In 2016, 82% of American Express survey respondents reported getting most of their shopping information online. But that wasn’t always the case. As recently as 2014, only 48% of respondents said they got most of their shopping information from online sources.
What happened? How has the internet changed the way we find and buy products? If you’re looking to take your marketing strategy into the new era of online retailing, here are four tips for moving forward.
1. Personalized Shopping
The growth of online retail has undoubtedly been propelled by the explosion of online marketplaces. Thanks to the likes of Amazon, eBay, and a whole host of other personalization platforms, the options available to consumers have increased dramatically. Thanks to constant innovation and evolution from within the industry, these platforms have continued to grow in capability, expanding the range of products and services available to consumers.
Personalized shopping means that a customer’s specific preferences and historical buying patterns are used to recommend products that they might like based on their shopping history. Sometimes this can mean the difference between success and failure when it comes to retail marketing. While a general rule of thumb is that you should tailor your marketing to reflect the behavior and needs of your specific audience, this doesn’t mean that you need to be exclusively focused on one platform. An Amazon customer, for example, might well come back to the site again and again to purchase products they’ve discovered are particularly good value for money.
2. Multichannel Marketing
Another significant factor driving the growth of online retail has been the ability to reach consumers across multiple platforms. Thanks to the rise of digital marketing, this has become much easier. Marketers can now target potential customers based on their interests, locations, and previous purchases, among other things. Using this information, marketers can craft marketing messages that will catch the attention of the right audience, regardless of whether they’re searching for products online, on social media, or in local cannes.
Traditional marketing was generally focused on one particular platform, whether that was newspapers, magazines, radio, or TV. This meant that marketers had to ensure that the content they created and the offers they made were compatible with each medium. Thanks to the rise of digital marketing, this isn’t necessarily the case any longer. As a general rule, your digital marketing strategy should be focused on driving sales across all platforms.
3. Real-Time Marketing
In today’s world, users expect and prefer immediate gratification. Short attention spans and the rise of social media means that a potential customer might well scan a product description and hit the ‘buy’ button without having even had the chance to read the entire brief. In these cases, the product description probably didn’t do its job. Thanks to real-time marketing, users can now be notified of special offers and news relating to products they’re interested in purchasing, without having to search for and find these offers themselves. And since people are generally more engaged with content that relates to their interests, real-time marketing has created the opportunity to convert more leads into sales.
4. The Convergence Of Media
Finally, it’s worth considering that the rise of online retail has been propelled by the convergence of technologies. Traditional marketing was generally limited to paid advertising, but the internet has given rise to a whole host of digital marketing innovations, such as content creation, social media, and email marketing. These technologies have continued to evolve and improve, creating the perfect platform for marketers looking to take their strategy into the future.
Forbes has predicted that digital marketing will account for 76% of all marketing spending in 2021.
Thanks to the ever-evolving and expanding world of digital marketing, it’s possible to take your strategy into the future, regardless of whether you’re looking to take your marketing efforts online or prefer to stay away from the internet. Never before has the world of marketing been so versatile and open to experimentation and innovation.