3 Ways Retail Marketers Can Strategize for Success in the Post-Pandemic Era

a close up of a blackboard

In March 2020, newly emerging lockdown mandates were the first of their kind, and many across the nation were struggling both professionally and personally to understand what was happening, and what would come next. Fast forward to one year later, and with vaccinations on the rise, many are left to debate what the “new normal” will start to look like, and how affected industries can return and rebound to be more profitable than ever.

The return to retail is no exception, with economists expecting a massive boom in consumer spending in the upcoming months. With consumer buying behaviors changing at rapid scale, smart marketers must understand, and lean into, the paradigm shifts to see success.

Let’s dive into some insightful tips for retail marketers to consider.

1. Think beyond set budget plans and instead set sights on actionable insights

It's no secret that the digital landscape has changed in more ways than one this past year. From shifts in online shopping behaviors to ongoing privacy concerns, marketers can no longer do what they’ve always done to get the same results. Marketers that want to stay ahead of the curve will need to track, monitor, and analyze shifts in customer insights, and identify trends to help inform future campaign strategies.

Now is the time to think beyond set budget plans, and be agile in our thinking and approach. If online buying behaviors are shifting on a dime, our digital strategies need to as well.

Marketers can also consider expanding their ecosystem to include support from agencies or market research professionals, who can help track and analyze incoming first-party data.

2. Target high-value shoppers

The amount of online shoppers and frequency of orders placed online has been a growing statistic over the past several years but increased exponentially as the pandemic progressed. Market research has proven that this trend will continue. In fact, NetElixir data shows that high-value online shoppers account for more than 60% of website purchases across categories.

Marketers have to be able to collect and analyze the actionable data high-value consumers give when shopping online. As the shift to first-party data occurs, it is crucial to understand your target audience and how that affects the long term focus of cross-channel engagement. If marketers fail to do this crucial step, it could negatively impact business.

3. Incorporate emerging technologies and prioritize the experience

Today’s consumers crave experiences. With the pandemic continuing to stifle much of everyday life, smart retail marketers must look at innovative ways to create engaging, virtual shopping experiences for their target consumers.

AI and augmented reality (AR) are beginning to grow in popularity. For instance, Ulta Beauty’s AR solution allows consumers to upload a picture of themselves to “try on” various makeup products prior to purchase.

Amazon has also adopted AR technology launching their shopping tool, Room Decorator, which allows users to place several pieces of Amazon furniture and home decor items in the space at once. This is the way of the future, and a whitespace of potential for retail marketers. Consumers miss elements of the “normal” way of life; brands that can get creative with their experiential marketing tactics will ultimately attract shoppers.

Although navigating the pandemic has been a very challenging time in the past year for many industries and individuals, there is light at the end of the tunnel in the second half. An economic boom is projected in the foreseeable future, and marketers that have adopted an agile mentality toward their business will see this light.

Udayan Bose
Udayan Bose

Understanding and implementing strategy based on the behaviors of high-value consumers coupled with innovative technology will set an unspoken precedent moving forward. As an industry it is critical to understand and meet these expectations.

Udayan Bose is founder of NetElixir.

More on Marketing