3 Ways to Better Align with Consumer Behavior
December 16, 2015 | Contributed by: Manish Patel
The emergence of new technologies, social media platforms and the growing popularity of mobile has dramatically changed the market. For example, this year B2C mobile commerce sales accounted for just over 83 billion dollars in the US alone, and that will only increase as one billion mobile devices are expected to be sold in 2016. With all of this to consider, is your brand capable of handling new consumer patterns?
Here are some of the actions and strategic insights to get you started on the right path:
Adjust mobile presence for search
When customers perform local searches during the holidays they will choose their mobile device first. Over 70 percent of customers are looking for a mobile-friendly website when they interact with a business, so managing that presence is going to be your top priority for the holidays. Your strategy should focus on high impact engines and properties, so you’ll want to make sure you’re optimized for the right search engines and that the locator you’re using to direct customers to the nearest location is fine-tuned for successful outcomes.
It is important that you outperform on top search engines, but you’ll also want your online presence to be optimized for the platforms where customers find you most. Retailers will want to focus on Google or Yahoo, but restaurants should be paying attention to reviews on Yelp or Grubhub.
Want to more effectively drive consumers to your storefront through your locator? Embed the local reviews you find into the locator and ask customers for feedback on their experience with your brand. Also, customers want access to the right information as soon as possible, so make sure your locator provides details on seasonal hours or special events. Your brand deserves a store locator that is the best of its breed and has the type of consumer engagement capabilities that will drive sales and conversions.
Research customers as they research you
Another key is analyzing the platforms your business has a voice on in order to gain insight on your customer base. There are tons of channels out there between social platforms and search engines and it’s tempting to want to “silence” those channels by simply ignoring them. But put yourself in the customer’s shoes. If you have a concern or want to voice an opinion about a brand and you are ignored, are you going to feel like pursuing a relationship with that brand? My guess is no, so you should be taking the time to respond to reviews and interactions on social media.
If you have multiple locations, you should be training your internal team to manage locations and their reputations and engagements. Responding to customers in a timely manner will encourage them to continue their relationship with your business. Who knows, they may even become brand advocates! Being able to listen to customers at the local level by training employees to respond to customer feedback will help you respond to praise and concerns and improve overall customer experiences with the brand.
The last action-item I have for you is to know how to celebrate by cataloguing your wins. The best way to tie location information and customer experience together is by appointing someone who knows the ins and outs of your location and its data. A Chief Location Officer will own things like presence, social media outreach, local advertising and competitor data.
Using the right tools and a well-organized dashboard, the CLO can offer insights into successes and failures from across your brand’s various departments. You can be free from customer amnesia—the cardinal sin of losing track of your customers between siloed departments—when these disciplines are combined. The same customer that shows up on your locator and on your social media platform should be offered the same, personalized experience with your brand, so show them you are just as loyal to their interaction as they are to you.
By adjusting your mobile search presence, researching your customers and identifying success via a Chief Location Officer, you’ll be in better position to capitalize on current consumer behavior trends.