From Home to beauty- How Mobile is reshaping the purchase journey.

Updated: Sep 15

Before we start, Let me ask you a simple question.

Suppose, you left your house and somehow you forget to take your mobile. How would you feel at that moment?

Maybe, Naked or Incomplete. Right?

Smartphone has become an integral part of our life. We are totally attached to it and keep it by our side day and night.

This little device by our side is transforming our lives whether we actively notice it or not. It's enabling a new way of doing and learning things.

It helps us to manage our life & health, find directions, connect with our friends and families and much more things which weren't possible before.

During the survey, Google found that participants on an average check their phones 150 times a day. It's like we are speed dating with our mobiles.

As the consumer behaviours are rapidly changing, we marketers and brands also need to change the way we do marketing. It's no longer spray and prays and hope that someone will come and buy from you. You have to be useful and relevant to gain consumer trust and loyalty and of course money.

In this post, we will talk about " Millennial Dads". We will see how their frustrations and needs led to buying certain products and services and as a brand what can we learn from it and how can we make these changes in our own marketing strategies. We are also going to look at several brands who were doing it right and building a great competitive advantage for themselves. At last, we also gonna look at some conversion rate optimization best practices for your mobile websites and Apps.

1. What are Micro-Moments? And Why are they matter?

Whether we are standing in a line outside a movie theater or drinking coffee in a cafe, we like to text, email or update our vacation pics on Facebook and Instagram and if any brand tries to interrupt us in these moments with their distracting and irrelevant messages, they totally get left swiped just like we do on Tinder. But in other moments, consumers are very open to these messages when they actively searching for information to make a decision about buying products and services.

For marketers, these moments are an open invitation to engage and these are the moments marketers and brands have to be ready for. Which Google call Micro-Moments.

They're the moments when consumers turn to their devices often a smartphone - to take action on whatever they need or want at that moment. These I-want-to-know, I-want-to-go, I-want-to-do, and I-want-to-buy moments are loaded with intent, context, and immediacy.

82% of smartphone users in the survey said that they consult their phones on purchases they are about to make in a store. And 91% of them turn to their phones for ideas in the middle of a task.

These Micro-Moments are critical touchpoints within today's consumer journey and when added together, they ultimately determine how that journey ends.

Why are they matter? -

According to statista, In 2017, 34.5 % of all retail e-commerce sales were generated via m-commerce and it is expected to reach 53.9% in 2021.

And at the end of 2021, U.S. mobile retail revenue is expected to reach $420B, up from $156B  in 2017.

$ 420,000,000,000. That's a lot of money.

Not only this, According to TechCrunch, during the Black Friday in 2017, out of $5B, $2B comes from Mobile alone.

And to grab this opportunity, you have to earn the customers' considerations and actions, moment after moment.

Because customers are more loyal to their need in the moment than to any particular brand.

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.

That makes Micro-moments the new battleground for brands.

Even if you are a small or mid-size business but if you will help consumers to solve their problems when they need you the most, you can reap the benefits of it. You can turn those early visitors into your loyal fans and create a competitive advantage for yourself.

Let's look at how FIAT leveraged these Micro-moments?

After a 28 years gap, Fiat returned to the American market, bringing with it the FIAT 500, a small city car. But after such a long time, Fiat found that it needed to build awareness with a new generation of American consumers.

So, Fiat started using online search ads on category terms like "Small car" and "City car" to reach people in those micro-moments of research and interest.

In addition, they also made changes to their ads depending on the device type. On the desktop, Fiat's ads took people to the company's online car configurator to let customers customize it according to their own taste. But On Mobile, their ads pointed people to the nearest dealership, where customers could see and buy the car in person.

The result was amazing. Fiat saw a 127% increase in unaided brand recall. The FIAT 500 became a huge success in America and even more importantly, the brand was back.

Let's see in detail, how can your business achieve success like this?

2. I-want-to-know moments -

In I-want-to-know moments, consumers are exploring or researching but not yet in purchase mode.

In these moments, they want useful information and maybe even inspiration but not the hard sell.

Across the U.S, men are becoming much more involved in raising their children. According to Pew Research Center, fathers have nearly tripled their time with children since 1965 and U.S Census Bureau data shows that the number of stay at home dads is nearly doubled in the past two decades.

"Millennial Dads are more involved in the day-to-day of childcare than any generation before them," says Julie Michaelson, head of global sales at BabyCenter, a site for new and expecting parents.

As the roles of fathers grow, so do expectations and the gap between what they know and what they think they're supposed to know.

