Social media tend to be the focal point nowadays when companies want to engage with their customers with the aim of impacting purchase decision and brand loyalty. Obviously it’s only one means of many and only 25-30% of brand followers in the heart of social media are doing so to be a part of a brand community instead the primary reasons to follow a brand via social media are to receive discounts and incentives. Hence the best route of affecting brand loyalty and purchase decision might not be through brand communities in social media context (which also is quite resource heavy) but rather aim for simplicity.
An additional problem occurs when marketers are trying to hard and disclose to many options giving consumers difficulties to follow the one purchase route as engaging with consumers via social media tend to bring more confusion than a lean way to purchase caused by the overload of information. Therefore marketers should strive to simplify the decision-making process with the aim to facilitate and clarify the purchase process in a subtle yet straight forward way.
A three way steps to follow are to ensure that:
1. Information is clear and trustworthy, i.e disclose ratings/recommendations by other customers, consumer advisors and objective organisations.
2. Supply streamlined brand specific information of the product targeted to each decision step.
3. Provide transparent buying guides and easily accessible help. Customer experience is key.
In terms of marketing above strategy of “Decision Simplicity” is four times more likely to impact positively on purchase than a marketing strategy of engagement. In the end optimising the simplicity to purchase has a huge positive spill over effect on brand loyalty as time and clarity are at the heart of purchasing and consumers sticks to simplicity and the brands that are providing it.