In our prior article I addressed how the Internet, bolstered by smart phone usage, had made consumers “spontaneous actors.” When a need or idea presents itself, the consumer immediately logs on the web and takes action.
Generally, we think of spontaneous actions as ones that lead to dangers or financial loss. We typically do not associate spontaneity with thoughtfulness and planning.
However, modern consumer behavior differs. The same technology that creates the spontaneity, the Internet, allows for reflective and contemplative actions, just in a compressed time frame. What today’s consumer wants, and gets, is “certainty.” And here’s the most important takeaway – today’s consumer won’t act unless he or she has reached a higher level of assurance regarding a purchase or engagement than would have been required in the past.
The ability to reach this higher level of certainty before action comes from the volumes of information regarding products and services on the Internet. Those same things that fuel spontaneity provide certainty: product or services descriptions and comparisons, pricing, and online recommendations per reviews.
What does this mean to the local business owner or professional? First, the consumer IS going online. Having your business presented well on the Internet is not an option. If the business is not online, or appears unattractive, it will suffer and eventually die.
Second, for the business to truly succeed it needs to be the super hero of the consumer search, the online resource that facilitates the certainty today’s consumer demands. Give searchers a reason to do business with you. Begin by giving them what they are looking for online.