The fact that the purchasing process is nothing new, but what is newfangled about it is the fact that social and mobile are putting another spin on it, going back to the drawing board for the customer journey and forcing brands to adapt and innovate in real time.
In this change in paradigm, we must consider that two third parts of the points of influence in the buying process are created by other consumers, not by companies. Therefore, analyzing our community’s Customer Journey, in any case, will favor the brand’s relationship with the audience.
Social and mobile purchasing micro-moments
In 2011, Google launched Jim Lecinski’s book where the “Zero Moment of truth– ZMOT” was first discussed. The process gets broken apart into different “touchpoints” where the consumer made purchase decisions and broke the linear AIDA (Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action), model. As we summarized in the Online Social Commerce Journey, the ubiquity of access to information, natural aversion to making a buying mistake, digitalization, or multichannel features (on-off) were some of the motives that favored said fragmenting.
Today, according to the latest Think with Google Report people can end up going online more than 150 times a day in what we refer to as “micro-moments.” The rate of online mobile sessions and the number of them have increased by 20% but the time in each session has reduced by 18%.
This has made it so the purchasing process has changed. People connect more times throughout the day on their phones but in shorter sessions. In the first place the user does the search, following changes from one device to another, reads other users’ experiences, compares and examines different prices, to finally go back to looking. Before the final online purchasing decision, the consumer goes back to looking on various information portals both from offline to online (Showrooming) and from online to offline (ROPO).
Google categorizes micro-moments based on four pieces of criteria:
- What do I want to know
- Where do I want to go
- What do I want to do
- What I want to buy
If brands achieve to not only being present in these micro-moments but also provide something of value they’ll gain part of the consumer’s attention. Part of the success can come guaranteed by counting on a “mobile first” strategy for 45% of online searches get performed to help make a decision, according to Google/Nielsen data.
The Customer Journey as a jumping off point for knowledge of the consumer
Therefore, companies that want to be pioneers in adapting to this new reality are recognizing that they must reimagine and digitize their entire “Customer Journey Mapping” and know real-time “insights” that lets them make decisions ahead of time about their brand and business.
According to a study by McKinsey, there are phone companies in the United States that, thanks to strategies of listening to Customer Insights, simplified their purchase journey, seeing a 20% improvement in customer satisfaction and a 30% cost reduction.
A Customer Insights project consists of gathering, structuring, processing, and analyzing the greatest number of data sources possible to make strategic decisions, integrating internal and external data, online and offline, structured and unstructured.
There are different and very diverse pathways for capturing insights: listening on social media, wearables, customer service, defining buyer personas, marketing automation, creative or transmedia campaigns, etc.
In this case, we’ll focus on analyzing and designing the Customer Journey Map as a source for insights. The Customer Journey will strategically let you:
According to McKinsey, before starting a digital transformation process focused on Consumer Insights, there are a series of necessary requirements and commitments that a company should consider like implementing the technology that’s required to do so. Currently, the design of a mobile app is within anybody’s reach, but the real feat is to link the app to the rest of the channels customers use, integrate it into back-end systems, and make the information available to the company at different levels of decision-making.
Besides that, there’s a need for a cultural change that counts on the responsibility of a particular team or partners, with talent that’s oriented towards digital analysis and business intelligence. It also implies a rethinking and simplification of the organization’s mentality through a lean methodology that allows for quick and innovative action.
Finally, it’s important to be conscious of the fact that accumulating data itself is only a means to an end. There has been a focus in gathering data in the last few years but without the particular team, resources, and dedication to it. If left like this, Consumer Insights can stay at the halfway point.