How to Take Advantage of Changing Consumer Shopping Patterns

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The pandemic has ushered in a new type of shopper, something we call the “see it – want it – buy it” generation. In a phenomenon of transactional immediacy fueled by Amazon and BOPIS (buy-online-pickup-in-store), a growing number of consumers expect to buy the product or service now and will shop elsewhere if they’re forced to wait.

With this in mind, retailers across all industries are investing in technologies to simplify or enhance the customer experience, ensuring the pathway to purchase is intuitive and fast. With a variety of options (and opportunities) to consider when it comes to driving e-commerce and digital engagement, what should small businesses prioritize throughout 2021 as we anticipate entering a post-Covid marketplace? 

  • Implement shoppable ads as a convenient avenue for purchasing: While your website will continue to be your main storefront, consider highlighting your most popular products and/or those in high demand through Google’s shoppable ads or by running ads on Facebook. Shopping ads generate 85% of all clicks on Google Ads or Google Shopping campaigns, and 1/3 of shoppers will purchase an item after seeing it in a video ad.
  • Send mobile messages for instant receipt: With more than 16 million text messages sent every minute in our country, it’s clear we are using our phones more than ever. The open rate of text messages can be as high as 98% (versus 20% for email), and 90% of mobile users open and read messages within the first 30 minutes of receiving (Gartner). For this reason, brands can get important and time-sensitive information in front of people quickly and in real-time with text messaging. 
  • Maintain your social media strategy and incorporate user-generated content to strengthen connections: Consumers experience something like 5,000+ brand ads and content in a given day, so standing out is a big challenge. One smart way to grab the consumer’s attention is to show them what other consumers think about your product. Leverage user-generated content on your social media channels, which offers up trusted third-party endorsements.  

We’ve witnessed a number of companies realize success by taking this omnichannel approach. For instance, Compass Innovative Business Strategies, a New Hampshire-based organization that treats autism and other developmental delays, has experienced a dramatic increase in awareness building and visibility through their social media program. Launching a Facebook campaign around three key objectives—to increase page likes, to build engagement on posts, and to drive traffic to their website—the company reached 100K+ people through its Facebook ads. Twenty percent of their website traffic is now driven by social media. These results indicate that, through strategic social media planning and execution, companies can position themselves to reach and connect with current and prospective audiences and drive conversions through their website.      

A second example is Capital Auto Glass in Lincoln, NE. Capital Auto Glass leverages our Vivial Marketing Platform along with an expertly managed pay-per-click campaign to connect with their target audience. The strategy has driven conversion rates nearly three times industry averages. “This is one big chunk that [Vivial has] taken off our plate. The numbers don’t lie,” said Capital Auto Glass owner Chris Pfligler.

At Vivial, our mission is to make sure businesses are getting found wherever and whenever consumers are searching for products and services. To help businesses navigate the changing retail landscape and shifts in digital marketing, Vivial is continually developing free resources like our podcast, Simply Connected. To hear marketing experts explore must-know trends, the benefits of using Google My Business, and how Apple’s iOS 14 update may affect your online ads, consider giving us a listen. Our goal is to answer that ever-popular question: Where is the industry headed, and how can you respond?  

Laura Cole is VP of Marketing at Vivial.