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How Smart Phones Are Changing The Paths To Purchase

Ever switched on your smartphone to work out if a product or service is any good? If so, you are not alone, as people use their phones for shopping advice. As a business you need to create clear paths to purchase for this kind of mobile use.

Google Nexus 6

Smart phones have meant that we can be, for all intents and purposes, omniscient in a shopping environment. If we want to know something about a brand or a product we can find out everything by accessing reviews. We can check out the company and compare products with competitor brands for price, content and kudos. We are now living in an age where shoppers are empowered with information at a fingertip. For many shoppers, this is changing fundamental pathways to purchase.

We may not be checking the phone with every purchase, but when we want to know more – where, for instance, we haven’t heard of a product or service or are wavering on a purchase –  a smart phone can be our personal shopping advisor. This is especially important for more expensive purchases. Today very few people would buy a second hand car without researching prices in the area through the internet. When in a garage forecourt many will be on phones finding out information.

Last Minute Decision Making

In one piece of US based research by Google/Ipos called the ‘Consumers in the Micro-Moment’ Study’ – March 2015, it was found that a staggering 82% of smartphone users use their devices to help them make a product purchase decision in store. What information they access can influence their decision in the last minute before potentially purchasing.

So the important learn for businesses is how to be there to influence these smartphone decision makers. There is a lot to understand about the way consumers search at the place of purchase. It’s worth looking at the search terms used for searching for a product and then seeing what comes up, for starters. What are people being presented with when they type in a product name, perhaps against a location, like a retailer or maybe they are asking which is best – your product vs. a competitor? These short but crucial decision making moments can be influenced. Why don’t you set up a YouTube video about your product, test your product against competitors to reveal the benefits of your product or show how to use it? Make sure your keywords align with questioning searches from the customers who have not made their mind up but do know about your brand. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to ask your potential customers what they are looking for from the product you are selling and what reasons are there to convince them to buy one product over another?

It’s not just about grabbing the attention of those customers in the high street switching phones on for those in-store moments, it’s also about helping people find products in the right places whilst they are shopping. Google also identified increases in smart phone use for locating places to buy things. For instance there was a 2 x increase in ‘near me’ search interest in the past year – so when a customer wants to buy something and find it nearby they revert to their phone. It’s therefore never been more important to make sure your product or service is linked online to specific locations for purchase.

Information Delivered On The Move

The internet as a shopping centre can have one page open on the retailer’s site and the other page open on the reviews site to feed decision making. Another finding, also from the ‘Consumers in the Micro-Moment’ Study, is that 91% of smartphone users turn their phones on while doing a task. So people look for solutions in real time. It might be a good idea to think about a How-To video or keywords around doing things related to your product or service.

The key to all these findings is knowing that the smartphone is the most versatile, quick-fix advisor for any problem or question someone may have at any time. Building paths to purchase linked with ‘quick’ smartphone investigations may boost or transform your business. The rules of selling on smart phones are fairly straightforward too – don’t overdo your copy – keep it easy to understand, simple, yet highly engaging and demonstrate the benefits of your offer so that they tilt decision making for purchase in your favour.

For more advice on mobile paths to purchase and optimisation contact the team at Varn.