Many Business leaders encourage young and aspiring entrepreneurs to start businesses. This is because they believe business will make them successful when compared with employment. However, new entrepreneurs want to understand that most consumers go online before purchasing a product. We interviewed some of the most successful business leaders in the US who shared their experiences with consumers and how their behavior is influenced online.
The question we asked them in this interview series was – What advice would you share with new entrepreneurs knowing that consumer behavior is deeply influenced by what they find online? Depending on the study an average of 80% of shoppers research their product online before purchasing.
Title: CEO & Creator
Company: Candida Diet
Owing to the fact that the majority of customers research their product online before purchasing, your main priority as a business owner is to make sure that your brand is highly visible on search engines. This will require you to invest in optimizing your website for search engines. Optimizing your website for search engines requires you to have relevant, up-to-date content that adds value to potential readers. Other elements of website optimization include the use of long tail keywords, enhancing the user experience of the site, ensuring that the site is optimized for voice search and mobile use, making use of internal and external link building effectively and incorporating rich meta descriptions on each page of your site. It’s imperative that you hire a qualified website optimization expert when creating your business website so that you rank high on search engines once you launch your website.
Company: Height Comparison
My advice to new entrepreneurs is to develop and implement an effective social media advertising strategy as soon as possible after starting the business. Paid ads on social media are a cost-effective and impactful way for increasing the reach and visibility of your new enterprise quickly. Your ads should be simple but highly targeted and engaging so that they can generate the results that help your company grow. Moreover, be sure to consistently and accurately measure the effectiveness of your advertising efforts on social media to ensure that the ROI of these efforts is meaningful and continues to grow.
Company: Accessibility Checker
Entrepreneurs are magicians in understanding consumer needs and trends. As an entrepreneur, you always want to be ahead of the curve since being ahead of the curve = more money.
Human beings are deeply social animals. It’s rooted in our DNA. As such, we tend to seek social confirmation that the decision we are about to make is the right decision. That’s why reviews play such a big role in E-commerce shopping. If you see a product that has 10,000 5 star reviews, wouldn’t you feel comfortable purchasing it even if it costs 30% more than the competitor?
I also experienced it first hand as an internet entrepreneur. Users that arrived to my websites from affiliate websites (where my product or service was validated by a 3rd party) were always users with higher intent for purchasing.
So my advice would be to always think towards a win-win strategy and get partners on board. Partners who know how to create quality content around your product or service in particular should be long term besties.
Company: LaCkore Couture
Researches show that 80% of people check the products online before purchasing them. With the pandemic, people are now comfortable with online shopping. The additional discounts and offers paired with convenience also make online shopping more attractive.
Due to all these reasons, the popularity of physical stores has decreased. But the market will never run dry. New entrepreneurs should not get demotivated by online popularity. Even if your customers checkout products online, they will trust what is in front of them more.
To ensure success in physical retail stores, entrepreneurs need to establish a trustworthy presence and market their quality. They also need to keep competitive pricing and introduce offers at regular intervals. They can also have an online presence to market their business and get an upper hand.
Title: Marketing Director
Search Engine Marketing can be pivotal to overcoming your competitors and making your business succeed in a highly competitive market.
As a business owner, you know that it’s important to stay ahead of the competition. But how can you do that when your industry is constantly evolving? One way is to make sure your company is visible online, and one of the best ways to achieve that visibility is through search engine optimization (SEO).
By improving your website’s ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs), you can attract more potential customers and beat out your competitors. So why does search matter in a competitive market?
We have never been so connected and with so much information available in the palm of our hands. We are literally just one search away from any question, and using Google or other search engines is a daily habit for most of us.
That’s why businesses need to have a strong online presence. When people are looking for a product or service, they turn to the internet for information. And when they’re ready to buy, they go straight to Google or another search engine to find the best deal.
Can you imagine how many people are searching for your services right now? That’s where your company needs to be visible – at the top of the SERPs.
