Why ‘micro-moments’ are essential to retail brands

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Textlocal will be exhibiting at YMS. Here, Laura Wilbraham shares their insights on how retailers can win over youth consumers online.



When it comes to online shopping today, retailers only have a ‘micro-moment’ to shape the decisions and preferences of youths. But the question is: why are these snippets of time so important to your business, and how can you get the most out them?

Google introduced us to the idea of ‘micro-moments’ a little while back. In case you’re new to this concept, it usually occurs just before you tap the ‘checkout’ button on your smartphone. In other words, it’s that tiny window of thought where people evaluate purchase decisions in-the-moment.  

The problem is for retailers, smartphones are one big procrastination tool nowadays. As a consumer, how often are you at the point of purchase and you’re stopped by an unwanted distraction? A Facebook Messenger notification pops up, a friend calls, an app sends you an untimely alert, or your Dad is sending you pointless images of his new garden shed on WhatsApp. (I’m joking Dad, it looks very nice.) They are all cutting into these ‘micro-moments’ – which is bad news for large retailers online.

Why are ‘micro-moments’ pivotal for retailers online?

You can either profit from ‘micro-moments’ or not. This in itself presents the retail industry with a unique opportunity to increase revenue and footfall. But first, it starts with getting a basic grip on consumer behaviour.

According to Google, 82% of smartphone users turn to their phone to influence a purchase decision while in a store. I know you’re probably thinking, how does this make a difference to a retailer’s online presence?

Well, it’s a similar mindset with online shoppers. 16-24 year olds are perceptive little so and so’s, and will actively look for cheaper deals on your competitor’s website. After all, it’s just a swipe or click away. Google call this an ‘is it worth it moment’.

And then there are the youths who solve unexpected problems in the moment. 62% of smartphone users are more likely to take action right away toward solving an unexpected problem or new task because they have a smartphone.

Again, this generates another opportunity for retailers. For example, if 21-year-old Billy rips his favourite pair of jeans just before a big night out, he won’t stand on ceremony. He’ll immediately go on the internet and order a new pair.   

You’ll also find that 91% of smartphone users turn to their phone for ideas while doing a given task. So, if they’re out walking the dog, the chances are they’ll be on their phones surfing the net.

Despite these factors, many retailers are still failing to tap into the mannerisms and behaviours of these ‘micro-moments’. It’s just a matter of getting your message and brand recognised and remembered amidst the anarchy of smartphone distractions.

The solution?

There are many platforms available to shape and influence your consumers’ ‘micro-moments’. But one in particular, outperforms the others. This of course, is the humble and proven means of text messaging.

Unlike any other channel, SMS boasts a 98% open rate, with 90% of those being read within the first three minutes. The average response rate is also extremely impressive as well, standing at 32% for a promotional message.

When you pair these striking stats with Google’s concept of ‘micro-moments’, it really is a match made in heaven. You can eradicate any doubts or distractions consumers might have during this period, and turn them into more business.

Abandoned baskets is another issue in the retail industry, which could be solved with SMS. Last year at the Drapers Fashion Forum, the International Business Development Manager at Klarna, Dan Horlor, stated that “abandoned baskets cost the UK retail industry some £5.5bn in lost sales.”

One of the major factors behind this, is the attitude of customers. In fact, 30% of them that change their minds before buying online, is down to the fact that they can’t physically try the product on.

However, by sending out a simple SMS with an added incentive (such as free delivery), a personalised discount voucher, or the location of your nearest shop; you can help significantly reduce the number of abandoned baskets and even increase footfall.

Text messaging isn’t the UK’s fastest growing marketing channel for no reason. It’s instant, direct, and is proven to break through the noise and distractions of other apps.

My advice to you: the next time your potential customer experiences a ‘micro-moment’, don’t give them an excuse to look elsewhere or abandon their online basket. Try SMS.  

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