Micromoments, or times when consumers consult a mobile device in a moment of need, is the next battlefield for mobile marketers, Jonathan Calfee, performance solutions lead at Google Inc., said last week at the Omnichannel Marketing Series conference sponsored by software company Invoca.

For example, if a consumer is in a grocery store looking for a cream to heal a cold sore, and there are many options with varying prices, she would turn to Google to search for the best product and to compare prices, Calfee said. This is a micromoment. In fact, Google searches conducted on a mobile device inside a supermarket increased 60% year over year, he said, citing Google data.

If brands want to capture consumers in these moments of need their mobile sites and apps have to be fast. 47% of consumers expect a page to load in 2 seconds or less, and Google data shows 67% of consumers will switch to another site or app if it takes too long to load, Calfee said. For retail marketers, having a fast mobile site is essential, he added, as 82% of smartphone users consult their phone while in a store deciding what to buy.

To better serve mobile shoppers, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. worked with Google to improve Wal-Mart’s mobile site speed, Calfee told the conference. After removing some Javascript and custom fonts, plus optimizing all its images for a smaller screen size, Wal-Mart reduced its mobile page load time to 2.9 seconds from 7.2 seconds in one year. And every second that the Wal-Mart mobile site loaded faster, conversion went up 2%, Calfee said. Wal-Mart did not respond to a request for comment.

Calfee also shared that Google searches conducted on a mobile device inside a car dealership increased 45% year over year, and Google searches conducted on a mobile device inside a restaurant increased 50% year over year.

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As more consumers opt for the mobile web over desktop, Google is aiming to help companies of all stripes provide fast mobile load times. For example, last month, Google developed tools for publishers to help articles load more quickly on mobile devices. The tool, called Accelerated Mobile Pages, speeds up the rate at which articles load on mobile devices by about 400%, in part because the pages use 10 times less data than typical web article pages, Google said in a blog post announcing the general introduction of the technology. A limited test of AMP was started last October. The company has worked with publishers around the world, including the New York Times, the Guardian and BBC, to deploy the technology.

 

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