Google, consumer choice and buying decisions

You need some information for an upcoming presentation; or the postcode of that new restaurant in town. How do you find this information? The answer unequivocally for anyone under the age of eighty is ‘Google.’ Rewind just ten years ago and consider how you answer might have been different. You’ve seen an advert for the restaurant in a local paper – so you call them and ask for directions (within opening times, of course). If they don’t answer, you choose another restaurant. The way Google operates is similar – yet fast. If you don’t find the restaurant on Google, or their site lacks the information you need, you go elsewhere.

Information is important

Encyclopaedias proved useful in years gone by, when they served as the only definitive reliable location (aside from a library or museum) for information. Imagine how difficult (or how much more complex) your job would be if you were required to actually look up the information you needed in reference books and essays, as opposed to finding the relevant information on Wikipedia in a matter of seconds? When it comes to buying, information of all kinds is important. Product descriptions, maps, returns policies, legal documents – if you’re selling online or want to encourage clients to pick up the phone or walk through your door, you have to offer the information they need.

Anywhere, anytime

Once upon a time the only way to buy a product you needed or wanted was to venture out to the appropriate retail outlet. Shops tended to specialise in one type of product to make buying easier – but that also meant that their growth was limited to the specific type of wares they sold. It was impossible to compare prices unless you were willing to venture to each shop stocking the product you wanted in turn – and to find out whether this was the case you’d need to spend a fair amount of time on the telephone beforehand making enquiries. Now locating products, comparing prices and choosing a retailer is quicker and easier than ever before thanks to the internet and Google. Search for a product now and Google displays a handy ‘Shopping’ bar – a preview of the corresponding tab which helpfully selects and lists your product in whichever order you need depending on price, relevancy and location. This enables shoppers to select the retailer with free delivery, the best price and the best service without hassle or wasted time.

Brand recognition and influence

We now rely on Google to make buying decisions and to build an accurate impression of a company we wish to engage with. Previously less of a business was visible to consumers – for example, Companies House information and detailed ‘About’ and ‘Meet the Team’ pages simply weren’t elements of a company which were in the public domain fifteen years ago. Now buyers expect and need to learn a lot more about the company before they choose to do business with you – so it’s important that you ensure that the content you share gives the best possible impression of your company.

For more about Google and how building a website with the search engine in mind could considerably benefit your business, take a look at our Services pages.

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