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The Top Shopping Trends of 2022 & Beyond [State of Consumer Trends Data]

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Shopping habits have drastically changed over the past few years.

For instance, while most of us previously browsed retail stores on a Saturday to find great deals, we now turn to Instagram to find discounts offered by influencers.

And rather than watching TV ads to find out about new products, nowadays, most of us stumble across ads in between YouTube videos.

Here, we’ll explore the shopping trends of 2022 to ensure you’re able to meet customers where and when they’d prefer to shop. Plus, we’ll uncover the shopping differences between generations. Let’s dive in. 

The Top Shopping Trends of 2022 

1. Influencer recommendations matter more than recommendations from friends and family.

Influencer marketing has proven an incredibly effective strategy for brands over the past few years — in fact, as of 2021, almost 60% of marketers said influencer marketing was the most effective marketing trend, ahead of SEO, experiential marketing, and short-form video content.

And in 2022, 30% of consumers now report influencer recommendations are one of the most important factors in their purchasing decisions, compared to 27% for recommendations from friends or family.

In many ways, this makes sense: Influencers are traditionally considered experts in their niche. If I follow a makeup influencer, it’s safe to assume he or she knows more about makeup than most of my friends.

For e-commerce businesses, this is powerful news: It means you no longer need to rely on word-of-mouth alone. Instead, it’s wise to focus your efforts on influencer marketing, since influencers have demonstrated a level of influence over their audiences that surpasses even that of friends and family.

2. Gen Zers prefer to discover new products via social media — but they still like to make purchases in-store.

Our State of Consumer Trends Survey found Gen Zers (ages 18-24) most often discover new products on social media (71%), followed by YouTube ads (56%), ads on music streaming services (55%), and internet searches (50%).

If your e-commerce business is targeting Gen Zers, then, it’s vital you focus your efforts on social media rather than paid ads when it comes to attracting new leads to your products and educating those leads on your products.

Additionally, when asked which content formats Gen Zers prefer for learning about a product and its features on social media, roughly 50% said they’d like to learn about a product through a story post. This is followed by short-form video (42%), and then a feed post (42%).

However, 73% of people (and 55% of Gen Zers in particular) say they’d still prefer to purchase a product in-store. This is an important call-out: While you’ll want to focus on social media for your lead generation efforts, it’s still vital to have a strong, effective in-store shopping option for those who would like to make the final sale in person.

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3. When it comes to millennials and Gen X, retail stores and searching the internet are two popular options for discovering new products.

Similar to Gen Zers, the most popular method among millennial buyers for discovering new products is social media (51%).

However, in a close second for millennials is searching the internet (50%) — which means, if you’re targeting a millennial demographic, you might want to consider leveraging paid ads and a strong SEO strategy for getting your products in front of your target audience.

And if your target audience is Gen X (35-54 year olds), retail stores are the most popular option for discovering new products, so you’ll want to invest time and resources in partnerships with brick-and-mortar retailers to ensure your products are at plenty of physical locations.

Plus, similar to millennials, 39% of Gen X buyers also search the internet for new products, so SEO is another good option here.

4. Millennials and Gen Xers prefer to discover new products on social media through ads or sponsored content — while Gen Zers prefer discovering new products on social media through short-form videos.

Depending on your target demographic, you’ll want to vary the type of content you create for social media when it comes to attracting new audiences to your products.

For instance, if you’re aiming to attract Gen Zers, you’ll want to consider short-form video like TikTok or Instagram Reels, since 41% report short-form video as their preferred medium for discovering new products.

If you’re instead looking to reach millennials or Gen Xers, you’ll want to think about leveraging ads or sponsored content, since 44% mark that option as their favorite.

5. Mobile phones are the most popular device for online shopping.

When shopping online, roughly 75% of consumers prefer using their mobile devices, compared to 15% that prefer desktop and 6% that prefer tablet.

This means as an e-commerce business it’s critical your website is mobile-optimized, and you have mobile-responsive product pages.

