Leveraging Micro-Moments: It’s All About Using Big Data
Leveraging Micro-Moments: It’s All About Using Big Data
The one thing that is certain is this: Using big data to anticipate, plan for, and capture users before and during their micro-moments will be critical.
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Data science technology has exploded in recent years. Huge amounts of data can now be collected from a vast array of sources so that it can be aggregated, synthesized, and crunched out to provide seekers with the information they need to understand and predict behaviors.
Improvement Over Traditional Analytics
This is a vast improvement over earlier analytics — although they are still important, too. They were able to track visitors to a website and map their journey through that site. The data was aggregated to discover what pages were most visited, where visitors bounced, etc., and were used to improve pages and overall customer experience on the site.
But what big data can now supply is a much bigger “picture” of visitor/user behavior. And one of the things that big data can supply to e-commerce businesses is an analysis of “micro-moments” that will drive interactions that result in more revenue.
Take the example of an e-commerce travel website. It offers vacation packages and tracks the popularity of them. But when big data is used, the preferences of travelers from all over can be gathered and analyzed, and customer behavior can be analyzed and predicted. This allows the travel company to offer the packages that are most popular with travelers from all e-commerce sites and to price them competitively.
Enter micro-moments. Because they house critical information too.
Consider this. According to research, consumers use their smartphones about 150 times a day. They are checking their emails and chatting, of course, but most of all, they are seeking information. And in seeking information, they are being directed to e-commerce sites. Each touchpoint is a micro-moment, and the company that has been accessed should know that this has happened.
Why? Because all of those micro-moment touchpoints form patterns, and their patterns can form a customer journey from seeking information to making a purchase. When businesses can track all of those micro-moments, they can plan interactions with those consumers that will move them along.
Here are some micro-moment examples:
- A user has heard about a product or service from a friend. He accesses the site to check it out.
- A user is in a specific geographic location and wants to find an Italian restaurant nearby.
- A user knows exactly what he/she want to buy and is taken to a site from a search.
If an e-commerce site has the right logarithms in place to identify and report these moments, then it can set up further connections with those users.
Red Roof Inn did just that. It discovered that on any given day, an average of 90,000 travelers were stranded at airports across the US. They developed software to track delays and cancellations and then trigger search ads for their hotels near airports. When the user engaged in a micro-moment, they searched for nearby hotel rooms — and guess what popped up? An ad for a Red Roof Inn nearby. Results were pretty astounding. The company found a 60% increase in bookings.
The lesson here is that e-commerce businesses need to be proactive and they need to be fast. They must anticipate, from big data, what consumers will want to do or buy or find and be ready with a great user experience interaction. Tracking user behaviors while they are on your site is one thing, but being able to predict them and being ready when a micro-moment occurs? That is the competitive edge.
Basically, you are looking at micro-interactions that occur outside the normal customer journey that you are already mapping. And this is what big data analysis can give you.
User Experience Is the Key
Research already tells us that the user experience is actually more important than pricing. This is why e-commerce websites are continually focused on improving their sites, making them mobile-friendly, and ensuring great visuals and speed of load and navigation. They know that users are fickle and that if their experience is not optimal, they’ll just go somewhere else.
But an amazing website is no longer enough — and this is where big data comes into play. You need the right algorithms. Some of them are already available through Google Analytics and other big data platforms. But you will probably find that getting the right developers to develop algorithms unique to your needs will serve you better.
Amazon is a perfect example. Every time a user accesses and conducts a search, it is recorded. And data from similar users with similar searches is also collected. As that data is aggregated and sorted, behavior patterns emerge that will tell Amazon who may buy what and when they may buy it. It can then proactively market accordingly.
Netflix does the same thing. Every micro-interaction from a customer is recorded. Then, its algorithm aggregates and reports out user preferences based on built-in factors. It can then push personalized “connections” with its users, making recommendations for shows they may like.
And these “big boys” even sort customers by preferred language. They have a good translation service platform that will automatically establish touchpoints in native languages. You may have other unique touchpoint needs — this is what custom data algorithms can provide.
Big Data Is for the Little Guys, Too
There has been a misconception that only large enterprises can really make use of big data. After all, hiring a data scientist is an expensive proposition. And enterprises such as banks, insurance companies, healthcare providers, and huge retail sites can use the data to plan for their future products and services, pushing those out to consumers and grabbing consumers when they initiate a micro-interaction.
Fortunately, the ease with which big data can now be gathered, sorted, and reported has leveled the playing field. Smaller e-commerce companies can contract for the expertise they need to set up fully automated systems and to update them as necessary. And the learning curve for do-it-yourselfers is getting shorter too.
The one thing that is certain is this: Using big data to anticipate, plan for, and capture users before and during their micro-interactions will be what gives e-commerce businesses the larger market share.
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