Three trends we expect to have a major impact on marketers and retailers in 2019.
1. Customer entertainment
Going into 2019, we expect to see customer experience take on even more significance, completing its evolution into customer entertainment.
But why is customer entertainment so important?
Although it's true that for convenience, you can't beat online shopping, the fact is that bricks and mortar still holds the trump card when it comes to customer experience. A recent study revealed that 68% of grocery shoppers associate stores with “enjoying shopping” and 74% of grocery shoppers associate stores with “better, personal service”.*
Retailers must give customers a reason to visit, and it needs to be something they can't get online. Personalised services, sensory engagement, social interaction, expert advice and in-store events and entertainment - all these real-world experiences are increasingly sought by consumers.
2. Data: collecting and using it
Data capture technology continues to get better, allowing us to gather richer consumer data. Artificial intelligence can then perform sophisticated analysis on the data, predicting future consumer behaviour as well as tracking current behaviour.
As experiential marketers, we find this trend exciting for two reasons. One, it allows us to create tailored experiences for consumers. This personalisation is increasingly sought by consumers in exchange for surrendering their data: 50% of pre-family shoppers claim they will be prepared to share data with supermarkets, specifically so they can tailor their food and grocery shopping.**
Two, it gives us a fuller picture of the effectiveness of our marketing campaigns. Measures such as customer satisfaction, footfall, brand perception and future buying intentions can really flesh out the feedback provided by sales data alone.
Although sustainability is not a new concern, in 2018 we believe the market has reached a tipping point. For retailers and brands, the cost of minimising environmental impact is outweighed by the cost of ignoring consumers' sustainability concerns.
For example, 74% of all UK shoppers say they’ve become more aware of the environmental impact of plastic packaging in the last 12 months.^ And the soaring interest in plant-based diets, due to concerns about animal welfare, the environment and personal health, shows just how conscious consumers are becoming.
Judging by the consumer mood, in 2019 sustainability needs to be a core consideration for all marketing campaigns.
* POPAI ShopperCentric
** IGD Shoppers of the Future
^ IGD ShopperVista