Digital Trade

Connectivity has completely transformed retail, and e-commerce has gained momentum. As such, the techniques to win bricks-and-mortar customers also need to be adapted to the digital environment.

For years trade marketing has been essential for companies. With a high strategic value, big brands increasingly invest to influence customers at a critical purchase point, when chances of conversion are greater. According to estimates by the Boston Consulting Group, globally speaking, investment in this area is more than US$500 billion.

However, customer behaviour has dramatically changed over the last few years. With the advance of technology and easy access to the internet – in Europe, 73% of the population uses the internet daily – increasingly more people are impacted by stimuli, options, promises, advantages, and novelties that alternate communication between online and offline purchasing environments.

The buyer’s journey is now omnichannel. Providing a positive and consistent experience both in the online and offline worlds has become a requirement for companies to survive.

Consequently, connectivity has completely transformed retail, and e-commerce has gained momentum. In 2018, nearly 268 million European consumers made online purchases worth EUR 198 billion, representing an increase of 9.4% compared to the preceding year.  The e-commerce market is expected to show a revenue growth of 10.0% in 2021.

As such, the techniques to win bricks-and-mortar customers also need to be adapted to the digital environment. The digital trade marketing concept is born with virtually the same goal as traditional trade marketing but for online sales channels.

Digital trade marketing enables you to collect, track and analyse relevant data about the buyer’s journey and, based on this data, promote accurate actions to engage users in the consideration and conversion stages, i.e. when the user is in an online store looking for a product and therefore more prone to make a buying decision.

 

A new era where data has a leading role and communication is transmedia

According to Salesforce, modern customers have six to eight points of contact with a brand before making a purchase. However, these points of contact do not necessarily happen in only one environment: online or offline. There is a transition between virtual and physical environments, where each buyer’s journey is different and conversion can happen at any time.

Integrating offline and online sales channels to make consumer’s lives easier – the omnichannel concept – has become imperative for brands that want to expand their results. Analysing online and offline information in a strategic and integrated manner is essential for generating insights about consumer behaviour. But it is also essential to gather this data in one place and establish a data-driven mindset for consistent analyses that lay the foundation of decision-making processes.

The more a brand knows its consumer, the more assertive it can be in its content and in the technical display of its products. As a result, the buyer’s purchase experience is pleasant, and the conversion rates significantly increase.

More than ever, large retailers need strategic planning specifically targeted to their industry, including innovative, omnichannel communication and personalised shopping experiences for each buyer journey. When faced with this challenge, it is essential to have a partner that specialises in using communication, data and technology to drive performance.

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