Before smartphones became an everyday appliance, people were still curating their future experiences: consumer search trends of the 20th Century.
When my family went on vacations during my childhood, we would lounge during the day, either by a pool or beach. Our daily adventure took place later on, in restaurants scattered across whatever city, town, or island we were visiting.
I remember taking moody mid-day naps in the depths of puberty while my mom and aunt scoured local magazines and papers in preparation for the perfect dining experience. They would take extended breaks to grill the concierge in the hotel lobby. Later that night, we’d be at some off-the-beaten-path eatery with our feet in the sand munching on some strange delicacies.
People haven’t changed. But the tools have. Now we utilize the immediate power and convenience of smartphones and tablets to make sure we make the best decision, whether it’s a night out or a week-long cruise.
We have endless reviews, online menus, photos, and social media feeds at our fingertips. It’s a research obsessed person’s dream. Or in my mom’s case, a savior for someone who has the outcome of this year’s big family trip on their shoulders.
As marketers we must try and understand these search-obsessed consumers. A recent Think with Google article says that “people can — and do — optimize their lives with search.” So, the question becomes how they utilize search; what are the patterns here? Let’s find out.
There are three main correlations among these avid researchers:
- It helps them get excited about the experience
- It helps them feel more confident in their decisions
- It helps them create the most enjoyable experience possible
Search facts you need to know:
- There has been an 120% growth in mobile searches for “wait time” in the past two years
- There has been a 50% growth in mobile searches for “menus” in the last two years
The marketer must understand that these people gravitated to smartphone searching because it’s easier. It’s often handheld, it’s wireless, it’s simple. What can you do to stand out? Make it even simpler for consumers. The research-obsessive wants to navigate quickly, compiling as much information on their subject as possible.
Make it easy for them to organize and plan their trips. Make sure they can compare without having to flip through a million loading screens. Your goal is to replace their anxiety with a sense of confidence that they are making the right decision. Yes, it will always be an adventure and chance plays a big part in everything, but help the consumer forget about the alternatives.
Help Mom feel relaxed on the cab ride over to the unknown restaurant on the other side of the island. If you can do that, you’re golden.
Our infographic explains more:
Understanding search on a local level is more important than you think. Our most recent Google Update explains why integrating local and digital is a must for modern day retailers.