Every year, predictions abound about how this is the year. There was the year that social media became the dominant form of communication on the internet. The year that mobile outpaced desktop internet usage.
Now, 2017 is poised to become the year that retailers fully embrace digital marketing in every aspect of their business. That is why we want to discuss 5 trends you will see in 2017 as retailers embrace these ideas.
5 ways retailers can grow their digital marketing in 2017
1. Mobile UI/UX:
Consider these facts. First, over 50% of searches now happen on mobile devices. Second, 91% of Facebook’s daily active visitors use their mobile devices to check the social network.
The fact that the two largest websites in the world now draw the vast majority of their traffic via mobile means that mobile traffic is going to become a larger percentage of your traffic as well.
To take advantage of this, retailers need to improve their user interface. The easier it is to navigate and purchase goods on your website, the more you can increase conversions and improve brand loyalty.
For example, SeaSpray Pools used to have a Flash-driven website that Google could not read and was not up to the current standards for user interfaces.
We converted their site into a responsive site that works on multiple devices, and improved the look and layout of the site to improve their conversion rate.
The result was a website that drove search traffic and retained that traffic with the eye-popping visuals customers want when shopping for a pool.
2. Data improves decision-making
Marketing has always been a mix of science and art. However, as marketing becomes more precise and the amount of available data continues to pile up, the business has become much more science-based.
That is because in the era of hyper-competition, as Peter Drucker called it, you need to have more information to make smarter decisions. Data is the best way to do this.
For example, when we were working with Pharmacy Online, we could tap into the company’s vast database of 12,000 products and affiliated customers to improve the search engine traffic to the site. Thanks to the vast stores of data, we could increase online organic traffic to the site by over 43%.
If you want better results from your online marketing, you need to tap into the database of customers, products, and previous marketing to improve your company’s results.
One of the great things about data is that it not only helps you reach out to new customers, but also improves the interactions with your current customers. This is because you can use the data you have from customers to do everything from predicting future purchases to communicating with them on a personal level.
To do this, you need to incorporate some type of customer relationship management (CRM) tool. The CRM can help you track your customers, and also segment them based upon the quality of interactions you had with them in the past as well as expectations for the future.
Additionally, you can combine your CRM with loyalty programs to ensure that continuing customers have a reason to keep patronising your retail and ecommerce stores.
Note: While personalisation and data have amazing potential, you do need to be careful. Some customers might feel like you are big brother watching them if you over-personalise your contact with them.
Customers are happy that you remember their name and send them relevant information. They might be freaked out if you know their buying patterns better than they know themselves.
4. IoT devices
While the Internet of Things (IoT) is still in an early, exciting phase of development, it has shown clear advantages to retailers willing to take a chance on this growing technology.
The watches and tracking devices used today are the first wave of IoT. Soon, newer IoT devices will provide a wealth of data to help retail marketers improve the experience for customers based on their individual needs.
It is the culmination of digital data and personalisation, with the brick and mortar aspect of digital marketing that is often missing when customers visit a store.
Now a customer can get a customised buying experience tailored to their personal preferences based on the data harvested from their daily activities.
5. Brick and Mortar:
While brick and mortar stores will never recover the dominance, they had in the mall-crazy days of the 1980s, they continue to have a major impact on the success of a retail store.
Ecommerce marketing has put a serious dent in retail shopping over the past decade. However, many consumers still want to see and feel the items they are buying before they make a purchase.
That is why many ecommerce retailers are opening showrooms and pop-up stores in key locations. They understand that giving people the opportunity to play with electronics and try on clothes can improve their online as well as offline purchases.
Plus, it is another way to engage customers with the brand. People love to experience a brand. That is why virtual and augmented reality have become more popular over the past year. Customers want to immerse themselves in the brand. Having a brick and mortar location allows them to do this.
Retail marketers will take substantial steps in 2017 to improve their digital marketing efforts. As they see the benefits of integrating traditional and digital marketing efforts, they will continue to explore these trends.
If your retail store wants to take advantage of these ideas, contact us for a free consultation.