If I’m scrolling a company’s products and I find it’s too difficult or cumbersome on my phone, I typically ditch the website – and don’t return. So it’s vital you ensure you’re following mobile best practices (including large text, lots of white space, responsive templates, and mobile-friendly calls-to-action).

6. Price matters most to when it comes to making a purchasing decision — but other factors might surprise you.

Across the board, price is a major factor when it comes to purchasing decisions. 78% of Gen Z, 74% of millennials, 74% of Gen X, and 73% of Boomers report price as one of the most important factors when it comes to deciding whether or not they’re going to buy a product.

The quality of a product is important, as well, with 65% of Gen Z, 78% of millennials, 82% of Gen X, and 72% of Boomers marking it as another top factor when it comes to purchasing decisions.

But beyond having a reasonably-priced and high-quality product, there are a few other distinguishing factors you’ll want to keep in mind when marketing your brand.

For instance, 57% of Gen Zers will consider purchasing a product if a percentage of the proceeds from the purchase will be donated to charity. And 55% of millennials prefer buying a product that has strong reviews. 62% of Gen Xers appreciate whether a brand has an active community around it, and 55% of Boomers look for a product’s features and functionality when considering a purchase.

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The Shopping Trends to Expect in 2023

As we move into 2023, here are a few trends you’ll continue to see: 

  • Mobile usage for shopping will continue to dominate the e-commerce industry. In 2018, it encompassed 63.5% of total e-commerce sales, and in 2020, that number jumped to 70.4% (Source). As mentioned above, we found roughly 75% of consumers preferring their mobile devices in 2022, which suggests mobile sales will continue to dominate the e-commerce landscape. 
  • TikTok and other short-form video platforms will become increasingly popular for advertisers. As TikTok continues to make changes to its advertising offerings (such as its new Branded Mission feature), we’ll see more advertisers join TikTok in 2023 — we’ll also see additional advertisers test out other platforms, such as Instagram Stories, since short-form video is becoming the most popular video length
  • The Influencer industry will continue to grow and remain one of the most popular avenues for brands looking to connect with their audiences. Influencer marketing has grown rapidly over the past few years — from $1.7 billion in 2016 to $9.7 billion in 2020, and $13.8 billion in 2021. Nowadays, Gen Zers and millennials aren’t looking to celebrities for inspiration when it comes to purchasing products or services, and they’re not turning to friends, either — they’re looking to these influencers. 
  • We’ll see a rise in people who use the metaverse or buy virtual currency. HubSpot Blog Research found over half of those who have ever used the metaverse or bought virtual currency/items have done so within the past three months — including 56% who’ve visited the metaverse, 56% who’ve bought cryptocurrency, and 75% who’ve bought NFTs for the first time. 

When creating an effective e-commerce strategy, it’s vital you take the time to understand how shoppers want to shop today — and into the future. Shopping behaviors change over time. The more your business can meet the evolving needs of your consumers, the more likely you are to continue to succeed well into the future.

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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

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Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

You ask the head of marketing how the team is doing and get a giant thumbs up. 👍

“Our MQLs are up!”

“Website conversion rates are at an all-time high!”

“Email click rates have never been this good!”

But when you ask the head of sales the same question, you get the response that echoes across sales desks worldwide — the leads from marketing suck. 

If you’re in this boat, you’re not alone. The issue of “leads from marketing suck” is a common situation in most organizations. In a HubSpot survey, only 9.1% of salespeople said leads they received from marketing were of very high quality.

Why do sales teams hate marketing-generated leads? And how can marketers help their sales peers fall in love with their leads? 

Let’s dive into the answers to these questions. Then, I’ll give you my secret lead gen kung-fu to ensure your sales team loves their marketing leads. 

Marketers Must Take Ownership

“I’ve hit the lead goal. If sales can’t close them, it’s their problem.”

How many times have you heard one of your marketers say something like this? When your teams are heavily siloed, it’s not hard to see how they get to this mindset — after all, if your marketing metrics look strong, they’ve done their part, right?

Not necessarily. 

The job of a marketer is not to drive traffic or even leads. The job of the marketer is to create messaging and offers that lead to revenue. Marketing is not a 100-meter sprint — it’s a relay race. The marketing team runs the first leg and hands the baton to sales to sprint to the finish.

