5 “FYIs” in Retail Promotion and Branding

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Retail is changing each and every day. It is an industry that has been so drastically affected by the digital age that it requires constant re-invention. The retail customer has changed and the way they shop has been transformed. It’s hard to stay ahead of the curve when certain industry-altering technologies and consumer insights haven’t even been tapped into, but the key here is to understand that retail and its consumer will change. It’s important to remain knowledgeable about emerging technologies, but also how these technologies affect the shopper. After all, consumers are the number one priority. The Customer Insight Group has outlined 5 consumer-driven trends for 2013 that hone in on the new shopper and how digital is affecting their purchasing habits.
These 5 retail trends can help build brand strategy. 
1. Social Shopping is All the Rage
Now that consumers have the ability to be constantly connected to one another through social platforms, sharing information can happen anywhere, anytime, specifically about your brand. The every day shopper is always looking for support in making retail purchases. Whether this support comes from a consumer’s research of sales, a customer review of an appliance or a business’s distribution of a coupon, most shoppers need motivation to make a purchase. This motivation is different for everyone and that is why having a social media presence is so important. Social media can reach your consumers and sway purchase intents.
2. Watch Out for the Millennials
Millennials are beginning to transform into big spenders, so it’s important to consider how, when, where and why they want to purchase. To support the first point, Millennials are social and 51% say consumer opinions make a big impact on purchase decisions. If this demographic is starting to take hold of a piece of the market share, listen to what they are asking for and provide an answer. If you need more consumer feedback to feature on your website or social platforms, campaign to gain more qualitative support for your brand and share that information. It’s also important to consider that many Millennials are finding an economic voice. 63% of Millennials said that they are more willing to pay higher prices for products where portions of the sale are given to good causes. This is a statistic that is win – win. Companies can be mindful of their social responsibilities and generate sales.
3. Mobile, Mobile, Mobile
E-commerce is already taking hold in how people purchase products. Now, the m-commerce craze is emerging. In a study conducted by Forrester Research, it is estimated that mobile commerce will increase from $3 billion (2010) to $31 billion in 2016. That is powerful. Mobile shoppers have stronger purchase intents and are highly convertible consumers. No matter what your retail business may be, a mobile strategy must become a part of your overall marketing plan.
4. More Channels = More Sales
Shoppers that engage with retail business across multiple channels spend 18 – 36% more than the consumers who only engage with a brand through one medium. This is reason alone to develop a marketing portfolio that casts a wide net to engage all consumers and hopefully in more than one way. Things to consider could include the following: a PC website, a mobile website, an app or social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.). This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it gives you an idea of all the different strategies you would need to develop to increase engagement with consumers and generate more sales.
5. Big Insights from Big Data
There is a buzz about “big data” this year and for good reason. It is projected by the McKinsey Global Institute that companies taking advantage of “big data” services could increase operating margins by more than 60%. Obviously, big data comes with big costs, but it just goes to show that the numbers don’t lie. It’s so important to invest in research – and often! It will allow you to keep a finger on the pulse of what your consumers are feeling, thinking and doing, which could help you craft strategic marketing and communications campaigns that give the consumer what they want. build brand identity and increase sales.

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