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Rethink your marketing priorities and reap the rewards

Bazaarvoice APAC managing director Kate Musgrove details five commerce trends worth adopting to futureproof your business in an ever-changing digital environment.

With continued economic uncertainty and the rapid speed of change in commerce trends and behaviours, it’s crucial for marketers and business leaders to keep alert,  continuously reassessing where to focus their efforts. 

According to our recent Shopper Experience Index, for example, we’ve seen a shift in spending habits due to the current cost-of-living crisis, with shoppers rapidly decreasing how much they spend on non-essential items. This indicates that many businesses will need to find a new marketing approach to stay relevant and successful in this current competitive landscape.  

Based on our most recent consumer research and insights collected from global marketing thought leaders, we recommend brand managers and business leaders  rethink their marketing priorities to align with the five key trends that are currently  dominating the market.

1. Elevate customer voice as your best sales tool 

Harnessing the power of user-generated content (UGC) and social proof is no longer optional — it’s a strategic imperative. Through reviews and ratings, both good and bad, customer feedback can be your greatest asset, leading to increased customer loyalty and overall sales.  

Our data shows just how crucial customer-generated feedback is, with over half (55 percent) of shoppers unlikely to make the final purchase without a product review or rating, and with a staggering 78 percent of shoppers finding confidence in their purchase only through other shopper content.  

The takeaway is to prioritise platforms that amplify authentic customer experiences to build trust and drive sales.

2. Social media: the new search frontier 

In the age of digital discovery, social media platforms have become the go-to search engines for product exploration. Shoppers now search on platforms like Instagram and TikTok for real-time, visual insights and guidance into their next purchase.  

Businesses should take note and optimise their social media presence, through various channels, leveraging these platforms as dynamic avenues for product visibility and engagement. The more visually appealing and engaging for the consumer, the better. 

3. Embrace the value-seeking shopper 

Along with rising living costs, the importance of value-for-money shopping information has been dramatically elevated, with brand loyalty no longer guaranteed. Our recent research indicates nearly three-quarters of shoppers are now open to trying alternative brands — something quite unusual for the Australian consumer.  

To mitigate this, retailers can focus on communicating value propositions through shopper content, ensuring transparency in pricing and quality. This is also a time for brands to attract new customers. 

4. AI: a business future-proofing tool 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not just a trend — it’s a transformative force. Successful brands are already leveraging AI to enhance business time management and elevate user experiences.  

It can also go one step further to increase UGC. According to our research, almost three-quarters of shoppers avoided leaving a review at least once because they didn’t know what to say. However, with an AI-powered coaching tool, shoppers have that extra bit of help to express their opinions on the purchase — ultimately leading to an increase in sales. 

5. Rise of the creator economy 

Enter the era of creator marketing, where large brands utilise the voices of content creators as trusted advocates to increase brand credibility. Unlike direct marketing tactics previously used, shoppers now rely on, and actively seek, the opinions of influencers to inform them on their potential purchase.  

While partnerships with content creators have now seamlessly integrated into marketing strategies, the new challenge of today lies with the growing number of individuals identifying themselves as creators. With over half (53 percent) of shoppers now believing they too are influencers; businesses must weed through the masses to find the right content creator that can authentically articulate the brand messaging and ethos with the desired audience.  

In a landscape defined by change, marketing and business leaders must adapt, adopting a forward-thinking approach. By prioritising customer voice, embracing social media dynamics, catering to value-seeking shoppers, implementing AI, and tapping into the creator economy, businesses can position themselves as leaders in the dynamic digital arena of 2024.

Kate Musgrove is APAC managing director of Bazaarvoice.

Next, check out the winner of JCDecaux’s Programmatic Campaign of the Year award.

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