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Shopping Less, but Buying More? The Role of a Strong Digital Marketing Strategy in a Changing Economy

snowy cliff with cloud covering sun and blue sky in background
snowy cliff with cloud covering sun and blue sky in background

Sometimes new clients ask, “Can search engine optimization services, a social media marketing strategy, and a digital marketing package really improve my likelihood of attracting customers?” The answer is in the numbers.

A collection of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as summarized in this article from Quartz shows that Americans spend significantly less of their time shopping than they did 15 years ago. This isn’t to say that consumer spending has gone down. The personal finance website The Balance compiled a series of charts showing the contrary –consumer spending is on the rise. Though this may seem like a paradox, the truth it shows is that the average person in the United States is shopping more efficiently.

Where do these fast shoppers go? To the internet. Even if they decide they want to make a purchase at a brick-and-mortar institution, people often check reviews, store hours, and stock availability before they even get in their cars.  Instead of making a day to go from store to store looking for the skis they want in their size, consumers look to their phones to tell them where they’ll have the best chance of making a satisfactory purchase and back on the slopes ASAP. The same logic applies to how people find businesses. If your website isn’t on the first page of a search engine like Google, then your site can get lost in all the noise. Excellent website functionality and a well-optimized site will help pull your business to the top.

This hyper-efficient shopping can be great for saving time, but without a high-quality website that clues consumers into your business, they might not even know you’re out there in the mad dash for quality service. A strong presence on review websites, like Yelp, Google, and others can make a huge difference in a first-time buyer taking the plunge and choosing your service. I can say for sure I’d be much more likely to pick a mountain guide service with some five-star reviews under their belt. While your service may not be as high risk as mountaineering, prospective customers want to know their dollar will get them an excellent experience.

So if consumers are spending less time shopping, what are they doing with their free time? The answer depends. We can, however, show that a significant percentage of Americans are shifting time that used to be spent shopping into social media use –how else can you hashtag your new skis or exciting recent vacation? This fact can also be capitalized for your business. Digital marketing and search engine optimization have shifted in the past decade to see social media marketing as a huge component in increasing website traffic. Whether that’s through advertising directly, or being available to peruse reviews and images of a new hairstylist through a business’s Instagram account before booking an appointment.

While it may seem like marketing is becoming more complex, in fact, the demands of the consumer are simplifying. So much can be gleaned about your business from what you show online. Investing in a brand-forward, well-constructed web presence increases your chances of being the business these fast-shoppers choose. Customers are looking for high-quality service without spending too much time researching or shopping around. And to be honest, here at Desert Foothills Digital, we’re all about that. After all, the less time you need to spend shopping, the more time you can spend in the great outdoors.