Retail in Singapore isn’t getting any easier. Store rental costs have continued to rise steadily since the past 2 years, much to the dismay of many homegrown retailers and budding entrepreneurs.
Despite, our retailers are not going down without a fight. Active measures have been taken to respond to the depressed retail market with a great shift in focus to e-commerce platforms.There has also been a noticeable boost in customer engagement both in-store and online amongst retail brands here.
Today, we list you 5 retail trends businesses in Singapore (big or small) need to urgently grasp and implement this year.
- E-commerce is becoming the region’s gold mine as 53% of Southeast Asia’s population uses the internet.
(Digital in 2017: Southeast Asia from We Are Social Singapore)
- On the other hand, one in two Millennials (50%) have bought a fashion item online.
- 40% and 28% of the Millennials have spent on travel and event tickets respectively over the last three months.
- Omni-channel shoppers depend primarily on recommendation from family and friends for new purchases online (29%) and offline (25%).
Buckling up, now let's get to it.
5 Retail Trends Businesses In Singapore Need To Lockdown For Successful Digital Marketing This Year
1. The Importance Of Online Shopping
Online shopping started as an alternative buying option and has since evolved into the biggest rival to brick-and-mortar commerce this day. A devastating number of local retailers have winded down their businesses as fallen victims of this current age of internet shopping. With leading retailers progressively reshaping the e-commerce market, customers are harder to win over and retain than ever before.
Harshly put, retailers un-geared up for new marketing challenges and consumer trends or still unplanned for a winning e-commerce marketing strategy, will not see their business last another prolonged year of sagging sales.
Click here to get a load of the 7 most pressing e-commerce trends in 2017 or download a complete eBook guide here for free.
2. Omnichannel Retail
What Is Omnichannel Marketing?
- Hubspot defines it as, “the ability to deliver a seamless and consistent experience across channels, while factoring in the different devices that consumers are using to interact with your business.”
- In multichannel marketing, a company may use different channels to interact with the customer but each channel is managed separately with a different strategy. Omnichannel is centered around the customer and ensuring that customers can easily and seamlessly navigate between each company touchpoint to make a single purchase.
The Omnichannel Customer Experience
Thanks to modern day internet, consumers no longer have to physically walk into a store to purchase a product.
They should be able to have a great shopping experience from browsing to making the final purchase, online and offline seamlessly (whether is it going to a store, through a website or mobile app or from social media channels).
Omnichannel marketing allows consumers to switch up platforms throughout their shopping journey from start to completion. The entire experience should be smooth, consistent and congruent regardless which channels they first pick and jump to. Now, Omnichannel might just sound like an industry buzzword; check out the stats below to be full convinced on it's essentiality and impact today.
- 89% of customers get frustrated having to repeat their issues to multiple representatives. (Accenture)
- Shoppers who interact with multiple channels spend 18% to 36% more than those who shop via a single channel. (Starhub, 2017)
- Businesses that adopt omni-channel strategies achieve 91% greater year-over-year customer retention rates compared to business that don’t, according to a survey conducted by Aspect Software.
- 56% of consumers have used their mobile device to research products at home with 38% having used their mobile device to check inventory availability while on their way to a store and 34% who have used their mobile device to research products while in a store. (Forrester)
By 2020, with increased affluence and digital savviness, customer experience will overtake price and product as key brand differentiator. E-commerce and retail brand marketers must therefore step it up and design processes to be interconnected enough to respond effectively to a varied combination of customer journeys; also stay ahead of the curve strategizing what is the best way to automate their omnichannel strategies, consistently improving them.
In some examples,
Challenger, has adopted a click-and-collect system which allows customers to purchase.products on their online store, and collect them at any of Challengers’ five outlets. SingPost’s ecommerce mall, due to open in mid-2017, is reported to allow shoppers to arrange for delivery to their homes after browsing in-store, saving retailers the cost of having an in-store inventory space.
