2021 was a year of adjustments. The economy slowly recovered from the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic. A year that many believed would mean a return to normalcy. But the new Omicron variant rocked the world once again as a fresh reminder, that is, COVID has not gone away yet.
The retail industry also experienced rapid change and disruption as customers made new retail decisions depending on the state of the coronavirus.
Consumer-facing industries are creating and implementing next-generation marketing strategies to improve the customer experience in the coming year. To stay relevant with these consumer-centric trends in retail, marketing teams will need to be able to engineer memorable customer experiences using advanced, data-driven marketing analytics.
Let’s take a closer look at six of the leading retail marketing strategy that organizations will need to be prepared for throughout 2022.
Hop On Values-Based Shopping
Now more than ever, consumers care about brand values. A 2020 consumer report revealed that 71% of shoppers prefer brands whose values tend to match their own. Ideals such as social justice, sustainability, and even data privacy have a big impact on consumer purchasing behavior. It’s going to be even more important in 2022 to meet your customers where they are in this regard.
Transparency really is key. Publicize any efforts your brand is making toward the common good, and remember to be upfront about exactly how your customers’ data is used. Clearly communicating your brand’s values is a great way to increase both brand trust and purchasing confidence, landing you another step ahead of the competition.
Eliminating Delayed Gratification
Today’s consumers want their demands fulfilled as quickly as possible. It wasn’t too long ago that online shoppers believed it was reasonable to wait weeks for their products to arrive.
Now, about a decade later, consumers are beginning to expect free overnight shipping from online retailers. This coupled with the fact that more people than ever are choosing to shop from home. It means that retailers must be prepared to deliver on expectations.
Streamlining Online and Offline Experiences
Personalization has been a mainstay in retail innovation for most of the decade. In 2022, this trend is expected to continue as retailers take a more holistic look at customer data. Instead of using a customer’s data to send them targeted advertisements and promotions, retailers will use personalized people-based marketing insights to create simple, streamlined shopping processes.
For today’s time-pressed consumers, this is a significant value-add. Creating a personal experience based on customer insights can help to fill the gap that would otherwise be filled by a salesperson in-store.
Use of Artificial Intelligence
As AI technology advances, it’s integrating into the marketing world, resulting in the most personalized shopping experiences possible. AI revenues are expected to reach up to $300 billion by the year 2025, signaling the opportunities in this space.
It’s expected to take the retail world by storm as visual search features grow stronger. For example, existing services like Google Reverse Image Search or Pinterest’s visual search tool currently allow users to find results and similar images all based on one photograph.
Experiment With New Channels And Formats
The social isolation of lockdowns saw mobile phone and tablet usage soar as the only socializing permitted was virtual. People turned to their phones and social media for the company, for entertainment, for information as well as to catch up with friends.
Some consumer brands and retailers quickly spotted the potential gold mine of leveraging Tik Tok’s viral short video and influencer platform. They create stimulating content for new audiences as well as strengthen loyalty with existing customers.
More Innovative Stores
- Digital mannequins that learn about your favorite items and guide you through the aisles
- Cashierless self-checkout stores
- Smart shelves that verify product availability
- Virtual try-on sessions
Yes, these are the stores of the future. However, we will see increasingly autonomous stores that allow consumers to find what they are looking for almost instantly. They will receive the immediate attention they need. Also, pay for it quickly, making a simple purchase a multi-sensory brand experience.
Retailers such as Walmart and Carrefour have already taken the plunge into this new way of interacting with customers to compete with the e-commerce giants.
Retail marketing is constantly evolving and it’s important for you to evolve right along with it. If you don’t then it’ll be impossible to stand out from the crowd.
The specific techniques may change from year to year but the underlying strategies remain the same. It’s important to understand what your customers want and need from you then deliver it in a way that’s convenient to them.