Searching for Buyers

Consumers are showing signs of spending their money again, although the economic downturn will likely have lasting effects on consumer spending habits. A recent Consumer Behavior Report indicates that consumers are changing their mindsets from cutting back to spending cautiously and will not go back to previous extravagant spending habits. When shoppers decide that they’re ready to buy, they often turn to the Internet, albeit clicking for very different reasons in recent months. The basic human needs of people stay the same, even during a recession. Consumers want to learn about the best products and services for their needs, and spending time online saves shoppers time and money. As a result of the tough economy, 93% of online consumers spent more time or the same amount of time shopping online. By researching products and comparing prices online, consumes boost their confidence about their product purchases. The time spent online keeps increasing because search is now habitual. There is even a special kind of consumer playing a bigger role – those who can’t buy anything without first looking it up online to get the lowdown. (Re)Search is a pathway for shoppers. Search marketing is the best customer-acquisition tool in the online space.

The Internet is a bright spot across the media landscape. Despite the economic crisis, total US online ad spending is expected to rise in 2009 to a record high of $24.5 billion and continue to reach new heights each year through 2013. Online advertising can be tracked, measured, adjusted, and tightly targeted. Today, as many consumers look for bargains or new Internet trends to emerge, words or phrases that attract more consumers can be added or modified almost immediately. 65% of online shoppers conduct product research using search engines, and the percentage of those searching before making a purchase (finding online and offline retailers) has risen. When marketers link ads to an individual’s search query, the high relevance breaks down the customary advertising resistance. Through search advertising, shoppers find the products and the content that motivate them to buy… a path to purchase beyond the current recession.

– Contributed by Integer Media (Pam Taylor, Media Director)