Winning Over the Masses: How to Capture 240 Million US Digital Shoppers

Sep 7, 2023
Written by SitePlug

In the digital era we live in, it’s crucial for brands and retailers to grasp changes in online consumer behavior. This understanding allows them to effectively meet the evolving needs and expectations of their customers.

According to eMarketer, out of the 304 million internet users in the United States, 218 million individuals are classified as digital buyers, having made at least one purchase through a digital channel. With the increasing prevalence of mobile shopping and the role of social media platforms in facilitating transactions, consumers now seek personalized experiences, hunt for deals, and expect a seamless shopping journey. Consequently, the path from search to sale in the online realm has become more intricate than ever before.


Marketers who want to keep up must understand the unique characteristics, preferences, and motivations of today’s digital shoppers in order to tailor their strategies to resonate with their target audience. Who are they? What is their path from search to purchase, and what motivates them to make the purchase?

This article dives into these questions and presents strategies and technologies for driving conversions and fostering long-term customer loyalty in this era of digital empowerment.


Demystifying Today’s Online Shopper

Modern digital consumers are multifaceted with diverse needs and high expectations:

  • They’re young. 54% of digital buyers fall under the age of 45, indicating that millennials and Gen Z comprise the majority of online shoppers. These younger generations are highly influential in shaping the future of digital commerce. They place a strong emphasis on convenience and value hassle-free experiences.
  • They shop socially. This younger generation of shoppers seek inspiration from social media platforms, using them as a virtual marketplace where they can discover new products and explore trends. Social proof plays a significant role in shaping purchase decisions, relying on reviews and recommendations from peers and influencers to inform their buying choices.
  • They search for deals. Customer loyalty to brands has diminished, as they increasingly prioritize finding the best value for their money through coupons and deals. Around 50% of shoppers compare prices before making a purchase, while an impressive 7 in 10 shoppers utilize coupons. The most popular coupon types include percentage discounts, dollar discounts, and free shipping offers.
  • They browse. Only a minority of individuals have a precise idea of what they want to purchase. Instead, the majority embark on an exploratory journey. As much as 70% of digital shoppers engage in online product research, and on average, a shopper visits five different websites and encounters four distinct brands during their browsing experience.
  • They defer payment. The trend of deferring payment with "buy now, pay later" (BNPL) services is on the rise. This payment method allows consumers to split their purchase cost into installments over time, without any interest charges. It offers convenience and flexibility, especially for younger consumers seeking budgeting control. However, responsible spending and careful management of repayment obligations are crucial to avoid unnecessary debt and financial difficulties.

These changes in consumer behavior make it clear that online retailers must keep up with the times to provide a personalized and smooth shopping experience. It might seem that more online shoppers mean more sales, but it’s not that simple.

With endless options and a complex buying process, brands and retailers face a real challenge in connecting with and converting customers. To stay ahead of the competition and stay in the game, smart brands and retailers know they must pivot their strategies to match the needs of modern consumers.


Stand Out, Captivate, and Convert

The landscape of capturing consumer attention has evolved, and relying solely on traditional marketing no longer works. Forward-thinking marketers have shifted their perspectives on search and content and embrace the notion that they go hand in hand.

Throughout a customer's journey, from initial search to final purchase, there is a diverse range of content that the customer consumes. Every touchpoint along the way presents an opportunity to captivate interest and expedite the path to purchase. By strategically leveraging content at each stage of the customer journey, marketers can create impactful touchpoints that drive interest, build trust, and ultimately lead to conversions.

So, how do you do it?

Using “search-like” performance marketing products and native ad formats that were initiated by a keyword search, you can direct consumers to highly relevant pages and content that contains precisely the product or service they were looking for.

Here are three ways brands can engage high-intent consumers using an innovative approach to search marketing:

  1. Use Domain Auto-Correction Technology: Domain auto-correction technology redirects consumers to brand websites by identifying and correcting mistyped domain names. In the case of Site Direct by SitePlug, the product recognizes and rectifies millions of typos, enabling brands to capture high-intent users, bypassing the search engine results page altogether, and navigating shoppers directly to the brand’s page.

  2. Use Auto-Suggestion Technology: Mistyped domain names can cost brands millions in sales and loss of trust and reputation when users are led to broken pages, parked domains, and malicious websites. Auto-suggestion technology such as Site Suggest delivers prompts via links and targeted ads that redirect shoppers to a brand’s website based on related keywords.
  3. Leverage Innovative Content Placements: Before making a purchase, consumers research the web for reviews, deals, coupons, and social media inputs from friends and influencers. At each of these touchpoints, solutions like Site Discover direct users to product purchase pages through 'buy now' widgets, coupon, deal, and content sites across more than 10,000 carefully vetted unique publishers.

Understanding and adapting to changes in online consumer behavior is crucial for brands and retailers to thrive. With millennials and Gen Z as the majority of digital buyers, personalized experiences, social media inspiration, competitive pricing, and flexible payment options are key. By leveraging search and content strategies, marketers can stand out and drive conversions by delivering relevant and engaging experiences that meet the evolving needs of today's digital shoppers.



SitePlug drives incremental sales from high-intent users by leveraging the power of search and content. Our key performance products—Site Discover, Site Direct, and Site Suggest—help brands enable a frictionless path to purchase and conversions.

SitePlug is trusted by leading brands, has partnerships with over 10,000 unique content and coupon publishers, and has integrations with key affiliate platforms. Today, brands drive over a billion dollars in incremental revenue leveraging SitePlug’s proprietary technology to achieve higher ROI.

Junction Newsletter

Get industry best practices and thought leadership delivered straight to your inbox.

Up Next

Advertisers & Agencies
Expand Your Brand’s Reach

Achieve sustained growth and reach your target audience. Work with world-class publishers and influencers to successfully promote brand products and services.

Publishers & Influencers
Partner with the World’s Best Brands

Earn seamlessly by partnering with the world’s most widely recognized brands, promoting products and services your audience enjoy. Engage with brands you know and love all in one place.