“In 2004, Greg Murtagh started Triad Digital Media with a new, but simple idea: marketing products online on the very websites where customers are already shopping.” Read more in tbnweekly.com
In less than a decade, the consumer packaged goods (CPG) market has shifted dramatically. In 2015, e-commerce accounted for 1.5 percent of sales; by 2022 that number is expected to reach 10 percent. In response, retailers are placing a greater emphasis on their digital marketing strategies and meeting consumer demand for a wider variety of purchase options.
Here are some ways retailers can be flexible in meeting consumer preferences and trends:
Identify the right measures and key performance indicators (KPIs) early
Unlike many projects, there is no end date for your e-commerce site. If done right, it will require continual adjustments and improvement. That’s why deciding on the right measures and KPIs early is so important. From the start, it is essential that your team track the progress that matters so that you can adapt and improve the site. However, as technology and trends change, it’s important to remain nimble and reevaluate your KPIs to ensure maximum efficacy.
Prioritize efficient shipping
Amazon Prime has groomed American consumers to expect their items to be delivered faster than ever. A survey conducted shortly before COVID-19 found that 75 percent of consumers expect same-day delivery from all brands this year, and 72 percent expect to be able to purchase online and pick up on curbside. Brands that cannot offer the same convenience will find it difficult to compete, so finding a distribution partner with an already-developed network is the easiest way to meet that consumer expectation.
Accessibility is key
Brick-and-mortar retailers are used to ADA requirements for their physical locations, but a recent Supreme Court order now requires that businesses make their online presence accessible as well. Notably, 76 percent of app and website accessibility lawsuits filed in federal court in 2020 were against online retailers. Resources are available, like the ones below from accessibility consultants at UsableNet, to help you create more accessible web experiences:
The trend of online shopping appears to be here to last. By developing flexible online retail strategies, you can help your company maximize its online presence and more easily connect with the consumers interested in your product.
As mobile technology – and mobile phone use – has grown over the last decade, so has the use of mobile marketing. If you’re considering geofencing as a strategy for your company it’s important to first understand what it is.
Geofencing is the term used to describe the use of location-based services, like Wi-Fi, GPS or cellular data, to prompt a unique marketing action when a device enters a designated location boundary. Imagine it like much like the fence in a backyard – the geofence designates a defined area, but instead of defining property lines, the geofence defines who should receive a marketing ping like a text, email, app notification, or social media advertisement.)
Now that we understand the what, it’s critical to understand the why to determine if geofencing is the right tactic for your organization. Here are a few statistics that may help understand why many companies see value in location-based marketing:
People are on their phones. Geofencing lets you be on their phone too. The average American will spend five hours on their phone each day. While it may seem like the phone would simply create a distraction from your marketing efforts, the reality is that a whopping 92 percent of US smartphones are capable of responding to geofences. So if a customer won’t look up to see your storefront, your billboard or your window display, meet them where they are – on their phone.
People want to feel special. Geofencing can let you make them feel that way.
Recent research shows that consumers prefer relevant ads. In fact, irrelevant ads are thought of as “annoying” and a majority of Millennials and Gen-Z consumers actually expect their ads to be personalized. By carefully utilizing geofencing technology, you can help deliver a positive, brand-boosting message to customers.
People want life to be easy. Help people find what they want with geofencing
Another huge value of geofencing is driving customers to a physical location. Location based ads can help customers find the product or services they want. In fact, when coupled with additional data – like demographic information, audience segmentation or transaction histories – companies can send highlight personalized, relevant advertisements to nearby customers.
While the decision of choosing geofencing will be unique to each company, it’s easy to see why so many businesses across the globe are capitalizing on this new, exciting technology.
The COVID-19 pandemic has urged a shift in the way people shop and engage with brands in their daily lives. Consumers now, more than ever, are relying on online shopping and contactless interactions to make their purchases. The increasing state of unease within the marketplace will require business owners to adapt to respond to the needs of the consumer. Consumers want to invest in companies that go the extra mile and feel reassured of their spending habits. Strengthening your online presence will establish your business as a friendly resource and remind consumers you truly care about their overall well-being.
Here are a few tips to consider when implementing e-commerce advertising during a pandemic:
Create A Mobile Shopping Experience
For many individuals, the shopping journey begins on their cell phone. According to Google, over 50% of Google searches are conducted on a mobile device. Your consumers are actively using their mobile devices to research products, compare competitors and make direct purchases with the tap of a finger. Optimizing your website’s mobile capabilities are vital to ensuring consumers have a seamless experience throughout their buyer’s journey. To name a few, consider testing your website’s loading time, pop-up features and interactive resources when implementing a mobile experience for your consumers.
Explore Consumer Membership and Subscriptions
As social distancing efforts continue, consumers are missing a sense of community. Right now is the perfect time to foster relationships with your customers. Providing them with extra content and value will help your business stand out and extend past the pandemic. A great way to include your consumers in your business is by creating a membership or subscription program. Consumers want to feel like they have an impact and that their voices are heard. A membership program can help build a community of advocates and influencers who will ultimately help promote your business. A subscription program is also a great way to keep consumers in the loop by sending them weekly newsletters or special deals.
