The COVD-19 pandemic severely disrupted retail. Whilst high streets suffered, online retail and ecommerce thrived.
Gross sales of ecommerce products amounted to 99.1 billion euros, which is a growth of 19% compared to 2020. In response to this, it has been reported that 75% of retail marketers are exploring new channels in response to the pandemic.
Below I look at the key trends that will shape the future of Ecommerce marketing in 2022 and beyond.
2020 and 2021 saw an incremental shift in performance marketing strategy in particular an increased uptake of video, programmatic, affiliate, TikTok, and Paid Social marketing strategies.
Video was one of the most popular marketing strategies, with 67% of retail marketers in a recent survey adding it to their mix and 41% indicating that they were seeing increased ROI from the channel. This is likely because as marketing budgets were frozen or cut, video marketing emerged as the most cost effect way for lead generation and acquisition. This is because it is still a relatively unsaturated market, so competition is lower, plus people are watching more than double the amount of video content they were in 2018!
Additionally, 86% of video marketers say video has been effective for generating leads, up another 2% from 2021 and up 5% since 2019. 81% of marketers feel that video has a direct, positive impact on sales and 94% of marketers agree that videos have helped increase user understanding of their product or service.
As 99% of current video marketers suggest that they are planning to continue to use video marketing throughout 2022 and beyond, are businesses who fail to adopt this strategy going to fall behind? It’s likely, especially when you consider that, when deciding how to rank webpages on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), Google gives ranking priority to pages that have videos. So not only is video a good marketing tool, but it’s a powerful Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy as well. Plus, mobile users love video content. In fact, 75% of all videos are played on mobile devices.
The most interesting emerging trend, however, might be the sudden and mostly unexpected emergence of TikTok as a series marketing channel. 38% of surveyed CMOs said that they are now incorporating it into their marketing plans due to significant audience figures across Europe (approximately 100 million users). This is surprising when you consider that a recent Kantar report revealed that senior marketing professionals thought of TikTok as an unreliable and untrustworthy channel.
TikTok is, however, thriving. With the rise in short form video content, TikTok found itself as a huge procrastination tool for Gen Z especially, all around the world. Short-form video enables brands to quickly create and share media campaigns at the peak of its relevance, that simplifies product USPs and explanations. With users spending more time on TikTok than Facebook or Instagram, it’s a great space to tap into potential customers, especially in the 16 – 30 age range.
Naturally, it’s not something every business will benefit from, but for those whose demographics align with the platform, it’s potentially a really lucrative marketing option.
Affiliate marketing has been impacted in very different ways depending on the sector. John Lincoln, co-founder and CEO of Ignite Visibility, said “some areas that used to have offers have completely gone away while others have exploded. We are seeing health, entertainment, supplements, medical supplies and oxygen and breathing items really take off, for example. While on the other end, affiliate offers for gyms, certain types of education and more go away.”
Despite reports of reduced commission, web traffic, and ad revenue all plaguing the affiliate marketing space, reports show that 32% of marketers have observed an increased ROI from Affiliate partners and suggest that affiliate marketing will continue to rise in 2022 and beyond. This could be a result of the continued fascination with micro and nano influencers. Brands will actively search for micro and nano influencers to work with on an affiliate basis to maximise their return on investment, whilst a larger chunk of the budget will be spent on influencer campaigns with those who are experts in the field.
48% of marketing professionals have added Programmatic into their channel mix post-pandemic, with the channel getting more exposure at senior level with 61% of CMOs incorporating it into their strategy. This is likely partly driven by the wider adoption of video marketing.
Research carried out across the EU5 (UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy) by Magnite reveals that 78% of European audiences watch Connected TV (CTV), making it an essential element of TV planning for advertisers. The same report also illustrated that up to 65% of some of those audiences pay more attention to an ad on CTV than on social media. With these promising statistics, it’s likely that we will see more investment into these channels, although businesses are likely to approach this warily, just in case these rise in audiences through these channels were a temporary response to the pandemic.
Paid Search and Social have reached saturation during the pandemic, locking up media spend in unprofitable. Additionally, 60% of respondents have seen a decline in the performance and effectiveness of paid ads since the iOS 14.5 update. Pre-iOS14.5, the vast majority of people allowed behavioural tracking on their iPhones by default. Now, about 12% of global iPhone users opt into tracking daily, according to Flurry. That’s not great for marketers who’ve been relying on tracking data. It’s also drastically lower than AppsFlyer’s preliminary forecast: a 39% opt-in rate.
This means businesses will have to rely less on real-time performance data and instead use smarter models for paid social. This might mean businesses using aggregated event measurement, statistical modelling, and using data from past paid social campaigns to help fill in the blanks. Businesses that fail to update their strategy to adapt to this change, will likely see very little to no ROI.
Online retail was drastically and radically impacted throughout 2020 and 2021. Brands who are quick to adapt and invest in emerging growth channels, principally video marketing, TikTok marketing, and programmatic marketing, will benefit from substantially lower cost per acquisitions (CPAs) due to lower auction volumes at the point of conversion. They are also likely to experience faster customer acquisition, which is why Performance Marketers at the forefront, can be significantly valuable to businesses looking at hypergrowth strategies.
If you’re looking for exceptional Performance Marketers in Berlin, to lead your marketing function and business to new heights, reach out directly to me for a free, confidential chat on how Maxwell Bond can support you with attracting, hiring, and retaining the top marketing talent.
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