If you thought this year has been a crazy one for the retail marketing industry, buckle up. Because in 2022, your customers’ expectations will be even higher. And the savvy retail consumer will rely on you to deliver the convenient, reliable shopping experience they’ve come to expect.
Next year, you’ll be engaging your smartest, most informed audience ever. So take advantage of these three predictions now to drive deeper, more personal connections with your savvy retail consumers in 2022 (and beyond)!
Brand loyalty will become fragile
Availability challenges caused by product shortages, shipping delays, and never-before-seen supply chain issues will drive more consumers than ever to look elsewhere for the products they love next year. And for any brand not ready to deliver an easy-to-follow, reliable shopping experience, that means a large portion of customers who are at risk of leaving you for a new platform — or, even worse — a competitor that makes their delivery dates and in-store pickup windows clear.
In 2022, the companies that satisfy savvy retail consumers with a product search that is as quick, convenient, and painless as possible will be the ones to experience the most growth. If you’re not already offering more customer-friendly fulfillment alternatives like curbside pickup or buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS), now’s the perfect time to start planning these initiatives. After all, more than half of all shoppers who made a purchase this way during the pandemic will do so again in the future.
The savvy retail consumer will shopping smart with online carts
To say today’s online shoppers are engaged is an understatement. Retailers are growing online engagement rates by giving customers more digital channels than ever to browse products, compare prices, and take advantage of personalized deals. And perhaps no better example of this evolution has been the behaviors associated with the online shopping cart.
Years ago, someone found the product they were looking for on your site and made a purchase. But now? Retailers like Amazon have rewarded shopping for adding items to their online cart before they’re actually ready to buy by offering exclusive discounts, coupons, and sale pricing to push them over the finish line. And other brands are following suit — causing major shifts in how savvy retail consumers will use your online shopping cart experience going forward.
So, if you can’t beat them in 2022 with a better alternative — join them. Give your loyal online shoppers the ability to create and constantly add to a personal product wishlist to not only deliver highly relevant offers that boost conversions, engagement rate, and sales, but to allow your team to learn more about what each individual buyer is most interested in when it comes to your brand. Beyond more engaging messaging and online interactions, this insight will give you the ability to personalize future product recommendations and promotions — making them much more likely to lead to positive results.
Savvy retail consumers will have more control of their interactions (and data) than ever
Savvy retail consumers are dictating how, when, and where retail brands choose to engage. And over the last few years, many are making the choice to adopt new shopping platforms — like mobile, social commerce, and C2C — into their routine to browse feedback from like-minded buyers (in addition to your marketing messages).
Beyond this shift, however, changing data privacy regulations and consumer-minded changes like Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection update are changing the way retail can collect, use, and store customers’ personally identifiable information. And while there are a thousand different directions this conversation could go, the important takeaway here is that savvy retail consumers have more control over their data and personalized brand interactions than ever.
To keep your loyal customers engaged with your marketing efforts moving forward, make sure your number one priority is to provide a clear value exchange to customers in every message they see. That way, your audience knows and understands precisely how submitting their info will benefit them in future engagements — making them much more likely to give you what you’re asking for: the first-party data to fuel your personalization strategy.