Brands seeking the best retail marketing strategies for 2019 should consider how technology may have changed product visibility. New shopping platforms have emerged that are driving an increased need for online reputation management. Cultivating a trustworthy reputation will be critical for gaining attention from the right consumers. This attention will pay dividends as consumers are changing the way they make purchases both online and in the shopping aisle.
Emerging platforms provide brands with opportunities to reach consumers as they make purchases. Mobile marketing can help brands connect with the traveling consumer by offering attention-grabbing features such as augmented reality, 2D image recognition technology, and rewards. Cultivating more informal relationships with consumers via social media and through micro-influencers will also be critical. Brands must be flexible if they wish to leverage the three best retail marketing strategies for the new year.
#1 Best Retail Marketing Strategy for 2019: Rethink Social Media
Social media has always been a popular platform for retail marketing strategies, and for good reason. About 74% of consumers report being influenced to make a purchase via social media. However, consumers are no longer just influenced by social media. They’re making their purchases directly on the platform. This process is known as social shopping, and many believe it is poised to make a huge impact on online sales.
Instagram Shoppable Posts provide an excellent example of this in action. Through this feature, brands can tag up to five products and make them clickable for purchase. Rolled out in March 2018, this program is already helping brands see significant returns. Instagram reports that one brand increased revenue by 8% with this feature.
As social media channels evolve and become purchase platforms, brands must rethink how they approach marketing via these methods. Properly leveraging these platforms is about engaging consumers in a social experience, rather than strictly advertising. As a result, brands will also have to rethink how they work with influencers on these platforms.
#2 Best Retail Marketing Strategy for 2019: Choose Micro-Influencers for Trust
The fact that many influencer partnerships are paid is no secret in the marketing industry. Consumers are aware that their favorite YouTube personalities and Instagram models may be biased. This awareness erodes the effectiveness of influencer campaigns. Due to that, many brands have chosen to forego big influencer partnerships and instead cultivate relationships with smaller micro-influencers.
Micro-influencers offer authenticity as they’re unbiased. These individuals don’t always receive payment from a brand for sharing information about products. If they do, the amount is nominal and usually comes in the form of rewards points or discounts. Such partnerships create credibility which drives brand affinity and sales.
Also, the use of voice ordering technology is growing. This growth makes these smaller connections critical for capitalizing on this new purchase channel. Amazon’s Echo, for example, offers voice buying features which make recommendations based on specific products. Those recommendations are driven by product ratings, which come from customers’ reviews.
#3 Best Retail Marketing Strategy for 2019: Enhance the Mobile Experience
Mobile experiences acted as primary marketing drivers in 2018, and that’s not expected to slow down any time soon. In the new year, we’ll see many emerging marketing options which will come via mobile technology. Some to consider include:
- Augmented reality: While many developers are working on augmented reality headsets and devices, AR’s primary mode of delivery is still mobile. With AR, consumers can view online products in their physical spaces or immerse themselves in branded content. As phones grow smarter and more developers begin working with AR, these experiences are sure to increase.
- 2D Image recognition: 2D image recognition has thousands of applications in retail. One of the simplest is a means of turning the product’s label into its UPC. By taking a photo of a product, consumers will be able to gather information such as its price, expiration date, calorie count, and more. This type of technology is also impacting shopping apps like Shopkick, as it allows consumers to interact with a specific product by taking a picture of it in the store. This process triggers rewards which drives brand affinity and increases sales potential.
- Vertical video: Consumers enjoy mobile video so long as it does not disrupt their shopping experience, which is why many platforms are shifting to deliver this content vertically, as opposed to horizontally. Brands considering mobile video marketing ideas in 2019 must leverage vertical delivery, as about 75% of Millennials report watching videos in this orientation.
As consumers demand more sophisticated mobile experiences, brands should consider looking to third-party partnerships in order to deliver them. These partnerships allow brands to scale their campaigns more effectively and determine if certain high-tech features have enough potential for permanent adoption. Also, partnering with third-party app providers enables these brands to connect with new audiences.
The best retail marketing strategies for 2019 will support consumers’ evolving shopping behaviors.
The best retail marketing strategies for 2019 will support consumers’ evolving shopping behaviors. Whether they’re purchasing through social media platforms, voice, or in the shopping aisle, brands will be better prepared to cater to the customer journey with mobile. Brands must pay close attention to product reputation to make themselves discoverable in the coming year, and cultivating micro-influencer relationships will help. Tech-forward retail marketing strategies will enable brands to stand out and increase their market share in the new year.
Shopkick partners work with us to reach consumers as they’re in the shopping aisle and capitalize on those critical moments prior to them making a purchase decision. To use our app to reach new audiences in 2019, contact us.
Image courtesy of Hakinmhan