By Gary van Eijk
It is no secret, both potential and current clients are increasingly using the Internet to assist them in making both large and small purchasing decisions every year. According to a comScore report, in March 2011, the average Canadian topped the global charts for the most time spent online, averaging 45.3 hours per month.
If businesses are worried their product or service is missing the eyes of potential clients (even if they have a website), this news does not get any better. Of the 25.5 million Canadian Internet users, it was reported they habitually view more than 120 web pages per day. What is even more interesting is the same report shows there was a 10 per cent rise in mobile Internet use within one year between 2011 and 2012.
This is important simply due to the manner in which people are accessing the Internet—every once in a while via a large desktop computer to carrying the Internet wherever they go and actively commenting and interacting online.
Examining the rise in mobile Internet use
Along with e-mail and voice communication, mobile device technology such as cell phones and mobile tablets use social media technology such as texting, ‘Tweeting,’ and web-linked apps such as Facebook, which inform others of ones’ purchasing decisions and the impending results.
Since this type of information sharing is mobile, the consequence is that it is done whenever and where ever one chooses. Usually, this means the emotional motivation to react to one’s experience is made without the filter of time.
Facebook users know the social networking service is flooded with personal opinions and rants. Current and potential customers post their opinions on everything from their experience at the supermarket to a video of someone cutting them off in the parking lot. Rating and commenting on such experiences, as well as the service and quality (even if it is subjective) has never been as popular or convenient as it is now, and this trend is growing. These days, it is accepted and expected that everyone can, will, and should share their daily consumer activity and opinions online to be retold and re-shared over and over again.
This is how Facebook makes money. Big business thrives on this information to make major purchasing and stocking decisions. Just pick a large grocery chain and check out the number of ‘Likes’ on their Facebook page with regards to their newest products. In this same manner, local and smaller businesses that do not have the same kind of proportionate exposure could suffer.