With massive digitalization and mobilization of society underway, brands have shifted their marketing strategies to focus heavily on social and eCommerce channels. New consumer experiences have been created thanks to rapid technology advancement along with available data, and buying something has never been more convenient and enjoyable.
Understanding the Consumer
It is now easier than ever to capture consumer behavior due to multiple digital platforms and data technology. Consumer data, including what web pages a user has browsed, most-frequented social apps, purchased products and product reviews they have read, are just a few crucial notes marketers can use to their advantage in targeting and personalizing user interactions. Online retail giant Amazon uses this big data to recommend products to its customers. In fact, their “Customers who bought this item also bought…” feature increased sales by an impressive 30% when it was first launched. The eCommerce method proves to be a highly effective way to up the time users spend on the site, hopefully and most likely encouraging them to buy more.
Digital technology has spurred the development of content marketing, which in essence is distributing various forms of content that’s highly appealing and relevant to targeted consumers. For example, vivid visuals on Instagram and viral videos on YouTube act as a source of entertainment and give brands a way to send messages and communicate their brand offerings to consumers in a truly non-disruptive manner. Digital publications like Time Out work to make content extremely browsable and valuable to their users while integrating subtle eCommerce tactics. Readers experience a smooth journey to purchase, from the initial email that compels them to read an article about the hottest club event in a city to the link that sends them to the venue’s site to purchase tickets.
Online shopping is now the norm and brands have implemented solid infrastructures that support the electronic purchasing process—making shipping, return and exchange a digital cinch. Shoppers welcome great convenience provided by designers like Ray-Ban. Those who visit their site can browse sunglasses online, easily and conveniently reviewing product details and accurate pictures, and purchase immediately once they’ve made the decision on what to buy, thus, saving them time and energy. And if the sunglasses don’t work out, customers can simply ship back for full refunds versus going to an actual, physical store. What’s additionally convenient in terms of purchasing process is the ability to buy products directly from a social media post or click-to-buy button on an online advertisement.
Consumer Engagement and Empowerment
Social media is a mecca for great consumer engagement and empowerment. Brands are now able to communicate information and news and interact with their customers in real-time to forge a stronger relationship with them. Contests where social media users are asked to participate and share their lifestyle and thoughts that integrate a certain product are not only empowering to the user but simultaneously ingrains the brand into the overall public conversation happening. Many beauty brands have capitalized on celebrity influencers. The famous Kardashian family is well-known for endorsing beauty and fitness products on all of their viral social media channels, and the results generate direct and exponential sales for promoted brands.
For consumers, it’s never been easier to buy something than online. For brands, it’s never been easier to sell something than on social media and eCommerce applications. Digital integration in the retail and shopping industry is a huge plus for both parties and the experience of buying something only continues to produce agreeable benefits.