Apart from making the faster and efficient buying patterns seen in most countries, it is evident that technology has enhanced this effect to many folds because of the changing external environment which gets transferred from one country to another at a very fast rate with the help of many concepts introduced in the last decades like search engines, social media platforms, virtual communities and user generated content which is seen across the internet available on multiple devices which engage and indulge the consumer at continuous basis. The way consumer perform various stages of the consumer's buying pattern is not the same what it used to be when technology was limited to only one device as opposed to the multiple interfaces available to the consumers today. The behavior was defined by various related fields of human behavior such as psychology, sociology, economics, behavioral economics, and anthropology, to develop a theoretical framework for the analysis of the behavior of consumers. These frameworks also have limited applications as far as technologically driven decisions are concerned.
Social media is a platform that has transformed the way consumers engage with the brands and buy the products. Most of the consumers are looking into user generated reviews and opinions before even considering a particular brand. This has given immense power to the consumers and also led the companies to invest in the online deals and advertising. Most of the brands have their e-commerce websites enabling easy perusal and buying of products. The criticism of being an unsecured platform to indulge in financial transactions have been rebutted with robust infrastructure by the intermediaries like payment gateways and secured credit card websites.
People have opinions which they want to share, become a part of a group which makes them feel stronger and better about themselves. The advertising is expected to be targeted and contextual and not general in nature. People also want some things which are not charged so that they get indulged at the initial stages. Facebook, Twitter and Google are free for the users which encourage the users to trade their privacy for the rewards and transparency of the transaction.Consumers want to take control over things with sharing their knowledge about the company, products and brands. They want to be invited and not coerced towards buying a product. People share news, views, and experiences, about the brands online resulting in discussions over brand experience which has become the foremost online conversation.
Convenience and speed is the corner store of any efficient buying process irrespective of the interface used. Online stores offer convenience in terms of comfort of browsing through the products at their own pace and place resulting in attracting people who want to evaluate the alternatives before going to the brick and mortar stores. The e-commerce industry has seen growth of around 19 per cent in last few years and is expected to register a total value of 1.4 trillion dollars in 2015.
Most consumers search the products online and react to the supplementary information they receive while working with the alternatives. The alternatives themselves come from the users and their posted content about a particular category. The brand or marketing strategy plays a role in understanding the online behavior and formulating the digital marketing plan accordingly. Most brands focus on engagement and interaction with the customers while designing the digital interactions rather than branding and sales. It is imperative to realize the pulse of the consumer and engage them on continuous basis before hinting them to buy the product or services.
The evaluation of alternatives is influenced the tremendous amount of information from the different areas of society on the internet. The user reviews influence the choices and the brand recognition takes place based on the existing loyal customer base which acts as a brand ambassador for the brands. Even before the consumer interacts with the point of sale platform, there are many integrated communications which are hurled towards him which reinforce the brand attributes in order to achieve the "top of the mind recall" The technology is multifaceted and all around the consumer which makes it virtually impossible for a typical consumer to escape the avalanche of the data and information regarding product attributes, functional benefits, social value and brand perception of the company.
Technology is changing the consumer's perceptions, inclinations and behavior like never before. Traditional consumer buying behavior was limited to need creation, evaluation of alternatives, purchase and post purchase evaluation. The technological advancements in the world have totally transformed the consumer behavior in every aspect of the buying decision stages. The need creation is influenced by the peer pressure seen across the platforms like review websites, opinions and social networking websites.