For most consumers, the events of 2020 have spurred a significant shift in their buying behaviour. In response, the retail sector has had to battle in order to meet these rapid market, technological and consumer transformations. 

Broadly speaking, the undisputed winner of all these changes has been ecommerce, with the sector welcoming a $4 billion boom as many stayed at home. The challenge for businesses now rests on providing a winning online experience — which often means marketing themselves effectively.

Breaking this down, we looked at what Australian retailers can do in order to stay one step ahead of the game. 

Shoppable posts

Consumers live online and they shop online too, with a whopping 60% of people saying they discover new products on Instagram. As a result, the social commerce trend is predicted to boom in 2021, whereby user engagement on social media is converted directly into sales. 

Expect social partnerships with brands to drive in-app purchasing behaviour. One of Metigy’s leading enterprise partners, Google, has confirmed that in 2021, the business will be focused on shopping ads, indicating a high-level of demand from customers to deliver shopping experiences.

For retailers looking to unlock consumer shopping desires and tap into emerging trends, the key lies in creating a clear social shoppable strategy with an engaging and dynamic call to action so that consumers can reap the benefits.

Video > static content

Video is the future of content marketing and this rings particularly true in ecommerce. Over the past five years, the internet has been moving away from static images to video content in channels like Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram and more recently LinkedIn and TikTok. Video is the emerging native medium to reach consumers, with this  content 130% more likely to generate a purchasing decision. 

This trend represents the convergence of three major tech trends of the last decade – mobile, social and video – coming together to create a revolutionary shopping experience. Brands are creating the TV infomercials of the 21st century by making video content compulsively watchable, and delivering with a direct link to buy. 

Retailers can roll-out this trend by experimenting with e-commerce videos on their online stores. Carefully measuring analytics including visitor engagement and conversion as this strategy is implemented will allow businesses to find the optimal strategy for e-commerce videos for their target audience. 

Omnichannel growth

Omnichannel growth sounds like a buzzword, but in fact it reveals the evolution of consumer behaviour and is changing the e-commerce landscape as we know it. Online shoppers are increasingly expecting a seamless experience from brands. Subsequently, the focus on an omnichannel marketing strategy will continue to grow into 2021 to enhance user experience and business outcomes. 

To deliver this, brands and e-tailers will need to focus on integrated marketing efforts, encompassing all channels, to ensure a streamlined experience across for all customers. The arc of technology bends towards convenience, and the future of retail is a symbiotic relationship between brands and customers. 

The rise of AI

As customers crave a stronger sense of connection to the brands they’re interacting with, AI will allow businesses to deliver a hyper-personalised customer experience that drives retention. Accordingly, businesses can deliver smart product recommendations based on consumer’s visiting habits to predict behaviour and convert sales, meanwhile chatbots will evolve to offer a more valuable service for customers. 

Businesses looking for an edge in their online marketing should be adopting AI to help them cut through the crowded marketplace. Using AI in marketing strategies, companies can target more selectively, at more opportune times while segmenting their messages based on AI suggestions. 

By 2022, e-retail revenues will grow to AU$8.8 trillion up from AU$4.75 trillion in 2019. While a new year will bring a new set of macro-market challenges, retailers can ensure they maintain their competitive advantage by staying close to trends and implementing the right technologies to support their business and foster a strong customer experience. 

David Fairfull is CEO and co-founder of Metigy