Over the years, the landscape of brand loyalty has shifted. Consumers’ alliances with their preferred brands have begun to wane, and instead, shoppers have started to search for the perfect product through research. As a result, brand loyalty plays less of a role in consumer decisions, whereas other influential factors have begun cropping up.
One factor that influences how customers make decisions is the newfound range of products available on the market. A myriad of choices proves overwhelming, rendering consumers unable to decide which products to purchase. With so many options, consumers are more likely to take longer deciding, change their mind throughout the process, and even continue to experiment with products after they have made a decision in order to accurately gauge how products work for them compared to previous brands.
This consumer indecisiveness is only compounded by the information accessible to them. With computers and smartphones, consumers have information about products readily available. As a result of this, most consumers no longer need to have specific brands in mind when searching for products. Customers can not only research product reviews and information on the brands that make those products, but they can also delve into researching brands that are in competition with one another. The internet often provides compiled lists of “top” products to satisfy consumer needs. With this information, the brands that regularly satisfy consumer needs—and demonstrate how well they can understand and fulfill needs—remain successful and near the top of those listings.
With this information at hand, consumers no longer have to settle. Shoppers can continue to research more information before making a purchase. New information may yield different results that can influence decisions.
As technology becomes more pertinent in shopping experiences, customers have also begun relying on personalized experiences to determine which products to favor as well. When researching, consumers have the ability to conduct upper-funnel mobile queries to narrow their searches and find products as specific to their needs as possible. For example, someone can search, “Shampoos for dry, curly hair,” rather than having to research nonspecific shampoos. With consumers craving personalized experiences, they are more likely to purchase brands that appropriately satisfy their needs better than any other brands.
In conjunction with this available information, brand websites have also proven to influence consumers’ decisions. Website experiences are crucial in encouraging engagement and purchases. Consumers are more likely to remain on sites that offer quickly-loading pages and 67% more of smartphone users are more likely to purchase from mobile sites or apps that allow filtered results to customize information to their location.
While brand loyalty has grown weaker throughout the years, brands can continue to appeal to consumers by providing information on how their products can best suit consumers’ particular needs, and investing in providing consumers with personal experiences.