Educating Your Customers

What’s on your website? If it’s all products and prices, you’re missing an opportunity.

According to DemandGen, 72% of B2B buyers do online research about a problem or product before they contact a salesperson. BIA/Kelsey says that percentage jumps to 97% when we’re talking about consumer shopping. In fact, many shoppers do research after they get to the store, going online with their phones to check reviews before they make their purchase.

Savvy companies are making sure that they are part of that educational experience. Statistically speaking, however, your company probably isn’t that savvy.

A recent study of 800 companies with average revenue of $1.4 million (small to medium size) found that barely a third of respondents offered educational information on their websites. The other two thirds are fighting over the 3-35% of customers who are already ready to shop without further information.

Can you stand a few more numbers? As of last year, some 44% of small businesses didn’t have a website at all. If you’re in the 56% with a website, and in the 33% of those with informational pages on your website, you have a huge advantage over the approximately 84% of businesses without educational content online.

Consumers, according to the BIA/Kelsey study, use an average of 7.9 sources during the information-gathering stage of their purchasing process. 90% use major search engines, with a bit less than half using shopping comparison sites and online directories as well as the websites that pop up at Google.

The actions you should take are clear:

  1. Create some good informational content at your website (call Julianne at 479.966.9761 if you need some help with that). A blog with posts that answer the questions consumers have will do the trick. If you’re not ready for a blog, you can add pages, white papers, or videos with plenty of text for the search engines.
  2. Make sure you’re in the directories and shopping comparison sites. 42-46% of consumers use them in their information-seeking efforts.
  3. Make sure that your informational pages include calls to action, so that consumers who find you as one of their multiple sources of information will come back and take action at your website.

If you have a brick and mortar store, be sure to encourage shoppers to return to your website — not your competitors’ — when they want more info. QR codes leading to your review of a product look great on the shelf with the product!







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