“Things will never be the same” is what many business owners have said this year. And they were right.
After all of the ups and downs of 2020, brands and retailers are beginning to finally settle into the “new normal”. A lot of the customer behavior and processes that were built up in the past years need to be reevaluated and adapted to fit the present. Luckily, for businesses open to making changes, this “new norm” could be a great opportunity. Shoppers are looking for new products, building new habits, and they are forging new relationships with businesses.
Here are a few ways to get inspired (and ready) for the shoppers’ new tastes and expectations.
Creative, consistent multichannel wins sales
The new norm of commerce is very complex. You couldn’t possibly sum it up in one sentence, yet one word stands out: BOPIS. Buy online, pick-up in store has exploded in recent months. In fact both BOPIS and “click-and-collect" are expected to grow by more than 60% this year. Marketers have talked a lot about multichannel in the past years, but the current situation has changed multichannel from a “cool marketing tactic” to a consumer necessity.
Shoppers are in the middle of some trying - and complicated - times. They need businesses to be accommodating in ways most have never really considered. Many shoppers don’t want to spend too much time in stores, but they also can’t always wait days or weeks for delivery. They need options. They need online and offline to be completely connected. That includes ads and listings tailored to their specific situation.
Multichannel advertising and selling is completely within brands’ and retailers’ grasp. This is all about product data control and agility. Once a business is able to quickly manage that data, they can tailor and send it to different channels as needed. We’ve got tips on how to adapt your Google LIAs for today and also outline the difference between Facebook and Google options here. Google, in fact, offers multichannel ads that will serve different ads depending on how close a shopper is to your locations.
Shopping channels (especially marketplaces) are for more than just buying
Shopping isn’t always about the necessities. That’s why platforms like Pinterest are hugely popular. They help shoppers find products and ideas they didn’t even know they wanted. On top of this, retail therapy is so much more than just a good meme topic. Pinterest is already known specifically for providing users with inspiration. And now, 23% of online shoppers will go to Amazon for inspiration when they don’t have a specific product in mind.
In many ways, marketplaces are the future. On top of everything else that makes marketplaces unique, they are now an increasingly important place for inspiration. One reason for this is that marketplaces know a lot about its users. Amazon can easily recommend dozens of products across numerous verticals. They know when shoppers last purchased a certain snack or if they just bought a new game console. Plus, when the browser lands on a product page, a smart seller will have added dozens of tips and inspiration images to make the product more appealing.
It’s important for brands and retailers to understand that marketplaces are increasingly important as well as diverse. That’s why businesses need to not just be on marketplaces but be ready to help shoppers find products easily. Backend keywords are a good example. You can use these to relate important search terms to a product without having to make those terms visible to the user.
Economic uncertainty calls for tighter marketing and optimization
Competition has always been fierce for online sellers, but now many shoppers are on a tighter budget. While online shopping is growing, sales are not necessarily exploding for everyone. Predictions for this year’s holiday turnout, in particular, are full of questions. Will shoppers turn out as usual? Will they only focus on price point or perhaps buy less altogether? With a number of long-standing brands and retailers going bankrupt - not to mention the rapidly increasing power of D2C - competition could not be more fierce.
The pandemic has accelerated ecommerce growth by four to six years. This means higher online sales but also an accelerated need to keep up digitally. As brands and retailers move into 2021, they’ll find that the multichannel environment is evolving fast, and it’s more important than ever to be able to adapt. As shoppers find new channels and take up new browsing and buying behaviors, businesses need to be ready to pivot quickly. The key will be agility.
This is the perfect call to get your product feeds together and turn product ads and listings into a scalable, agile tool.