4 Factors that Influence Buying Decisions More than Ads

BY Rachel Cagle
Featured image for “4 Factors that Influence Buying Decisions More than Ads”

Advertising is undoubtedly important to the success of a brand. However, blatant ads are not the most effective way to influence your client’s target audience. There are other factors that are important to consumers when swaying their buying decisions.

Swaying Consumers’ Buying Decisions

Search Engines

According to a study by Ipsos, advertising is only considered important to the decision-​making process of 50% of Americans. While that percentage is high, it’s only the fifth most influential category. When it comes to making buying decisions, 80% of American consumers say search engine results are the most important factor. 31% of consumers believe search engine results are very important when making decisions and 49% say that they’re somewhat important. AudienceSCAN on AdMall by SalesFuel found similar results. 20.4% of Sponsored Search Result Responders will go past the first page of search results. So, it’s crucial to work on your client’s SEO in order to show up as high as possible on the results lists of relevant searches. Additionally, the higher up in the search results a company is, the more likely it is to be considered trustworthy.

Customer Reviews

The second most important source of information to consumers when making buying decisions is shopper reviews on the company’s website. 74% of consumers view customer reviews are important, with 26% considering them very important and 47% saying they’re somewhat important, according to Ipsos. AudienceSCAN data shows that only 15.2% of U.S. adults fall into the category of Consumers Who Don’t Read Online Reviews. On the contrary, another 15.9% of consumers want to see at least 15 recent business reviews before making a purchase and another 30.2% want to see 4–5‑star rating reviews. Ultimately, consumers are more willing to trust the opinion of their fellow shoppers who have no reason to lie about how a product or service worked for them.

69% of consumers also believe that online content and reviews from people they know personally are important to their buying decisions. So, it’s even more important that your client encourages reviews from customers after they’ve made their purchases. The more reviews they have, the more likely they’ll have an opinion from someone another consumer knows. Also, encouraging reviews could also extend to recommendations on the customer’s personal pages. If they leave a sparkling review on their own social media profiles or on your client’s business page, their reviews will be more easily seen/​accessible to their social circles who may also be in the market for your client’s products.

However, be warned against leaving fake reviews in an attempt to boost your client’s credibility with consumers. Nearly a fourth of consumers consider themselves to be expert Fake Review Spotters, according to AudienceSCAN. While fake reviews will still influence consumers’ buying decisions, it won’t be in the way your clients want.

Online Videos

The final influencer of buying decisions that’s more important than advertising is online videos on sites such as YouTube. And these aren’t video ads. 52% find videos such as branded video, product/​service reviews, and product descriptions important in the decision making process. So, make sure these types of videos are included in the mix during your next brainstorming or recording sessions with your client.