How Consumer Behaviors Are Disrupting Retail as Usual
In a presentation yesterday at the NEMOA Spring Conference in Boston, Anastasia Kudrez, lead educator at Google, discussed how data and search have transformed the retail and e-commerce industry, as well as how marketers can best reach new audiences in 2018.
It's All About Search
"Consumers and searchers are more curious, more demanding and more impatient," said Kudrez. Marketers need to not only grab consumers’ attention, but keep it as well.
One tip Kudrez shared with the audience was to recognize search is extremely specific now. When looking for an item, today's consumer tends to put in the exact description of an item rather than a generic one (her example: "Women's olive green heels size seven" vs. "green shoes"). Retailers and marketers need to make product copy specific to the product being sold. In fact, Google reports nearly 53 percent of consumers abandon their searches if they can't find the specific item they're looking for quickly.
3 Search Myths Dispelled
There are many myths about search, the power of search and how it affects today's 24/7 consumer. Kudrez addressed what she believes to be the top three search myths, and how retailers and marketers can dispel them:
- Myth No. 1: All screens are created equal. Not quite. Mobile and tablet screens have increased search volume tremendously over the last few years. Retailers need to know how to reach their audience at the right times to help convert searchers into customers. Kudrez advised marketers to notice the search behavior of their customer and then adjust their strategy accordingly. A searcher that's "leaning forward" is one that's in need of immediate assistance (e.g., a need due to last-minute schedule changes, unexpected weather, etc.). Leaning forward searchers are twice as likely to convert. A searcher that's "leaning back" is one that's searching during a relaxed time (e.g., weekend, after work, etc.). This type of searcher will do the most research in these hours and then convert into a customer — usually for a higher priced item. The type of searcher a customer is changes at various times of the year — e.g., the holiday season.
- Myth No. 2: Consumers tune out ads on screens. It's true that consumers don't click through on web ads anymore, however, it's not because they don't notice them. "Consumers notice the ads, however, that's not the key to conversion," notes Kudrez. "Your ad has to keep the attention of the consumer for it to convert, and that's trickier these days." Kudrez's advice is to make sure your marketing creative is authentic to your product to help create a narrative for your ad that is relevant to your product.
- Myth No. 3: All channels are created equal. All channels should be treated differently. Search and social work hand in hand, but your creative needs to be different for different segments of your audience. Personalize your creative for each channel, even if you're promoting the same product.
Kudrez advised the audience to "use and review customer data, perfect a mobile strategy, and remember to embrace omnichannel assistance."