6 Facts About Digital Marketing After the Pandemic
Posted July 30, 2021
If the pandemic showed us anything about the trajectory of commerce in today’s world, it’s that an online web presence is imperative to support the shopping journey of your customer base and grow your business. While small businesses took a hit in 2019, big box stores required swift and fast integration to digital before hitting a point of no return. Major shopping chains like Walmart, Best Buy, and other retail centers were quickly presented with a myriad of dilemmas at once.
And we know the story all too well. Shopping conglomerates lacked necessary protocol to address these impending health concerns and quickly became breeding grounds for the virus. With fewer resources to maintain operations, an alarming reduction in sales, and isolation requirements intact, plummeting foot traffic quickly followed. This ripple effect has altered businesses of all sizes, specifically during the peak of the pandemic; however, large retail companies have proven that the pivot towards digital is here to stay.
According to Bloomberg’s Matthew Boyle, the acceleration of e-commerce from warehouse to home delivery is an advancement that can not be reversed. While brick and mortar businesses continue to reestablish their presence in the local markets and welcome shoppers with open arms, big box chains are sticking to what they set in place. Those same customers who visit mom and pop shops are less encouraged to frequent “big box” stores and are continuing to opt for the convenience of digital retail.
The Post-Pandemic Shopping Journey
From touchless payments to at-home deliveries for everything from groceries to automobiles, the roller coaster of commerce looks new for customers and businesses alike. While consumer buying patterns have leaned more towards convenience and safety before the virus, this is even more true today. For most shoppers, COVID-19 illustrated a deep need to return to what truly matters in life without relinquishing the ease of online access in order to get there. Young adult families are taking their day to day needs online through a variety of markets, and young adult professionals investing in self-care, home beautification, exercise, and health have continued to do so digitally.
Wherever “there” is, the journey is still made through micro touchpoints that align with a larger global consumer identity. Businesses who take into account the macroeconomic impact of their brand, provide easier access to their products online, and excel in customer satisfaction are rising higher to the top. Things like social equity, inclusivity, and creative advertising are drawing customers in at a rapid rate. Buy-in to your business happens only after this notion is acknowledged and can be proven – that their money matters, and that the cause is good, not just beneficial to them. Before buying a ticket to the hair-raising opportunity your business or products provide, these micro points must be checked off in a compelling manner.
According to Shopify, one of today’s leading e-commerce website platforms, businesses can’t go wrong by branching into online retail within these leading markets:
- Baby Clothes and Accessories
- Virtual Classes and Events
- Sporting Goods
- Household Decor and Cleaning Products
- Cosmetics and Beauty Products
- Athleisure Clothing
- Pet Supplies
6 Facts About Digital Marketing After the Pandemic
There is plenty of room in digital real estate to market your business whether it falls within the above-mentioned markets or not. E-commerce is expected to hit its first $1 trillion milestone in 2022 due to the lasting impacts of COVID-19, and companies like Data Street Marketing are here to help you prepare. Planning a product strategy around your pandemic-proof online business is easier when keeping these six facts in mind:
1. Know When to Leverage Virtual
While consumers are venturing into public spaces in 2021, the convenience of virtual is still highly sought after when interacting with brands, new and old. This goes for customers and employees alike. Remote work has reportedly increased by a staggering 87% since the global pandemic. In the fields of education, employment, and event planning, virtual is here to stay, but some are taking digital one step further.
Businesses are interacting with consumers through rewards-based gamification apps designed to incentivize engagement. While you can find a game and app for almost anything, retail, food delivery, and rewards based apps are on the rise. Even brands like Colgate have joined the bandwagon with the introduction of the hum app, a smart toothbrush app which allows the user to track brush patterns and receive points for use – Colgate awards one point for every brush, and two for brushing while using the app. Users can cash in points for products including new brush heads.
2. Use Data to your Advantage Through Segmentation
Before the pandemic, businesses were already becoming more precise with their marketing dollars, but COVID-19 reinforced this trend as a necessity for survival. Using data to your advantage is critical in order to reach the right customer base most likely to convert on site or within social purchasing apps.
