The Web and Customer Brand Experience
Posted on December 18, 2012 by TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)
The Internet has changed the way in which we do almost everything. Day to day tasks normally involve getting on the Internet at least once, if even to “Google” something real quick. The experience consumers have with organizations has also changed and continues to evolve.
During the holidays, many people head straight to the mall to do their holiday shopping. However, there are also those that shop from the comfort of their home rather than contending with the crowds. And online shopping can be even easier than standing in line. Orders are shipped quickly and don’t require any driving in mall traffic.
How has online presence of organizations changed the way consumers view the organization? Shopping online allows consumers to quickly find the “best deal.” When shopping online, all it takes is opening another window to see if a price at one store is the best compared to other sites. When at a physical store, we just aren’t able to compare as quickly and easily as when everything is at our fingertips.
Ha & Perks’ (2005) researched the level of trust that consumers develop while on the Internet toward companies. According to the researchers, trust can be strengthened with the mere presence of familiarity of a brand. For example, the more we as consumers see a brand online, the more we feel that we trust the brand because it becomes familiar to us.
With familiarity is the notion that we take in what others are saying about brands. Blogs, comments on sites, and news articles are all ways in which we form opinions about brands on the Internet. We tend to trust what others say about a product when a particular comment repeats itself over and over again.
When I moved to Tennessee and started looking at apartments, what was my source of information? The Internet. I researched apartments and read reviews, comments, and suggestions about the best places to live. Did I directly know any of the individuals posting about apartments or areas? No, but after reading 50 comments with reoccurring themes about one apartment, my view toward the apartment was influenced significantly.
In person consumer perception will always be important as consumers continue to shop at physical retail locations. But, the importance of forming positive online perceptions has increased and will likely remain steadfast as the online shopping industry continues to rise.
Reference: Ha, H., & Perks, H. (2005). Effects of consumer perceptions of brand experience on the web: brand familiarity, satisfaction and brand trust. Journal of Consumer Behaviour, 4, 438-452.