Social media and consumer behavior
Social media provides elements of convenience, awareness, fast communication and product comparisons for consumers. It is a huge part of the 20th century as we document every part of a lives and share it with our friends making us more aware of the world around us, bring us closer together as society, and making us more aware of others positive and negative experiences.
Consumer behavior is quite simply the way that we as consumers behave when we purchase goods and services, the processes we take to make decisions, and the patterns of retail chains we prefer to make purchases at.
The big influence
Lets look into the instance of buying a new car. Before social media a consumer behaved significantly differently to the way they behave in 2015. The process in the lead up to the purchase was much simpler and faster in the past. A consumer would refer to traditional forms of media such as newspapers and rely on phone, word of mouth and face to face communication to buy a car. The process was relatively short. In 2015, the first point of reference for information on a new vehicle is the internet as it provides us with endless search options. Social media offers information on companies and the products they offer, as well as the opportunity to communicate with fellow consumers at just the click of a button. “The internet‟s viral and social capabilities have created a completely new forum for consumers.” ( Nirmala. K, 2013).This can be an advantage or strongly damaging to retailers through word of mouth communication over social media as they can receive a good or bad reputation. The following youtube clip addresses the process in which consumers behave when buying a new car in the 20th century, and displays how much assistance social media provides.
The big question… Has social media influenced consumer behavior in a positive way?
Research into industries around the world has consistently found that “Media is revolutionizing consumer behavior” (Pandya.K, 2013). It shortens the gap between consumers and retailers as it provides endless opportunities of communication in a direct and convenient manner. Websites such as Facebook, instagram, and twitter allow retailers to achieve a greater customer reach which has a huge influence on consumers as they are more informed, and influenced when making purchases. Consumers inhibit the power to make educated choices as social media provides product comparisons, product and retailer reviews, and the ability to search up on our purchase considerations.
Through increasing trends of online shopping and the greater reach of advertising social media achieves, retailers are able build greater relationships with customers. I believe it has influenced consumer behavior in a positive way as it has brought consumers and retailers closer together and enabled convenient options for consumers to make more educated choices in their day to day lives.
Pandya. K, 2013, Influence of social media on consumer behaviour, slideshare, viewed 5 May 2015, <http://www.slideshare.net/alwaysinnovative/influence-of-social-media-on-consumer-behaviour >
Spruiel. T, 2012, Toyota Social Xperience – Car Buying Encounter From Connect Consumer, online video, 19 December 2012, You tube, viewed 5 May 2015 <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jxo3BEQgNPY>
Nirmala K, 2013, ‘An impact of social media on consumer behaviour: A study’, International Journal of Logistics & Supply Chain Management Perspectives, no.2.4, pp. 467-471,viewed 6 May 2015, <http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/docview/1648168785?pq-origsite=summon>