When was the last time you walked into a hairdresser, booked a ticket to a show, bought a new camera or invested in a new phone without reading reviews, asking after your family and friends opinions or researching the product or service online?
Most people would answer 1999 to that question.
I'm sure it will not surprise you that consumers no longer unquestionably believe the messages and information they hear on the television and radio or read in magazines and newspapers. Rather, they now turn to their smartphones, tablets or desktop computers to read reviews, participate in forums, research product descriptions and service inclusions or discuss on social media.
A recent study by Neilsen (one of the leading global advertising and consumer research juggernauts) found that most consumers now hold the opinions of complete strangers in higher regard than any advertising they absorb. Further to this, 92% of consumers say they trust 'earned media' (such as recommendations from friends and family) above all other forms of advertising. This response is a stagering increase of 18% since 2007.
Guess where these people are talking. Yep, online. Guess where these people do their research. Yep, online.
A consumer's purchasing journey has exponentially changed. They no longer simply go to the nearest store, they pick up their nearest device. So in order to stay relevant, keep attracting, retaining and converting your customers, you need to change to accommodate it. You need to be accessible to them on the media THEY choose and if you are not, they will move on to one of your competitors that are.
Digital is now, so it is essential to your business to be digitally available, right now. This is why your business needs to be online.