When you run an ecommerce business, you might think it’’s tough to connect with customers since there is so much competition online.
But what if there was a tiny instance where the opportunity for you to connect with potential customers and make a sale increased?
They happen all the time, they’re called micro-moments.
It all starts with a consumer’s smartphone, which most of us have come to rely on as our own personal assistants. When a smartphone user, for example, voice searches “where to eat ribs in Philadelphia,” this is a micro-moment.
Why? Because it’s a tiny point along the customer journey. That one sliver of time could be a winning one for you, especially if you own a Philadelphia rib restaurant.
Here’s another example: a shopper uses her phone to search for an alpaca sweater. She’s given the usual search results, chooses one, and makes a purchase.
Some of these micro-moments last only a fraction of a second, but they’re incredibly valuable to eCommerce businesses.
Why Micro-Moments Matter
Mobile eCommerce sales are projected to reach 27% of all eCommerce sales by the end of 2018. That fact alone is a reason you can’t ignore the power of reaching your customers through their mobile devices.
The customer journey is no longer a linear path the way it once was. Where in the past, a shopper would have a need (to be warm), research options on a desktop (sweater), assess brands (who’s offering a discount?), and then make a purchase, now there are a thousand different data points that factor into that decision.
That same shopper might visit a sweater store on her desktop, then see the ad follow her around the internet through ad retargeting. She might follow a brand on social media and look for coupon codes on Twitter, and then make purchase.
Which of these data points resulted in her finally buying that sweater? It’s hard to tell. But one thing is certain: mobile is a part of that process, and those micro-moments are ones no online retailer should ignore.
Identifying Micro-Moments with Your Audience
So how can you as an eCommerce business benefit from micro-moments? Start by determining what they are. Analytics come into play in this process, so if you’re not already BFF with your website analytics, get that way.
Your goal in identifying micro-moments is to determine the points at which your brand can best serve your customers’ needs. Google, the expert on everything, it seems, identifies four key micro-moments that your customers have:
- I want to do
- I want to know
- I want to buy
- I want to go
Each of these micro-moments spurs a different set of activities. For the shopper who wants to “know” if alpaca wool is organic, she might search for the answer on her phone. If you to have a blog post on that very subject, she might land on your mobile site, read the post, then buy a sweater from you.
Or maybe the shopper is planning a trip to Peru, and is researching what she needs to “buy” for the higher altitude. Again, content marketing provides the perfect opportunity to reach her.
Perhaps she’s looking to support small alpaca farms in South America (“do”). If you highlight your partnership with such a farm, she’ll find you that way. If she wants to “go” visit an alpaca farm, maybe you have a special contest where one customer will win a trip to visit the farm.
Create a map of what the typical buyer journey is for your average customer, then add in micro-moments where appropriate. At what point in the process do customers have questions or problems? How can you address those? The solution might be through targeted content, special offers, or another mobile-friendly feature.
Once you’ve identified those micro-moments, implement the solutions to capture your audience. And remember the value of creating a seamless experience across channels: a shopper might find your mobile site on her phone, but then want to spend more time on the desktop version or sign up for your emails. Make it simple for her to cross borders so she gets the brand experience from you that she’s looking for.
Again, keep an eye on data and analytics, because they’ll tell you which of your micro-moment marketing efforts are paying off. Use trackable coupon codes so you know exactly which offers mobile shoppers are redeeming, and keep on top of which pages on your website are getting the most mobile traffic.
Invest in mobile SEO efforts so that you rank high on those tiny searches. Just because you rank at the top of search results for certain keywords on desktop doesn’t automatically mean you will also rank high for mobile searches. Your website must be mobile optimized so that Google sees that you provide value on mobile devices.
Micro-moments are worth paying attention to because they connect you to potential customers through the one channel they trust the most: their phones.
Melinda is a founder and president of Quintessence Group, an award-winning marketing consulting firm based in Philadelphia, PA, serving Fortune 500 brands who target small businesses.