Consumer behaviour is changing as buyers seek a shopping and product experience before they even make a purchase, according to Google. It’s a shift that gives marketers an opportunity to experiment with creative new ways to connect with target audiences to drive improved engagement, sales and brand awareness.

Google identified three core findings that demonstrate how the ‘try before you buy’ mind set is developing in the digital era and what businesses can do about it.

  1. Seeking information through video

The first way that consumer behaviour is changing is the sources and channels that they seek information from. Not too long ago, they would have simply gone directly to the brand to discover more about a product or service. This evolved into review sites, giving consumers a place to learn from the perspective of an actual buyer. Now, there’s a shift towards video.

In the past year, 40% of YouTube users turned to the platform to learn more about a product before they bought it. Why’s this? Well, videos show the actual product and offer a more dynamic review, from seeing the colours to witnessing the product in action.

  1. Being part of the shopping experience

It’s not just reviews that potential leads are consuming through videos either. They want to get a feel for the whole purchasing process. Over the last two years, ‘shop with me’ videos, where content creators film as they shop, have increased by an impressive 1,000%.

These video formats give viewers a chance to fully evaluate the product and experience from the perspective of someone they trust. For businesses, it demonstrates the need to consider every aspect of the buying process, rather than just the end product, if they’re to entice customers away from rivals.

  1. Choosing balanced reviews

With the rise of collaborations between businesses and bloggers, it’s no surprise that consumers have wised up to reviews that position products as the perfect solution. When searching for reviews today, consumers want to hear both sides of the story – the good and the bad – giving them all the details to base their purchasing decisions on.

It might sound like a trend that could negatively affect sales, but it can actually be useful. It helps to give brands a trustworthy image and armed with all the right information, supports customers in making the right decisions, improving customer satisfaction rates.