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Online shoppers are goal-oriented

Do you know a power shopper? Someone who lives to go to the mall? For whom shopping is a hobby? Everyone does—you might even be one of them. Chances are, however, that your shopping fun happens with a real brick-and-mortar store, not online.

That may seem surprising to you, but it’s true.

Some people believe that shopping in a physical store is a social experience, often shared with friends, while online shopping tends to be a solitary experience. Others believe that the sensual experience of trying on clothes or smelling perfume, or just seeing colors more vibrantly (than any computer screen can render) provides far more enjoyment than any e-Commerce site.

Whatever the reason, online shoppers are far more goal-oriented. They start out knowing what they want and are rarely deterred by banner ads or other related offers. Each click must feel like they are getting closer to their goal, or they may abandon.

An eye tracking study once showed that the most-looked-at part of Walmart’s home page was its search box! Even more amazing is that the study asked shoppers to buy anything they wanted! So, even when people are told to be unfocused, they decide to focus on something when shopping online.

So, what does that mean to you as an online marketer? First, know that your customer has a goal in mind. It’s your job to help your customer achieve it. If you design your site to help customers meet their most frequent goals, you’ll convert more and more lookers into buyers.

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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in digital marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website, ibm.com, most recently as the Manager of ibm.com Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at ibm.com from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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