Build A Social Media Store
Consumers are already exploring brands on social media, why not bring your products straight to them? Creating a virtual shop allows you to showcase your products or services in the form of photos and videos. Visual content is a great way to engage consumers and create an online experience that is similar to “window shopping”. Instagram is the best platform to consider for a social media store, as 81% of consumers are already using the app to research products and brands.
E-commerce advertising during a pandemic is all about adapting to your consumer’s needs. The online marketplace has endless opportunities to help your business succeed. This is the perfect time to experiment and try something new!
In a world filled with colorful advertisements, one-click purchases, and personalized content, it can be hard to break through the clutter and reach customers with your authentic brand message. That’s why creating a solid brand management strategy can help cultivate long-term customer loyalty.
Here are three key aspects of managing your brand that can help keep your customers coming back for more:
The Value of Values
Increasingly, consumers want to know about the values of the brands they engage with. Whether a brand has a focus on status and luxury, the environment, or rugged adventure, allowing customers to understand the core beliefs you stand for and the experience they can expect with your brand creates stronger, more loyal relationships. Developing and adhering to strong brand guidelines that align with your company’s mission and vision can help create a consistent experience which helps support customer loyalty. In fact, Forbes notes that 64 percent of consumers say that values are an important part of their trusted relationship with a brand.
Give Your Customers a Front Row Seat
Consider the ways you can allow your customers to feel like they have a front row seat to your company. When customers feel a sense of belonging and engagement with your brand, they’re more likely to be happy, reliable customers. Positive interactions and updates, like special deals, new product launches, or major company milestones, can help customers feel involved with your company (which, in turn, can positively impact your bottom line). For increased access, you may also consider integrating unique customer perks that align with your brand strategy like ambassador programs, branded swag, or behind-the-scenes access, whether in person or digitally.
Play to your Strengths (and Admit When you Fail)
Part of managing your brand is understanding – and playing up – your brand’s distinct characteristics. That way, when customers need the experience you offer, they know exactly where to turn. Conversely, if you don’t live up to your brand standards, admit it. More than half of U.S. shoppers would not return to a brand based on just one bad experience. By investing in brand management tactics that help reduce the likelihood of negative experiences, and having brand-aligned strategies to mitigate those negative experiences when they do happen, you will have critical tools at your disposal to cultivate and keep a loyal customer base.
The lesson is that brand management matters. Creating a system to sustain a values-focused, transparent, consistent brand can help your customers know what to expect and ensure they feel committed to your brand.
The COVID-19 pandemic has yielded challenges that many organizations were not prepared to face. We have much to learn from the way ecommerce companies have responded to and navigated through the pandemic. Ideally, identifying these developments will help us all to better prepare for future crises.
Here are some key trends we can learn from e-commerce during the COVID-19 pandemic:
E-commerce has become essential
In a time when shoppers are unable to physically visit stores, ecommerce has become an essential function of the national economy. While U.S. overall retail sales are expected to decline by 10.5% by the end of the year, e-commerce is expected to grow by 18%. It has become clear that ecommerce cannot be ignored as a driver of profit in a pandemic economy.
Major sale events are no longer reliable
For many retailers, major sale events like Black Friday are vital to annual revenues. A day dedicated to swarms of buyers crowded through physical storefronts, though, is incongruous with the public health concerns we face. We can fully expect that these events will be shifted a largely e-commerce format. However, even Amazon’s Prime Day, a fully online sales event, has been delayed due to the pandemic.
Subscription programs are a hit
Amazon, with its Amazon Prime subscription program, reigns as the leader in U.S. retail ecommerce sales. Notably, Walmart’s new Walmart+ program has the second highest retail ecommerce sales and the highest retail ecommerce sales growth. Additionally, many now rely on membership offers from grocery delivery services like Boxed, FreshDirect, and third-party delivery apps from traditional brick and mortar retailers like Instacart and Shipt, marking growth in a blossoming industry.
Responding to changing customer needs is vital
As medical science uncovers how COVID-19 is transmitted, many customers have a heightened interest in the procedures behind the shipping and handling of their products. Smart online retailers have gone above and beyond to communicate touchpoints and sanitization practices throughout their shipping and handling processes, to assure their customers that they are taking all precautions to keep their employees and customers safe.
Advertising has always provided interesting challenges for breaking through the noise, creating relevant content for consumers and sustaining customer brand loyalty. However, 2020 has been the test of a lifetime for digital advertising pros as they adapt to rapidly changing circumstances. Here are some of the lessons learned during these tumultuous times:
Take time to evaluate how your strategy must change.
When a crisis breaks out, your digital advertising teams must ask a series of important questions to make the best strategic decisions for the brand moving forward.
First, avoid unforced errors by immediately undertaking a marketing audit to ensure existing messages are appropriate for the new environment. Next, consider: How is your customer base affected by unfolding events? How can your company demonstrate service and commitment to customers, your community, and any relief efforts taking place?
