Mobile communication technologies have revolutionized more than just human communication. They have altered our habits and expectations in ways that profoundly influence human commerce. Today, consumers can watch, read, know and look at anything, anytime, anywhere. Made cautious by the economic downturn of the last decade and enabled by mobile technologies to carefully evaluate each decision and each purchase option against all others available in the market, consumers are smarter and savvier than ever before. They expect the brands of their choice to be in step, if not one step ahead.
In a recently published infographic, Google summed it up well for marketers. There are hundreds of micro-moments that grip consumers each day and these moments need to be met by brands in ways that help shape key purchasing decisions. These moments consist largely of four kinds: the, “I-want-to-know”, “I-want-to-go”, “I-want-to-do” and “I-want-to-buy” varieties. Not surprisingly, all consumer research points to mobile and the need for mobile-first strategies to be at the forefront of capitalising on these micro-moments.
In a heavily publicised study, researchers found that mobile influences purchases across channels—93% of people who use mobile to research go on to complete a purchase of a product or service, most of which happen in physical stores. The same study found that over half of consumers want to make a purchase within an hour of conducting research on their smartphone and that’s because 69% of them expect businesses to be within five miles or less of their location.
It’s clear from the research that having a mobile optimised experience for your consumer is now just the pre-requisite. To really influence consumers in these critical “I-want-to-buy” moments, retailers need to be thinking about a holistic customer journey that not only enables but encourages customers to research their products and guide them—through branded apps, geolocation and customer profiles—towards the products they want, closest to them. Mobile has allowed consumers to be physically and metaphorically anywhere (in location and along the customer journey) and brands must be ready to artfully convert at every touch point by embracing the powerful tools that mobile offers. Brands who keep their eye on the prize will integrate mobile technologies into their marketing and retail plans to create that seamless journey that changes “I-want-to-know” moments into “I-want-to-buy” scenarios.