How is 2022 nearly here? Maybe it's work from home compressing all our weeks into a singular time loop, but I was surprised to head into the city recently and realise that Myer had put up their Christmas decor. Is it really December already? Time seems to be compressing further and further... it feels like the US insurrection was only a month ago. Wasn't the wild Gamestop saga this year as well? Along with Delta... well, now Omnicron, more months of lockdown in Melbourne, Squid Game becoming the most-watched show on Netflix...
What a strange year this has been.
With our standard for the 'new normal' now ever-changing and mutated forms of COVID-19 looking to be part of our life for more than the near-future, here are some upcoming trends that might come into play in 2022.
1. An Increasingly Digital World
Social-media and digital-based shopping have become increasingly dominant, to the point that Australia Post has been suffering delays for months. Auspost reported an all-time eCommerce high in Australia in 2020. As to 2021, their September report notes:
- A 23.4% growth in the last 12 months in Australia
- 41% of the online purchases were from NSW alone
- Aussies have been purchasing more across most categories
- Online shopping in Victoria declined by 8.8% since last year, but has increased again more recently
There are right ways and wrong ways to cash in on the increased customer push toward online shopping. Bombarding your customers with random SMS deals (without an opt-out option) definitely isn't it, I can assure you. Speaking of which: Dear Oxfords Direct, please stop sending me messages. It's likely that 2022 will continue with this digital shopping trend, especially with people now more comfortable with the ease and convenience of online shopping, and possible lockdowns always on the horizon. If you're a retailer, here are some tips and tricks that might help:
- Be eCommerce friendly: not just on desktop.
- Be upfront about how long delivery will take. Consider having alternative same day delivery options.
- If your brand doesn't have online shopping, think of an alternate offering that you can put forward that will allow you to have some eCommerce capacity.
- Don't bombard people with random discounts or unilaterally add them to newsletters that they never signed up to. Find a way to grow your mailing lists or social media followings: whether by bribing customers with 10% discounts or more. Recently, I was in a hotpot restaurant that offered free dessert if I followed them on social media. Do something similar.
- Maintain a social media presence that fits the character of your brand and the target audience you're aiming at.
- Ensure that your social media not only informs potential customers of your offering but has posts that makes it worthwhile for them to be part of your following.
- Stand out from the crowd: if you're just the same as every other competitor out there, it's going to be all the harder to get that buy in.
- Follow up: if someone didn't go the extra distance and check out, send a gentle follow-up email. You can do this automatically.
- Customer experience. You'd be surprised how important this is.
2. Voice activation
With Siri, Alexa, and Google Home etc becoming more and more common, voice activated inquiries and shopping are a way of making products more accessible to a larger market. Poised to become increasingly a larger part of a world that might be a long ways away from returning to pre-COVID-normal (if at all), in 2022, try making your product offering conducive to voice search. You might see a difference. Some tips for optimising for voice search:
- Voice search is conversational, so your keywords and content needs to be geared towards answering a user's questions.
- This often means long-tailed keywords. If you were looking to buy a purple sweater, you might google "purple sweater melbourne" or something similar. If a client was using voice search to buy a purple sweater in Melbourne, what might they say? Trying to predict such questions will help you optimise your content.
- Further hint: question-based keywords, like 'why' and 'where'.
- Tag your content with terms that customers are likely to use to find it. Don't be too technical.
3. Even More Video
With Tiktok, Instagram Stories, and Twitter fleets and such becoming an increasing part of the social media landscape, short video–especially live video–should be a key part of your marketing strategy if your product lends itself towards video. Given how expensive as video might be, however, they should be carefully thought out, or they might be a waste of money or worse. Some tips:
- Decide on the point of the video. Is it to push people to your website? Buy a particular product? Launch your brand?
- Have a call to action, one that's memorable or simple to access, especially from a mobile phone.
- Sprinkle with keywords in case people need to search it out afterwards.
- Carefully vet people whom you use for live video: they'd have to be trustworthy.
- The first few seconds are key: people have a short attention span, and there's a lot of noise out there.
Happy holidays! Hope this will be helpful to you in the coming year. Want to know more? Get in touch.