Although e-commerce is starting to grow in the GCC, people are still buying their products inside the physical store. However, the web is very much involved in their decision making process whenever they are considering buying a product.
In the section detailing the behavior of the “Smart Shopper”, Google “Consumer Barometer Survey 2014” focuses on the consumer purchase journey and the role of the Internet in making purchasing decisions.
The below infographic gives on overview of how the Internet is helping Saudi Women make their purchasing decisions when it comes to beauty products.
Here are the key findings:
– Saudi women tend to hear about a product for the first time mostly offline. During product research 65% say they heard about the product inside the store for the first time vs 17% claiming they have discovered the product online for the first time. Word of mouth is still stronger in person (74%) than via social networks (18%) when it comes to new products discoveries.
– Unlike what we might believe, the research process for a beauty product began a few moments before the purchase (for 43% of women surveyed) vs 4% who said they started looking for the products weeks before the purchase. 83% of women say they use a smartphone for their product research and 18% use a computer.
– Most popular online sources when it comes to making a purchase decision are brands websites (25%) and social networks (25%), but not necessarily on the pages or profile dedicated to these brands.
– The web is mainly used to look for opinions and advices (20%) and to get inspirations (16%)
– 41% of women claim that their beauty product purchase was done as a routine for a re-fill
What this means for brands and marketers:
– Although brands online presence is gaining a lot of importance, offline is still very important. Beauty brands must focus on creating a physical experience inside their stores, building a bridge between both the offline and online worlds, because this is where they have the best chance to start engaging with their clients and potential clients.
– When it comes to social media, beauty brands should focus more on listening to what is being said about their products on the whole social web via dedicated online monitoring programs and not only focus on managing their communities and posting content on their own social media profiles
– Brands should start organizing creative strategies on social platforms such as Pinterest on which most consumers are getting their inspiration, especially when it comes to fashion and beauty.