With more than 80 per cent of Australians now owning a smartphone, the way a consumer moves from simple brand research to actually making a purchase is more complicated than ever.
Australians spent almost $38 billion over the internet in 2015, but that’s only a small chunk of the total $900 billion Aussies through at consumption purchases in 2015.
There are more than 40 per cent of Australians purchasing at least one product ever four weeks online, and the numbers show that 90 per cent of offline purchases are influenced by digital or mobile research.
But one of the biggest bridges between online and offline is the phone, namely the smartphone, and it’s this little device that Marchex SVP, marketing & consumer insights John Busby said is being overlooked by marketers.
“A lot of what we buy happens in the real world,” he told B&T at the Ad:Tech conference in Sydney this week. “And we measure phone calls that result from advertising.”
“Consumers are more likely to make a call after research than anything else. We predict there will be seven billion phone calls made by Australians to retailers this year. But marketers don’t have a lot of information of click-to-call data.”
As it turns out, Aussie consumers still enjoy a little human interaction and research from Google shows that Australian consumers prefer to “click-to-call” a business for many purchase decisions.
“Consumers like the convenience of online but still want to talk to a human when they want to,” Busby said. “I mean, Amazon, can you believe, opened a book store, because it realised people want to actually feel and touch books.”
“There’s a lot of movement from online to offline along the path to purchase.”
In new research from a Marchex report, they found that searches for 80 per cent of Australia’s top brands show a phone number in Google’s organic or paid results.
Marchex analysed several thousand calls made by Australian consumers to local businesses and national call centres, and found that 82 per cent of phone calls were rich product and service conversations.
But what about those young hooligans that are all on mobile now, we can hear you asking?
“In our research, we discovered that millennials are more likely to click-to-call than the older generations,” Busby added, almost disbelievingly.
“They’re also more likely to trust a business if there’s a phone number in the ad.
“The ability to connect to people equates to trust. Consumption is all about trust. Brands need to start thinking about where human interaction works best.
“Brands are starting to figure out when they should be suggesting a contact with a person, and when they should not.”