The Ever-Evolving Customer Shopping Journey

Smart phones and mobile devices have completely changed the way we shop and make buying decisions. A decade ago, the shopping experience looked something like this: shoppers would either go online, browse a catalog or walk the store aisles for inspiration. They might end up making their purchase in the store or online, but for the most part they interacted with the channels independently. The rapid adoption of mobile technology has changed this scenario forever. It's true that consumers still browse catalogs, shop online or visit their favorite stores, but it now needs to be an omnichannel experience. In other words, today's consumers what to shop and have a consistent experience with your business across all avenues and devices. Let's take a look at some data Google has gathered on this subject:

  • 6 in 10 internet users start shopping on one device but continue or finish on a different one,1
  • 82% of smartphone users say they consult their phones on purchases they're about to make in a store.2

They get ideas, look up information and make decisions, all from their smartphone anytime, anywhere.

How Mobile is Shaping Retail Industry Trends

Simply put, mobile is driving local—and it's making store visits more valuable. According to ShpperTrak, while holiday U.S. retail foot traffic has declined 57% during the past five years,3 MasterCard SpendingPulse (2010-2015), indicates that the value of every visit has nearly tripled.4 Increasingly, consumers are becoming more comfortable making purchases from their mobile devices and according to Google, 34% of online retail purchases now happen on mobile devices.5 Last and certainly not least, it's worth mentioning that 65% of smartphone users agree that when conducting a search on their smartphones, they look for the most relevant information regardless of the company providing the information.

Mobile Micro-Moments are Changing the Rules

The bottom line is that……

  • Consumers no longer want to interact with brands differently based on the channel or device.
  • The customer journey has been fractured into hundreds of tiny decision-making moments along each stage of the sales funnel.
  • Each interaction, or micro-moment is an intent-driven experience used to gather information, visit businesses and to make purchase decisions.

Micro-moments are the critical touch-points within today’s consumer journey. Take a moment and think about how often you reach for your smartphone during the day to complete such common tasks, as I want to know, I want to go etc. Retailers need to be innovative, understand their customers and deliver content that is helpful.

  • Be there. Identify, anticipate and commit to “being there” when the micro-moments for your business occur.
  • Be useful. Make sure you’re relevant to consumers’ needs in that moment and connect people to the content that answers their questions.
  • Be quick. Mobile users want to know, go, and buy quickly—make sure your mobile experience is fast and friction free.

This also means that retailers need to consider implementing a personalized marketing and merchandising strategy to deliver the right message to the right person – and at the right time.

1 Google/Ipsos Connect, GPS omnibus, U.S. online respondents 18+, n=2,013, Mar. 2016. 2 Google/Ipsos, Consumers in the Micro-Moment, U.S., n=5,398 based on internet users, Mar. 2015. 3 ShopperTrak 2015 holiday, U.S. retail sales. 4 MasterCard SpendingPulse 2010–2015, U.S. retail sales. 5 Google Analytics, retailer aggregated data, U.S., Mar. 2016.