According to the study on “Buying behaviors in the age of the digital consumers” released today by Valoria, only 4% of the Romanian consumers say they are very loyal to companies without an online presence, compared to 33% for those with an online presence. Most of the consumers, who are very loyal to the brands that they currently purchase, are those with an income of up to 500 euros (20%). Of the consumers who say they would change their current brand with a competitor if they get a little extra benefit, most are the ones with an income of 1001-1500 euros (22%), followed by 21% of consumers with incomes over 2500 euro that would change the product/service any time.
„The study Buying behaviors in the age of digital consumers consider the internal and external factors that influence the current consumer behaviors. The external factors considered are the demographic and socio-economic ones. The internal factors refer to features and behaviors that include attitudes, perceptions of motivation, and self-image of consumers. A consequence of the answers received, the study distinguishes two types of aspects related to purchasing behaviors. Some refer to delivery time, price, availability, and the others relate to the brand, personalization, and company policies. The study goes through the stages of a buying process from search and selection of information to post-purchase behaviors. That is why it is a valuable reference for the Romanian companies and a necessary source for strategic decisions”, says Constantin Măgdălina, Emerging Trends & Technologies Expert, co-author of this survey.
Searching for and selecting the information
The main source of information for 84% of consumers comes from the online environment, but 52% count on the opinions and recommendations of friends and family. The shop consultant is a source of information used by only 3 out of 10 consumers, and specialized advertisements are used as a source of information about the services or products desired by 24% of consumers. Press and television are sources of information for 22% of buyers. So, ads produce emotional buying reasons, not be regarded as sources of information.
46% of respondents say that online information has been useful when looking for products or services over the past year, 19% consider the information to be only satisfactory, 15% say it was less useful, and 3% consider that information from the online environment was completely useless.
TV ads are only third in terms of respondents’ perception of the type of advertising that influences them to purchase the desired product or service – only 24% have chosen this option. The advertisements on the websites are chosen by 56% of the respondents are ranked first, while the advertisements on social networks, selected by 47% of the respondents, are second. Advertisements in magazines and print media were chosen by 19% of respondents, and commercials broadcast on the radio by 11%.
The process of making the purchase decision
In Romania, the price of marketed products and/or services is the most important factor influencing the purchasing decision for 54% of Romanian consumers. The brand comes second, with 15% of respondents. Another 15% of the respondents are influenced mostly by the technical characteristics. Quality and terms of guarantee are appreciated by 9% of consumers, while the availability of the product/services and the delivery terms are appreciated by only 6%.
Price importance percentages range from 85% for cars, 82% for mobile and internet and 80% for footwear or clothing, up to 63% for food and 58% for healthcare. The payment method is most important for bank loans (17%) and for insurance products (16%), and delivery to medical services (31%) and food (29%).
On the other hand, for 74% of the consumers, the purchasing decision is most strongly influenced by the information presented for the desired products/services, followed by 72% who are mostly influenced by the delivery terms, and the 68% mostly influenced by the warranty terms and conditions. Promotional offers influence the decision to buy 6 out of 10 consumers.
The experience of the buying process
The products that Romanian consumers have bought the most through the online environment in the last 12 months are the following: electronic and home appliances (81%), clothing and footwear (71%) and mobile/Internet services 40%). Most consumers with over 2500-euro income (74%) bought online clothing and footwear, 90% of those with income of 1501-2500 euros bought electronics and home appliances, 31% of those with income of 1001-1500 euros bought online insurance and 10% of those with income of 501-1000 euros accessed medical services in this way.
The products that Romanian consumers bought the most in the store or the offline environment in the last 12 months are the following: food (94%), clothing and footwear (84%) and electronics and home appliances (40%). Mobile telephony services are bought offline by 37% of the consumers with over 2500-euros income, bank loans by 21% of those with income of 1501-2500 euros, insurance by 26% of those with income of 1001-1500 euros, and medical services by 34% of the consumers with income of 501-1000 euro and 34% of those with incomes over 2500 euro.
The responses to this study show that 48% of consumers say they would be willing to pay more for digital services that saved their time and offered them a very good buying experience. If 65% of respondents say they are willing to pay 5% -10% more for such digital services, 24% are willing to pay 10-15% more, and 11% with 15% -25% more.
The experience of post-purchase interactions
For 31% of respondents, warranty coverage is the most important for the post-purchase experience, followed by customer support (31%) and technical assistance (25%). For 44% of consumers with over 2500-euro monthly income, the warranty assistance counts the most in the post-purchase experience, 37% of consumers with a monthly income of 1501-2500 euro appreciate customer support services, same as 33% of consumers with income 1001-1500 euro.
4 out of 10 consumers think the impact of the feedback they send on the website to companies that offer them products or services is a good one, 3 out of 10 think it is only satisfactory, and almost 2 out of 10 found this impact unsatisfactory. On the other hand, 51% of respondents say that feedback sent through social media platforms is a good mechanism to discover and validate information in an objective manner, while 25% say it is a new method to express dissatisfaction. Only 10% of respondents believe that this feedback cannot replace direct interaction with the consumer, and 7% have a high risk of data abuse.
“This new study by Valoria reveals, mainly to businesses with an online presence, what matters to consumers in Romania at every stage of the purchasing process. It is a useful guide for those who are still not operating in the online environment and who emphasize the advantages of being in this environment. The major quality of this study is the understanding of the motivations that underpin the purchasing behavior of consumers in Romania. The study correlates consumers’ income levels with information, loyalty, purchasing decisions and payment methods, the importance of the rating scores, the feedback, or the features they would pay more for”, says Elena Badea, Managing Director of the consulting firm Valoria, co-author of the research.
About the survey
This study, conducted by consulting firm Valoria, examines the purchasing behavior of consumers in Romania. The questionnaire, which received 1960 answers, was applied between 3 July 2018 and 28 September 2018. The answers to the CAWI questionnaire (computer assisted web interview) comprise 1% respondents aged 18-24 years, 20% aged 25-34 years, 37% aged 35-44 years, 28% aged 45-54 years, and 14% aged over 55 years. Of the respondents, 8% have monthly incomes of 0-500 euros, 25% have revenues of 501-1000 euros, 23% of 1001-1500 euros, 23% of 1501-2500 euros and 21% of over 2500 euros per month. 73% of respondents live in the urban area, while 27% are from the rural area; 46% are male and 54% female.