From confusion to clarity: How brands

It was my sister’s 20th wedding anniversary recently and I was excited to get her a meaningful present to celebrate the milestone. Gifting the perfect present was important to me because I hadn’t seen her in almost two years due to the pandemic. So, I sought advice on gift ideas from people and browsed websites, video platforms, and social media for inspiration. But I ended up confused by the various sources of information. How could I be sure I’d bought the right gift? And could I rely on the delivery service to get the gift to her on time or at all? I needed a source of trustworthy information to help me decide with confidence.

As it turns out, I’m not the only shopper who feels inundated with choice and unsure about purchase decisions. Google’s latest research shows that people experience a wide range of emotions during their buying journey. 1 From curiosity and confusion to clarity and conviction, people often struggle to find trusted touchpoints that will guide them along the nonlinear customer journey.

To make purchase decisions with confidence and assurance, shoppers have turned to Search as their number one touchpoint for relevant information. 2 Another critical driver of purchase decisions and customer preference is brand presence. When brands provide relevant and trustworthy content online, they increase consumer preference by more than 70%.

People want to shop with clarity and brands can help guide shoppers toward their purchase decisions. To cultivate consumer trust and shape better customer journeys, brands need to first understand the emotions that drive consumer buying behavior. Here, we share three key consumer insights from our latest research that brands can use to develop Search marketing strategies which help people shop with confidence and ease.

Emotions drive decision-making
The customer journey is marked by emotions and people want to feel certainty and confidence before they make a purchase. When they’re skeptical, they want to feel convinced. When they’re confused, they want clarity. People search for information to attain that emotional resolution. In our study, 57% of respondents said they research before making a purchase to feel confident in what they’re purchasing, and 69% said they research to ensure they get the right product or service they need.3


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