One of the main digital marketing strategies to improve your online presence is to invest in SEO. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of getting your website to rank higher in search results.
The technical aspects of your website are the most visible, but they’re not the only ones that matter. From the technical perspective, you want to make sure your website code is clean and loading fast for an improved user experience. It’s important to make sure your website sitemap is accessible to search engines and that your pages allow crawl and indexation.
Your site’s content is also extremely important for two reasons:
First, it needs to be helpful and relevant to your customers that are in the early stages of the buying journey. Think that they usually have a problem that they want to solve but they are still not aware of the solution.
For example, someone might come to your site because they are looking for information on how to fix a broken sink. They might not even know that there is such a thing as a plumber, but they will be looking for helpful content that will teach them what they need to do.
If your content is not relevant or helpful, you will quickly lose that customer. However, if your content is relevant and helpful, you have a much better chance of converting that customer into a lead or even a sale.
The second reason why content is so important is that it is the best way to improve your website’s relevance to search engines. If you provide valuable content for your visitors, the algorithm will identify it and reward your website, improving your rankings and generating more traffic to your website.
If you want to be successful in today’s competitive market, it is important to understand why search matters. People research online before making a purchase in order to find the best product or service to meet their needs.
To be successful, you need to create high-quality content that is relevant and helpful to potential customers. You also need to expand your reach beyond your website by promoting your content on social media, video platforms, and other websites.
By following these tips, you can improve your content marketing strategy and attract more potential customers to your website.
Title: Leader & Recruiter
A successful entrepreneur needs to put themselves in the shoe of his client persona. If I want to get your product or your service, what would I look for online? What terms would I use? Of course, you can make good use of many SEO and digital marketing tools to help you answer that. And many entrepreneurs get caught up with the many data, charts, and info they get from such tools, and they simply forget to just open their browser and google as a potential client would. So my advice for all entrepreneurs, take the time to search for the product or service you offer and have the customer’s experience and you will know what is missing. If you aren’t able to see it objectively, ask a friend to search for this product or service and see what they do, where they click on it, and what seems to have convinced them.
Title: Founder and toy creator
Company: Barumba Play™
Linkedin: Sara Feldstein
Something I wish I focused on, is having a product that is the immediate solution to a problem. Since a lot of people read reviews, rely on bloggers and influencers for their decision-making, if your product is a solution to an immediate problem, you are much more likely for that person to convert immediately into a customer. When a product is more for fun or a luxury purchase, then the buying cycle is likely longer and the sale won’t happen immediately making the voices of happy customers and influencers less effective in the short term.
Company: Swift App
As an entrepreneur, it’s crucial to understand what your customers (consumers) expect to find when they’re looking for a solution to their problem.
Since most consumers research their products online before purchasing, this means that your content and SEO (search engine optimization) work is critical. The more often you show up in their research as a trusted source, the more likely they are to purchase from you.
Practically, this means:
1. Regularly publishing helpful content in your niche. This content can be “top of the funnel” (ex: “how to get rid of acne” for a skincare brand ) or “bottom of the funnel” (ex: “best skincare products 2022”)
2. Understand the search intent of consumers, and address objections in your copy (if safety is a concern, showcase how your product is certified)
3. Leverage trusted influencers to represent your product
4. Youtube, TikTok, and other social channels can be key. The choice of channel will depend on your niche. (for example, Twitter might be a better spot for B2B SaaS companies, whereas TikTok is great for makeup products)
Title: Co-founder/ Credit and Finance Expert
Most of my recommendations are backed up by facts. If you look at the statistics, social networking accounts for more than half of all purchasing decisions. Customers are more inclined to purchase based on online recommendations. However, many businesses are unable to fully utilize digital platforms. They don’t use social media in the way that users want, but rather to alter how customers think. Entrepreneurs in their early stages need to understand that their clients use social media to communicate and interact. Customers are wary of companies whose only goal is to make sales. It is simple to pick holes in insignificant details, particularly online. Therefore, it is advisable to take care and have a solid plan in place. Another thing that can be done is to make several consumers who will support one another. Clients who are actively involved in that society will eventually be easy to locate. Offer incentives and acknowledge their part in fostering local development. They will go above and beyond to be more beneficial if you keep praising them for the fantastic work they do in these societies.
