The pundits of retail marketing don’t come out just once a year anymore. Now, every quarter brings fanfare about some breaking fad that is seen by the marketing gurus as the new “must follow” item for every internet savvy company. Pundits come and go and so does every fad. Instead of fads, here are some retail marketing trends that should last for years rather than just a single news cycle.
Less Expensive Entry Points
In these times of austerity, the battle for an ever diminishing dollar will see companies compete for the smallest of purchases. Companies will decrease package size and packaging costs by producing small, resealable packages that will retail for under one dollar. The consumer still gets the product that they want albeit in a limited form.
Interactivity is everywhere. Now, instead of mindlessly watching a television in a restaurant, the consumer is actively engaged. First, they are compelled to order with the touch screen and then, as they wait they are “treated” to various ads for ancillary products and services. Traditional shoppers may find this an unnecessary distraction but it is de rigueur for the latest shopping generation. In addition, they will demand a price match for any item that they find online.
Predominance of the Mobile Market
If a company fails to capture the audience that lives and dies by their “smart” devices, that company will swiftly go the way of the dinosaur. Retailers, restaurants and especially clubs must embrace this technology if they wish to stay at the forefront of their clients’ minds. The latest generation is on the move and they demand timely and accurate information all the time. Don’t provide it at your own peril.
Similarly, the “ connected” crowd will not rely solely on the traditional PR and advertising of companies. These people want to hear from the peers in their social network. This network is far more trusted by the latest generation than any of the traditional arbiters of quality including such icons as Consumer Reports and the Better Business Bureau. Businesses must establish marketing efforts to infiltrate and influence these crowd-sourced information venues.
The Reemergence of the Old
Despite all the references to the new and the young, the senior citizen crowd will still yield a significant hammer in the world of retailing. Seniors may buy different products for different reasons but still have significant buying power. Businesses must recognize these differences and accommodate the needs and buying habits of these consumers. This effort requires distinctly online and retail marketing strategies. It may be the last hurrah for marketing in the traditional sense but it will reverberate for decades to come.
The latest trends are just that, the latest. New ones develop every day and the observant marketer can have an appreciable effect on his clients’ bottom line by just paying attention. As Yogi Berra said, “You can observe a lot by just looking around.“ People and marketers , in particular, are desperate to tell you about the latest happenings and fads. Hopefully, the latest trends above have given you some insight into the rapidly evolving world of retail marketing.