It happens frequently, people pulling out their smart phones to consult Google whenever any sort of question arises. The same holds true when consumers don their shopping hats. And in the latter process, there’s a clear series of decision-making events Google has dubbed “micro-moments.”
Even if you don’t yet know the term, you know the moment. It is that instance when you can’t quite remember who starred in that blockbuster, or you’re having a dispute with a friend and you want to prove you are right so you whip out your phone. Or that moment when you know you need a new coffee machine, or a graduation gift, or a toy your child has been clamoring for, but you don’t want to just blindly shoot out to the store.1
Now, Google survey data suggests that when it comes to brick-and-mortar purchasing, these micro-moments can be pivotal.
One type of micro-moment that companies may wish to capitalize on is the local, what’s close-to-me, Google search. Consumers are consistently using search terms such as what’s “nearby,” “closest” and “near me,” in their hunt for items. Since 2011 “near me” searches have shot up 34 times and from just last year have nearly doubled.
Once consumers plug in such search terms, they are more committed than ever to showing up at the store, with 50% of consumers visiting it within a day of the search. Of those, approximately 18% go for the gusto in the moment and make the purchase.
One of the critical pieces of information that many are looking for is in-store-availability of an item. In conjunction with that, they also hone in on details such as store location, hours and pricing, which can all serve as motivators for consumers searching for an item. The fact is, if shoppers are in the dark as to whether an item is in stock, one in four won’t bother to go to the store. So, it is crucial to make sure that this information is integrated into your online presence.2
Decisions in a micro-minute
Once at the store, the Google moments continue with 42% of shoppers searching on-line for in-store information, relying on this as they might a sales associate. Most of the time they use the retailer’s own website for the information, making this a valuable opportunity to connect with consumers. Some even use their phones in the moment to try to find out more about items while they’re right there in the aisle. To help shoppers in such micro-moments, some retailers such as Sephora, even offer an app that provides shoppers access to reviews and product ratings.
Ultimately, there is, of course, spontaneity to micro-moments. However, with some effort and some empathy, it is possible in many cases to anticipate what the consumer will need to pull the purchase trigger and to ensure that your brand is there for them, ready to help them out in the crucial moment.