The Future of Digital Marketing in Retail

July 25, 2023 Insights

Touch a hot stove, and you learn to gauge the temperature next time. Retailers have heard enough lessons on the importance of gauging the consumer market throughout the pandemic, and now it’s time to put the lessons to good use and capitalise on future trend insights.

For many, riding through the storm of an uncertain economic environment and disrupted supply chain has eroded inefficiencies and made your operations much leaner. While pandemic-led years were clouded by uncertainty, a more stable outlook this year has meant critical trends have now been accurately identified. Alas, powered by Google, Kantar and Bain’s study, we have an accurate vision of the future of e-commerce and retail digital marketing.

The lines between commerce and content have merged

Consumers are spending less time searching for an item on a specific channel. This was already declining, but its predicted shift over the next three to five years is even more significant. Consumers move across social, virtual and digital platforms while researching, browsing and buying more than ever. Shopping is shifting from a discrete, definite task in which people go straight to a retail website, to an open, passive experience.

If your sole focus is optimising your ecommerce site and its SEO, you’ll progressive lose more of your potential audience because they now expect you to find them. This is most relevant to younger people, as this demographic are primarily discovering new products and services while checking their socials and streaming videos. It’s necessary for retailers to focus their digital marketing on getting their brand into this ambient shopping experience and identifying how you can meet your audience during their online encounters.

No formula can perfect this omnipresence, which leaves you with lots of opportunities to beat your competitors. Loud Days’ approaches this differently from one client to another, but techniques like personalising ads to different demographics through the right channels allow us to put our clients in front of their exact audience, where they’re already spending their time.

All about Gen Z

Gen Z makes up just under a third of the entire population, and they’ve been entirely raised in a digital world. This group’s consumer behaviour is shaped by their world, one where digital rules and consumer power is stronger than ever.

Gen Z and millennials’ consumer behaviour replicates that of the above. They’re most influenced by products featured in a non-branded online video as they’re browsing their socials. Gen Z actually does more shopping in physical stores than millennials. Again, this points to the necessity for a brand’s omnipresence, one that stitches the digital experience into physical stores, and vice versa.

What does this value-conscious market want?

Gen Z and millennials are more aware of their power than the buyers that came before them, and they’re concerned with their intentions around value. And this value isn’t just about price. They want to use this power by taking more consideration of the brand’s value proposition and choosing one that aligns with their values. The majority are even willing to pay more with a brand that values them as a customer.

Not only do buyers seek brands that align with their values, 73% of shoppers expect companies to already understand their needs and values. Retailers can increase their chances of retaining and gaining customers by renovating their brand values and offerings to highlight the social causes they care about, as well as showcasing a dedication to meeting customer expectations. They can then include these values in their digital marketing. For example, incorporating Virtual Try-On or joining popular marketplace platforms makes you more thoughtful, accessible and progressive.

An online experience as blurred and ambient as it is today means agility will be key in the upcoming years for retail digital marketing. Regular reflection is important to make sure you’re aware of and appearing within this ambient experience, forming the right partnerships across platforms while aligning your values with your audience.