Smartphones Have Changed Consumer Behaviour In A Big Way

Digital Marketing Consultant

Google is calling them “micro-moments” – the:


There is no doubt that smartphone adoption and usage is on the rise in South Africa, and statistics from Nielsen revealed something that sent chills up my spine.  According to their 2011 research more Africans have access to mobile phones than to clean drinking water. Smartphones have changed consumer behaviour and expectations as we not only use these powerful microcomputers to check time, text a loved one or make a phone call as we used to do with their predecessors (feature phones).

We turn to our smartphones for everything – to connect with friends on social networks and instant messaging platforms, to book a trip using an App, to while up time while queuing at the car cash on Saturday, to search for service providers such as plumbers and locksmiths, and finally to buy. As we turn to our smartphones with sure intent we expect brands to deliver immediate answers and thereby give us instant gratification.

As consumers we don’t spend prolonged periods of time in front of our desktop computers researching as how it used to be in the early days of the internet. Instead we increasingly have tiny bursts of interactions with our smartphones accessing search, video, social and email. These short interactions/micro-moments fall within the 4 classes – I-want-to-know, I-want-to-go,  I-want-to-do and I-want-to-buy moments

Google released a reported that showed that more searches are being conducted on mobile devices than on desktop in the US, UK and Japan. The report showed that discovery and action are now decoupled due to the multi-session bursts across different channels, and at times more than one mobile device. The report showed that conversions/purchases are still higher on the larger screen – a trend that will soon turn.

The following video illustrates the concept.

and here is the latest one – June 2016

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