The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in an almost overnight closure of retail stores and the opening of a remote working model for most businesses. Ecommerce retailers are now facing more pressure than ever as they see unprecedented demand in online orders. In addition, since there are so many online stores to choose from, ecommerce businesses need to bring their A-game to the table to ensure they are not left behind in the competition.
Hence, online retailers are now focusing on various marketing tactics, including SEO, Google Ads, and Facebook ads to name a few, in a bid to see what engages and convert customers the most.
Let’s find out some of the advertising options retailers are opting for in 2021.
Diversifying Digital Marketing Efforts
In spite of the rapidly changing online landscape, most marketers still want to stay in their comfort zone and put their marketing spends on the same platforms or in prove tactics, like paid advertising, retargeting customers on the publisher’s site, etc. At the same time, many marketers are also spreading their marketing budget across the internet.
According to Criteo, 43% of marketers plan to spend more on retail media in 2021 than the previous years. The need to engage customers at all touchpoints in the sales funnel has become more pronounced in 2020 and 2021, and marketers are responding accordingly. In fact, about 30% of marketers plan to increase their advertising spend on omnichannel this year.
Authentic Influencer Marketing
A couple of years ago, influencer marketing was focused on selfies, heavily-Photoshopped product shoots, and dramatic captions. Customers today are more likely to place their trust in brands that are authentic and relatable and these kinds of brands draw more engagement and conversion.
Hence, in 2020 and 2021, there has been a marked change towards more authentic, raw, and relatable content in influencer marketing. Today, influencers focus more on providing education, entertainment, and a unique experience to their followers. In addition, they shift the focus towards meaningful social, environmental, and financial causes to show they are truly committed.
Brands that do not have an authentic voice are at risk of losing their customers to more relevant businesses.
Video Marketing is the Future
Video marketing was already making leaps and bounds in 2019. With the coronavirus, people are very hesitant to visit brick-and-mortar stores and require content online that can help them make their purchase decisions confidently. Hence, video marketing is now no longer an option but is a necessity.
In fact, many retailers have already started partnering with influencers to create videos of their services and products on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok to foster a digital community through a shared interest.
Augmented reality is the next best thing for online retailers if their customers are unable to hold or touch a product that you are buying. According to an IBM report, the pandemic has accelerated the transition to digital shopping by five years. Brands like Houzz, IKEA, Target, and Home Depot have their own AR shopping experiences; but the technology isn’t just limited to major brands.
Shopify has also introduced the Shopify AR, a user-friendly kit that allows online retailers to create their own AR experience to market their products online. Shopify reported brands that used the technology reported a 94% more conversion than brands that didn’t use the technology.
With the launch of the COVID-19 vaccine, it is expected that 2021 will be the year of recovery. However, the focus on online advertising will continue beyond the pandemic. Businesses understand that success in 2021 and the years to come means rethinking their strategies to connect with their consumers. As brands adapt to the changing retail climate and customer demand, marketers will need to partner with those who can help engage their customers and deliver the best experience.
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