Focus On The Consumer

by , Dec 5, 2013, 6:15 AM
  • Comment
  • Recommend
Subscribe to Research Brief
Data summarized by Brian Ferrario at Sociamantic, and presented in an infographic, suggest that the next-generation approach to commerce needs to focus on the consumer, not the limitations of the marketing technology, says the report. Businesses need be able to seamlessly reach, interact with and ultimately transact with their customer when and how she chooses. The best marketing approach starts with a deep understanding of the consumer and what she likes, dislikes and expects when engaging with a retailer.

Consumers have clear brand, product and shopping preferences. Retailers understand this and strive to create experiences that take advantage of these preferences. Digital has largely failed to understand the delicate relationship between the retailer and customer, replacing it with blunt force retargeting that dazes, dismays and disturbs customers, opines the report.

One may think that with a seemingly endless supply of browsing opportunities, online shopping could be considered a recreational activity but that’s not the case. It turns out that most people shop with a purpose – almost half of respondents were laser-focused on where and what they are going to buy.

  • When online shopping, 41% of people go to a specific site with a specific product in mind, purchase it and check out, notes the report
  • 36% of people indicate that they spend the time to search for the product they want and purchase it from the site with the lowest price
  • Only 20% of people shop online for fun, visiting a retailer’s site and adding items to their cart and deciding whether to buy or not later

Since people are not simple browser window-shopping, it makes sense that digital shopping carts drive consumers right to check out. But here is a  representation of shopping cart use:

  • 58% of people put an item in their cart only when they are planning to purchase it
  • 19% who use their cart as a wish list or reminder, putting in items they like to keep track of them
  • 13% said they keep collecting items in their cart until they reach the threshold of free shipping or a deal based on how much they are spending
  • 11% claim to be more likely to abandon their cart more often than they purchase, tying directly back to having a purchase-focused mindset when shopping in the first place

How Consumers Use Shopping Cart


% of Respondents

Put item in cart when planning to buy


Use cart as wish list or reminder


Collect items in cart until get free shipping or $ deal


Abandon cart more often than purchase


Source: Sociomantic, November 2013

Despite media coverage focused on consumer discomfort with targeted advertising, the data shows that 70% of people said they are comfortable receiving ads and content specifically targeted to them. The data demonstrates that targeting significantly improves the impact of marketing messages delivered through the variety of digital channels in use today.

Influence of Targeted Message on Consumer Online Buying Behavior (% of Respondents)


%  Saying Influenced Behavior

Ad Source

Channel Well Targeted

Channel Not Targeted

Web ads












Online video



Mobile ads



Source: Sociomantic, November 2013

Across the board, the more targeted the messages through a given channel, the more influence that channel had on online buying behavior. For many channels the impact is dramatic:

  • People are twice as likely to be influenced by targeted web ads – 52% vs. 26%
  • The percent of people influenced by web video rose from 7% to 22% when the messages were targeted
  • Mobile ads are four times more likely to influence online buying behavior when highly targeted – 22% vs. 5%
  • Social channels demonstrated marked improvement in influencing behavior with higher levels of targetingPinterest’s influence among people who found the channel well targeted was 47%, compared with only 11% for those that found it not targeted
  • 50% of people who found Facebook well targeted said the channel influenced their buying behavior, compared with only 17% of general respondents
  • Only 3% of general respondents listed Twitter as influential, but among people who found Twitter to be well targeted, that number rose to 31%

The survey revealed that in addition to improving a channel’s influence, effective targeting also improves a channel’s likelihood of conversion. Compared with the general response, the likelihood of a person acting on a discount was significantly higher among those who felt the channel was just well targeted.

  • 74% of people who find web ads well targeted and relevant are likely to act on a coupon delivered through that channel; among general respondents, this number is only 53%
  • The likelihood to act on a mobile ad coupon nearly doubles when comparing those who find mobile ads targeted and relevant with the general response pool – 67% vs. 35%
  • When people rated mobile apps as well targeted and relevant, 69% of them said they would be likely to act on a coupon delivered through that channel. Only 42% of the general pool indicated they would be likely to act
  • Among people who felt that email was well targeted, 91% said they would be likely to act on a coupon. While email already achieved an 82% rate of people likely to act, targeted content drives this to nearly 100%

And, the report concludes by noting that people who receive targeted, relevant content are more likely to be influenced by those messages and more likely to act on those offers.

For more information, please visit here.


Be the first to comment on "Focus On The Consumer"

Leave a Comment

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now

Recent Research Brief Articles

» Research Brief Archives