Nearly a third of wireless shoppers start their journey unsure of which carrier to select. For wireless providers, there are enormous opportunities to win key digital shopping moments and convert consumers. Google uncovered the five shopping moments brands should own.

Written by
Matt Lawson
Published
February 2017
Topics

There are broad retail shopping micro-moments that all marketers need to win, but there are also more specific category-centric moments. Here, we put the spotlight on the telecom-wireless industry, highlighting the five key micro-moments where brands can affect consumer decision making.

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Time-to-switch-carriers moments

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This is the beginning of the journey, when a consumer decides it's time for a change. A key reason they'll start investigating new options is dissatisfaction with network coverage. There has been more than a 15% year-over-year increase in searches related to coverage and reliability on mobile devices.1 In fact, nearly half of wireless shoppers switch providers primarily in search of a better network.2 Being present in this early consideration phase—with the right information on network reliability—isn't so much a marketing choice as it is a business imperative.

Nearly one-third of wireless shoppers start their purchase journey unsure of which provider they're going to select.3 This is a perfect opportunity for brands to win shoppers over early in their decision-making process. YouTube is a great way to reach consumers at this time. Of the wireless shoppers who turn to video in this early research phase, 41% do so to understand specific service provider offerings.4

Nearly one-third of wireless shoppers start their purchase journey unsure of which provider they're going to select.

Which-phone-can-I-get moments

The fun really starts when consumers begin to explore the smartphones available to them. For nearly one-third of wireless shoppers, getting the latest smartphone is the primary driver for purchase.5 It's crucial that the latest and greatest offerings are visible and up-to-date, both online and off.

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59% of smartphone shoppers have two or more phones in their consideration set6—and video is a popular way to compare specs. Of wireless shoppers who used online video to do their research, 38% compared devices across multiple service providers.7

Am-I-getting-the-best-offer moments

For wireless shoppers, getting the best possible value is a primary driver for decision making—so much so that there is the equivalent of one search every second for information on carrier deals.8 Indeed, 36% of wireless shoppers who switch carriers do so to get a better deal on a new smartphone or service plan.9

Searching for the best offer happens both before the consumer heads to a store and while they're there. Of wireless shoppers who purchase in-store, 66% use their phones to look for discounts.10 Today's mobile sites are an extension of stores and vice-versa.

Sign-me-up moments

Although much of the purchase journey for telecom-wireless takes place online, shoppers still like visiting stores to sign up. We found that more than 75% of wireless shoppers from the top four carriers buy offline.11 Consumer search behavior in sign-me-up moments further supports this. There are more than a hundred searches for a wireless provider store "near me" every minute,12 and related searches are growing by 40% year over year.13 Our research shows that seamless omni-channel experiences are more important than ever in today's competitive retail environment.

There are more than a hundred searches for a wireless provider store "near me" every minute.

How-do-I-fix-this moments

Consumers care about what is going to happen after they've purchased. They want a carrier that's going to help solve problems, not leave them to flounder on their own. One in five branded searches are about the quality of wireless customer services and that's only expected to grow.14 And one in 10 wireless shoppers who switch providers do so to get better customer service.15

Driving growth in the moments that matter

Driving growth in the competitive telecom-wireless industry requires ingenuity and attention to detail. By the time a consumer is ready to hand over their credit card it's too late. Providing useful, mobile-friendly content when consumers need it most is the key to winning the five telecom-wireless industry micro-moments that matter.

Sources
1,13 Google Data, US, Jan-Oct 2015 vs Jan-Oct 2016.
2,3,4,5,6,7,9,10,15 Google/MBD 2016 Tech Wireless Shopper Study, May 2016, US, (n=1,800 wireless shoppers).
8,12 Google Data, US, Jan-Oct 2016.
11 TraQline - 2016 The Stevenson Company, 4 quarters ending September 2016, US, Top four wireless carriers: Verizon, AT&T/Cingular, T Mobile and Sprint/Nextel.
14 Google Data, US, 2016.