Top 5 Macro Retail Trends That A Marketing Strategy Should Address | Marketing initiatives

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Melanie Vala, Commercial Director at Splitit, explains why the retail marketing effort should be about growth and competition, increasing the number of online shoppers, sustainability, AI and payment methods.

Online retailing is growing and changing rapidly, greatly accelerated by the impact of the pandemic. In fact, e-commerce revenues are expected to reach $ 5,000 billion this year and shopping habits continue to change.

Now, retail marketers need to figure out how they can take these changes and apply them to their marketing strategy going forward.

It’s important to realize that today’s shoppers have tremendous control over their buying journey through a variety of channels. To drive sales in an increasingly competitive environment and meet the ever-changing needs of customers, marketing teams must create memorable experiences at every touchpoint that keep buyers happy and come back for more.

As we look into the rest of 2021, here are five big macro trends retailers should keep in mind when evaluating their marketing practices:

1. Continued growth and competition
The continued growth of e-commerce will lead to more companies entering the field. This increased competition puts additional pressure on businesses to remain relevant to their customers and retain customers. In the past, merchants offered loyalty program benefits to be used only in their physical stores, but that is changing. Now, online retailers are expanding their loyalty programs to include online and mobile shopping.

Retailers achieve this by offering subscriptions that save customers money if they commit to paying monthly subscription fees for their purchases (e.g. Amazon Prime, Instacart, and Fabletics). Another way for digital retailers to expand their loyalty programs is to offer subscription boxes or subscription items that are convenient or save money. Today’s brands would benefit from assessing whether these offerings could positively contribute to sales growth and brand loyalty and incorporate them into their marketing plans accordingly.

2. The influx of new online shoppers
The pandemic has brought many homebound customers online and mobile for the first time. Now, e-commerce stores, rather than brick-and-mortar stores, are the primary purchasing path for many brands. To retain these new customers, digital marketing strategies must include technology to ensure that the company’s merchandise purchase journey is easier than that of competitors. This could include robust search and filtering capabilities so customers can find what they want quickly, discreet but effective personalization at every touchpoint, sites that load almost instantly, and streamlined returns and exchanges.

In addition, ensuring rapid order fulfillment through improved logistics networks and increased fulfillment efficiency will be key to winning and retaining new customers. The same goes for using chatbots, which can help customers find what they want, when they want it. Retail merchants who adopt performance-enhancing technologies will be in a better position to attract growing numbers of online shoppers to their sites.

3. Buy now pay later
Another way to make digital shopping more comfortable and attractive is to offer the ability to buy now and pay later. Although credit cards have always provided this option, most buy now, pay later (BNPL) providers charge no interest or fees, and do not affect the customer’s credit usage metric on formulas. credit rating. BNPL was popular before the pandemic, but during the pandemic consumers preferred longer payment plan options. In fact, over 40% of caisses have moved from a five-payment plan option to a seven-payment plan option. Online retailers that offer BNPL options are experiencing increased spend from buyers, lower risk of cart abandonment, and returning customers if they have a positive shopping experience. If your brand doesn’t offer BNPL as a payment option, now might be a good time to give buyers that extra flexibility.

4. Durability
Increasingly, buyers want to support companies that have been produced in an environmentally friendly way or that are environmentally friendly or encourage recycling. The notion of sustainability contributing directly to the bottom line has been difficult for most companies to accept until recently. By 2030, at least $ 12 trillion in commercialization opportunities will be linked to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Online retailers need to implement sustainable practices and develop marketing strategies to support this.

To this end, online retailers should consider practices such as including sustainability messages in all advertisements, social media and influencer marketing, reviewing packaging materials, sending electronic receipts. or the addition of products that encourage sustainability or the search for environmentally friendly alternatives to existing products. .

5. Artificial intelligence
By 2022, online sellers are expected to spend $ 7.3 billion on artificial intelligence, up from around $ 2 billion in 2018. Modern retail brands can leverage AI to improve customer experiences through personalization. Providing personalized experiences onsite or as part of retail marketing efforts has been shown to increase sales. In one study, 40% of customers said they spent more than they expected when retailers used a high level of personalization. AI also helps drive sales by improving the voice commerce experience and striving to fulfill orders. Continued investment in AI will help brands today stay competitive and keep customer satisfaction high.

If we’ve learned anything from 2020 it’s that retailers can no longer dictate how and where customers will buy. Throughout the remainder of 2021 and beyond, retailers will need to stay flexible and communicate with customers, whether they buy in-store, online or through a mobile device, or whatever payment method they choose.

Retail merchants who focus on personalizing the shopping experience using AI and promoting eco-friendly practices will help drive sales growth for digital marketers. As e-commerce continues on its upward trajectory and the digital customer experience improves, e-commerce retailers who plan and develop marketing strategies around these trends will be in a much better position to reap the benefits.

Melanie Vala is Commercial Director at Splitit


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