(P)research: The Fulcrum of Store and Mobile Analytics
Raise your hand if you’ve ever accessed a company’s website with your mobile phone before actually considering a purchase at a store location. Now, raise your other hand if you’ve ever used your mobile device while actually in a store to investigate products or inventory before buying anything.
Okay, now put your arms down before your coworkers begin thinking something’s seriously wrong.
But, don’t worry you’re not by any means alone. This, “Pre-Search,” is becoming (if it isn’t already) a very important phenomenon at the very fulcrum of store and mobile analytics. Plain and simple, consumers are using new devices (smartphones and tablets) to arm themselves with as much information as possible before they actually walk into stores to make their purchases.
In fact, according to ForeSee research, when customers who made a purchase in a store were asked if they had accessed the company’s website via their mobile phone:
- 80% reported doing so before going to the company’s store.
- 29% said they did while shopping in the company’s store.
- 13% stated they did after going to the company’s store.
As the holiday shopping season creeps up on us these are very important numbers to keep in mind. And we should only expect them to increase during the heart of the shopping season as customers look for an overall amazing brand experience… not necessarily just the best deals the company can offer. In order to make the best decisions possible, consumer Pre-Searching can also include surveying a competitor’s site with a mobile device before, during, and after visiting a company’s store as well. C’mon, we all do it and we can’t expect customers of the companies’ we work for to be any different.
According to ForeSee research, when customers who purchased in a store were asked if they had accessed a competitor’s site via their mobile phone:
- 73% reported doing so before going to company’s store where they made the purchase.
- 31% said they did while shopping in the company’s store where they made the purchase.
- 13% stated they did after going to the company’s store where they made the purchase.
If there has ever been a need to measure the comprehensive customer experience it is now. Mobile has changed the game in so many ways. Not only is it a standalone channel where customers and prospects search, engage, and purchase in – it is, and maybe even more importantly so, a companion channel, impacting all other brand touch points. As you can see by the ForeSee data above, mobile may have the biggest influence on the store channel.
With such a high percentage of shoppers Pre-Searching before heading out to the store, mobile becomes a platform that can help drive people to purchase in stores. But in order to succeed (or survive) this holiday season, the mobile – and store – experience must be done right, they must be aligned with one another, and they must be unified with the remaining brand channels (contact center, social media). Consumers no longer differentiate channels and neither should business leaders. From the customer’s point of view, it’s a one-view, one-brand, one-experience world we operate in today.
That realization can be both scary and enlightening all at the same time. But, with the right system of metrics, company leaders can measure – with precision, reliability, and accuracy – the customer experience to ensure that they are meeting customer expectations, prioritizing resources, and implementing the right changes.