This rising expectation of becoming " The perfect dad" is leading to a lot of anxiety for these new millennial dads.

And to help themselves to get there, young dads are doing what they always do when they need information. They're turning to the web. Google data shows that searches for baby-related terms on mobile are kept growing year over year.

Duncan, one of the participants in the survey says as he heard about his wife's pregnancy, he started to read up on everything from birth plans to financial plans.

Some of the questions these dads are trying to answer are - How do I make baby smile? Will my baby know that dad is holding them?

Dain van schoyck, a new dad from Brooklyn, type in queries like " Why is he crying in the middle of the night? and "Is he getting enough food or not?"

From the above pic, you can see that clearly, he's not alone. Searches on mobile peaks in the evening for baby-related feeding and sleeping question.

Not only Millennial dads but we other consumers, also ask questions like this when we want to buy something.

Nobody wants to buy a crapy product or service, we all want better quality products at a lower price.

Google data shows that mobile searches for "best" grown over 80% in the past two years(2015 data). And what most interesting is that searches for "best" have shown higher growth among "low consideration" products than "high consideration" products. Consumers are even searching for small stuff like "best toothbrush" and searches for it have grown more than 100% over past two years.

In other words, we're all becoming research-obsessed even about the small stuff.

Take the example of shoes - people not only want to learn about the best ones but they are really getting very specific like " Best shoes for nurses", " Best shoes for plantar fasciitis" and still believe that they'll get useful information.

And if I go to Google and search for " Best sneakers for men" because I am really looking to buy one for myself.

From the above result, you can see some sponsored ads, not a bad option if you want to drive people to your website but it's gonna cost you some money every time someone clicks on those ads.

But look at the organic result by the Idle man. When I visited the website, this is what I saw.

A nice description of different kind of shoes along with the pic and when I click on the "Clarks original trainers" link,

it takes me directly to their own shopping website. Better than paying money to advertise your products. Definitely, they can do a little bit of better job, if they land me on a page with the similar shoe colour, nevertheless, It's an awesome strategy.

When the I-want-to-know moment arise in my life, not only Idle man gave me some information in helping me decide which shoes I should buy but they are also reaping the benefit of selling that shoe to me without paying any money not only one time but every time someone clicks on this article to learn more about sneakers.

If this website doesn't try to help consumers in I-want-to-know moments, Do you think that they will appear so higher in organic search result? Chances are less because most of the top 10 results are from bigger brands & fashion magazines but they beat the odds and turn these I-want-to-know moments into their own favour.

So, first do a search on your mobile or desktop, type any queries related to your business or industry. Think about what are the most important things people want to know about your products and services.

Did you find yourself on the search page? Do you have a content marketing strategies to help customers in the research phase of the buying cycle? If not, then you should.

Let's see how can you do it for your own business.

Let's say we are in beauty industry which I don't have any idea :)

First, Go to Google Trends.

I can pick some common search terms like hair and makeup. You can also pick hair or makeup topic instead of the search term if you want. Now, look at the below Google Trends results for "Hair" search term.

you can see some amazing rising search queries related to hair, like "can you dye your hair while pregnant", "Short haircuts 2018", "Does rice water grow your hair", "How often should you wash your hair" etc.

Lots and lots of amazing rising search queries that customers are interested to know which you can use in your content marketing strategies. Also, don't forget to see the Top queries, just click on the drop-down menu at the top.

And for the "makeup" term.

you can also see some rising search terms related to makeup like "Valentine day makeup" and some makeup products like "Makeup revolution concealer", "Cyo makeup" & "Eagle eye makeup". If you are not selling these products then you should definitely sell them because customers interest in these products is rising.

To know the search volume of these queries, just copy paste these keywords into the Adwords keyword planner tool.

One tool that I personally like for finding questions that customers are interested in during the research phase is Answer the public.

you can see above, there are lots and lots of amazing I-want-to-know search terms that customers are interested in. You can export them and use keyword planner to know the search volume as we did before.

Find related search queries for your own business as we see above and create a good content strategy so that when customers look for ideas and inspiration, you are there to help them in those I-want-to-know moments.

3. I-want-to-go moment -

During this time, customers are looking for a local business or are considering buying a product at a local store. Being there means getting your physical business in their consideration set in that moment.

One of the reasons millennial dads using mobile so often is because new dads are constantly on the go and looking for nearby activities and baby products.

They are searching things like "What are the family-friendly food options nearby?", "Are there activities at the Brooklyn library or museum?"

One more surprising thing comes out in the survey is that I-want-to-go moments happens even before the baby comes.

