Give self educating customers what they want

3 min read

Who are these self educating customers you may ask?

It’s about 80% of us according to this statistic.

80% of retail shoppers conduct online research before buying.

In almost all retail verticals, the majority of shoppers start the research process with a search engine query.

(Source: GE Capital Retail Bank, (Source: LSA), Ref:

We used to go to the shops and check out the product we wanted, or we phoned the service provider or retailer to get more information.

The way it works now

When we come across a good product or service one of the first things we do is reach for our device of choice and look it up on the net. We may look up the business providing the product/service if know the business’s name? While we’re looking around for this business, we look for other similar products or services and check some reviews so we can see what others are saying about these businesses.

They’re looking for you but can’t find you

If people know the name of your business, they may try looking you up to see if they can connect with you on social media and ask you a few questions directly. Or they may want more in-depth information. At, this stage if you don’t provide them with much information you risk sending your potential customers elsewhere to get answers. These online answers may come from one of your competitors.

80% of consumers will research a product or service online before they buy

If 80% of consumers use Search Engines for pre-sale research, why aren’t businesses providing this pre-sale information online? It’s hard; is the short answer. Business owners are busy doing a gazillion things and the thought of producing content is for most, time-consuming, not something they know how to do and others don’t see the value; because what happens digitally is usually out-of-sight and out-of-mind.

What happens digitally is usually out-of-site and out-of-mind.

That doesn’t mean it’s not happening!

Ian Mackenzie | Customer Path

The pre-sale stage of the buying process the consumer goes through is like a conversation; a digital conversation and if you are not providing some answers to these questions—online, you are not in the conversation.

Consumers have 24/7 online access from their devices, which are used frequently

Business owners understand consumers carry around a smart device connected to the Internet for a reason. They look things up, all the time and prefer communicating this way. Given the option to make a phone call or send a message, most will now send a message as their preferred means of communication, text, email, social media, etc.

Taking action to give self educating consumers what they want

Setup a Facebook page, a simple website and get yourself listed on Google. This will at least give you a digital ID and presence on the Internet. If you know your customers well, you will already know what questions they’re asking. Publish answers to their pre-sale questions on your website and social media channels. Make sure your customer reviews are visible and your potential customers may reward you with their business.

About the Author

Ian's passionate about doing business online to grow businesses in new and interesting ways. When he's not helping clients with design or marketing, you'll find him pursuing his other interests: photography, tech blogging, and in his own words, “attempting to play golf”.

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