What is most important for Digital Marketing and Commerce …Is it personalization, convenience or relevancy? The secret is, all of this but not in isolation, they have to come together for a customer in his moments of need. The success of digital channels going forward will be dependent on how well they address the micro moments in a customer journey. Being able to identify not only the right content, but the right moment to engage with customers while they’re most open to being engaged is the most important part of personalized marketing
Majority of the purchases by our digital shoppers is done on impulse, so we need to capitalize on the impulses and provide options to learn, search or buy something instantly. The customer should not be forced to switch to the site or app just to make a purchase, when he is already engaged with your brand or service through some other medium. Rather this medium should enable the commerce transactions seamlessly. That’s why almost all social media engagement giants like Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter are bringing in or planning to bring in Buy option
Now that we know the secret, why don’t everyone start addressing this? There are two small problems, one is to understand the moments of needs, be very relevant and second to build capability to be able to seamlessly address these opportunities to serve the customer in real-time
Most of the companies have started doing programs around know your customer to some extent, analyzing the customer behavior on their digital properties, in store and also on social. However most of this data is being used for insights for campaigns or site personalization only at a customer segment level. More progressive organizations have taken personalization to a segment of one. However, to be able to address customer’s moments of needs we need to start creating Moment Journey Maps. In the Moment Journey Map, we need to identify moments when we should create interventions for search, research about the products or to enable quick buys.
The delivery of experience should be further customized using the current context data around location and time of day. For example, if someone is searching near-by stores at night then they will probably shop next day, but if someone is searching for near-by stores during day time, that too, not from their home location, then we should also share the inventory availability and some time-bound offers as well to the customer, since this seems to be their moment of need to buy. And possibly give an option to complete the order on mobile and just pick from store once they reach.
The apparel retailer H&M partnered with the online game MyTown to gather and use information on customer location. If potential customers are playing the game on a mobile device near an H&M store and check in, H&M rewards them with virtual clothing and points; if they scan promoted products in the store, it enters them in a sweepstakes.
Another way how brands are trying to address these moments of needs is to have more integrations driven by devices  This is more on the line of vendor managed inventory enabled through smart washing machines, fridges, medicines boxes and so on. These smart devices identify the need for reorder and enable seamless commerce addressing the stock out situation for customers.
Now that we are able to address the moment of need of the customer, we should also focus on how to make it easier and convenient. This would mean using technology to further enhance the experience, like voice based searches, voice driven order entry, subscription model for commodity items, customer identification at stores, seamless hidden payments, vendor managed inventory and so on...
The possibilities are endless and those organizations who drive constant innovation through use of these technologies to address the micro moments of needs of their customers will succeed.