Once upon a time, when shopping online, we weren’t able to get the things we wanted when we wanted them. We’d have to navigate bulky, weird e-commerce systems, enter and re-enter our information, and then sit by the window for weeks watching for our packages to arrive. It was this thing called waiting, and it was, as Mr. Petty once said, the hardest part.
Now, we live in a culture where the longest we have to wait for most things is two to three days—if that. We’re able to order what we want when we want it, book trips with a few clicks from our mobile, buy groceries and have them delivered before we get home from work, see a pair of shoes and have them on our doorstep the next evening. When it comes to consumerism in 2020, the time is now, and now is all we’ll settle for.
But what does this mean for brands and businesses? How can you accommodate society’s shift to the “but I want it now!” mentality? How can you meet expectations that can feel not only daunting but sometimes impossible? Let me introduce you to micro moments, digital marketing’s answer to all these questions.
Micromoments are defined by four categories: I want to know, I want to go, I want to do, and I want to buy, and consumers experience these feelings daily. When waiting in line at the store, eating lunch at work, checking their phones before bed. We live in a time where the tiny computers we carry with us give us the ability to buy, book, and learn any time we feel inclined.
These moments have redefined decision making and created a new momentum for online purchasing. Where we were once able to predict peak times when people would be searching and purchasing, they are now acting in more spontaneous bursts. Let’s use me for example.
The other day while engaging in a fun group conversation, I happened to check my Instagram account and saw an ad for a watch I’d seen a few days prior. In the heat of the moment, I decided, “yup, you need this watch,” and within less than two minutes, the watch was mine and will arrive before the week’s end.
I get it. I’m impulsive. But you know who else is? The majority of online shoppers. Brands who understand this impulsivity and provide answers to customers’ micro moments of wanting information, goods, or services are going to thrive, whereas those who don’t are going to be, well stuck watching out that window. Here are a few tips on how you can take advantage of the change in consumer behavior.
Do you know who your customers are—really? Who your potential customers are? What about their online habits, how they shop, what drives them, or motivates them to purchase products? These are the important bricks of knowledge necessary for building a solid digital marketing strategy that is going to perform well and show up for users’ spontaneous moments of wanting to know, go, do, or buy. Before creating a marketing campaign or trying to use assumptions to make a strategy, ask yourself the following questions:
By asking yourself these big questions, you’ll be able to learn more about your customers, their habits, and most importantly, how you can market to those habits.
Once you know where you fall in the micro-moment categories, you can match your marketing and increase your presence. The easiest way to show how you can do this is with an example. Let’s say you sell yarn plants online (yes, it’s a thing). You have recently discovered that 28.8 million Americans engaged in knitting or crochet in 2016, 71% are female, 36% are ages 34-54, 34% are 18-34, and 82% rate their skills as beginner or intermediate.
That’s a lot of great information about who is interested in your craft, how skilled they are, their ages, and their gender. Using this information, you can build marketing strategies that will connect with your potential consumers. Making Instagram and Facebook Ads with high quality images of your products and catchy headlines will draw attention to your 18-45 demographic and will also show up in their feeds, speaking to them during micro moments.
If you want to reach those who are doers, throw in a free guide to knitting your own yarn plant with every purchase. Now, you not only have customers’ attention, you’ve shown up for them in their micro moments of interest. You’re giving them access to what they want with just a few clicks.
Showing up is pointless if you can’t offer your customers a pathway to find what they want. By providing useful, helpful, and meaningful content, you can assist them in discovering what it is they’ve been looking for and how to get it—fast. Let’s stick with our awesome faux yarn business. So you’ve created beautiful Instagram ads that highlight your products perfectly and offer free guides on how to make a yarn cactus with every purchase.
Great. However, if they click your ad and are lead to a site that has no flow, an overload of information, and confusing ways to purchase, you’ll likely lose your audience during their mico moment and potentially for good. Provide content that helps them throughout the customer journey, not distracts and confuses them. After all, they’re called micro not macro for a reason. Time is of the essence.
You’ve done the work to deep dive into who your customers are, how you can best reach them, now you have them at your site ready to know, do, go, or buy—what do you do? Simple. Make it as simple for them to complete their goal as possible.
For our faux yarn friends, making sure the option to purchase is clear, visible, and presented with effective CTAs is a good start. If you have multiple content blocks on your site, break them up by giving users the chance to go straight to the products to purchase with a clever CTA.
Create a page that gives valuable information for those looking to learn, but ensure it’s easily separated from the rest of your site so those looking to buy ASAP won’t have to waste any time. Create a simple path for all users to meet their micro moment needs.
If you need assistance or just don’t feel like doing the digging, give us a call. We’re here to help research, learn, and market your business to meet the shifting culture of digital buying.