Digital Marketing and Consumer Decision-Making
With the increased use of technology and smart devices in daily life, marketing activities are now shifting towards digital format. This essay will critically evaluate whether digital marketing activities are important in each step of consumer decision-making by defining three reasons for and against the statement.
According to Alghizzawi (2019), social media, smartphone use, and electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) contribute to customer behavior. In particular, the eWOM feature directly relates to consumer decision-making as by browsing feedbacks on a product, customers evaluate products and alternative options. There could be more steps of decision-making in cases of purchases made through the use of digital systems. In explaining the digital buying process, Chaffey and Smith introduced a new step that significantly influences consumer decision-making – the “sale factor” (2017, p. 192). The sale stage directly influences the decision-making process as sales like Black Friday and 11.11 are becoming more popular, with platforms like Alibaba surpassing more than $56.42 billion in orders during the sale (Kharpal, 2020). At last, as digital marketing now includes an opportunity to manipulate the search engine’s results, the purchasing process shortens to browsing the need through the search engines and making a purchase in two to three clicks (Milia, n.d.).
There are several aspects of digital marketing that do not relate to or negatively influence the purchasing process. According to Kumar et al., consumers tend to shop online for “innovative and trendy” products, limiting the opportunities for everyday products, as consumers skip the information search stage in these cases (2018, p. 674). The second downside of digital marketing is limited opportunities compared to regular promotion sources like TV ads, as digital ads have less time to capture consumer’s attention and contribute to the need stage (Kingsnorth, 2019). Lastly, high competition adds to the decision-making process on digital marketplaces; the need to find the best options could demotivate customers from the purchase (NI Business Info, n.d.).
Digital marketing strategies and their influence on the online purchasing process have significant potential, judging by the success of relatively new online shopping platforms, such as AliExpress (Mahmud, 2021). Due to the implications of technology use among older generations, digital marketing activities mainly involve a younger generation of consumers (Nunan and Di Domenico, 2019). In my opinion, society will experience the full effect of the influence of digital marketing on purchasing process in the future, when widespread use of online purchases will result in new advertisement and promotion methods.
Alghizzawi, M. (2019) ‘The role of digital marketing in consumer behavior: a survey’, International Journal of Information Technology and Language Studies (IJITLS), 3(1), pp. 24-31.
‘Advantages and disadvantages of digital marketing’, NI Business Info.
Chaffey, D. and Smith, P.R. (2017) Digital Marketing Excellence. 5th edn. Routledge.
Kharpal, A. (2020) ‘Alibaba’s $56 billion Singles Day record overshadowed by 10% stock plunge as China proposes new regulation’, CNBC.
Kingsnorth, S. (2019) Digital Marketing Strategy: An integrated approach to online marketing, 2nd edn. Kogan Page.
Kumar, A. et al. (2018), ‘Predicting changing pattern: building model for consumer decision making in digital market’, Journal of Enterprise Information Management, 31(5), pp. 674-703. doi: 10.1108/JEIM-01-2018-0003
Mahmud, M. (2021) ‘Case comparison of major digital business platforms: Amazon,
AliExpress and eBay’, Turkish Journal of Computer and Mathematics Education, 12(3), pp. 5801-5808.
Milia, A. (no date) ‘10 reasons you need a digital marketing strategy in 2021’, Milia Marketing.
Nunan, D. and Di Domenico, M. (2019) ‘Older consumers, digital marketing, and public policy: a review and research agenda’, Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 38(4), pp. 1-15. doi: 10.1177/0743915619858939