Company: Mementi urns
It sounds very silly and basic, but the first thing you need if you start a new business, is a professional looking webpage. If you look dodgy, nobody will be interested in what you have to say. The amount of optics is really important. That’s something I underestimated when I started a business. At that time, I thought the products alone would be fine.
Second thing is to question where in the customer journey you can start. Fact is: If the decision to buy something is already made, then you have already searched for something before.
So what we do with mementi: getting the customer long before they contemplating to buy something. We give advice to the customer on how to organize a funeral, things you need for a funeral, where to find a funeral director and so on. We create a source of knowledge and helpful articles. We could mention our products, the urns, in the articles, but we don’t have to. The people are already on our webpage. They are coming to our webpage, read some articles, and then they see what we are doing. After that they search somewhere else to find some other information. At one point they think: “oh actually, I could buy the funeral urn online, that’s an option.” Or “this particular one I have seen now several times and I really like it, but I can’t find it anywhere else.” It’s a combination of multiple contact to generate. All this content is free for the user, free for the potential customer, free out there for everybody. But it generates a lot of traffic on your page from people who might be a customer in the future.
So first: Set up a really professional webpage.
Second: Create helpful articles in the customer journey long before. Everybody is focusing on the buy aspect, but try to get them before already. Then you will have a chance, and also its easier for a new company against competition. You can find all kinds of niches and options to pay attention, to rank in google and to be found and make yourself noticed – if you don’t try just to be there where everybody else is already. I think it’s the cheapest way to get started and it might be the most helpful one, because it builds trust with your customer long before they buy anything.
Title: Pastor /Founder
Company: Our Voice r The Voicless Non Profit
Do work that you genuinely believe in. In doing so you will take time to truly know your potential consumers, to the point of speaking their language. Therefore, whenever they are doing their research they can tell you know them and are speaking to them
Know Your customers: They can tell if you do. They will hear your voice
Believe in youself. You are in the service business,so if you have to make adjustments act quickly and dont take things personally.
Hire the right team that matches your company’s mission: Build a great relationship with the people on your team, so they can help you achieve your customer satisfaction. Have beautiful graphics that speak to your prospects buying styles. Your tribe will hear your voice throughout all the competition for their attention.
Listen: Act upon feedback from the people you are serving. They are telling you what they want and how you can serve them.
Company: KC Media Publishing
Linkedin: DeAnna Kane
Consumer behavior really hasn‘t changed much in decades. The bottom line is consumers want to get the most bang for their buck, and now that we have access to millions of options at our finger tips, researching our needs has never been easier. Consumers will spend hours online researching and shopping to find the best deals for the best version of a product or service they are looking for.
However, that doesn‘t negate the primary fact that consumers spend money on emotion, then will go back later to justify it with logic. As a new entrepreneur, the salient point is to make sure your product or service appeals to the emotion of your target market. If your target market is women, make your product or service marketing around the visual appeal that it will have on women. Women are more visual and it stimulates their emotional triggers to purchasing. Men are more physical and you will want to appeal to their masculinity.
The basic concept of consumer purchasing isn‘t difficult. Just be sure to be clear about who your target market it, and focus on that. Realize that you can‘t be everything to everyone at once. You may build up to it, but that is more based on concepts, not specific products or services. The basic concept of healthy eating reaches all consumers across the globe, but how you market that concept will be different based on your product or service to your target market.
