How Do Shoppers Get Inspiration?

Sep 27, 2016

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Micro-moments are the critical touch-points in today’s customer journey. Every time someone picks up their phone or interacts with a mobile device, there is the opportunity for a win. Consumers are on the go and are making decisions about which brands they want to do business with in a split second. 

Customer search trends are changing and while some shopping happens on impulse, more often than not, there's a bit of research that goes into deciding what to buy. More and more consumers are turning to their smartphones to research products while they're on the go. The interesting thing is that most of the time when they start their research for a product or service, they aren't absolutely sure of the specific brand they want to buy.

90% of smartphone users aren't sure what brand they want to buy when they begin shopping 

Whether it's an individual who is looking for a new computer or a young couple who has been dreaming of remodeling their kitchen, it's more than likely that the research is going to begin with Google. As mentioned, most people aren't brand-committed in the top-of-funnel moments, they're looking for inspiration first and they'll eventually make a purchase decision based on things like price, personal preferences, product reviews, and availability.

Capturing a consumer at the moment they are looking for inspiration is a prime opportunity for retail marketers to step in and deliver content that bring their products (and brand) into the consideration set. Google refers to this stage as the I-need-some-ideas-moment, and this is the time for brand's to provide inspiration and ideas with content.

Visual Content is a Major Source of Inspiration

  • Images — The popularity of visual sites such as Pinterest and Instagram are great examples of how important good imagery is for main retailers, and while the Social Buy button hasn't quite caught on, pictures are one of the quickest and easiest ways for people to get an idea of your products. If you're uploading images to a social platform or running shopping campaigns in Google, make sure your images are high quality, represent your brand well and link through to the most relevant content on your website.
  • Video — YouTube is the second largest search engine and people use it as a source for finding inspiration and ideas. "How to" videos are by far the most watched and videos are growing in popularity as a go-to-source for holiday purchases. For example, if you are a home furnishings brand, creating content such as "how to select the right size desk" can be a way to inspire shoppers.
  • Mobile design — We can't forget about mobile. Make sure your mobile site is optimized and enables you to be useful in the I-need-some-ideas moments.

What are some ways you find inspiration and ideas for capturing the I-need-some-ideas searches and turn them into customers? Let us know in the comments!