Consumers today are using the internet, and evolving social tools, to gain power and leverage. Even older consumers regularly conduct product searches, get advice through peer reviews and competitive shop before they buy. More and more even even highly personalized trnsactions are happening on line with customers only choosing to visit the store after the transaction is complete.
Once the transaction is complete that same customer is likely to return and submit their opinion of the product or service, good or bad, for the rest of the market to absorb.
According to the "Your Brand at Risk or Ready for Growth' report from maketing research company Alterian, these trends led to cynicism and a lack of trust in consumers. Nearly every respondent in the survey stated that they did their own search prior to buying with 71% saying they gather information from as many sources as possible to assure themselves of making the right decision.
Socail networks come in to play when respondents said the most important advice comes from friends and family.
The solution accorcing to Alterian is to make sure that every interaction feels like personal contact. Gice consumers control of information and make it easy for them to connect with all the data they need to make the right decision.