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What are Micro-Moments?
All of us have experienced moments when we are in a shop and yet search online, about which product to buy, have sought opinions of other buyers online, haven’t we? Google says all of us have! As per a survey conducted by Google:
- 82% of the online population, which is 4.48 billion in 2019, search online for recommendations while they’re standing in a store deciding which product to buy. 10% of those have been found buying a different product than they had planned.
- 69% of leisure travelers search for travel ideas during spare moments, like when they’re standing in line or waiting for the subway. About 50% of those travelers book their packages through an entirely separate channel.
- 91% of smartphone users look up information on their smartphones while in the middle of a task.
- 69% of online consumers agree that the quality, timing, and relevance of a brand’s message influences their perception of their product.
These are the moments which Google has defined as Micro-Moments of a customer, which has been broadly classified into the following categories:
Micro-Moments Are the intent-driven moments in our lives, when we make decisions and when our preferences are shaped. Usually, Micro-Moments have shorter span, say a couple of minutes, and these are the moments of opportunity for brands. There are roughly 150 such Micro-Moments per day in our lives, and brands are competing for these Micro-moments.
Changing Customer Purchase Behavior
There are 4.39 billion online users in 2019, which is roughly 56% of the global population. More than half the globe is online now, and about 3.2 billion of these users are using smartphones. So, 42.8% of the global population moves with a powerful computer in their hands.
Smartphones have given consumers an immense power to make well-informed choices and have brought a change in their purchasing behavior. Now a customer carries out product research online before purchasing the product. The ROBO (Research Online Buy Offline) research indicates that about 50% of the in-store purchase was preceded by reading an online review. The percentage varies by category, but it is established that almost $5 is spent in-store for every dollar spent online following online research.
Such a high level of smartphone penetration and uses thereof provides many opportunities for marketers to reach their customers. Now brands can better communicate with their target market, establish brand loyalty, strengthen customer relationships and enhance conversion rates. Micro-Moments understanding is a surefire key to success for brands.
How to Harness Micro-Moments?
Digitally empowered customers want instant action and instant gratification based on personal agendas and goals. Purchase decisions are comprised of many Micro-Moments and their decisions at each stage are unscripted and unpredictable than before. Matt Lawson from Google couldn’t have said it better, “In many ways, micro-moments have become the footsteps that lead people to your store or desktop site.”
Brands have these short windows of Micro-moments to capitalize on. It becomes essential for brands to understand that, in these micro-moments, consumers want what they want, when they want it — and that they will change loyalty towards brands that deliver on those needs. Google survey indicates that 1 in 10 buyers bought a product from a different brand than what they had planned, based on the valuable information offered at the right time.
To harness the maximum of these Micro-Moments, brands need to:
- Be there: Anticipate the micro-Moments of the target market and be available with the same information which the user is looking for. Keeping abreast of the latest and most popular searched queries in their target is critical for success.
- Be useful: Just being there won’t be of much use, remember the user wants instant gratification! Providing the most relevant content and digital experience that the user is looking for is equally important.
- Be accountable: The archaic marketing strategy of working in silos have to be changed and upgraded to a unified strategy. After a customer’s initial query is satisfied, he needs to be assisted further by directing to the requisite platform, says more details about the product and then to the purchase gateway. The entire channel should offer a seamless experience to the customer.
Brands have to make their businesses more accessible to their customers. They need to invest and upgrade their marketing strategy to keep pace with shifting user behavior. For example, the latest shift in online search behavior from text keyword searches to voice search.
In 2019, about 31% of smartphone users worldwide use voice search technology, and 50% of mobile searches will likely be made via voice in 2020. Keeping pace with this shift, brands have to optimize their content for voice search software. Conversational phrases for keywords are to be inducted within content and FAQ pages should be created with these long-tail phrases.
Another technology that helps harness the vast goldmine of Micro-Moments is location-based marketing. Beacon technology enables brands to pinpoint the location of a customer at any given point of time, send them to push notifications with attractive coupons, promotions or other targeted offers.
The use of beacons is further transforming the shift to mobile commerce by providing immediate relevancy and value to customers. For example, a restaurant may send a promotion to a customer near their location, and likely to attract them to the brick-mortar outlet.
Investing in social commerce and chat bots also add value to customers and satiate their instant gratification habits. It helps brands to be there, at the right times and as much as possible. This helps brands to reach out to the consumers on their favorite platforms and being readily available to facilitate their Micro-Moments. Integrating marketing strategy with social media and messaging platforms is an effective way to make business more accessible to consumers. Reaching customers on their preferred platforms makes a business one step closer to closing the sale.