3. Customer Centricity
Every interaction with a consumer is a chance for a brand to surprise and delight—or a missed opportunity to do so. The promise of data-driven marketing is that brands will be able to ensure each touchpoint is part of a cohesive and customized omnichannel experience. But marketers still have work to do to enshrine a customer-centered approach to the brand experience. (eMarketer, 2017 April)
Personalisation & Customisation 2017 is the year retailers delve deeply into a new level of focus on personalisation with digital marketing for their online stores using collections of website visitors behavioural data. Retail marketers will task on strategizing and developing marketing campaigns catered to a highly-targeted audience.
Individual shoppers will access content unique to their demographic group, location, previous purchases, interactions with the brand and other identifiable consumer trends.
In the age of the customer, if you fail to adapt to your user’s needs and expectations, you will be losing them.
Enhancing User Engagment & Experience
Consumers of Year 2017 don’t only have raised expectations of what they want to purchase, but also their entire web experience when shop-browsing online.
Customer experience management (CEM or CXM) is the process leading businesses deploy to oversee and track all customer interactions across multiple devices and channels.
Successful user engagement vitally involves high social intelligence for identifying key consumer insights, and a meticulous study of the buyers’ journey to effectuate successful sales conversions. Click here for the latest e-commerce solutions.
4. Keeping Up With Evolving Consumer Shopping Habits
Consumer shopping behaviors are changing rapidly. In the age of e-commerce, where digital reigns supreme and transformations taking place at an astounding pace, consumer buying trends are also changing up more quickly than ever before. Understanding these constantly evolving habits is paramount, so we can strategize to match them with our sales processes. The key to stay on a competitive edge is the ability to keep up with incessant shifts in the marketplace and consumer trends, habits, and preferences of modern e-commerce shoppers.
Below are three tools customers are using to empower their purchasing decisions:
- Recommendations and reviews
Some of the resources that online shoppers reference prior to making a purchase include message boards and forums, customer reviews and testimonials, video reviews, social media posts, third-party ratings, comparison websites, coupon/deal sites, and competitor websites. Click here for a guide on how to market to Millennials- the largest target market in history.
5. Mobile Commerce
Singapore had the highest smartphone penetration globally in 2015, which has brought mobile commerce to the forefront. (Tech in Asia, 2017)
Although desktop still dominates for conversion, mobile browsing is reported to accumulate 59% of all sessions for e-commerce sites.
Below are some mobile marketing trends we find necessary to point out in 2017:
- This year, retail brands should be striving to improve mobile engagement functionality (eg. selecting products, device switch, digital payment types) with the focus on improving customer experience and engagement throughout the entire browsing session.
- We also see an incoming massive put out of video advertising aiming in increasing audience participation especially now with rapidly increasing mobile speed and cheaper data costs.
- Retail brands should look into using video advertisements for mobile marketing this year.
- Also, Singapore’s mobile payments market has seen tremendous growth. In the past year, the country has become one of the leading markets in the world for contactless payments, with more than 4 million Visa payWave transactions made in a month.
- More than one in three Singaporeans use Visa payWave for face-to-face transactions. 2016 will see this growth spike even further, with the breadth of options becoming the primary concern for in-store retailers.
Visit your current website now on a mobile device, is it mobile-friendly yet?
Google's mobile ranking factors will not only label your website as "mobile-friendly", but will also use that to determine if your website should rank higher in the search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices. (Official Google Webmaster Central Blog, 26 Feb 2015)
"Out of Sight, Out of Mind"
If your website is not designed to be readily accessible via all the different web browsing devices then you are not fully maximizing its potential outreach to your target audience. They shouldn't have to tire their fingers completing your super long form. If you want to create pleasant user experiences for all your visitors, then you need to optimize your website for mobile.
Know this, the retail sector is undergoing a structural shift. (Thanks to technology,) sale processes are now determined by consumers who have largely moved over to online channels and platforms. Hence, retailers will have to adopt a professional digital marketing approach combined with a proper e-commerce strategy to recreate an integrated retail experience for customers online, offline or both. Look to adopt these 5 salient retail trends dominating the industry for your retail business, if you need more in-depth guidance, or help incorporating them, we’re just a call away! Contact us at 6297 7751 or click below if you need a professional digital marketing agency's help for a profiting website.