The 5 biggest retail marketing trends of 2014
The past year has seen the rapid rise of personalisation in marketing, with brands using data in increasingly sophisticated ways to develop tailored content and target customers based on their preferences and online behaviour. The amount of data available to marketers and retailers will reach critical mass in the coming year, meaning that the results and insights from new technology and campaigns implemented over the past months will give marketers and brands the insights they need to make decision based on true ROI, according to Rakuten Marketing.
Over the next few years, the company suggests that brands will need to create the perfect marketing mix to reach customers at the right time, and across every device with relevant content. In light of this, Rakuten has highlighted five trends that it believes marketers should take note of in the near future, including:
- Rewarding the modern purchase journey Today, shoppers take time before deciding to buy; they visit various brand touch points both online and offline - in fact, 40% of people in the UK have admitted to 'showrooming'. To reflect this changing purchase journey, there will be a shift in industry-standard attribution in affiliate marketing. We will see a move away from 'last click wins' models to more dynamic models so that all parties in the shopping journey are rewarded. This means that each publisher contributing to a phase of the purchase journey will profit from a sale.
- We're not all clickers Despite changes in online shopping, behaviour marketing metrics for display advertising have changed little in over a decade, and most are still based on click-throughs and impressions. Modern measurement techniques are now emerging, particularly because not all shoppers click through on ads. By delivering ads with relevant, dynamic and website-like capabilities, brands can foster high engagement. Consumers are much more likely to interact with an ad when it doesn't take them away from the page they're browsing, in fact according to AdKeeper 61% of shoppers say this is the main reason why they don't click. Measuring this engagement is much more reliable as brands know when and what part of their ad has generated a reaction.
- Shoppable content We expect to see the rise of content-led publishers as brands seek to differentiate themselves with premium, visual and dynamic content. Shoppable content can be editorial, video and even scrollable images. For example, The Mail Online has used affiliate links to drive sales for brands through its fashion stories. Video particularly will play a huge role in this as online video users are expected to reach 1.5 billion by 2016. This medium also promises to be effective, as market research shows that users who watch a video of a product are 85% more likely to buy it. The ability to shop anywhere on the web is likely to become a reality and as a result, premium content will become a 'walled garden' for prestigious publishers and brands.
- Super-target the single customer While targeting customers over multiple channels, brands need to have a complete picture of their shopper. Many retailers are now trying to take a single customer view, ensuring that the pieces of their marketing campaign are working more efficiently together. The use of first and third party data to 'super' target the customer base will grow in the coming year so that brands can change the way they engage with customers as individuals. Everything from acquiring new customers, to re-engagement with dormant customers and existing active customers will mean that brands can plan how to market to different individuals based on real insight, and employ a highly targeted approach.
- Brands going global Recent data from OC&C Strategy Consultants and Google found that international sales growth is set to dramatically outpace domestic activity to make up 40% of total online sales by 2020. Publishers hold the key for brands wanting to reach shoppers overseas. Breaking into new markets is challenging for unknown brands but by focusing on the market you want to reach and those customers' preferences, you can find the right publishers and networks to work with. By partnering with a well-known and well-trusted Australian style blog for example, a UK fashion brand widens its reach to a huge audience of local fashionistas in a strategic way. The outlook of brands will be overall more global, with many looking to strategic partners across the world to help them expand in the coming year.
"Marketers have spent 2013 getting to grips with big data, and the coming year will be the time to put that insight into action across all devices, to target shoppers based on a single customer view," concluded Mark Haviland, managing director for Rakuten Marketing. "From shoppable content tools to understanding the multi-faceted customer journey; with the right partnerships in place, brands will be equipped in the coming year to target customers effectively with relevant and personalised content."