Immediacy and its role in the new consumer model.

Immediacy and its role in the new consumer model.
Photo by ROBIN WORRALL / Unsplash

The extent to which consumers now expect brands to meet their immediate needs has been highlighted in recent analysis of search trends on Google.

Impatience, immediate action, instant gratification, even some impulsiveness—these are just a handful of descriptors for behavior today. We have all been empowered and emboldened by information. With our phones acting as supercomputers in our pockets, we can find, learn, do, and buy whenever the need arises—or the whim strikes.

This ability to get things done in the moment—paired with the fact that brands are getting better at delivering speedy, frictionless mobile experiences—is driving expectations higher than ever.

“People are making decisions faster than ever before, and they expect to be able to act on those decisions instantly. We as marketers can make it even easier for people to get things done, says Google’s VP of Marketing for the Americas Lisa Gevelber”

In-fact Google research has revealed that mobile searches related to “same-day shipping” have grown over 120% as consumers are no longer willing to wait even a few days for their purchase to arrive.

Searches for same-day shipping also peak in the early morning, suggesting that people are less willing to run an errand on the way to work and instead are using their devices first thing to locate a business that can help them immediately.

In addition, the number of searches for “open now” businesses — ranging from pharmacies to pizza parlours — has tripled over the past two years at the same time that searches for “store hours” have decreased.

“People are searching at the exact moment they need something and are looking for places that can meet their immediate need,” said Lisa Gevelber, Google’s VP of Marketing for the Americas, as she outlined the findings on the company’s consumer insights website.

“In other words, when making these on-the-spot decisions, they are more loyal to their need than to any particular place,” she added.

Gevelber also noted that consumers appear to have become more impulsive because their mobile devices allow them to make plans at the last minute.

She said that travel-related searches for “tonight” and “today” have grown more than 150% on mobile over the past two years, while people also regularly search for “flights today” or “hotels tonight”.

And in another finding of relevance for marketers, Google analysis found that:

53% of visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes longer than three seconds to load. … We’ve actually seen that for every one second delay in site load time, conversions fall by 12%.

Ultimately, that means marketers must commit to the creation of incredible mobile experiences. Fast and frictionless is now table stakes, and the basics—like load time—can make or break you. In fact, 53% of visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes longer than three seconds to load.2 But we aren’t there yet—the average mobile site takes 22 seconds to fully load. We've actually seen that for every one second delay in site load time, conversions fall by 12%.3 To test your own mobile site speed, give Test My Site a spin. It even provides instant recommendations to make your mobile site more instant.

Consumers have higher expectations than ever for right here, right now experiences. We'll continue to share additional insights about their search behaviors, as well as examples from brands who are effectively winning them over.

If you want to learn more about how you can enhance your digital experience, you can reach out to us for a conversation and assessment of your unique digital context.

Data sourced from:
1 Google; and WARC.
2 Google Data, Global, n=3,700 aggregated, anonymised Google Analytics data from a sample of mWeb sites opted into sharing benchmark data.
3 SOASTA, The State of Online Retail Performance

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