Customer segmentation has grown from determining groups based on location, income, and age to including niche segments based on search history, personal values and interests, and other attitudinal characteristics. According to the EY Future Consumer index, 16% of consumers are putting the planet first while 32% are opting for affordability and product quality.
Knowing these top “psychographic” personas, brands can devise creative strategies that speak appropriately to customer values while enhancing the experience of connecting with your brand. Using tools like real-time analytics, companies can establish A/B test cases whose objective is to camouflage the functional silos of marketing, customer service, and sales.
3. Exceed Customer Expectations
While it has always been important to meet customer expectations, businesses are expected to go above and beyond. Hyper-personalization based on customer data provides unique experiences for the customer journey, but the end goal must also be superior. A frictionless, anticipatory, and relevant experience powered by the 4C’s – convenience, content, community, and commerce, is the future of the online marketplace. These expectations are what fasten the consumer’s belt so to speak along their shopping journey. Coupled with innovative products to fit their needs, customer loyalty is earned almost immediately.
4. Understand How Your Customers Search
One way to help camouflage your marketing initiatives is to apply customer search data in creative ways. It’s important to understand how your customers search (and research) your market to find the information needed to make a purchasing decision. In order to appear as an authority in your industry, strategic content should be placed on your website in order to properly guide the customer throughout the research phase of their shopping journey. It’s not only critical to optimize your website for keyword volume surrounding your industry, but also for long and short tail keywords that might support it. For example, if a customer is searching for “landscaping companies in Mississippi” it would be best to not only include a landing page which contains these keywords, but perhaps a blog post on “10 Easy Tips for Lawn Maintenance This Summer”.
Organic search queries should be matched with organic keywords, content, and engaging imagery; however, there are additional ways to apply search to your marketing strategy. Through targeted display advertising, digital marketing agencies can reach niche audiences by targeting keyword lists within your specific industry. Users who search from thousands of varieties of keywords are directed towards your website through dynamic ads specific to their interests, demographics, and location.
5. Let Your Business Represent Your Values
The global pandemic carried with it extreme social unrest in 2020. Things that mattered to consumers before including convenience, price, and customer experience are followed in importance by sustainability, ethical sourcing, and social responsibility and equity. C-suites which found difficulty in establishing these values were forced to address problematic ideals which quickly became visible to the consumer. It was no longer “enough” to have a legendary product line if its legacy was underrated or socially taxing. Consumers are demanding to know how you’re shaking up the social dilemmas they are most concerned about, especially if your market lies within unsustainable or inequitable avenues of the global economy.
6. Humanize Your Brand to Tell a Bigger Story
All the above signs point to one fact: humanizing your brand is critical to building customer relationships. This starts by telling a more relatable, meaningful story about your business. Customers want to know what makes your business unique or worthy of their time and investment. Facts about the background of your beginnings, differences in product quality, customer service, and employee morale reflect the human side of your brand. A good digital marketing agency will help you flesh out and highlight your brand story in strategic ways throughout your website, social media presence, and within the arena of advertising real-estate.
Excel in E-Commerce Post-Pandemic with Data Street | Digital Marketing Agency in Jackson, MS
Digital marketers are tasked with the unique opportunity to find the perfect blend of automation and human touch within the art of storytelling and the sciences of finance, psychology, and sociology. We are experts at using data to fuel meaningful human interactions, relationships, and commerce. Post-pandemic digital marketing strategies embody a more harmonious and human relationship with the fiscal and social economic makeup of today’s world. By prioritizing these trends towards better understanding the customer journey, we can establish footing in the global marketplace without necessarily relying on foot traffic – a measure of success which quickly lost traction for businesses during COVID-19. At Data Street Marketing, we operate ahead of the curve so that you can excel in an e-commerce environment. Contact us today to see how we can help you compete in the online marketplace.
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