Brands need to respond to the evolving needs and wants of consumers

Consumer confidence is high and consumers are willing to spend, even given the current unpredictable economic environment consumers came out of Black Friday 2018 proving a willingness to spend. Though American shoppers are trading off where they’re spending they’re not trading how much they’re spending.

But it is predicted that 2019 will see “betterment” as a key driver for growth, with consumers looking for products that solve the ‘I wish, I hate, I love’ thoughts that they have throughout the day.

What trends will we see in Retail Marketing in 2019?

  • Bolder ad campaigns that push the boundaries

Marketing isn’t just about promotions and ad campaigns shouldn’t be either. Last year was a memorable one for retailers turning bold ideas into hit ad campaigns. One of the more talked about marketing moments of the year was Nike’s decision to put Colin Kaepernick on its “Just Do It” roster in September. But in 2019, bold campaigns won’t just rely on controversial themes to garner attention.  This year’s marketing trends are all about creating captivating digital experiences. The growing momentum of social e-commerce, inclusive marketing, or brand activism means that marketers are connecting authentically with their customers.

  • Social issues and politics will play more of a role in marketing campaigns

Driven by consumer demands, retail is inching toward a future where companies stand up for causes that matter to their customer base and marketing efforts have started to reflect that.

Political and social advertising has become a huge trend for marketers as a whole, from Secret running an equal pay ad in November to Soda Stream calling out the damage of plastic pollution in the ocean, retailers are jumping on this trend more and more. We can expect more retailers to bring political and social issues into their advertising in the coming year, especially in the US with the 2020 elections coming up.

Our culture is largely visual. We take a picture so that we don’t forget, we record short videos to share with friends

Maybe a couple of generations back, a retailer would never speak about something political. But for Millennials and other younger generations they expect openness and transparent conversations with the brands they choose. But brands are going to have to be very intentional with which issues they do attach to.

  • Marketing on social gets more focused

Social media is a growing part of retail marketing. As young shoppers turn to social media not only to talk to each other, but also to interact with some of their favorite brands, retailers are getting more engaged on some of those platforms, encouraging shoppers to talk to them about everything from customer service questions to changes they’d like to see.  Social will also be an important way of building loyalty for retailers in the coming year, who need to focus on “two-way engagement” with shoppers.

Our culture is largely visual. Our phones allow us to document our daily lives in minute detail. We take a picture so that we don’t forget, we record short videos to share with friends.  It’s shouldn’t be a surprise, then, that on the flip side of the social e-commerce trend is the proliferation of visual search

“By now people have the muscle memory for taking pictures of all sorts of things — not just sunsets and ‘selfies’ but the parking lot where you parked, business cards, books to read. That’s a massive behavior shift.”

Aparna Chennapragada Vice President of Product for AR, VR, and vision-based products, Google

According to Gartner, brands that adopt visual and voice search in these early days can see their digital commerce revenue grow by 30% by 2021.  But the rise of visual search is part of a larger trend of “sensory search”. Voice and traditional search will continue to be important throughout 2019.

The retail industry has undergone a significant transformation over the past decade, and it continues to evolve quickly. In 2019, the market will be defined by emerging technologies that change the way consumers interact with their favorite brands, a shift in preferences, and the emergence of new battle lines for e-commerce.

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