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That’s what a recent Google study entitled “Bienvenue dans l’ère de l’assistance”, or “Welcome to the Era of Assistance”, reveals. Through this survey, we can see the importance of mobile searches in the customer journey, and in particular the attention that needs to be paid to web-to-store behaviours in the marketing strategy of multi-POS businesses.

Regarding the theme of "Rethinking the customer experience", the study shows that:

  • 50% of mobile users are less likely to purchase a service or product if the user experience on the company’s website or mobile app is poor.
  • By 2020, 50% of searches will probably be done by voice, and 30% of online sessions will be screen-free.

In relation to the theme of “Reconciling online and offline”, the study shows that:

  • 81% of consumers check that the product they want is in stock before going to a physical store.
  • 28% of local mobile-to-store searches lead to a purchase.
  • In retail, 75% of consumers use their smartphone at the point of sale.

You can view the full Google study here

How will your web-to-store actions change as voice searching is adopted by the majority of consumers?

The results of a “voice search” are also given in voice mode. The first result is proposed and presented in detail (name, location, number of reviews, average score), and your virtual assistant offers to make a reservation and to contact the business. Then, if the first option doesn’t suit you, it will move on to the second. And in most cases, the voice assistant gives a limited number of results, based on two main criteria:

  1. The relevance of the proposed response in relation to the request (geolocation, search history, personal schedule, time of day, etc.).
  2. The average score and the number of customer reviews for the store.

So you need to prepare for these changes, as they’ll amount to a real revolution for marketers, who will be losing control of the information presented. The only way to maintain influence will be to manage point-of-sale information, reviews and local content on the media used by the virtual assistants.

Since Google is the world’s most widely used search engine, you can see how much importance should be given to managing reviews on your Google My Business listings.

However, Google won’t be the only player in this battle. For example, don't forget about Siri, who will be using Apple Maps; Alexa, who will run with Google Agenda; or even Bixby (Samsung)..

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By Ambre