This holiday season, buyers are frequenting brick-and-mortar stores, but they are coming prepared. Armed with mobile devices and specific Google searches, shoppers are researching more and continuing their online searches even after entering the store.

Customers are looking for more information than ever and are increasingly specific in how they search for it. Internet searches for “where to buy” specific items have increased 85% over two years ago—and time spent watching YouTube videos of store tours have jumped tenfold. Buyers know what they want, where to get it, and where to find it in the store once they arrive. In addition, most shoppers continue using their mobile device during their shopping experience for additional information, price comparisons, and customer reviews.

How marketers can target a more connected shopper

More than anything, shoppers are looking for a convenient, personalized, and specific shopping experience. According to a recent Think with Google report, 49% of mobile shoppers prefer sites that provide product and brand suggestions based on previous views and purchases. Shoppers are also becoming increasingly specific in their search engine queries—specifying who they are purchasing for, requesting where to buy desired products, and searching for extended and Christmas Day hours.

To market to the research-oriented consumer, retailers need their search results to be specific and relevant to the consumer. If retailers are not answering direct questions, their site may not show up in the top Google search results. Consumers are not just searching for holiday gifts; they are searching for “where to buy holiday gifts for a coworker” and expect the results to answer their specific query. Voice requests are also on the rise, which means retailers need to understand the words and intent behind the request and be able to answer in a detailed and precise way.

This season’s shopper is more informed and ready to buy. Retailers must be equally prepared to know who is searching, what they are searching for, and ensure their website content is accurate, specific, and intentional.

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