Two telling statistics relating to mobile search and consumer behaviour have emerged recently. These two insights highlight users’ expectations, as well as their decision-making processes.
The first statistic finds 120% growth over 2 years, in mobile searches for “wait times” [source Google Trends, US June 2015 vs June 2017].
This shows that consumers are searching first, intent on avoiding disappointment. This pre-emptive strike seeks informed decisions about what they might get themselves into and steers away from stalled experiences.
No one wants to be caught out, least of all when they’re making decisions on behalf of others, especially when a 2-second search could also expose any number of possible alternatives for their spending.
Provide Answers for Their Searches
Consumers are searching for services and products, delivered without delay. Some businesses thrive on speed of delivery, possibly at the expense of those who may have no delivery issues but who have failed to advertise it effectively.
People often won’t mind waiting, provided it has been communicated properly so they’re prepared for it.
If you are not giving your customers good information about wait times, they would be justified in jumping to their own conclusions.
Obviously, search is the trigger for this new wrinkle in consumer behaviour. Research is now on tap for anyone who can take themselves online.
Think of it as the digital equivalent to word-of-mouth.
No more gathering at the water fountain with questions, such as “Did you have to wait long?”, “What was their service like?” or “Were the desserts good?” Now, you simply search online. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, the outcome generally is not good.
Positive Search Results
To avoid user disappointment, it’s best to provide content that addresses concerns. Failing an absolute answer to the question, you might instead detail the effort that goes into providing superior service/products, and highlight the best of your online reviews.
Your effort is going to be worthwhile because people are:
- Increasingly becoming research-obsessed
- Trigger happy with Google searches
- Using search to fine-tune their decision making
- Searching for and expecting the best results
- Looking to enhance their expectations, possibly to hype up the experience beforehand to friends
- Trying to reduce their anxieties when planning
Users are hoping to not only discover the ‘best of the best’ but also often to recommend to others the results of their decisions and searches.
Searching for the Menu
Another recent finding is 55% growth in mobile search over the past 2 years for “menus”. [Source: Google Data, U.S., Jan.– June 2015 vs. Jan.– June 2017.]
This finding echoes the sentiment that no one wants to search online for something only to end up with ‘buyer’s remorse’. This is particularly the case for restaurants.
If your restaurant is not making its menu available online, your potential diners are being denied the opportunity to satisfy their own curiosity. They’re also in no position to answer questions posed by friends they might invite to join them.
People are keen to narrow down their choices for ordering. They might want to feel high on anticipation. They might want to feel more in control on the night. They might want to consider dietary options or simply not miss out on their personal favourite from the menu.
All that focus you put in to attract diners—your restaurant’s own cuisine and menu… you need to make sure this translates online.
Making Searches Pay Off
Your marketing needs to consider moments and mindsets as your customers are planning an experience. This is your opportunity to play a deciding role. Here are a couple of ideas to illustrate the point:
- Provide simple tools to help people make more confident decisions. Menus do this. Trip planners too. Suggested packing lists help.
- Make planning easier. Help people narrow their searches to achieve results that suit their needs, e.g. provide search options, such as ‘classic vs modern’, ‘views vs proximity’, ‘budget vs luxury’, etc.
Take into account the ease with which people jump onto Google to find solutions that work for them. That’s the bottom line.
Try to tap into their needs, answer common concerns and stop them worrying. Try to pull them in, boost their anticipation and keep them on a positive spin, so they choose you over the rest.
Our previous post Shopping on Instagram is Marketing Gold might also interest you.