Stepping Up Your Digital Game

Stepping Up Your Digital Game
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In this guest post, Dany Coutinho (main photo) digital director at Frontier Advertising, says CV-19 is accelerating all things digital and here he offers his tips on how you can put your foot on the digital gas…

The 2020 pandemic has brought about a huge change in the way we live our lives. No one expected something as tiny as this virus would bring the world to a stand-still. This situation caused an unexpected change in consumer behaviour wherein “panic buying” became the new trend overnight and just like that the basic necessities and staples disappeared from our supermarket shelves. Not just essential goods, rather consumers bought everything they could get their hands on.

But this marked the change in the way people would shop. As the lockdown got implemented in different capacities across the world an evident shift in media consumption was recorded. Digital activities surged with mobile devices converted into a one stop solution right from entertainment to everyday lifestyle requirements, especially in the health and lifestyle category.

Given the new consumer behaviour and media trends, online buying saw an exceptional jump and eCommerce had its moment to shine. In some parts of the world the traffic to eCommerce sites was almost at par with that of Black Friday or Cyber Monday (especially during the early days of the lockdown).

Even in this situation Google came up with a big announcement, a solution that would provide retailers of all sizes huge exposure to millions of people who come to Google for their shopping needs whereas for shoppers it meant more product options discoverable via the Google Shopping tab. Free listings on Google Shopping is like free listings on the Google Search Index, just focused on eCommerce.

In this situation, giants like Google and Facebook have brought opportunities to sellers to setup their online shops through Google Shopping and Facebook Marketplace respectively. These are mobile first shopping experiences created to encourage online shopping while making it seamless. Local region marketplaces are also working to create their own marketplaces. This gives everyone a platform to start and/or move their business online.

Here’s some more information on the same:

Even outside of the economic and lifestyle climate the growth for eCommerce was inevitable, but with the new normal it accelerated, brands must create strategies to leverage the first mover advantage being offered by marketplaces like Google and others.

Some media agencies have acted immediately to this situation and have focused on digital and performance approach to drive the sales and sustain the client business.

Brands and Media agencies need to change their approach to reach consumers. Here are some key points to ensure one gets optimal ROI.

  • Keep an eye out for Audience Signals to know what’s trending – Consumer interest is changing every week. Brands needs to monitor this change and be agile and cater to the interest of the moment.
    Use tools like Google Trends, Google Merchant Centre.
  • Expand across multiple channels – Irrespective of smaller merchants or a large retailer, a marketplace offers incremental reach to all. However, choosing a marketplace must be done with careful thought, consultation, research and perhaps enlisting advice from companies that hold expertise in this space.

Localise Product Inventory – A robust strategy focusing on Local inventory would be key during this phase. People are looking for immediate product delivery and any option to reduce the wait time to receive the product will gain more traction.

  • Strengthen the back end with data-attributes –
    • Be as descriptive as possible – Brand + Product Type + Other Attributes
    • Enable User Ratings and review – Better ratings lead to higher sales
    • Provide all essential data attributes to specify common differences in different product options like group ids, colour, size, pattern.
    • Submit high quality images
    • Define demographic attributes like gender and age
    • Submit other attributes to stand out – size and type to specify the standardised size of your product, material used, condition (new or used), multipack.
  • Test new ways to communicate with the audience
    The way to talk to the audience is unprecedented in such times. The best way to go about it would be to use real time signals and run creative tests.

Right now, Google Listings in the Shopping tab is free in the US, but it will soon be rolled out globally. While there is time, brands need to start taking this space seriously and take the necessary measures to ensure that the back end is set up to deliver maximum performance and results.

For brands that are already established in the digital space, they are pretty solid at the moment, however, they do need to optimise their back end and fix all the kinks and dents to maintain the position. Those that are not yet selling online need to jump on the train – get a sense of your product demand in the market through the various marketplaces.

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