Make sure your messages include accountability and transparency for the way the crisis may be impacting your company’s operations. Online pet product retailer Chewy is an excellent example: in an earnings statement released after widespread stay-at-home orders were issued in the United States, their CEO described how a surge in demand predictably increased their delivery times beyond what customers regularly expected.
Because Chewy proactively communicated these impacts to customers through their website, emails, and social media throughout the buying process, customer sentiment remained positive while they scaled up to meet the increased demand.
Don’t look to advertising budgets as your first cost-savings measure.
When the company’s financial outlook is uncertain, many companies may be inclined to reduce advertising budgets, but with opportunities to capture ongoing and growing revenue that may be a counterproductive decision. While your company may realize an immediate cost savings, this decision could hurt revenues in the long run. Instead, reevaluate your digital advertising strategy, considering what channels will provide the most value, and concentrate your spending there.
Report relevant results.
Comparing year-over-year or month-over-month results will not provide an accurate picture of digital marketing performance in crisis environments. Campaigns taking place in April 2020 are very different than campaigns that took place in April 2019. The same can be said for February 2020 campaigns compared to March 2020 campaigns. Changing times require changing data.
While corporate leaders may still expect the same reports you provided before, consider also providing them with a day-over-day report beginning the day the crisis started to ensure they are getting an accurate picture of your efforts. This method of reporting will also give your team the insight to be responsive to rapidly changing events.
These takeaways from the challenges of advertising during a crisis will equip you to build and execute effective strategies for your brand or company. The key is to adapt, be transparent, and remember that successful campaigns are always worth the investment.
Business owners and consumers are experiencing an increasing state of unease and a lack of security as the pandemic continues on. It’s no secret the market has completely changed due to COVID-19. Although buying patterns and habits have changed, consumers need to feel reassured and understood now more than ever. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, but business owners must be willing to adapt and meet the safety concerns of their customers. At the moment, the safest place to do business is online. So, why not implement a digital marketing campaign? Here are a few tips to get you started:
Optimize Your Website
In-store foot traffic has decreased dramatically since the beginning of the pandemic. Many businesses rely on in-store contact with their consumers to keep up their sales. Although face-to-face sales may be slow to non-existent for most businesses, the opportunities in the online marketplace are endless. An online shopping experience begins and ends with your website. An updated and optimized website is crucial to a consumer’s buying journey. You will want to make sure your site is as fast as possible to avoid delays. It’s also important to update your landing page so that it matches your digital marketing efforts. Your digital advertisements will send consumers straight to your website, so remind them why they clicked on you in the first place!
Market Different Areas
Consumers have a lot more time on their hands while staying at home. They are consuming content at an incredibly high rate and across a range of different platforms. Consumers are either scrolling on Instagram, watching a YouTube video, or getting lost in the allure of TikTok. Rather than just sticking to a Google Search campaign, explore different options across all social media platforms. Experimenting with new digital marketing ideas early in your implementation will help you discover what resonates with your audience the most.
Create Valuable Content
Digital ads are full of generic pandemic-related messaging, and consumers can see right through it. In order to effectively connect with your audience, business owners need to personalize their messaging to address the problems their customers are facing. The pandemic has put a financial strain on many consumers, causing them to be more selective about where they spend their money. Rather than simply focusing your digital marketing to convert sales, consider using your business platform to build relationships with your audience and let them know you care. Advertising your community involvement, blog posts or at-home video content are great ways to get organic traffic to your website. Consumers want to feel like the businesses they support have their best interests in mind.
Although the fate of the pandemic is still uncertain, digital marketing doesn’t have to be. Experiment with new digital strategies and turn your online business around
Greg Murtagh is founder and CEO of Triad Retail Media. In 2000, he was first in the digital media world to enable brands to reach shoppers via digital shopper advertising on large retail eCommerce websites. Greg has worked with many of the world’s largest retailers on how to become effective web publishers, adding a significant incremental advertising revenue stream to complement their already large eCommerce businesses. Triad was recently named one of INC Magazine’s fastest growing U.S. companies… Read More
H.I.G. Ventures, LLC today announced that one of its affiliates has completed a significant growth capital investment in Triad Digital Media, LLC, a Tampa, FL- based online advertising services company.
Founded in 2004, Triad Digital Media is the market leader in creating, managing and operating online media programs for leading retailer and e-commerce websites. Triad partners with large e-commerce websites such as Walmart.com, CVS.com, Dell.com and SamsClub.com and others to help them monetize their online traffic via targeted advertising placements and content. Triad creates, hosts and manages focused sections of each partner’s websites and uses contextual and behavioral targeting to bring a highly relevant demographic to advertisers. Triad’s approach, which in addition to custom content includes banner ads and sponsorship programs, reaches customers who are in a highly sought after ‘shopping’ mindset. This offering provides great value to advertisers and is unique in the digital media advertising market today… Read More