Consumers browsing the internet say they are more likely to make a purchase if a website makes the effort to engage and entertain them through interesting and relevant content, new research has revealed.
An online YouGov study, commissioned by APA, shows that 27 per cent of consumers have a higher propensity to buy online if the website offers more than product listings, whilst 28 per cent say that additional online content, such as editorial focusing on specific products, motivates them to make a purchase in-store.
This is particularly true of 45-54 year olds, with 30 per cent more likely to buy online, and the same number in-store, if a website is more editorially led. Conversely the over 55s were found to be the least engaged by online content.
Although this is unsurprising, as despite the rise of the ‘Silver Surfer’, this age group is still wary of making online transactions and using the internet as a decision-making influencer.
This is reinforced by the finding that only 17 per cent of over 55s would recommend a website that is regularly refreshed with additional content over one that doesn’t.
At the other end of the scale nearly three tenths (29 per cent) of 25-34 year olds said that they would advocate a brand that constantly updated its website with new content, over one that remained static.
Encouraging recommendations is particularly important for brands in the current climate, where word of mouth has become a driver of direct sales, helping business bolster their bottom line with minimal investment.
“YouGov’s findings have some resounding implications for brands, both in terms of the influence of their site in promoting word of mouth, but also in driving direct sales – often the primary objective for a website,” said COO of the APA, Julia Hutchison.
“The results prove what we in the customer publishing industry have known for a long time – that content sells. The fact that digital activity now accounts for 16 per cent of industry revenue and that this is growing should therefore come as no surprise. These are exciting times.”
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