We recently wrote about how retail expanded from brick-and-mortar stores to include ecommerce and has been expanding further to also include social and livestream commerce. Many attributes of Switzerland and the Swiss people make us an ideal audience to target with new retail initiatives.
What trends are we now seeing within this new, broad scope of retail?
Merging the Point of Inspiration with the Point of Purchase
With the inclusion of social commerce and even AR, brands aren’t selling to distinct, separate audiences with isolated tactics. New retail involves connecting with your audience in innovative ways and merging the point of inspiration with the point of purchase.
Based on a recent survey, Accenture identified three emerging retail trends:
- The anxiety pivot
- The spending shuffle
- The virtual reality check
Shopping for Real-Life Products in Virtual Worlds
The third trend includes a blurring and blending of physical and virtual worlds. “It is certainly true that some consumers who shopped online in 2020 and 2021 are likely to return to brick-and-mortar stores, and that the store of tomorrow will look very different… And what may be surprising is that people of all income levels and generations are interested in shopping for real-life products in virtual worlds.”
39% of consumers have had a consultation in a virtual or augmented reality environment on topics from health and wellness to DIY projects. In agreement with our own guidance, Accenture advises, “The metaverse has arrived, and the best thing that retailers can do today is starting to experiment.”
Deloitte also emphasized the need for cohesion. “Social commerce trends are not only reshaping consumer shopping experiences, but unlocking new opportunities for platforms, brands, and creators. Social commerce success depends on collaboration and integration of key players in the ecosystem.”
Deloitte provides social commerce services that solve operational and technical challenges, including architecting technology stacks to integrate brand and retailer e-commerce systems with platform systems.
Influencer Marketing Success Case
Cohesive integration of marketing campaigns between brands and influencers is equally important.
Kingfluencers recently executed a campaign in which influencers discussed how to start your day successfully with SUPER SHOTS by hohes C, while taking their communities along for the day. The communities showed high qualitative interest with an engagement rate of over 5%, and the influencers received many questions on where to buy the SUPER SHOTS. In addition to indicating high trust in the brand and the creators, this reveals how social campaigns can drive purchases from brick-and-mortar stores.
Fusing Digital & Physical Experiences
While we may think of ecommerce and retail stores as distinct modes of shopping, Deloitte’s 2022 Retail Industry Outlook describes the accelerating fusion of digital and physical experiences. “Over the next five years, leaders are buying into the prospects of digitization of the physical world, such as voice commerce, staff-free cashier-less stores, and the selling of digital goods.”
Burberry opened a shoppable digital version of one of its flagship stores. Customers can navigate themselves around the virtual store and purchase items by selecting digital icons.
Experiential Retail and Flagship Stores
To attract new customers and build loyalty, retailers are developing immersive shopping experiences and building innovative flagship stores. Athletic apparel brand On’s first-ever flagship store, On Labs, is situated beneath its Zurich-based headquarters and features a foot scanner that details your shoe size to within 1.25mm of perfection. Kingfluencers’ team was part of the flagship store launch, sharing the good vibes, sporty challenges, and benefits of joining the club for running lovers with content creators like HaVy Nguyen. The campaign achieved over 1.6M impressions and a 3.11% engagement rate.
Zurich is also home to the Freitag tower, made from used freight containers. The flagship store sells recycled, one-of-a-kind products, such as bags, smartphone cases, and wallets. Additionally, consumers can personalize their bags by becoming involved in the production process at the Freitag Sweat-Yourself-Shop.
Social Commerce on Instagram
Social commerce usually takes place on the move, i.e. via smartphone or tablet, as social media offers are preferably used via mobile devices. Brands can excel by building a social media strategy optimized to cash in on the movement and avoid losing out to competitors.
Instagram enables you to use real-time and pre-made content to create an interactive, visual shopping experience that deepens connections with your community. With Instagram Shoppable posts, you can sell products directly from shoppers’ feeds. Product Tags let you highlight items from your catalog directly in your images and videos, so people can easily tap and learn more.
As part of our Instagram marketing services, Kingfluencers can help make your products easy to discover on Instagram. Earlier this year, Mondelez launched limited edition Oreos in collaboration with Warner Bros and the brand-new Batman movie. Kingfluencers ran a campaign in which influencers showed how biting the new cookies in a creative way can lead you from a serious world into a playful one.
Some retail trends originally expanded in response to COVID-19, such as self-checkout, buy online pick-up in-store (BOPIS), and contactless payment. These technology-driven experiences remain popular for convenience and their ability to reduce staff, (plus the preference of antisocial shoppers!).
Retailers must also consider macroeconomic trends, including inflation. On July 26, 2022, The International Monetary Fund (IMF) wrote, “Several shocks have hit a world economy already weakened by the pandemic: higher-than-expected inflation worldwide – especially in the United States and major European economies – triggering tighter financial conditions.” Of course, inflation can lead to consumers buying fewer items and being more price-conscious about the items they do purchase. While many consumers worldwide are worried, CH inflation is expected to fall in the new year and Switzerland should avoid a recession.
Sustainability is Sought After
A 2022 report shows that two-thirds of consumers say they would pay more for sustainable products, and nearly three-quarters value product sustainability over brand name. Interestingly, retailers are largely unaware of the strength and prevalence of these preferences, creating a greenfield for savvy retailers.
Buying and selling secondhand products, referred to as “recommerce” is also on the rise, enabled by platforms such as Poshmark. In addition to helping buyers save money, it’s a sustainable practice. Some great options in Switzerland include Depop and Secondhandkiste for clothes. Tutti, Ricardo, and Brocki.ch are popular Swiss sites that offer a variety of items.
Kingfluencers also had the pleasure of running a campaign for Ricardo focused on communicating the brand’s USPs through interactive campaigns. Influencers were given various challenges when putting together hiking gear on Ricardo. The total engagement rate was 5.1%.To further encourage sustainability and low-waste products, Brocki.ch also worked with Kingfluencers on a campaign to promote their thrift stores all over Switzerland. Impressions were 41% higher than forecasted, and the total engagement rate was 5.0%.
Click on the case studies and get inspired:
Author: Megan Bozman, Owner @Boz Content Marketing