Title: Senior Real Estate Specialist
Company: EXP Realty
You are a new entrepreneur, ready to conquer the world but first stop, access, strategize and go forth. Despite everyone online with large smiles on their faces, the truth is, that most small businesses fail within the first couple of years. In order to not be a part of that equation, it’s imperative that you first test out your great big idea. You must know not only will it work but it’s what your demographic is looking for at this time. You can have the best burgers ever known to man but if broccoli is trending, what you have will not obtain the best sales even though it’s good. Why McDonalds does not have the yummiest burger I’ve ever tasted yet their locations, time and quickness meet mine and many other consumers’ needs. We may be famished, have limited time, and want something quick. Does your product offering not only capture the attention of whom you want to see it, but does it solve a problem, provide a solution? What are you bringing to the table that your competitor is not? Speaking of consumers searching online, when they do, can they find you there? Are you branded? How do you show up? You may be new to the block but you don’t have to show it. Put your best foot forward, on and offline. Show up and show out!
Title: Founder & CEO
Company: Mavens & Moguls
You do not exist today if you cannot be found online. Being invisible online is a terrible strategy so making sure your site is keyword rich/mobile friendly/loads quickly/produces meaningful content today is the price of entry. That also happens to be a great, cost-efficient foundation for effective SEO in my experience. To build credibility and attract attention thought leadership and influencers help to build your brand. Activities like hosting webinars/podcasts/speaking at online/offline conferences/writing articles/building your following on social media all contribute to increasing your awareness with potential customers. When your articles/talks become available online send them out via social media to friends/followers/contacts. Don’t let social media drive you crazy, it does not matter which platform you choose just pick one or 2 that are authentic to you. It should look/sound like you and the brand you have built. Whether yours is polished or more informal, chatty or academic, humorous or snarky, it is a way for your personality to come through. For professional service firms like mine LinkedIn is a priority. If your customers are not looking for you on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram then find the platforms where you can stand out.
There is more confidence in trusted content from friends and influencers than advertising with consumers seeking their friends’ and influencers’ opinions and advice online on what to wear/buy, where to go, and what to do more than a paid ad or fancily packaged content. Customers are savvy today they are happy to buy what they want and need but they do not like to be sold things. Curated content and ideas from a trusted source beats paid content every time. Partnering and building relationships with the right influencers with content that is co-created helps brands scale and grow faster and amplify and boost their message.
Content quality/length matter for rankings so web pages that contain long high-quality content get more visibility and shares so becoming that trusted source and influencer with timely and helpful answers to questions gets rewarded quickly. Search engines notice when sites publish consistently/can see how long people stay so building a strong reputation as a site that informs/educates pays off in higher organic search results. If content is too salesy/self-promoting it gets ignored. Mobile UX determines your ranking in a mobile first world, attention spans are shorter than ever so video will be used more to boost rankings. Using the right keywords for video descriptions/headlines will insure you do better in searches too.
Title: CEO, Co-founder
Company: Leena AI
The first thing to do is to conduct proper market research, or as I like to call it – sell first, build later. For new entrepreneurs, it can be tempting to believe that customers will find your product when they need it. But that is not always the case. You need to make sure that you speak to a small subset of potential customers before you start developing your product. This will help you understand the market and its needs, and save your manufacturing efforts in terms of time and money.
After the initial research, try to get those potential customers to sign up for a trial version of your product. This trial version will help build trust in your product in the market and assist in building credibility in the long run. If your product actually fits the solution that is needed, those initial customer reviews will play a major role in promoting your business in the market.
Title: Founder of Apsley Australia
Company: APSLEY Australia
My advice for new entrepreneurs who want to take advantage of this consumer behavior is twofold. First, make sure that you have a strong online presence. This means having a website that is easy to navigate and provides potential customers with all the information they need to make a purchase decision. Additionally, consider using social media to reach potential customers already spending time online. This can effectively connect with potential customers and get your message in front of them.
Second, consider using online marketing tools to reach potential customers. Several different online marketing tools are available, such as pay-per-click advertising, search engine optimization, and social media marketing. By using these tools, you can ensure that potential customers can find your business online and that you can reach them with your marketing message.