Adam G. from Boston used his smartphone to find the chocolate covered peanut butter filled pretzels his pregnant wife was craving. " I did a quick search on the phone to see where I could get them relatively close by." He said in the moment. "Ultimately I found out Trader Joe's has them. They got pretty good reviews, so I'm on my way right now to buy them.

This isn't just a dad thing. Google search data shows that more & more people are using local searches to find things nearby.

Words like "Near me", "Closest" and "nearby" are increasingly common across billion of queries in Google every month.

You can see that on Saturday, people are more likely to look for movie theaters and nail salons(treat yourself). Saturday nights are all about finding drinks, and late night pizza. And on Sunday, people are looking for churches.

If you look closely at the above pic, you'll see that while a few brands pop up but many of the top searches for "nearby" are generic. " Restaurants near me", "Movie theaters near me", "hotels near me". It pretty clear that convenience often trumps brand loyalty in the moment. So, simply being there isn't enough. Brands also need to provide useful, relevant and frictionless experience.

Look at below, how PetSmart using location extensions in their ads to show maps and directions to help people find nearby stores when they are searching for things like "Pet products", "Pet Supplies or treats".

PetSmart saw that 10-18% of clicks on search ads lead to store visit, so PetSmart started to invest more in location-based ads to reach customers across screens.

Another great example of I-want-to-go moments is Office Depot. The Marketing department of Office depot looked at their store visits data to understand which products like laptops, printers etc. are driving people to visit one of it's 2000 retail locations.

These data helped Office Depot to decide which products to include in its local inventory ads. These ads show whether or not a product is available in a nearby store and where the nearest store is located. This makes it simple for customers to discover what products are in store as they are shopping and researching online ( Btw this feature has been carefully designed to keep the data secure & private. Google AdWords never provide anyone's actual locations to advertisers. Instead, store visits are estimates based on aggregated, anonymized data from a sample set of users that have turned on location history. This data is then extrapolated to represent the broader population).

4. I-want-to-do moments -

These moments may come before or after the purchase. Either way, these are "How-to" moments when people want help with getting things done or trying something new. Being there with the right content is key.

Now these days, people seek instructions for just about everything.

The searches related to "How-to" on youtube are kept growing every year. Youtube has become a top destination for "How-to" videos.

From the moment a man finds that he's going to be a dad, he has to do many things he has never done or even thought about before. Suddenly he needs to know how to baby proof a house, burp a baby, warm a bottle and many more things.

One more important thing is that these I-want-to-do moments changes over the course of fatherhood. Context matters a lot when people do a search.

For example, When Tom found out his wife was pregnant, he started doing research related to "new windows for a quiet room" "How baby moves/eats in the womb" etc.

Now that his kids are older, he's often searching for things like "how to make my kids listen to me", " How to make my kids smarter" etc. and for many dads, mobile has become the new instruction manual. one in three dads who participate in the survey said that he has used a smartphone to help install or build a product he bought for his child.

Google data shows that baby-related searches on youtube are growing and watch time of parenting videos has doubled in the past year.

Many millennial dads seek out videos about parenting tips, baby health, product reviews and pregnancy/baby development than reading an article on these topics.

When people ask how to do something, that's a need. That's someone asking "can you help me out".

Being there in these moments may be the single most important thing a marketer can do, but many aren't.

Nearly one in three millennials say that they purchased a product as a result of watching "How-to" videos.

Home Depot has many "How-to" videos for home improvement, from outdoor projects to homeowners basics.

You can see that some of their most watched "How-to" videos have more than a million views. If you look closely, you can see that some of these videos were created 9 years ago.

Think about it, They started doing it 9 years ago. They certainly know what are their customer's pains and they are dedicated to solving it.

And if you go to their website, you can see they have a separate " DIY project & ideas" section. They also have mentioned how many days it's going to take and what level of experience you needed to DIY. Another great thing here is You can skip to any certain part of the video, which is really amazing. They also have a feedback form to collect qualitative data to better understand their customers which is so good and delicious.

Another great example is Unilever's "All things Hair" Youtube channel. A channel totally dedicated to Hair.

A few years ago, Unilever realized that online demand for hair information wasn't being met by beauty brands. So they created "How-to" videos to provide simple useful answers to consumers in their I-want-to-do hair care moment and drive phenomenal brand engagement.

The result was, Unilever channel became the number one hair brand channel on youtube in just 10 weeks. Within a year, the channel had more than 50 million youtube views.

Fifty million times when people wanted help with their hair, Unilever was there.

You may be thinking that All these examples are from bigger brands. And you don't have a big budget to do this because you have/in a small company.

