Every day, we hear technology has reinvented itself and always there are some skeptical who feel we are at the dawn of a new apocalypse where machines take over humanity like the Skynet from Terminator.
Moving away from any final Judgment days, we cannot avoid to realize that actually many new technological advances are slowly getting infiltrated in our daily lives, from flying drones for delivery, artificial intelligence to answer our questions, self-driven cars that will take us to work, or even hearing about Elon Musk and his colony of 1 million people to conquer Mars.
Sure, but going back to our daily lives, it is clearly tangible that digital platforms are still paving the way to ease our lives in many aspects, from haling a cab, to order food, buy a movie ticket, ask for insurance quotes or even book our next doctor’s appointment.
If we look at average conversion rates in ecommerce, we see KPIs ranging from 1% to a little bit over 2%. Also, when talking about lead generation, this range goes a bit higher within the lines of perhaps 10% or 15%, the downside, though, is that in this case no monetary transaction is involved yet.
On the other hand, recent studies disclosed at GMIC Sao Paulo, show that offline interactions (human to human per se) have been rendering 10X much higher performance than online, when it comes to closing a deal. And if you think about it, we are all people and one would expect to communicate with a peer who will understand you better and will feel your need and the problem you are seeking to solve at a much deeper level than some kind of an AI platform even if with advanced learning methods, but limited options when it comes to interaction.
From a different angle of study, digital flows create a certain type of experience, in many ways very comfortable from your desktop or your mobile devices mainly defined by usability, intuitive flows that make it easier for customers to find your product or service, find price, reviews a many other features to leverage KPIs in the right direction.
Nevertheless, the face to face in the “offline world” allows for an alley of “feeling” and “living” experiences to be created and offered to clients; clients who are either waiting to be helped, looking for products or just gathering info about services.
In the same GMIC event in Sao Paulo, there is an interesting case with this alley of experiences was very well portrayed: In a fondue restaurant in China, a range of experiences took the shapes of manicure offered to women waiting to be seated, teddy bears to company alone seated clients, medicine for sick looking clients.
But what do those actions have to do with the restaurant business? Besides women perhaps feeling a bit prettier to their dates at the restaurant, nothing really, but it spoke volumes about the restaurant itself taking care of clients who made the effort, took the time and commuted to their premises. The restaurant was extremely focused on making THAT experience unique, genuine and willing to make a good mark on those customers.
Now, how have those customers found the restaurant? What was the trigger for them to find the relevant information to make a decision and all those efforts and time available in their agendas to make the visit worth its while?
You may find at a chicken-and-egg kind of dilemma, whether the local information is prior to the customer experience itself. However, it is clear that both of them are crucial.
At Apontador, we home millions of business listings, all categorized and georeferenced. These listings welcome millions of users every month and create more than 34 million intentions per year towards business such as Pharmacies, Restaurants, Car dealers, Lawyers, Banks, Real Estate agencies, Pet shops, and many other places. All those intentions came back to us from offline visits sharing with the community more than 1,2 millions of moments experienced in those places.
Indistinctively, discovery and recovery customers are expecting to find the precise information (phone number and get directions details) to get to a restaurant and, along with those pieces of information, the qualitative experiences of previous customers who were delighted or not about the in-local experience.
If those orbits of information are appealing, the business will certainly have more clients looking to experience in their own skin the stories of previous customers; to feel the service and to enjoy the product, but at the end, make no mistake, the business will be performing the final act of service and that it will be their chance to make an impression, it is that which makes the human-to-human conversion explode. However, that is the sale, it is a binary aspect: purchased or procrastinated.
On the other hand, it is the moment of experience that can be infinite. Experience is what the customers will replicate and take back into the digital world to share with other peers; that is what makes the value of the sale experience prevail longer than the effect of the sale itself. This will certainly make the wheel spin, bringing new and previous customers to the business.