I always like to tell new entrepreneurs that the most important thing is to get started. Don’t wait for everything to be perfect before you launch your business. You can always refine your online presence and marketing tools as you go. The most important thing is to get started and to get your message out there. With a bit of planning and effort, you can successfully take advantage of this consumer behavior.
Title: V.P. of Sales
Company: Trusted Rate
The emergence of technology has brought daily necessities closer and more quickly. It provides us with more convenience than anything else. Because of this, online shopping is now an integral part of our lifestyle. But not all things that provide us with convenience produce desirable outcomes. Always, there are trade-offs and risks. Not all information found online is credible. We must keep in mind that advertising and marketing are 100 percent visual, meaning that they only appeal to what is seen and not what is felt or heard. This gives meaning to the phrase “we believe what we see.” However, we must first exercise caution when selecting online purchases. There are countless accounts of dissatisfied customers claiming that the products they receive are not as appealing or are not even the same as what they saw online. We must first review the testimonials. However, remember that even reviews can be deceptive. I always look for negative feedback or comments when reading reviews. Seeing negative feedback on the reviews would always make me believe that the brand or company I am about to transact with is legitimate and trustworthy. I then examine the transaction type. If there are brands that advertise a “payment first policy,” particularly if they are not well-known, I would always be skeptical. This type of vendor makes me believe that their fund is not liquid. It does not imply that they do not trust their customers, as there are numerous means by which they can protect themselves from scammers. I would prefer to make COD (cash on delivery) purchases because it would also encourage the seller to ship the product quickly so they can receive payment. According to experts, the number of online shoppers has already surpassed 2 billion worldwide, which is attractive to scammers who are just around the corner and would devour unsuspecting victims. We should always take precautions against that.
Dr. Ankit Patel
Company: 24/7 Dental
I would recommend that they take a deep dive into the customer’s psyche and identify what their needs are. In order to be successful, entrepreneurs have to understand the mindset of their customers and provide them with what they need.
Title: Founder and Managing Member
You need to build a strong brand identity and make sure it’s represented in all of your marketing materials, including social media posts and website content. The best way to do this is through content marketing – which includes blogging, video production, and other forms of content creation.
Title: Expert Dog Trainer and Co-owner
Entrepreneurs should focus on the quality of their content, not just on the quantity. The quality of your content is a very important factor when it comes to achieving success in the field of entrepreneurship. This is because consumers are deeply influenced by what they find online. They might not buy your product or service even if it is a good one, if they don’t like what they read about it.
Title: CEO and Founder
Company: Dream Chasers
The advice I would give to new entrepreneurs is to have a strong online presence. Consumers are influenced by the things they find online and their first impressions are often based on what they see on social media. What you post on your social media accounts can affect your business in a big way. New entrepreneurs should make sure that they have a strong online presence and know how to use it. They need to know how to use social media platforms to promote their business and make sure that there is always something new for consumers to see.
Company: Claire Bahn Group
If you start your entrepreneurial journey from a place of authentic altruism, you will succeed. The first step is to know what you offer and how it benefits your consumers. If you approach sales with the heart of a helper or a teacher, you will build deep loyalty between you and your customer. It is not enough to say your product or brand supports specific causes. There is a strong correlation between company leaders and the company image. With the abundance of personal information available online, you also need to hire and promote individuals that exemplify your brand’s values through their individual personal brands. This shows your customers that you don’t just “talk the talk” but also “walk the walk.”
I would advise new entrepreneurs to focus on online branding to increase their company’s reputation and succeed in today’s digital landscape. I have noticed most organizations fail to market their brands online due to a lack of knowledge and expertise. Businesses should utilize all kinds of digital resources to build their online reputation and inspire their target audience. For this purpose, they should produce high-quality content to attract prospects and influence their buying decisions. Besides, business leaders should use content marketing strategies and gather feedback from their clients for online brand research. Digital marketers should explore the relevant topics in-depth and write blogs and articles to get more web traffic. Modern tools and technologies should also be used to position their brand online and improve their marketing assets. Strengthening their online presence and spending more on online branding can help them expand their consumer base and generate organic leads.
