In today’s marketing environment, the customer journey is more complicated than ever. For retailers and brands, this complexity is both an advantage and a barrier. While it means greater opportunity to connect with shoppers, it also means their attention is more fragmented. The rise of mobile has only made things more complex, fundamentally changing the way consumers access information.
But how? Considering each stage of the customer journey, here are the ways the traditional funnel has been transformed by the mobile explosion.
The customer journey starts with discovery: the need for a product or specific type of product to be brought to a prospect’s attention. Traditionally, discovery has been driven by friends and family, TV and print media. But as media consumption has shifted to digital, web search has become a dominant factor in this stage. Google has benefited the most from this trend, with marketers spending big on paid search and product ad listings. Amazon and Pinterest have also seen success as digital-first discovery portals.
Mobile Impact: However, as mobile consumption grows, discovery is increasingly occurring in mobile environments. Web searches, for example, are migrating from PCs to smartphones. More than 50% of Google search queries now come from mobile. And considering consumers spend over 85% of their time on mobile devices in apps, in-app product discovery is on the rise as well.
In the consideration stage, prospects research the pros and cons of brands or products based on their needs. This can be daunting for consumers, who consider a wide variety of brands before purchasing. Pricing, of course, often leads consideration. While print circulars used to drive the consideration stage, today, 81% of consumers compare prices online before buying.
Mobile Impact: Increasingly, price comparison occurs through smartphones and tablets: 50% of U.S. mobile owners use the device to research a competitor’s prices while in store. Similarly, the Local Search Association found a majority of consumers use their mobile phones at home for purchase research. More and more, consideration is becoming a mobile-dominant process.
In the planning phase, customers seek ways to optimize a forthcoming purchase, lowering costs. Coupons are key, with