I-Want-to-Go Moments: From Search to Store
Thanks to mobile devices, we can quickly and easily find things around us. And we are, in massive numbers. Google searches about location are growing rapidly, and so are consumer expectations. Whether you’re a global brand or a local business, learn how to deliver on them in the moments that matter.
We live in a world where the notion of ambiguity has become a punchline. Turning to our smartphones when we need something—a forgotten word, a better price, a movie time—has become a reflex. We want things right, and we want things right away. As a result, the consumer journey looks markedly different than it did only five years ago. Instead of a few moments of truth, it’s a series of “micro-moments” when we turn to mobile to act on a need.
If you’ve ever used your smartphone in line at a store, on the couch watching TV, or under the table at a meeting (admit it), you know this impulse. I-want-to-know moments, I-want-to-go moments, I-want-to-do moments, and I-want-to-buy moments happen all the time. To see how widespread they are, we analyzed Google data and conducted online surveys, exploring the behavior from a number of angles. Here, we focus on I-want-to-go moments—searches specific to location when we are trying to find something nearby.
Big decisions in small moments
Today’s consumers are increasingly looking for things that are specific to where they are. While the most popular “near me” searches are for things you might expect—gyms, tailors, jewelers, shoe stores, furniture stores, appliances—there are some searches or services you may not expect. People have started to search for “dermatologists near me,” “plumbers near me,” “jobs near me” and other things that are typically in a high consideration set.1 Today, this in-depth research doesn’t require a desktop; it’s happening in stolen moments throughout the day.
If you’re a marketer, the implication is clear: Whether you’re a small business or global brand, you need to deliver on needs in these moments. That means committing to be there comprehensively and consistently; delivering relevant, useful messages; and building frictionless experiences inclusive of apps, site user experience, and beyond. Those who stay centered on the consumer’s context and intent in the moment will not only deliver on needs, they’ll also seamlessly advance the consumer journey and build brand preference along the way.
Questions to ask yourself
• Think about how customers are interacting with your brand or category when they are near one of your stores. What does having a smartphone allow them to do that they couldn’t before?
• How can you be there when people are looking for your business location? Or when they want to know the best places to connect with your brand?
• Are you incorporating user context into your ad messaging? For example, are you using location extensions or local inventory ads to show users relevant information about stores nearby?
• Are you delivering useful local information such as directions, inventory, and pricing when people land on your site or app? Even more importantly, does your site’s design make it easy for consumers to find this information quickly?
• Are you measuring the impact of digital online and off?
1 Google Trends, Data pulled March 30, 2015.
2 Google Data, Q4 2014.
3 Google/Ipsos, “Understanding Consumers’ Local Search Behavior” study
4 Google Consumer Survey, March 2015 n=545.
5 Google Data, March 28, 2015.