The Evolution of the Shopper
The sales funnel isn’t really a funnel any more. At the Zero Moment of Truth, today’s shoppers bounce back and forth at their own speed in a multi-channel marketplace. They switch devices to suit their needs at any given moment. They search; go off to look at reviews, ratings, styles and prices; and then search again.
To win at ZMOT, you’ll need to work with this new flight map. I’ve identified five key challenges that retailers and marketers face.
- Every ZMOT shopper is unique.
Marketers have always wanted the purchase path to be tidy: TV plays a role early, search happens in the middle, coupons come in at the end. And every shopper visits each point once.
But that’s not what we see today at ZMOT. Shoppers now are self-directed and unpredictable; each follows her own unique “flight plan” to purchase. Shoppers have more buying options now, too, from big-box giants to daily deal sites to innovative niche marketers like Rent the Runway and Gilt.com.
Your challenge: Be ready to meet shoppers in their way at their preferred time.
- I t’s never been easier to walk out of the store.
ZMOT shopping is comparison-shopping on steroids. Shoppers use smartphones to check competitors’ prices, look for coupons and deals, and measure shipping costs down to the penny. If they’re standing in the aisle at your store and they see a better deal, they’ll walk away.
- Shopping cart abandonment is at an all-time high.
70%: That was the abandonment rate for online checkout at the start of 2013.
Seven out of every 10 shoppers who added items to an online cart didn’t actually make the purchase. A lot of those shoppers went off to search for a better price, or maybe a coupon or a savings code. How can you keep from losing those customers — or having to win them back all over again?
- Push advertising alone isn’t enough anymore.
Most retailers are used to decades of push advertising: telling shoppers what to look for, what’s in season and where to buy it. But the ZMOT flight map is full of pull moments. The way you advertise at the Zero Moment of Truth must be completely different, because every lead is initiated by the consumer.
- Cross-shopping behavior is snowballing.
In the new world of multi-channel shopping, some research will be done online, some in stores, some elsewhere. Purchases will be made online and in brick-and-mortar stores. Sales will start online and be completed offline — or vice-versa. Or start on a smartphone on one retailer’s site, and be completed later on a tablet on a different site. Or purchased online but picked up at a store nearby.
Here are some of the crucial steps one need to follow:
Show up on the right place
Multiply your ZMOT impact
77% of viewers use another device while they are watching TV.
If you want to make a splash at ZMOT, go multi-screen. That was the message from a recent Google study, where we looked at all the screens consumers use over the course of a week. We found that a full 90% of all media interactions are now screen-based: they take place on a smartphone, laptop, PC, tablet or TV. Radio and print now account for only 10%.
Consumers are now fluent at toggling their attention across screens. That means marketers have the opportunity to stimulate on one device and spark a visit to ZMOT on another.
If you’re ready to crack the nut of multi-screen campaigns, here are some ways to start:
✔✔Make sure your brand messaging is consistent across TV, tablets and mobile phones. Think about the call to action in your TV ads: Does it promote discovery at ZMOT?
✔✔Make sure your site loads quickly and clearly on any mobile device.80% of customers will abandon a mobile site if they have a bad user experience,6 according to Google’s recent Mobile Playbook. Don’t have a mobile version of your website yet? That’s a great place to start.
Creating one is one of the best steps you can take to win local users.
Be a Leader in T-Commerce
Get ahead of the Tablet Explosion
72% of tablet owners make purchases from their tablets on a weekly basis.
What can you do to appeal to this growing tablet audience at ZMOT?
✔✔Create tablet-friendly ads and use them in tablet-targeted campaigns.
As the Google Mobile Playbook notes, “Shop now from your tablet” is a stronger call to action than “Shop online.”
✔✔Don’t forget that tablets aren’t phones. Users don’t make calls from most tablets, so what works with smartphones may not fit tablets.
✔✔Remember that iPads don’t support Flash. If your site is Flash-heavy, consider a tablet-friendly site with HTML5.
Take some time to look at your site on a tablet, if you haven’t already, and see how it looks to the typical T-commerce user. And don’t forget to analyze tablet traffic separately!
Use Affiliate Marketing to
Win Wandering Shoppers
Open Another Doorway into your Store
70% of online shopping carts are abandoned by the shoppers before they get to a purchase.
Affiliate publishers come in four main types:
Coupons and Offers
These are sites like RetailMeNot and Coupon Cabin that aggregate coupons from all kinds of merchants. They give customers the latest coupons, then send them merrily off to Kohl’s or Home Depot or Victoria’s Secret to spend them.
Loyalty and Rewards
These are sites like Ebates or (in the U.K.) QuidCo that actually give a cash rebate, loyalty points or other gifts to members who find products through their site.
These blogs and social shopping sites, such as Kaboodle and ShopStyle, have detailed posts about fashion or food that also include links to buy the products.
These publishers, like PriceGrabber and ShopWiki, simply aggregate prices from all over the Web for easy, one-stop shopper comparison.
All these sites can help match you with shoppers who want what you have to offer —whether they’re searching for the first time or have just left some items in your cart and come back to ZMOT.
In short, consumers are about to enter a new world of fast, smooth, simplified shopping. And retailers are about to reach the dream of end-to-end, online-to-offline analytics. Those incredibly detailed numbers will help retailers drive loyalty programs, retain their best customers, increase the basket size and (most of all) remove friction for the shopper.
Follow Author on Google+ : Ammar Kanchwala