Businesses are struggling to retain brand loyalty as one in 10 British consumers have no firm decision on brand purchase choice, new research has revealed.
The study by Forrester Consulting looked at retail businesses in the UK, France and Germany and found that 59% of UK shoppers are unlikely to stick to one brand, instead using the internet to find the best deals.
Furthermore, nearly half of British consumers (42%) are beginning to take the web with them while they shop, accessing price comparison sites, social networks and product reviews via mobile phones.
Gerardo Dada, senior director of product marketing at Bazaarvoice, a social commerce solution provider, said: “What’s clear is that the rulebook on customer engagement has been torn up. Consumers are making more informed decisions than ever before and they demand access to recommendations and customer opinions such as ratings and reviews across all channels.”
According to the report 93% of shoppers are influenced by online product recommendations, ratings and reviews, which influence consumers’ purchase decisions, while 44% of shoppers have “channel-switched”, going online before purchasing in store, making high street competition as fierce as on the web.
David Selinger chief executive of online consultancy firm RichRelevance said: “Whether it’s a knowledgeable shop assistant in-store or a set of personalised recommendations online, consumers want access to information and products catered specifically to them at a competitive price. Balancing these requirements is the key to making shoppers ‘stick’ to a shop or site to make their purchase.”
However, many customers still prefer to use well-known and trusted brands for certain products and services, according to price comparison experts.
Michael Phillips founder of Consumerchoices, an online comparison site, told Growing Business: "We still see a lot of people paying more for a brand they feel comfortable with. Most people use comparison sites because they not only provide more choice and information they also help save time."
© Crimson Business Ltd. 2010