Title: Co-Founder and CIO
Review websites are excellent channels for lead generation and conversion. Thus, your marketing team should allocate time and budget to encourage reviews from happy clients and utilize the tools offered by the platforms to drive traffic to your website. At the same time, you must not dilute your efforts. The number of review platforms is quite significant already, and new good ones still emerge—you can’t be represented equally well on all of them. Focus and maintain your efforts on building your brand’s standing on just a few platforms, up to three.
Company: Sleepys Express
Consumers will do their research before purchasing your product and won’t take your word for granted. But it doesn’t mean you cannot guide them in the right direction. The social proof section must have a prominent place on your website (somewhere at the very top) and lead your visitors to trustworthy places with positive reviews about your business. Many marketers would argue that you should keep the visitors on your website no matter what. I’d say this approach is outdated. We know that most customers will look for information about your business outside of your website anyway. Thus, we’d better advise them on the platforms or social media accounts where we shine the brightest.
“Utilize client feedback. Customers indeed trust more what others say about your product. With that, it is important to build your online credibility. One way to do this is by showcasing your positive product reviews on your website, social media accounts, or wherever people can look you up online. This contributes to the positive image of your brand. On the other hand, use negative reviews as opportunities to redeem yourself and do better in the future. By responding to feedback sincerely and politely, you can demonstrate accountability and strive to fulfill expectations.”
Title: Marketing Manager
Company: The Whit Group
“Take advantage of social media. Social media is a platform that helps customers discover and know more about a brand. Use it as a platform to establish your expertise and authority. Do this by publishing content and engaging in ongoing conversations with the audience after they begin to interact. Use social media to develop trustworthiness as well. Do this by displaying your product reviews and customer feedback. Reviews make you more credible and help create a more positive reputation for your company.”
A lot of the time, a direct question to a consumer about their behavior will yield the results you expect, if not exactly what you expected. They aren’t intentionally lying to you. It’s possible they’re just trying to cover their tracks.
They don’t always have a clue as to what the fundamental causes are (being a good mom, impressing their friends, or some unconscious fears). With a variety of study approaches, you can get to this, but it can be difficult.
Separate yourself into an online observer and an online shopper, and you’ll have the best results. You’re an online shopper and you’re keeping an eye on yourself as an online observer while you shop. Talking about internet buying is on the agenda between you two.
It is possible to learn about customer shopping habits online if you can play the role of both a buyer and a watcher.
For those who are very sensitive when it comes to online purchasing, you can also pick up on many volatile signals provided by other online consumers.
Title: Marketing and Social/Digital Media Manager
Company: Achieve TMS East
Find your audience and develop trust
While it is true that a strong online presence is imperative today, even when your business does not operate on the world wide web, it is equally true that the internet is quite crowded too. This means that your brand will have to find its way to the audience by first achieving high visibility. Only then can you put to work your strategy of winning them over. The one formula that works here is creating content that attracts the right audience and also develops trust. In a marketing space teeming with brands, there’s nothing more impressive than one that offers visibility and dependability.
Company: Nootka Saunas
An online persona that matches your brand image
It’s easy to get carried away when you’re creating your brand’s online persona. With all the content ideas available online, it is difficult to stay true to the original image of your brand. It is, however, important to understand that no matter how creative your campaigns get, it is imperative that your customer is able to identify your brand, products, and services with what they see online. If there is a gap between this content and the image of your brand, your online persona will only leave your target audience confused.
Company: Grow Disrupt
Take time to talk to your customers. Learn what questions they are asking. Then ensure you have thorough, thoughtful answers on the website that are easy to read.
Optimize your website so Google and other search engines identify YOU are the premier answer provider for the questions your customers are asking.
Be consistent and listen always! The questions might change so always, always listen to the customers for what they are truly saying when they give you the chance to share.