Customer loyalty declines, use these 4 micro-moments:

tsundoku commerce
5 min readDec 27, 2022


Over the last few years, multiple articles have shown that consumers are less loyal to companies and their brands than they used to be. When I read this, I always think of an article I wrote in 2016 about Google’s ‘Zero Moment of Truth’ (ZMOT) and ‘micro-moments’, two concepts that will still be very relevant in 2023 — if not more relevant than ever.

The uprising of instant delivery platforms such as Gopuff, Getir and Amazon Fresh shows us that there is a demand for rapid delivery of groceries. And despite none of these companies making any profit yet, it shows that instant gratification of consumers' needs is being fulfilled. This offers opportunities for companies in their marketing strategy: provide information at the right time and in the proper context and you will win the customer.

Back in 2011, Google already pointed us to the ‘Zero Moment of Truth’, an all-important first contact moment in the customer journey. The influence of the smartphone made this even more urgent: millennials in particular see their smartphones as an extension of themselves, and almost 90% of them carry their smartphones with them day and night. Fortunately, the moments when someone reaches for their phone can be easily divided into four concrete flavours that are useful to the marketer. The question is always: ‘I want to do something, I want to go somewhere, I want to buy something or I want to know something.’

The 4 micro-moments (source: Think with Google)

Google has now baptised these interaction moments as micro-moments. Small moments in which the consumer is open to information from companies and, consciously or not, allows himself to be seduced. To give an example: 82% say they make a purchase decision in the store based on online information. An assessment is made with the help of an app, a search engine, YouTube or simply a mobile site. What are the reviews of this product? And can I score a better deal elsewhere?

Every unique customer journey, therefore, consists of countless micro-moments and every moment is another opportunity for the marketer. Brand loyalty appears to play less and less of a role in this. Two-thirds of smartphone users indicate that they look for relevance when searching. Which brand that information provides practically no longer matters. Consumers are more loyal to their urgent needs than to any brand.

What does this mean for the marketer? How can you respond to this concrete change in behaviour on your way to that dot on the horizon? Be there where necessary, be useful and be quick, is the advice.

Be there when needed.

9 out of 10 smartphone users say they have no idea of which brand they want to buy at the start of their search for information. This can be responded to with brand or product-specific information. And with effect: of the people who did have a preference, 1 in 3 buys from another brand after seeing the content. Half of them also come into contact with an unknown company.

The most important thing is not only to respond to the information needed at the end of the funnel but also to be there during other phases.

For example, try to stimulate curiosity around a television campaign with online advertising or your own content and to inspire the potential customer in such a way that they are considering the purchase. At the same time, as a marketer, make sure that the ‘I want to go somewhere’ question is answered with local (shop) information, and that the ‘I want to do something’ need is addressed with instructional materials.

Be useful.

Just being there is never a sale: it’s extremely important to be useful in the specific context in which the interaction takes place. Route guidance by a store, or concrete tips for using a product, for example, are useful.

Consumers are moving towards brands with ‘snackable’ and educational content, says Google. Driving towards a sale is less attractive. Envision the bigger goal that potential customers will have, such as how to live a healthier life. With content that answers sub-questions, a marketer influences brand perception: how healthy is X, where can I do sport Y and what is the best buy in category Z.

A hardware store chain gives it its own twist and will become the specialist in the field of DIY. Content in video and PDF that people find useful and come across at the right time ensures this.

If the consumer still ends up in a place where the information is inadequate, this will cause permanent damage. He or she will not open the mobile site any time soon and the chance that people ever buy from this brand will become much smaller, according to Google’s research.

Be fast.

It sounded a bit demanding back in 2011, but in 2023 customers find all questions urgent and look for instant gratification of their needs. If no answer is available, an alternative is sought. The number of hurdles is therefore preferably minimal and the online content must load quickly.

For retailers, this means that they can access their store information in real-time on sales channels: the opening hours and, of course, the stock information. That sharing becomes even more relevant when it’s location-based. GPS can be used for location determination in your own site, app or in advertising campaigns. In this way, every potential customer immediately finds his way to the nearest sales location and even to the shelf in the store.

Consumer behaviour is changing much faster than expected. Many companies are now optimising their internal processes — and that is also very important — but forget to meet the needs of today. In any case, ask yourself what information customers need in the four micro-moments mentioned. Is current communication consistent with this? If you do not meet the needs, the existing customer will also become less and less loyal.

Make sure the entire organisation is aware of this. Google states: “micro-moments aren’t a performance thing and they’re not a brand thing. They’re not even just a digital thing. They’re a consumer thing, and that makes them everyone’s job.

Originally written & published by Luke Theissling for Emerce in December 2016.