The answer is "You don't need a big budget to do this". All you need is provide useful information to your customers. You can start with your iPhone or a simple camera. Lots of people started that way, and now they have millions of subscribers on youtube. You can later start using better equipment once you start to grow. Don't wait for the right time. " Just Do It!".

5. I-want-to-buy moments -

Finally, the moment that you all were waiting for so long :)

This is the moment when a consumer is ready to buy. Yeeeee!

But :)

But still, they need your help to decide what or how to buy. You have to be there with the right information to seal the deal.

As more parents share responsibilities, the shopping list is being split as well. Seven in ten millennials fathers say they help with shopping.

New Dads also make purchases once the baby comes - for everything from food to financial services. When deciding what to buy, millennial dads care most about safety, brands that provide good value and good online product reviews.

Despite how much they rely on the web, millennial dads aren't finding as much relevant content there as they'd like. And when they do find content, dads in the survey said that they were often disappointed with the user experience on mobile. Some described switching to their desktop simply for that reason. Online parenting resource Fatherly reports that 75% of its traffic is from mobile.

So, when customers are already decided to buy from you, you have to make sure that you have a seamless checkout experience both online and in-store. Some tips for designing a better mobile experience for your customers -

1. Load like lightning -

The most thoughtful mobile UI in the world will still fall short if your mobile site or app takes too long to load.

29% of smartphone users will immediately switch to another site or app if it doesn't satisfy their need( that is they can't find information or it's too slow). And therefore, page load time & streamlined experiences are important. Use the Page Speed insight tool to rate your site load time and share the report with your technical team with ideas & concrete steps on what to improve on your website or app.

2. Use effective search indexing -

Ensure that search results are useful. Most people rely on the search features to find products they are interested to buy and they expect it to work as good as Google. Try to include features like spelling auto-corrections, recognition of root words, predictive text and suggestion while the user enters text. These tools can reduce the likelihood of user error and will help speed up the search process and keep the customers on track towards conversion. 3. Show in-store availability on product pages -

In-store availability is key for users who want to buy or pick up their items at a physical location. 4. Display shipping cost and delivery dates on the item page -

Users expect shipping cost and delivery timing to be clear and surface as soon as possible. When users are purchasing an item, they often weigh the cost of shipping versus the speed with which they can receive it. 5. Allow customer reviews to be viewed and filtered -

Customer reviews are an important component of purchase decision-making. A large number of reviews gives buyers more confidence. Along with aggregate rating, distribution allows customers to spot and filter product reviews to make a better decision. Let them browse the most recent, the most positive or negative reviews to discover any common pattern. Verified reviews are also a great way to boost confidence in customers and increase sales. 6. Allow Customers to continue shopping after adding an item to the cart -

Once customers add an item to the cart, some retailers attempt to force them to checkout. Instead, provide feedback to confirm that the item has been added to the cart and allow customers to continue shopping.

7. Let customers edit the cart -

Allow customers to remove or adjust items in the cart easily & efficiently. When customers accidentally add an item or add the wrong number of an item, they can become frustrated if they can't make corrections easily from the cart itself.

8. Resurface Promotions, deals, and coupons at Checkout -

Avoid losing shoppers who have yet to make a purchase by providing promotions, deals & coupons that can be used immediately at checkout. If customers have to hunt for promotions, deals or coupon codes, they may abandon the mobile site or app to search for them and might never come back again.

9. Let Customers purchase as a guest -

Customers making a first purchase on a mobile site or app may prefer to use a guest checkout. Creating an account which allows customers to track purchase, receive special offers, or make the purchasing experience more efficient in the future can be recommended to customers after the checkout process.

10.  Provide Multiple third-party payment options -

Customers expect to see third-party payment system as options. Apps and mobile site that provides these payment options such as Paypal, Apple pay & Android pay, relieve customers from the pain of filling out additional forms during checkout and can provide an increased sense of security. 11. Make customers service information easy to locate -

Customers tend to look at the bottom of the site or app first when looking for help, and they may abandon the shopping if they have a question and see no obvious way to contact customers service. Providing calling and email services are good options as is providing text chat. Enabling multiple methods of receiving help allow customers to choose the best option for them. 12. Build Customer Friendly Forms -

Forms should be compatible with how customers enter information. Design screens that can interpret multiple input formats rather than make the user adapt to the App's or site's limitations. Also, ensure that form fields are not obstructed from view by interface elements such as the keyboard. As the customers, complete forms fields, automatically advance each field up the screen. It's a good idea to also include efficiencies like auto-complete, auto-capitalization, and credit card scanning.

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