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What marketers need to know about mobile & search and how that changes retail

At any given moment (micro moment) people are searching for content online based on their intent. It's no longer about the best TV campaign, the best banner campaign, homepage takeover, the best AD campaign, it's not about the biggest billboard or the best radio campaign, it's all about a brands OMNI PRESENCE and the searchers / consumers INTENT.
Many retailers are feeling as if their business is under siege, some even going as far as saying its retail apocalypse. In essence however it is an opportunity for brands and business to shift with the times, and break free of the old way of marketing and thinking. I’m not saying ditch your hard earned skillsets, just expand on them.

I’m also not negating the historically inspirational tactile experience that you get when you actually go shopping at a store you love. I doubt mobile will eradicate going to a store, but it definitely adds something new to the mix of marketing tools we have available.

Mobile and retail converge

It’s as if the smartphone has become the sales assistant. Deep down in the core of it, mobile retail experiences CAN provide that all time feel good, especially when finding deals directly in line with the consumers INTENT and or purpose.

What marketers need to know about mobile & search and how that changes retail
©Amy Walters via 123RF

There are a fair amount of retailers and coders that are upping the game and turning our smartphones into the all-time instant gratification, discovery and inspirational tools under the sun, therefore evolving the (dare I say it) “traditional experience”.

The rapid increase of, shopping apps, online video, gaming and online platforms like social media has most people glued to their devices. People are no longer meandering the isles and isles of goods in stores, they no longer go from shop to shop by foot or car.

The reality of local retail and search

We have learned this last year that the relationships have changed between digital and retail stores, and there are three new realities that are peeking their heads into consumer data understanding, and these realities are predicted to drive retail from a digital perspective throughout 2016 and beyond.
    1: The in-store shop assistant is the smartphone
    2: In store traffic can be driven via digital
    3: An omni presence approach will help brands tackle the various shopping styles and habits thereby locking in consumers
What’s evident, and key to understanding this, is that there are some techno-savvy retailers that are reaching their customers by focusing on the online conversion journey and not so much on where that sale happens.

The “on-the-go” consumers, do their research online, averaging about 15 hours per week. In the search data game we call them “snack shoppers” they like to take things at their pace, and research across all devices, smartphones, tabs and desktop, at any time they find convenient, even in front of the TV.

So iteratively, all the data tells us to focus on the journey of the consumer, be there for the consumer at every turn, be helpful, be present, be authentic, but be there. And by there I mean omnipresent.

It’s a common misunderstanding and myth that if a searcher finds something online that they want to purchase that they will inevitably want an online store to do so, but local search data tells us a different story.

Local online information can motivate instore visits, let’s look at what the data says about the information the consumer finds helpful in making a purchasing decision.
  • Three out of four searchers who find local information results are more likely to visit the actual store
  • 42% of IN STORE shoppers search for information IN STORE
  • 64% of those use search engines
  • 75% would like the price of the item at a local store
  • 74% would like to know what’s in stock at a local store
  • 66% would like the location of the nearest store with said item
  • 63% would like details about the store like hours of operation and phone number
  • 59% would like a map showing the stores that hold said item
  • 56% what else is available at the store that carries the said item
Here’s the slammer, ALL research for a consumer begins with a search engine, VS an app or a mobile site, immediacy and proximity are very important as 69% of searchers expect the store / product / business to be located within 8 – 10kms of them, and more than 50% want instant gratification and want to purchase within the hour, a micro moment showing its head again. Mobile influences the consumers purchase decision, as data shows that 93% go on to buy!

The new consumer is so spoilt for choice, the new tech has delivered new opportunities, but this surplus also means that the new mind set has implications, according to a study done by Google, TNS and Ogilvy.

The new consumer mindset shop with the same purpose that they consume content. Bringing us back to the user’s intent. Purpose equals purchase, they want sustainability, media that virtually matches the purpose they lead their lives with, and this perspective in turn helps the consumer fulfil their interests, needs, wants and desires. This study also revealed that 42% of the “new consumers” choose brands that actively engage with them on their passions and interests, VS those who did not.

Humbly we say goodbye to the feel good tactics that brands used to use in the past, who’s love affair with TV was scheduled around the seasonal happenings, split by the time of the day and totally dependent on broadcast media.

The learning here is simple, digital is a powerful metric of connection for the brand / store and the consumer, retailers should use online presence that is amplified by solid SEO and tools such as; mobile CRM, mobile apps, mobile ads, video, search data, geo targeting, and local ad inventory to best position themselves for the dawn of generation C and the millennial age.

About Dee Stephens

I am a dedicated individual, an analyst at heart, SEO professional, ORM professional, accomplished Content Marketer, SMO expert, and digital media award winner. Starting out as a content producer I have evolved this business to be the cornerstone of success in all things SEO and Content Marketing for my clients. My ability to identify and recognise the requirement, and craft the perfect online solution for my clients is un-paralleled.

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