- In the beauty category, consumers spend 80% of their time in the pre-search, or influence, phase of their purchase journey, with informative, multi-platform content triggering purchases, according to a Condé Nast-commissioned study by research firm Tapestry. Fashion consumers spend 69% of their time in the pre-search stage and are motivated most by ads, compared to 65% for tech consumers, who are influenced by ads outside of their buying needs.
- Most consumers make decisions before they start searching for products, as 79% have brands in mind before searching, and 69% pay more attention to ads from sources they know and trust. More than half of consumers, or 52%, spend their full decision journey deciding between two brands. Fifty-three percent of fashion consumers and 64% of 13- to 17-year-old consumers purchase the brand they first considered.
- The research also found that Condé Nast brands have three times more influence on consumer decisions than Google and Facebook, with three in four saying they trust Condé Nast brands to recommend products. More than 90% trusted Glamour, GQ and Vogue for fashion recommendations and Glamour and Allure for cosmetics. Consumers were 50% more likely to list a Condé Nast brand in the pre-search phase and think more highly of brands that advertise with Condé Nast, compared to Google and Facebook.
The Condé Nast-Tapestry study reveals the powerful role that influence plays in consumers’ purchasing decisions, underscoring the need for brands to engage consumers before they start searching for products online. While there is a lot of focus on social media influencers these days, the study also tries to make the case that traditional media brands still wield a lot of influence.
Marketers should specifically note how much time shoppers spend in the pre-search phase and that these consumers appear to be most influenced by multi-platform content and ads. The findings suggest that marketers aren’t always taking full advantage of the opportunity to reach consumers during these key moments. Building brand awareness before the purchase journey begins will keep brands on the minds of consumers as they begin looking for products.
Another interesting finding in the Condé Nast-commissioned study is the media company’s role in influencing purchases. The study reveals that Condé Nast is 26% more likely to drive purchase intent than tech giants Facebook and Google. Some traditional media companies have struggled to pull in advertising as digital media platforms have grown and the research attempts to highlight the influence that legacy print magazine brands, in particular, hold.
Other research has revealed that social media plays a major role in driving purchases, especially among younger consumers. A Yes Lifecycle Marketing report released last year found that 57% of consumers across different generations say social media influences their shopping decisions, while 80% of Gen Zers and 74% of millennials said social channels influence their shopping. Instagram was a key driver of fashion, beauty and style-focused purchase for 72%, a 2017 Dana Rebecca Designs survey found.