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To make leads valuable beyond the vanity metric of watching your MQLs tick up, you need to segment and nurture them. Screen the leads to see if they meet the parameters of your ideal customer profile. If yes, nurture them to find out how close their intent is to a sale. Only then should you pass the leads to sales. 

Lead Quality Control is a Bitter Pill that Works

Tighter quality control might reduce your overall MQLs. Still, it will ensure only the relevant leads go to sales, which is a win for your team and your organization.

This shift will require a mindset shift for your marketing team: instead of living and dying by the sheer number of MQLs, you need to create a collaborative culture between sales and marketing. Reinforce that “strong” marketing metrics that result in poor leads going to sales aren’t really strong at all.  

When you foster this culture of collaboration and accountability, it will be easier for the marketing team to receive feedback from sales about lead quality without getting defensive. 

Remember, the sales team is only holding marketing accountable so the entire organization can achieve the right results. It’s not sales vs marketing — it’s sales and marketing working together to get a great result. Nothing more, nothing less. 

We’ve identified the problem and where we need to go. So, how you do you get there?

Fix #1: Focus On High ROI Marketing Activities First

What is more valuable to you:

  • One more blog post for a few more views? 
  • One great review that prospective buyers strongly relate to?

Hopefully, you’ll choose the latter. After all, talking to customers and getting a solid testimonial can help your sales team close leads today.  Current customers talking about their previous issues, the other solutions they tried, why they chose you, and the results you helped them achieve is marketing gold.

On the other hand, even the best blog content will take months to gain enough traction to impact your revenue.

Still, many marketers who say they want to prioritize customer reviews focus all their efforts on blog content and other “top of the funnel” (Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation) efforts. 

The bottom half of the growth marketing funnel (Retention, Reputation, and Revenue) often gets ignored, even though it’s where you’ll find some of the highest ROI activities.

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Most marketers know retaining a customer is easier than acquiring a new one. But knowing this and working with sales on retention and account expansion are two different things. 

When you start focusing on retention, upselling, and expansion, your entire organization will feel it, from sales to customer success. These happier customers will increase your average account value and drive awareness through strong word of mouth, giving you one heck of a win/win.

Winning the Retention, Reputation, and Referral game also helps feed your Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation activities:

  • Increasing customer retention means more dollars stay within your organization to help achieve revenue goals and fund lead gen initiatives.
  • A fully functioning referral system lowers your customer acquisition cost (CAC) because these leads are already warm coming in the door.
  • Case studies and reviews are powerful marketing assets for lead gen and nurture activities as they demonstrate how you’ve solved identical issues for other companies.

Remember that the bottom half of your marketing and sales funnel is just as important as the top half. After all, there’s no point pouring leads into a leaky funnel. Instead, you want to build a frictionless, powerful growth engine that brings in the right leads, nurtures them into customers, and then delights those customers to the point that they can’t help but rave about you.

So, build a strong foundation and start from the bottom up. You’ll find a better return on your investment. 

Fix #2: Join Sales Calls to Better Understand Your Target Audience

You can’t market well what you don’t know how to sell.

Your sales team speaks directly to customers, understands their pain points, and knows the language they use to talk about those pains. Your marketing team needs this information to craft the perfect marketing messaging your target audience will identify with.

When marketers join sales calls or speak to existing customers, they get firsthand introductions to these pain points. Often, marketers realize that customers’ pain points and reservations are very different from those they address in their messaging. 

Once you understand your ideal customers’ objections, anxieties, and pressing questions, you can create content and messaging to remove some of these reservations before the sales call. This effort removes a barrier for your sales team, resulting in more SQLs.

Fix #3: Create Collateral That Closes Deals

One-pagers, landing pages, PDFs, decks — sales collateral could be anything that helps increase the chance of closing a deal. Let me share an example from Lean Labs. 

Our webinar page has a CTA form that allows visitors to talk to our team. Instead of a simple “get in touch” form, we created a drop-down segmentation based on the user’s challenge and need. This step helps the reader feel seen, gives them hope that they’ll receive real value from the interaction, and provides unique content to users based on their selection.

