4. Ensure consistent experiences across channels. Today, consumers crave the cross-channel shopping experience. “The channel experience has gone from online to in-store to now everywhere,” Amy commented. “We call it ubiquitous digital shopping.” Elissa added that 75% of consumers do most of their shopping digitally. However, mobile drives 67% of digital traffic, but just 49% of sales.1 “Recent trends in traffic and conversion rates by device show that we can expect the most traffic for the big sale days on mobile,” she said. “People are looking for discovery and awareness, maybe even adding items to the cart as a placeholder or reminder. But they prefer to complete a sale on a desktop. It will be critical for retailers to offer a consistent experience, especially on major sale days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.” Elissa also advised wrapping up any experiments with product and site design early, making sure to understand the customer experience holistically across the organization and prioritizing efforts to eliminate friction.
Consumers now expect to be able to shop wherever and whenever best fits their needs, whether in a store, on your website, through your app, or from within a social media ad, and have it be a consistently good experience no matter how they first entered or exited your commerce site. Google’s 2022 Retail Marketing Guide provides useful insights and tips on how to grow your online and in-app sales.
5. Personalize touchpoints to build loyalty. Connecting with your customer base and making sure they understand the value of your offering is essential. Alexis noted that the key is to keep your messages fresh as the holiday shopping season expands, providing new messages as they keep coming back to your store. “We need to engage them by helping them find what they are looking for at the right time,” she said. “Recognize that they are doing more planning and wish-list building early, then buying last-minute gifts at lower prices towards the end. Make sure those are front and center.”
Alexis also pointed out that today, consumers are providing more data points with the products they view or the items sitting in their carts. “What’s so great about e-commerce is that we can use all of this to create more personalized, direct messages targeted to those consumers,” she commented.
Amy recommended continuing to focus on conversion with product discovery and personalization, harnessing customer data to drive insights and action. “Any company’s biggest asset is their data. Using it in as many ways possible and activating it across the company is incredibly important,” she remarked. “Take advantage of your first-party data to activate everything from marketing campaigns to a more efficient supply chain. For every customer who comes to one of your digital properties, make sure your product discovery is as easy as possible. Pay attention to your recommendations, driving personalization to make that experience as unique and fruitful for the customer as possible.”
Achieving these objectives requires a modern cloud data warehouse and activation of a customer data platform. Retailers can explore how Google Cloud’s advanced data capabilities and our ecosystem of partners can power a customer data platform that supports more personalized marketing, shopping experience, and customer service.
While these are our key takeaways, we invite you to register to watch the on-demand webinar, “5 Ways Retailers Can Combat the Effects of Inflation,” for even more insights.
1. Quantum Metric Retail Benchmarks, “Adjusting for Inflation.” The report is based on aggregated browsing behavior from January to July 2022, paired with a survey of 3,400 consumers in the U.S. and UK.
2. Google/Ipsos, Holiday Shopping Study, Oct 2021 – Jan 2022, Online survey, US, n=7,253, Americans 18+ who conducted holiday shopping activities in past two days