70% Of Consumers Use Three Channels Or More To Research A Purchase

Findings from the latest Blue Nile Research study, The Content That Compels People To Buy, examine the content and channels that compel shoppers to buy. 

About 528 U.S. respondents participated in the study, which analyzed research and buying habits among consumers and B2B buyers, the number of channels used to make decisions, and the type of content that resonates best -- whether focusing on connecting with B2C or B2B buyers.

More than 70% of consumers use three channels or more when researching a purchase. Some 45% of consumers who make the purchase, and 46% of B2B customers, look to the data to help them make the correct decision. Many look at the headline of articles and content for hard facts such as dollars and percentages.

The data and statistics found in headlines and content are one of the major paths to success, according to research. B2C and B2B purchase decisions are often made based on data and statistics cited in headlines -- about 45% of the time when it comes to consumer purchases and 46% of the time for B2B buyers. Among B2B buyers, blog posts are preferred at a far greater rate compared with consumers.

Overall, between 79% and 82% of consumers use search, brand Web sites, and customer reviews. Between 14% and 25% use what Nathan Safran, CEO and founder of Blue Nile Research, refers to as a discovery channel, such as social, mobile and blog posts.

In the third quarter of 2015, social media share of all site visits rose based on organic content. Between the second and third quarter, social media visit share improved from 2.0% to 2.3%, according to data from RKG Merkle.

As content increases, marketers spend more on Facebook advertising. The amount that marketers spent on Facebook ads rose 44% in the third quarter of 2015 compared with the year-ago quarter. CPC growth also fell, from 30% YoY growth in Q2 to just 1% in the third quarter.

Safran believes the Internet has created an opportunity for brands to invest in content and cross-channel distribution, from organic search and Web sites to social media. Some 87% of B2B marketers say they use content marketing as a strategy to reach customers, followed by 81% who use Web site articles; 80%, newsletters; 76%, blog and in-person events; and 73%, case studies and videos round out the top five.

You can download the report here.

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