Published: 28/02/2016

Updated: 10/01/2024

The Era of Micro Moments: How Smartphones Change User Experience

Micro-Moments: The New Battleground for Brands

Whether marketers are prepared for it or not, smartphone era has significantly changed not only our lives but consumer behavior as well over the past decade. According to research, 2 out of 3 smartphone users check their devices every 15 minutes while 30 % of users admit that they actually feel “anxious” when they don’t have their phone on them. A smartphone is the first device to “consult” for 93 % of consumers when they are looking for information on the product they want to purchase. As technology advances and market competition grows, brands continue finding more sophisticated ways to interact with the customers. As a result of this, today we have greater access to information what allows us making decisions faster than ever before.

Shopping has become possible at any time and place for a customer as long as there is a mobile device and internet connection. In fact, mobile conversion rates have increased by 29 % in the last year alone. Today, consumers visit the stores not that often as they used to, but once they do visit they purchase and spend more simply because they conducted a prior research and made their decision before even walking in. Accordingly, our final decision on the purchase is heavily influenced by the brands that catch our attention at different stages of our buying decision process.

Micro moments are changing the rules

In order to show how consumer needs and brands’ advertising content may intersect at the core of mobile device capabilities for the benefits of both brand and consumer, Google introduced the concept of “micro-moments” – the moments when we turn to our device to take an action on anything that we need or want right now. Those I-want-to-do, I-want-to-buy, I-want-to-know and I-want-to-go moments are determined by intent, context and immediacy.

It is fair to say that not all micro moments are about brands. Many times a day we use our smartphone to send a message to a friend, to check our facebook page or to send an email. But apart from those everyday moments, there are times when we are heavily impacted by the brands. Those are the times when we search for information on our mobiles or consider certain products for purchase. In fact, 90 % of smartphone users do not care about a particular brand before they start looking for information online. According to another research, 65 % of smartphone users are more interested in the information itself during the search rather than the brand that provides this information. Hence, brands have to earn their customers’ consideration moment after moment and to accompany them through their whole buying decision process.

Being there at the right moment

There are different forms of actions (search, video views, app interactions) a consumer takes in order to find or to buy something online. Being there to accompany your potential client at all stages of the consumer journey will build a competitive edge for your brand, deepen your customers’ loyalty and drive big results for your marketing campaigns. As research shows, 90 % of mobile device users do not have preference of a particular brand when they look for information online whereas 33 % of mobile device users have purchased from a different brand that they intended to before because they were provided with the relevant information just when they needed it.

Red Rood Inn realized the benefits of being present for its customers when they needed it the most. Having realized that flight cancellations were leaving 90000 passengers stranded every day, its marketing team started tracking the time of flight delays and triggered its ads to those stranded clients with a relevant context. As a result, the company experienced 60 % increase in bookings.

To know where you’re at when it comes to being there when those micro moments occur, conduct a simple experiment. Try the search of the most-searched topics for your brand on mobile and see which results it brings. Is your brand present across those results? Do you like what you see? What is the share of consumer intent you’re capturing with your mobile marketing strategy? In case your brand is not there on mobile search, it is the right time to bring some changes to your mobile marketing strategy.

Content matters

According to research, 51 % of smartphone users have purchased from a brand other than they intended to as they came across relevant information even though it was provided by a different company. In fact, getting useful and relevant information is considered the most important attribute when selecting a
brand for 73 % of consumers. Accordingly, apart from showing up at a right time, it also takes providing relevant content and meeting the needs of you consumers. Consider the search queries that your customers conduct, how they formulate their needs and make sure to provide the best answers possible.

When looking for a particular product, we often rely on the reviews. More than half of consumers read the reviews of the products on their mobile devices whereas Youtube is viewed as the main source of information. There are more than a million channels on Youtube with reviews of different products where brand representatives and experts speak out their opinions on particular products and services. In fact, the impact of product video reviews has grown twice in 2014. Listen attentively to your target audience as it itself brings the topics for the videos and messages that they need delivered from you.

The marketing team of cosmetics retailer Sephora noticed that its customers often searched for reviews on their smartphones while standing in the store. In order to deliver its services in a more helpful way, Sephora developed mobile website and app functionality specifically to serve shoppers in those moments. This smart strategy significantly eased the purchase process for its customers and as a result increased the sales.

Speed is the key

The name “micro moment” speaks for itself – when consumers are looking for something, they usually want it fast. The research shows that 28 % of consumers are usually in a hurry while buying something on their smartphone. Being quick is about predicting what your customers want before they even know it and simplifying their buying process. Make sure that your customer is provided with various options on purchase so that he can choose the most convenient for him. Take advantage of the built-in GPS capabilities of smartphones by providing the directions to your store for your customers. In fact, 61 % of smartphone users say they’re more likely to buy from mobile sites and apps that customize information to their location. Also, keep in mind that almost half of shoppers will wait no more than three seconds before abandoning a website. Take care of the load time of your mobile site and make it shortest possible.

All aspects considered, it is hard to overestimate the benefits of micro moments’ use for businesses. As Sasha Strauss, Innovation Protocol managing director says – “Winning the moments that matter is about getting a crack at the consumer’s business. If you’re not present and effective in these moments, you risk losing customers.” The research that was recently conducted by Google and Forrester Consulting found that companies that take steps toward becoming moments-ready reap higher ROIs in both mobile and overall marketing investment. Therefore, make sure that your company is there and do not miss chances to increase your conversion rates!

Please have a look on the Google Guide to Winning the Shift to Mobile

Micro-moments are critical touch points
Micro-moments are critical touch points
Micro Moments - New Battleground for Brands
Micro Moments as the New Battleground for Brands
>> Download your Google Guide to Winning the Shift to Mobile
Author: Ortwin Oberhauser

BSc Applied Computer Science
SEM / SEO & Conversion Optimization Geek

Founder of
Co Founder of International Film & Digital Solution Agency
film production . web design . app & web development data driven performance search & social media marketing ai and search engine content & visibility optimization conversion optimizing . datacenter for web data analytics
Bahnhofstraße 10 . 6900 Bregenz . Austria

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