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So, if they select I need help with crushing it on HubSpot, they’ll get a landing page with HubSpot-specific content (including a video) and a meeting scheduler. 

Speaking directly to your audience’s needs and pain points through these steps dramatically increases the chances of them booking a call. Why? Because instead of trusting that a generic “expert” will be able to help them with their highly specific problem, they can see through our content and our form design that Lean Labs can solve their most pressing pain point. 

Fix #4: Focus On Reviews and Create an Impact Loop

A lot of people think good marketing is expensive. You know what’s even more expensive? Bad marketing

To get the best ROI on your marketing efforts, you need to create a marketing machine that pays for itself. When you create this machine, you need to think about two loops: the growth loop and the impact loop.

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  • Growth loop — Awareness ➡ Acquisition ➡ Activation ➡ Revenue ➡ Awareness: This is where most marketers start. 
  • Impact loop — Results ➡ Reviews ➡ Retention ➡ Referrals ➡ Results: This is where great marketers start. 

Most marketers start with their growth loop and then hope that traction feeds into their impact loop. However, the reality is that starting with your impact loop is going to be far more likely to set your marketing engine up for success

Let me share a client story to show you what this looks like in real life.

Client Story: 4X Website Leads In A Single Quarter

We partnered with a health tech startup looking to grow their website leads. One way to grow website leads is to boost organic traffic, of course, but any organic play is going to take time. If you’re playing the SEO game alone, quadrupling conversions can take up to a year or longer.

But we did it in a single quarter. Here’s how.

We realized that the startup’s demos were converting lower than industry standards. A little more digging showed us why: our client was new enough to the market that the average person didn’t trust them enough yet to want to invest in checking out a demo. So, what did we do?

We prioritized the last part of the funnel: reputation.

We ran a 5-star reputation campaign to collect reviews. Once we had the reviews we needed, we showcased them at critical parts of the website and then made sure those same reviews were posted and shown on other third-party review platforms. 

Remember that reputation plays are vital, and they’re one of the plays startups often neglect at best and ignore at worst. What others say about your business is ten times more important than what you say about yourself

By providing customer validation at critical points in the buyer journey, we were able to 4X the website leads in a single quarter!

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So, when you talk to customers, always look for opportunities to drive review/referral conversations and use them in marketing collateral throughout the buyer journey. 

Fix #5: Launch Phantom Offers for Higher Quality Leads 

You may be reading this post thinking, okay, my lead magnets and offers might be way off the mark, but how will I get the budget to create a new one that might not even work?

It’s an age-old issue: marketing teams invest way too much time and resources into creating lead magnets that fail to generate quality leads

One way to improve your chances of success, remain nimble, and stay aligned with your audience without breaking the bank is to create phantom offers, i.e., gauge the audience interest in your lead magnet before you create them.

For example, if you want to create a “World Security Report” for Chief Security Officers, don’t do all the research and complete the report as Step One. Instead, tease the offer to your audience before you spend time making it. Put an offer on your site asking visitors to join the waitlist for this report. Then wait and see how that phantom offer converts. 

This is precisely what we did for a report by Allied Universal that ended up generating 80 conversions before its release.

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The best thing about a phantom offer is that it’s a win/win scenario: 

  • Best case: You get conversions even before you create your lead magnet.
  • Worst case: You save resources by not creating a lead magnet no one wants.  

Remember, You’re On The Same Team 

We’ve talked a lot about the reasons your marketing leads might suck. However, remember that it’s not all on marketers, either. At the end of the day, marketing and sales professionals are on the same team. They are not in competition with each other. They are allies working together toward a common goal. 

Smaller companies — or anyone under $10M in net new revenue — shouldn’t even separate sales and marketing into different departments. These teams need to be so in sync with one another that your best bet is to align them into a single growth team, one cohesive front with a single goal: profitable customer acquisition.

Interested in learning more about the growth marketing mindset? Check out the Lean Labs Growth Playbook that’s helped 25+ B2B SaaS marketing teams plan, budget, and accelerate growth.


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