The customer or buyer’s journey is the keystone to effective marketing strategies. It’s a map of sorts that shows the way customers interact with a company when deciding to buy something. Where does mobile fit on this journey?
First Stop: Reviews
A 2014 survey found that 88 percent of customers check personal reviews before making a purchase. Chances are those numbers have increased by now.
Where do they find these reviews? The most obvious answer is they pull out their phone or tablet and Google the product. Google reports that more searches take place on mobile phones than on desktop computers.
Second Stop: Social Media
In 2015, PWC surveyed more than 20,000 digital buyers and found almost half claimed social media influenced their buying choices.
Facebook and other social media platforms affect the customer journey in a number of ways. A buyer might go online to ask friends and family for a recommendation, for example. Then there are the ads. They often reflect what the buyer has been searching for or products they have looked at recently to remind them to keep thinking about buying that item.
Final Stop: Online Buying Apps
Retail apps have become an intricate part of the buying experience. Walmart, Apple, Amazon, Target, Costco — they all have them. It simplifies the process for customers by allowing them to search, review and buy just about anything from their phone. Retail apps are to this generation what mail order catalogues were to their grandparents.
The appeal of these apps also almost guarantee that shoppers will visit the retailer more often and they encourage brand loyalty.
Mobile apps have revolutionised the in-store shopping experience, as well. Shoppers check-in at the store, they pull out their phones to get digital deals or to save with digital coupons. They can even watch virtual commercials about a product or see a piece of clothing modelled on a virtual mannequin.
From mobile searches to online reviews to a smartphone to get a discount, mobile technology is creating micro-moments that have a significant impact on the customer journey.