Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets have become the preferred method of internet access and much of the world’s population has now taken to mobile as their primary method for conducting web searches and other web-based activities. Studies show that desktop searches have reduced drastically and that mobile surfing has taken precedence for shopping online as well as for interacting with traditional retail stores. As a result, business activities and mobile customer experience are being redefined in the context of mobile so that businesses can create closer and more mutually satisfying relationships with consumers.
Retailers must now think purposefully about how their businesses can maximize the opportunity mobile devices has presented. Keep in mind that everything from product discovery to buying is playing out differently on mobile devices than it did in the past. Mobile searches not only facilitate new behavior but also create increased customer expectations.
Your mobile strategy, therefore, should be determined by your customers’ needs from a mobile experience. The focus should be on how seamless your customers can interact with your business using their mobile devices. This calls for a new path of design to redefine the buying process that includes micro-moments (intent-driven moments of decision-making that occurs throughout the consumer journey). In this article, we look at how to create a great mobile customer experience.
Micro-moments can be a game changer for both customers and retail stores. These moments usually occur when consumers turn to a connected device to act on a need, discover something, learn something or purchase something. They are moments when preferences are shaped and decisions made.
In order to understand and meet consumers’ needs in these micro-moments, User Experience (UX) and marketing must now work together to deliver micro-experiences and customer journeys that are discoverable in the moment. This is what is referred to as “mobile experience architecture” which is part of the largest shift the marketing world since the inception of the internet and social media.
These micro-moments are taking the customer experience to a whole new level. These real-time mobile first moments are creating a completely new way to learn how consumers behavior is changing and all that matters to them. Future architects can use this as an inspiration to create a new digital architecture that guides and engages consumers in a purposeful, reliable and useful way.
According to Google, micro-moments unfold through a variety of common “I want” scenarios that help buyers take steps. These steps are often based on the following: “I want to know”, “I want to do”, “I want to go” and “I want to buy”.
Consumers will reach to their smartphones or another mobile device during those moments. Achieving a relevant and useful buying journey begins with understanding what the mobile customer is experiencing through a smaller screen and crafting micro-moments that guide a relevant customer experience.
Speed is Crucial
Most shoppers are usually in a hurry searching for businesses, products or services on their mobile devices, often while they are doing other things. That is why they expect your mobile app or site to indulge their need for speed by being fast. If there are too many complicated steps to get desired information or purchase, or find something, customers switch to other brands.
How well do you really know your mobile customers? Do you understand their expectations, preferences, desired outcomes, devices, etc. By understanding these items you can anticipate their needs and improve the speed for users to perform tasks. What are the most important actions customers want to perform? What are the functions users cannot do without? Which can be eliminated? It is of utmost importance to optimize each moment based on user expectations. Build for speed and facilitate easy steps and seamless customer journey.
Context is the quality that gives meaning to the consumer’s activity. If a brand does not deliver on expectations at the right time and in the right way, it misses a very crucial opportunity for immediacy and relevance. Consumers normally go for brands that offer educational content that is readily available to address the intent or need in the correct context. According to Google’s Micro-Moment Design Playbook, marketers should design based on the customer scenario. Thinking about context will not only help you identify specific micro-moments to go after but will encourage ideas for how to be useful with your content, messages, ads, etc. when you are there. Now, more than ever, delivering the right message at the right time and in the right place is essential to connect with consumers and create a great customer experience.
Allow Consumers to Fulfill Their Intent
A consumer’s intent means they are determined to achieve or do something. When a potential buyer picks up his or her mobile device, the chances are high that they want to go, learn, buy or do at that moment. Whether it is in the form of mobile site visits, mobile app interactions, YouTube video views or searches, these types of micro-moments occur all the time. This is where you will want to take an approach to interaction design that focuses on the activity a user would perform and create an interaction that best allows them to fulfill that intent.
Intent is an interest or a need. Retailers must, therefore, understand all types of intent (such as “I want to know”, “I want to do” or “I want to buy”). Also, marketers should understand the fact that intent is happening at all stages of the buyer’s journey.
The key to providing a great customer experience lies in having relevant content readily available for all these micro-moments (“I want to know”, “I want to do”, “I want to go” and “I want to buy”). Providing an engaging and optimized experience on your mobile app or mobile site is the ideal way to interact with your content, products or customers. Brands that do the best job with tailored, relevant content in these moments will increase positive brand perception, drive conversion and create lasting connections with consumers.
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