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Digital Marketing
11 min read

Why should retail businesses embrace a digital marketing strategy

According to Hubspot academy, “A digital marketing strategy helps your business achieve specific digital goals through carefully selected online marketing channels such as paid, earned, and owned media.”

A digital marketing strategy includes critical elements such as Search Engine Optimization, Pay-per-Click (PPC), Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing, Email Marketing, Mobile Marketing, and Marketing Analytics. These strategies should be personalized, tried, tested, and applied according to your business to reap maximum results.

Why should a Retail Business Embrace a Digital Strategy?

With the global change in consumption patterns amidst Covid, retail businesses also need to adapt to the new normal. They are required to provide to their customers' requirements by investing in online marketing. This includes the implementation of digital marketing strategies like paid searches, keyword searches, and social media platforms. There is a constant rise in the usage of e-commerce v.s. physical stores.

The dramatic rise in e-commerce amid movement restrictions induced by COVID-19 increased online retail sales' share of total retail sales from 16% to 19% in 2020, according to estimates in an UNCTAD report published on 3 May. This amounts to $26.7 trillion.

According to a report published by OECD in their report: E-commerce in the time of COVID-19, in the United States: a surge in demand was observed for items related to personal protection, home activities, groceries, or ICT equipment, while demand dropped for items related to travel, sports, or formal clothing. In Germany, online sales grew significantly for medicines and groceries, historically laggard sectors in terms of e-commerce, while overall online sales contracted by around 18 percent in March 2020 compared to the previous year.

With this ever-growing population of e-shoppers, the retailers should focus more on omnichannel business strategies, and considering the statistics above, optimize their e-commerce insights for smooth digital experiences.

What are the Strategies that should be Embraced by Retail Businesses?

  1. Live videos - It is vital today that strategies like Live videos are used in a retail business. Moreover, according to Shopify, 80% of people prefer live videos over pre-recorded ones. Today's customer is more interested in viewing live-streamed content through platforms like Instagram, Youtube, and Facebook. Live videos are a great medium to do in-store tours, resolve any customer's questions, and pave the way for an omnichannel selling tactic. The best way a business can increase engagement is by announcing live streams for their loyal followers to tune in.
  2. Promotions through Email - This is one of the oldest but most profitable tricks that promote sales. In a study done by Marketsherpa.com, it was proven that 61% of the people liked to receive emails at least weekly and 86% of them said they would like to receive them monthly. So businesses should create a database of customers and a template to announce their upcoming products and update the customers of their in-store developments (if any) by adding quality photos and videos.
  3. Hashtags - Brand hashtags can be created by adding '#' before the word or phrase. Creation and utilization of the brand hashtags will connect the product with your customer and will uplift the brand. With pictures of your products on social media, create unique hashtags that help reach the existing and a newer audience with photos and videos that end in sales.
  4. Google Shopping Ads - While there are multiple cost-effective ways to promote your retail businesses, allocating funds for one advertising channel that can have greater returns to investment ratio is google shopping ads. Google shopping ads will enable your product feature on google's search engine. When a customer searches ‘laundry near me' or ‘ electrical shops in my locality, your website will be featured, further ending in sales.
  5. In-store application - When in-store, a customer can be introduced to an in-store application. For instance, if a customer is purchasing your products and is coming to check out, instead of the cash, the payment option could be done through a QR code which makes it a shopping experience comprising a digital strategy and the footfall in the store. Another example for a clothing retail business would be having a digital scan on the tag that would help the customer see how the clothing would look on different body types, resulting in the reliance on fitting rooms and end in sales.

These are some of the strategies that businesses could implement to help the growth of the customer database and increase sales. While some of the businesses were shut in the hit of the pandemic, some retail businesses were seen to accommodate their customers even during the pandemic by making changes in their approach.

By the end of November 2021, Michael Kors applied ingenious retail strategies to ensure a share marketing of … and revenue tripled. Shares rose as much as 16%. One of their popular strategies included conducting a digital pop-up in Tmall for Chinese consumers using live streaming.

Users could take a personality quiz - based on a series of lifestyle questions, such as their favorite sport or beverage - and receive a message and product recommendation from the brand's namesake founder and designer himself through the pop-up. It then offers consumers the option of making hand-painted customizations on the brand's bags. “I love meeting my customers, helping them find the perfect pieces for their lifestyle, and talking to them about how they can express their personal style,” said Michael Kors. “The Tmall app allows me to instantly style a wide range of people. It's like a trunk show for modern times.”

Michael Kors' digital pop-up debuted through Tmall Flagship 2.0.

To make products even more personal, Tmall consumers could also paint over their accessories using a co-branded selection of brushes and colors created by Michael Kors and Californian leather-paint company Angelus Paints.

Aside from the personalization services, Michael Kors is also launching its first Super Brand Day, which rallies all the resources across the Alibaba ecosystem to create a smaller version of its annual 11.11 mega-sale for a single brand.

Michael Kors released a series of Livestream sessions and short videos featuring its customizable handbags carried by trendsetting celebrities such as Leo Wu and Lareina Song to warm up for the event. Chinese singer-songwriter Bibi Zhou also produced and performed an original song, “Dance,” as part of the campaign.

“Michael Kors is forging new, innovative ways to engage with Chinese consumers with activations on its Tmall Super Brand Day,” said Liu Bo, VP of Alibaba Group and general manager of Tmall and Taobao Marketing and Operations. The latter highlighted the campaign's personalized products and targeted experiences powered by Tmall's digital technologies. “Tmall has been at the forefront of working with brands to build elevated engagements for young Chinese consumers. We look forward to partnering with Michael Kors as they accelerate their momentum and growth,” Liu said.

Michael Kors is one of the latest brands to use Tmall's Flagship Store 2.0 solution to supercharge storytelling and engagement. Introduced last June, the new storefronts were designed to help brands enrich their in-store shopping experience for consumers, including innovative features like augmented reality, 3D technology, and integration with brick-and-mortar retail stores.

Using these strategies showcased by bigger brands that have their presence globally, the upcoming and existing retail businesses can use them as guidelines to achieve the same heights as brands like Michael kors.

Connect with us for customized strategies to suit your retail businesses. Read our blogs to know more about how we can collaborate with you and enhance your digital journey.