The shopping centre and retail sectors are becoming increasingly more busy and competitive. Due to this, brands need to work hard to differentiate themselves, to engage with consumers and to stay relevant – which has never been so difficult in our continually changing and evolving world. 2018 will see brands striving to utilise digital developments to become more visible and relentlessly broaden their reach.
Mobiles aren’t a new trend to be added to a marketing campaign, they have been present over recent years, however moving into the New Year, mobiles are likely to become a real focus. In Deloitte’s recent survey, it was found that 91% of 16-75-year-olds used their smartphones within the last day. As mobile devices evolve in their ability, the audience using them expands similarly. With new capabilities such as face recognition, automatic reminders, news alerts, purchasing abilities, communication styles and GPS navigation, all being introduced over previous years – with plenty more to come I’m sure – the opportunities for marketing teams is rapidly expanding.
Social Media & Influencer Marketing
The amount of time spent on social networking sites by internet users has increased year on year since 2012. Statistics show that in 2017, the average user spent over 2 hours a day on social media.
With most users active on more than one social networking platform, marketing teams need to be present on them all with a consistent messaging and communication strategy throughout.
On these social media sites, there are a lot of celebrities active with massive followings. This is an excellent opportunity for brands to work with a celebrity on an influencer campaign and promote a shopping centre, brand, product or event.
Augmented reality (AR) has been used for many years, but it seems to have really taken off following Pokémon Go! in 2016. AR offers the opportunity to provide a strong level of interaction between consumers and products, changing the way we shop.
Stores are already starting to introduce AR to improve the shopping experience. Converse has used AR to save customers having to try on shoes in-store, they can simply point their phone towards their foot to see themselves wearing the (virtual) shoe. With the objective to create an ‘experiential destination’ well embedded into shopping centre marketing strategies, it can be expected more retailers will be introducing AR initiatives soon!
The great thing about digital developments is the invaluable data they create for marketing teams. Data allows marketing teams to get a deeper understanding of their consumers so they can plan the store layout and products in a way that will really engage with consumers – increasing sales and enhancing the experience.
There are many more trends than listed above and I am excited to see how the developments continue and how the shopping experience will have changed by this time next year!