What Does the Rest of 2021 Have in Store for Retailers?

Leading into the 12 months, I shared three predictions for 2021 with retail entrepreneurs. Here’s a fast recap:

Retailers might want to rethink conventional calendars.
Brands will proceed to supply offers for longer intervals of time to enhance income.
Retailers might want to leverage affiliate marketing online as the key to buyer centricity.

After a 12 months as unsure as 2020, I’m not stunned to inform you that some of my predictions got here true (like rethinking conventional calendars, for instance — Rakuten’s current back-to-school survey revealed virtually 20 p.c of consumers began in June or earlier than) whereas others have been reframed.
Given some of the adjustments we’ve seen, I needed to reset these predictions with one factor in thoughts: the relaxation of the 12 months might be a essential time for manufacturers to keep up and construct mindshare with shoppers. Now, in the second half of 2021, listed below are the high shifts that may keep on by means of the 12 months and what retail entrepreneurs may have to regulate.
After Being Spending Deprived, Consumers Are ‘Revenge Shopping’
Consumers are able to spend to refresh their wardrobes, take journeys and purchase luxurious objects. Take the increase in the journey business. May, for instance, was an enormous month of journey reserving with a report quantity of transactions. Rakuten Intelligence noticed trip leases on websites like Airbnb and VRBO up 50 p.c. The state of affairs is analogous at department shops, which noticed excessive year-over-year development with a 74.6 p.c enhance in orders from 2020 to 2021 for the month of April, in accordance with Rakuten Intelligence.
Consumers are prepared and desirous to spend, and could be inspired to improve their purchases with the proper incentives. Consider this: During Rakuten’s Big Give week in May, luxurious objects boasted an 86 p.c gross sales raise over non-luxury objects. With this success in thoughts, to incentivize luxurious purchases, retailers might contemplate promotions to encourage shopping for each in-store and on-line. Given the development we’re seeing in industries like retail and journey, now’s the time to capitalize on shoppers’ need to spend and meet them with customized offers and incentives to drive conversion for your model.
Shortages Are Driving Price Hikes, the Need for Short-Term Wins
Across a number of completely different industries, product and materials shortages are resulting in elevated costs throughout the board. These provide chain points have been occurring for over a 12 months throughout industries — from vehicles and luxurious items to health gear and residential home equipment. As a outcome, costs for client items noticed a 5.4 p.c year-over-year enhance in the month of June, and with the Delta variant surging throughout the U.S., that development is more likely to proceed.
As manufacturers contemplate methods to mitigate future shortages, shoppers are bracing for additional inflation. Marketers might want to stability methods that drive short-term worth in addition to long-term targets. Strategies like affiliate marketing online will assist drive these short-term conversions, whereas selling offers by means of show, social and search will maintain your model high of thoughts whereas incentivizing consumers to spend.
Consumers Are Shopping in New Ways, But They’re Excited to Return to Stores
The pandemic lent itself to speedy innovation in retail. Today, retail livestreams are beginning to achieve momentum as a post-pandemic purchasing development, and Instagram and TikTok are figuring out methods to monetize their platforms as e-commerce locations. While shoppers are discovering a number of new methods to buy, the return to in-store might be vital for retailers this 12 months. This summer season, 89 p.c of dad and mom anticipate to do at the least some purchasing in-store for the back-to-school season.
For manufacturers, affiliate and show advertising and marketing current a chance to drive consciousness and maintain shoppers engaged and buying. These methods enable retailers to trace the impression of on-line ads on in-store purchasing.
What’s extra, card-linked affords, like providing money again on-line and making use of that deal in-store, in addition to purchase on-line, choose up in-store, encourage shoppers to return to the retailer, the place they could be impressed to make extra purchases they wouldn’t have on-line. Parents even cited money again as their No. 1 incentive to buy in-store this season in Rakuten’s back-to-school survey.
Performance Will Drive Marketing Strategies in the Post-Pandemic Landscape
Maximizing return and defending cashflow had been priorities for retailers throughout the pandemic, and so they proceed to be priorities as buyer expectations have bounced again sooner than provide chains, inventories and staffing can sustain. While model budgets are opening up and mindshare is there for the taking, the want to guard return and guarantee profitability retains the emphasis squarely on efficiency. Meeting the proper clients in the proper place at the proper time by means of methods like customized focusing on and affiliate is an economical, performance-based option to get in entrance of each new and present clients.
As we navigate the relaxation of 2021, we’re certain to see extra change. By maintaining clients at the middle and integrating these traits into your advertising and marketing technique, your model might be effectively positioned to come back out on high.
Mike Chin is the senior vp of shopper providers for Rakuten Advertising, and leads the help of affiliate and efficiency options purchasers with a deal with the US retail sector.


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