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    New realities and trends in 2021

    Covid-19 has had an impact on how we shop and more generally altered consumer behaviour, driven by new personal circumstances and habits.

    By Stocard Managing Director Radinck Van Vollenhoven.

    These shifts are unlikely to be transient but rather new realities for retailers going into 2021 and beyond. We’ve identified four opportunities that retailers can embrace this year.

    1. New shopping behaviours is an opportunity for retailers to acquire new customers

    The pandemic has accelerated the growth of the m-Commerce industry. The PayPal ecommerce Index found that mobile purchasing has continued to grow in Australia, most notably the average amount spent on m-Commerce each month increased from $270 in 2019 to $272 in 2020. Consequently, the most successful retailers are now exploring new ways to grow their loyalty base by giving their target audience a more seamless and personalised customer experience via their mobile devices.

    1. The pandemic pushed contactless payments to new heights

    The global rise of contactless payments in 2020, spurred on by challenges including looking for safer ways to pay amidst the pandemic, is showing no signs of slowing down in 2021. According to Accenture’s report, How will Covid-19 change the retail consumer? 53% of global consumers increased or significantly increased their usage of contactless payment as a result of the pandemic. Furthermore, 86% of consumers expect to sustain the increased level of usage of contactless payment after the pandemic. This has a profound impact for retailers as this feature will allow retailers to track the customer’s journey from the point of the consumer clicking on a promotion to the point of sale. Thus, providing first party data about the entire customer journey, which in a data driven world, is the most powerful weapon retailers possess.

    1. New models for digital and physical channel interplay

    The shift to seeing more digital purchasing puts even more emphasis on the purpose of the physical channel and how it can be best deployed and coordinated with digital channels. Retailers will need to think even more of innovative ways to make the most of their brick-and-mortar stores and how to best coordinate them with digital channels. ROPO is a consumer phenomenon where shoppers will find all of the information, they need about a product online, but will make the final purchase in-store. Studies show 81% of shoppers research a product online before buying it in a physical store.

    If the online experience doesn’t match the in-store experience, this leads to consumer confusion, disappointment, and customers will be less likely to purchase a product from that retailer on any channel. This is why the online-to-offline strategy is key. Online-to-offline commerce is the smart strategy of integrating online and offline for a cohesive, complementary customer experience.  Every customer has a unique purchasing journey, so being able to provide personalised engagement will help retailers to retain and attract new customers.

    1. Social media is a key touchpoint

    Ecommerce brands have recognised the importance of social media for many years, but it’s only recently that nearly every social platform have their own fully integrated ecommerce system, from Instagram to Pinterest to Snapchat.

    But it is hard to discuss social channels without talking about TikTok. The latest Roy Morgan data shows nearly 2.5 million Australians were using TikTok in an average four weeks in 2020 and it has grown its user base by over 52% during the first half of 2020, making it the fastest growing social media platform in Australia and poised to be the next big “social commerce platform” thanks to the rollout of several new shopping features.

    TikTok ANZ has already worked with major brands including McDonald’s, Nissan, NIVEA, PepsiCo and Menulog to launch large scale campaigns.

    We expect plenty more big brands to jump on the TikTok bandwagon this year.

    We are certainly excited for what is to come and how we can support our partners and the wider sector in leveraging these trends.

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