Consumers are now constantly connected, confident and in control of their shopping choices. And, they are driving major changes in shopping behavior. Disruption and transformation are the new normal for retailers. Those who are winning in this new, challenging market are the ones who understand and rapidly respond to these changes.
Here are two bold, and winning, choices retailers need to make to stay relevant to modern consumers.
1. Shift from functional to inspiring shopping
Online customers increasingly expect to be inspired. This requires retailers to shift to a more emotional, contextual style. The online fashion world is a good example of a sector that is doing this at an impressive speed.
Aspirational online retailers need to differentiate themselves from more functional platforms, such as Amazon. They can retain their relevance to consumers by taking a more emotional direction, being agile and establishing a personal relationship with their consumers.
We are no longer inspired, or even satisfied, with ecommerce sites that simply show a shirt on a white background for you to select the color and size. Consumers want to be enticed by pictures and videos of fashion collections worn by influencers in exciting, desirable locations. In this context, they are moved by the whole look and feel of the site and, increasingly, their desire is triggered by images on social media.
Successful retailers will be those with a strategy that asks ‘how do I position my brand?’ and ‘what investment do I need to make to realize that vision?’ Innovations such as interactive, shoppable technology can help you make this shift from functional shopping to inspiring content marketing. It also means your investment in engaging pictures and videos is no longer simply about building brand equity, it forms a direct and measurable contribution to your KPIs.
However, the future is Omni-channel, which means we must not forget the high street. Consumers can fully immerse themselves in the brand experience of an inspiring physical retail store. But, every touch point needs to be integrated with the online service.
Modern consumers expect to be able to shop in-store with their phone. They also want the option to have their items shipped to their home or office. Interactive online pictures and video can facilitate this integration by giving customers information about what is available in their local stores.
2. Ensure your content marketing is a team sport
One of the biggest challenges for retailers is they tend to work in separate departments, each with their own marketing campaigns. In the past, this was efficient and made perfect sense for many businesses. However, with the shift away from traditional advertising to a more content marketing focused strategy, many retailers are missing opportunities.
For example, if your food department produces a recipe video, it can also promote non-food products, such as kitchen equipment. When these different marketing teams cooperate with each other, they can co-ordinate seasonal foods, such as oysters, with a special offer on oyster knives in the same ‘how-to’ video. Putting Spott’s interactive layer on the video creates a natural incentive for different departments to work together on their content marketing.
When retailers instigate a cross-team dynamic, they can make the most of opportunities to increase the ROI on their content marketing. If you’ve decided 2019 is the time to make your content marketing more engaging and efficient, get in touch with Spott.ai to find out how we can help.
This is the third in a series of blogs about how the marketing and advertising industry is changing. In further blogs, the Spott.ai team will examine what the future holds for content creators, publishers and multi-screen content distributors.
Jonas De Cooman is Co-Founder and Co-CEO at Spott.ai, a content marketing SaaS platform that allows users to make any content (pictures and videos) interactive, enriched and shoppable. By processing it once, it becomes interactive across all platforms: your own websites, social media channels, third party websites, interactive video player platforms and even physical assets, such as paper magazines and boarding. The Spott.ai dashboard benchmarks performance of every unit of content on all platforms based on views, clicks and baskets. User profiling is available on request.