7 Retail Marketing Trends for 2023
If you want to make smart, worthwhile improvements to your retail marketing strategy in 2023, it will be essential for you to make friends with digital technology.
Consumers are adopting new ways to use digital communication, remote services, and mobile technology at unprecedented levels. Also, according to a McKinsey study, the retail industry is leading the way in helping them do it.
So, let’s look at seven of the most important retail marketing trends for 2023.
- Voice Search
The popularity of voice-activated digital assistants and smart speakers continues to rise. According to Google, about 20% of searches are done without a keyboard. Since 61% of consumers aged 25 to 64 already intend to use their voice device more in the future, Siri, Alexa, Cortana, Google Home, Amazon Echo, and others will influence content creation and online marketing for retail.
- Voice search is starting to be used as an effective search engine optimization (SEO) tool.
- More marketers are choosing keywords based on the questions people could ask their devices.
- More retailers are optimizing content for voice search with a conversational question-and-answer format. This strategy accommodates more customized searches and faster, highly accurate answers and benefits the likelihood of being picked up as a featured snippet on Google.
- Voice-search technology is expected to become more widely available on company websites and eCommerce retailers.
The use of voice search has even inspired a new option: visual search. Consumers can now upload an image into a search engine like Google Lens or Pinterest Lens and get information about an item in the picture.
- Conversational Marketing
Conversational marketing allows retailers to engage directly with visitors on their websites. It employs AI automation, chatbots with machine learning and natural language processing (NLP), and instant messaging so visitors can have a two-way, real-time, informal conversation with a brand they’re shopping for. With consumers, conversational marketing tactics can replace a phone call, a brick-and-mortar visit, and even an email or an online form. It’s a less formal communication channel that speaks to the need for personalization, instant gratification, and one-on-one interactions, making it more meaningful for the consumer.
- Social Commerce
Shopping on social media is becoming mainstream. Social commerce is predicted to grow three times as fast as traditional eCommerce, more than doubling to $1.2 trillion in 2025. Retailers leverage influencer marketing, create content that fits into social media feeds, and integrate social media channels into their eCommerce platforms. Shoppable posts are largely popular because potential shoppers visit social platforms daily. A retailer can feature a product for people to view, learn more about, and buy without ever having to navigate away from the post. According to Forbes research, about two-thirds of today’s consumers use social media as part of their shopping strategy. Insider Intelligence reports that in 2021, half of all U.S. adults made a purchase on social media. The convenience is phenomenal for shoppers, and both retailers and social media companies are noticing.
- Omnichannel Marketing
Instead of attaining new customers through one or complimentary channels, retail marketers are focusing on keeping a consistent brand experience across all the channels where a prospect may interact with their brand. They’re aligning in-store and online marketing efforts, creating unified campaigns and messages, and putting the consumer in the driver’s seat. This helps people fit shopping into their lives and gives them flexible options to purchase via Facebook Messenger, pay on a schedule, and then pick up the item in-store.
- New Ways to Leverage Proven Results Winners
- Live Video Marketing – It’s no secret that consumers love video. Videos are 53 times more likely to generate top placement on a search engine result page (SERP ranking) than other SEO tactics. Today, 84% of consumers are persuaded to purchase a product after watching a video about it.
When a live element is added to a video, it ups the ante. Live video grabs people’s attention and makes them feel part of the experience. As a result, people spend three times longer watching live videos than pre-recorded videos. Instead of watching passively, they think they can influence the content and have a part in creating the experience as well.
- Answers-Based Content Marketing Strategy – Content strategies that leverage thought leadership, traditional knowledge, and promotional messaging still have a job to do. But content that answers the questions prospects are asking will engage them directly, instantly give them solutions, and be more memorable. All this, and marketers can likely add the benefit of zero-click searches, meaning prospects don’t have to click on any other link after their search to get what they are looking for (see below).
- Featured Snippets in Google Search – Being on top of a SERP may no longer be a retail marketer’s primary goal. Voice search and mobile growth have changed the way people use search engines. They now want information as fast as possible with the least amount of work to get it. Featured snippets and similar information included right on the SERP provide it quickly. It means they don’t need to click through to a landing page or website to get the information they’re needing. It’s called “position zero,” and requiring different SEO tactics and content optimization to get there. Right now, over 60% of Google search results are now featured snippets.
- Real-Time Messaging Platforms
Retail marketers are using real-time messaging platforms to not only reach their customers quickly and directly, but the platforms themselves are helping them collect valuable customer data. Tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger are becoming capable of storing everything needed to understand more about ideal customers.
- The End of Third-Party Cookies
By the end of 2023, Google will have phased out support for third-party cookies on the Chrome browser. Other search engines will likely be doing the same thing. It means retailers will have one less way to get customer information that helps them target ads better and check performance. The time is now to consider alternatives:
- Prioritize data from first-party cookies, which are still on the table.
- Optimize existing resources to get the same results.
- Develop a custom customer data platform that can help personalize content.
- Define effective privacy policies and use ethical data sourcing.
To stay on top of retail marketing trends, retailers must stay on top of digital technologies. Improve your retail marketing strategy by embracing the many digital technology opportunities available to you.