Friday, October 18, 2013

The Third Moment of Truth

In my earlier post this week, I explained what was meant by the traditional marketing model of the First and Second Moments of Truth (FMOT & SMOT). I then went on to cover the more recent concept of the ZMOT or Zero Moment of Truth and how it aligns to older models of: AIDA (Awareness, Influence, Desire and Action). 

In the offline world, the FMOT is typically when the shopper reaches for the product and buys it. This aligns nicely to the online (or Multi-Channel) world, where the user does virtually the same thing by clicking on the product they want, adding it to their digital basket and proceeds through the checkout process. The SMOT is then relatively the same for both channels, with the shopper either taking the item home to experience themselves, of getting it delivered / collected. 

However, I think we also need to consider that (primarily for the online shopper) we should add an additional stage, the Third Moment of Truth… or the TMOT if I’m allowed to continue the series (and not to be confused with ‘The Ministry of Truth’ or ‘The Magic of Television”).  

Consider the situation that is now quite a common problem for eCommerce retailers…
  1.  A shopper visits a website, selects a product to purchase (typically one that they wear or needs to fit them in some way) and adds it to their online basket.
  2. Because they are not too sure about the exact sizing of the product, or because they are not sure about their own physical dimensions, they order another one in a different size or two.
  3. They may also order different colours of the product or other variant in some way… all in an effort to find a single product that is the ‘right’ version or fit.
    Note: It’s also my assumption here that sites who offer ‘free delivery’ and especially ‘free returns’ will suffer from this effect more.
  4. After the user has completed their transaction (FMOT) they then await delivery, or in a ‘Click & Collect’ situation they go and get it themselves.
  5. The goods arrive at their home and the shopper unwraps or un-boxes their purchases (SMOT).
  6. However, they are now left with more than one product, when all they wanted was one thing. So after viewing or trying on these products, what do they do?

    They decide which items they are going to return.

It is this moment, when a choice about what gets sent back is made, that I think needs greater consideration and becomes the TMOT, the Third Moment of Truth.

Trust Me On This …   Doh!
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