build lasting relationships with their ideal customers.

If you’d like to find out more about inbound marketing, and how it'll help your business overcome the challenges of the digital marketing landscape, you can read Spitfire Inbound's MD, Darren Leishman’s article, What is inbound marketing, and why do you need it?

For more helpful industry tips and trends, subscribe to the Spitfire Inbound blog. Our team regularly share their insights, helping readers to keep up to date with the latest digital developments from technology to inbound strategy, sales and fun facts.

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You can access the full Digital in 2017 Global Overview Report online if you’d like to see how South Africa compares to other countries from around the globe.



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