The connection between human psychology and consumer decision-making dates back nearly to the beginning of commerce, so it’s no surprise that as consumption increases and competition for buyers flourishes, merchants are in a position to drill down to detail and understand two dynamics: first, what makes buyers tick? And second, how can we cash in on that?
Meeting expectations, marketers in the digital age have tackled these questions and come up with a catchy term. “Micro moments” is a phrase they use to capture the brief moment in time your product or service may cross the radar screen of a potential buyer. Virtually drenched with information and choices, consumers are overwhelmed to the point of tuning out, but as buying is a basic need, they leave open short windows of opportunity.
How does the 21st century ecommerce merchant respond to this phenomenon? The answer is complex, and yet somewhat simple. Enter Google, the premiere search platform that has all but left competitors in the dust over the last decade or two. Through its AdWords feature, Google targets sellers, luring them with updated offerings that beef up product placement opportunities based on what shoppers are seeking. AdWords, as explained here, is an auction-based platform for delivering search results based on criteria supplied by advertisers.
The micro moment
Google has determined that consumer habits increasingly coincide with increased time spent on devices, such as smart phones, tablets, and personal digital assistants. Perhaps unsurprisingly, consumers are human beings, and their interface with these devices is decidedly human. Surveys show that the term “best” has grown exponentially in searches for products. Clearly shoppers are turning to search platforms for advice. Perhaps they intuitively know the results could reflect quantitative values and not a robotic artificial intelligence. Either way, they are on board with using this technology for its maximum return.
In this context, micro moments become more pivotal as a marketing strategy. Understanding that an opportunity may be fleeting, experts stress the importance of making words count. Try not to experiment with different phrasings, but choose a vernacular that’s likely to result in search hits and, ultimately, sales.
Google sweetens the pot with features such as promotion extensions, which make it easy for users to update their ad spots without needing to build an additional ad. Showcase shopping ads allow users to create a pop-up or drop-down menu of related products that will appear next to an item chosen by a shopper, and finally, Google has unleashed a bevy of technical fixes and improvements to improve the shopper’s experience and enrich the merchants’ bottom lines.
At the heart of the micro moment concept is attention span, and the need to make the most of your individual words. Though it may fly in the face of past conventional wisdom, marketing gurus suggest focusing on words that relay a value to the consumer rather than qualities of the product. This is a roundabout way of establishing your brand as being important and valuable to the consumer. At the end of the day, experts believe, this is a way to confront the “micro moments” limitations that mean increasingly less attention shoppers will devote to your message.
Brick-and-mortar vendors have their own challenges that come with an overdose of stimuli that leads to shopping fatigue. They deal with them respectively. But as a merchant operating in cyberspace, your opportunities are both more challenging and more amenable to solutions. Your ultimate goal as an ecommerce player is to matter to enough potential buyers that you’ll remain relevant. If that means studying consumer psychology and experimenting with varying terminology, so be it. The beauty of ecommerce is its changeability and opportunities for quick fixes.