Today’s highly-connected consumers place tremendous value on their mobile devices, relying on a litany of digital platforms for product research and, increasingly, for their purchases. Gone are the days of old where foot traffic directed retail decision-making. According to Hubspot, smartphones are now the essential part of the customer journey, with 81% of people using their mobile devices to do research before making a purchase. In order to stay competitive and succeed, brands and marketers must embrace the complicated consumer habits of mobile visitors, leveraging digital strategies to drive targeted finger traffic towards meaningful conversions.
From Foot Traffic To Finger Traffic
What was once a customer journey primarily taken on the ground and limited by time and distance is now an immediate, multi-channel experience where physical and digital spaces are expected to merge. With the proliferation of smart devices, consumers are never disconnected and continue to look to digital experiences to inform their shopping. Google reports that 82% of consumers will use their device to help them shop while they are in a store, bringing valuable digital resources with them into the brick-and-mortar setting. For retailers that means getting customers into your store is not even half the battle. Brands must target and engage with online users, invite them to their store, then offer a rich platform to assist the customer towards a conversion. Ultimately, it is incumbent on brands to be present whenever and wherever someone is searching, capitalizing on the extensive time consumers spend on mobile and driving qualified finger traffic to their brand.
Micro-Moments In The Mobile Age
Taking advantage of the relationship consumers today have with their mobile devices means brands must appreciate the emergence of “micro-moments” and how they define the digital experience. Micro-moments are those times that users reflexively turn to a device to act on a need they have in that moment, whether it is to learn, discover, find or buy. In the case of those “I Want To Learn” moments, 65% of online consumers will look up information online first. For a more location-specific “I Want To Go” moment, mobile devices have seen a 100% increase in “near me” search interest in just the past year alone. From the seller’s perspective, these are valuable, intent-rich moments, where consumer decisions are being made and preferences are being shaped, all through digital experiences. For brands to exploit these micro-moments, they require comprehensive digital strategies that help insert their goods and services into these moments, positioning them to be the most relevant, best solution for the seeking consumer.
Bringing The Customer’s Journey To Your Brand
To succeed in this micro-moment world and bring quality mobile visitors to your brand, there are four key components every brand should prioritize in crafting their digital strategies:
Be There: A majority of consumers are not brand committed so anticipating micro-moments and showing up on search platforms can get your brand in the game to be chosen, not just seen. In fact, 51% of smartphone users have discovered a new company or product when conducting a search on their smartphones.
Be Useful: Without seeing some utility in their micro-moment, consumers will move on. Brands who understand the needs of their mobile visitors and reposition relevant content based on the device will find more success with the 61% of smartphone users who say they’re more like to buy from companies who do so.
Be Quick: The quickest way for a customer journey to hit a dead end is a slow site. Consumers want solutions immediately so branded platforms must be mobile-friendly, with the ability to quickly deliver valuable content. It is no surprise that 53% of customers say they will abandon a site that takes over 3 seconds to load. In essence, be quick or you won’t be there at all.
Be Clear: The development of micro-moments has fragmented the customer journey, making it more complex and far-reaching. MarketingLand reports that 90% of people say they use multiple screens for most everyday activities, including shopping. This decentralization creates an attribution challenge, so it is necessary for brands to ensure they are connecting the dots for consumers and measuring and attributing appropriately.
What lessons can be learned from the evolving mobile consumer? If you are a retail brand without a digital strategy that accounts for mobile visitor trends or just a business watching your competitors dominate the space, now is the time look for long-term solutions that work with today’s customer journey. With 84% of consumers mobile clicks happening in the first position on search platforms, brands that are willing to settle for second place run the risk of missing out on finger traffic and foot traffic.