Will You Win the Consumer in Her Micro-Moment?

Tue, Jul 21, 2020

Read in 3 minutes

Convenience. Ease. Micro-moments that are nowhere near the store. Are you ready?

Will You Win the Consumer in Her Micro-Moment?

Allow me to recommend a piece of thought leadership that deserves the description: Meet the 2020 consumers driving change, a summation of current consumer attitudes and behaviors authored by the IBM Institute for Business Value on behalf of the National Retail Federation (NRF).

Thirteen pages summarize research conducted with nearly 19,000 shoppers across 28 countries. You can find it here.

Two reasons why it’s worth your time: First, it’s about consumer behavior: why and what and how they choose. Second, it’s wondrously free of the industry clichés that have long haunted discussions of consumer want and need.

Three takeaways:

No surprise on number one: today’s over-arching value proposition is ease and convenience.

The research showed that some 81 percent of survey respondents belonged to one of two shopper segments. “Value-driven” consumers (41 percent) want good value above all else—they lead with their wallets. “Purpose-driven” consumers (40 percent) seek products and services aligned with their values—they’re willing to pay a premium, even change habits.

The two groups also differ as to the purchasing importance of brand trust and sustainability, and the willingness to change habits to reduce environmental impact.

They do agree, however, on the importance of convenience. Whether measured in time saved, the absence of cognitive stress, or the ease of decision-making through the shopping journey, convenience is the common denominator of today’s consumer value proposition.

An interesting insight for number two: the rise of micro-moment shopping.

A new shopping behavior has emerged at the intersection of always-on smartphone digital connection and a life with too much to do. It’s micro-moment shopping—the making of a purchasing decision (in the background) while ostensibly doing something else.

From the report:

“At various times, the same person can be shopping for a party, a gift, or a meal, for example—and doing so from the treadmill, at lunchtime, or in countless other settings.”

“While 71 percent of respondents told us they shop in micro-moments, there is a burgeoning subset, more than one in three, who do so weekly. In other words, they’re shopping ‘in the background’ while doing other tasks.”

Hmmm. Wonder if that’s ever happened during a mindless team meeting or in the second half of the weekly conference call.

If we do the math, about 25 percent of the total global shopping population does micro-moment shopping on a reasonably regular basis. Oh, and by the way: the report also noted that about two-thirds of micro-moment shoppers (equal to about 45 percent of the global shopping population) also wanted flexibility in order fulfillment.

I seriously doubt that the these numbers will decline.

Number three lays out the technology implications of consumer behavior driven by convenience and speed.

Again, from the report:

“Respondents most desire the use of technologies that help find what they need easily and quickly…as a result, consumers are keen on experimenting with the latest tools.”

If it’s about convenience, and if it’s about getting the most out of a micro-moment that is nowhere near a store—what are the top two technologies that the nearly 19,000 respondents have tried or would like to try?

1. Visual search — 71% have tried or would like to try.

2. Voice search — 69% have tried or would like to try.

Hmmm. (Perhaps the two could be combined? 😊)