For those independent businesses that made the leap to order-ahead tech, the financial rewards in 2020 were significant. According to data from Odeko, coffee shops using order-ahead marketplaces prior to Covid-19 saw a net increase in customers with little-to-no drop-off in existing customers this year.
We review the top mobile ordering platforms for coffeeshops.
The concept of Amazon-as-a-service, or AaaS, didn’t begin in 2020. But as the year wore on, and people began relying on e-commerce platforms more than ever before in history, the concept took off. Reaching the first page of Amazon became paramount for brands hoping for digital success, particularly now, during the tumultuous holiday season.
Live streaming, advertising, and e-commerce are all coming together in a new technology that could change the way brands interact with shoppers online.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has greatly increased the interest in shoppable video tech, on both the brand and consumer side,” says Clicktivated CEO Chris Roebuck.
Sixty-eight percent of SMBs say they are still experiencing a negative impact from the pandemic, and the percentage of business owners experiencing “significant” impact jumped 7% to 50% from June to November.
Businesses that thought the crisis was heading in the right direction back in October are feeling differently today as they see holiday sales figures begin to roll out, and they’re scrambling to find tools, strategies, and other lifelines to help them get by.
Google search ad traffic has dropped across all devices, with mobile taking the biggest hit. Mobile traffic has been down an average of 24% since the pandemic began in February. Brands have been adjusting their digital strategies to account for the shift, including changing up their search ads with enhanced location targeting and more relevant keywords.
But achieving that high level of optimization requires a type of local search data that isn’t easily accessible through Google alone. That’s created a hole in the marketplace that the intelligence platform Adthena is looking to fill.
California’s new policy, and the overarching shift toward greater consumer privacy, are putting pressure on the federal government to act more quickly. The Biden administration will likely have to take a stand on the collection of personal data and the digital advertising space.
Rather than focusing on one platform or tool, retail brands are embracing everything necessary to engage with customers across multiple touchpoints. That could have a major impact on the way shoppers interact with their favorite brands in the coming weeks, and depending on the results, it could lead to changes in the way retail marketing is handled in 2021.
While food delivery platforms like Postmates, DoorDash, and GrubHub have all launched no-contact options, they generally rely on human drivers leaving food on the ground outside people’s front doors. With the health risks and potential for mix-ups, it’s less than ideal.
A better solution might be the one being rolled out by Wrapify. Just this morning, the company announched the launch of a first-of-its-kind campaign that could take autonomous bot delivery to the next level.
Despite the somewhat complicated outlook, there are things retailers can do to change their fate. NMI found that 43% of consumers plan to avoid shopping with retailers that don’t offer contactless payments. Retailers that quickly adapt and add contactless payment options, and then market those changes aggressively over the coming days, still have an opportunity to win back customers who would otherwise be staying home.
Allbirds and Fabletics aren’t the first DTC brands to open up for in-store shopping, of course. Brands like Warby Parker and Bonobos pioneered the approach years ago. But the latest class of trendy DTC brands is doing things a little differently. Rather than focusing on urban centers, like New York and Los Angeles, DTC brands are using local data to target new, smaller locations in states like Arizona, Florida, and Texas.
Grocery stores are doing more business than pre-pandemic, with average weekly household grocery bills surging from $120 to $161 at the height of statewide lockdowns this spring. Many restaurants are pivoting right now to promote their takeout and delivery options. Health and wellness websites are fielding questions about coronavirus, as are many news publishers.
Leaning into the changes means understanding and responding to the challenges consumers are facing right now and setting up a search strategy that focuses on providing the best experiences possible.
Two-thirds of American adults say they plan to shop at more small businesses in the coming months, providing independent retailers with the perfect opportunity to turn those new customers into brand advocates.
Putting the strategy into action means capitalizing on what ActiveCampaign CEO Jason VandeBoom sees as the biggest untapped opportunity for local retailers right now — the post-sale engagement.
In addition to selecting three small businesses to receive a holiday marketing overhaul — pairing each up with local designers to modernize their brand marketing materials — Adobe Spark and Square are helping businesses digitize their shops to process transactions in a touch-free environment, utilizing mobile technology and QR codes. The firms have also announced a plan to give five small businesses a $10,000 media buy credit and a subscription to Adobe Spark Premium.
While other firms in the retail infrastructure and logistics space are struggling, Whitebox is closing on a Series B funding round of $18 million. CEO Marcus Startzel says timing has played a key role in his company’s success. Whitebox was focused on solving e-commerce challenges for brands before the pandemic began, but the opportunities to work with major brands to improve and automate the e-commerce process have only grown over the past few months.
Limited-time offers and one-day sales are a mainstay of the holiday shopping season. But this year is unlike any other, and retailers are taking a different approach.
With Covid-19 restrictions limiting the number of customers who can be inside a store at any given time, retailers are looking at extending the shopping season to accommodate socially distant crowds.
The pandemic has sparked changes in consumer behavior. Some changes are predictable, like people stocking up on toilet paper when lockdown orders first went into effect.
But other changes occurring over the past seven months have been more slight and easier to miss. Now, with the holiday shopping season getting into full swing, brands are discovering that these minor shifts in consumer behavior have the potential to wreak havoc on their seasonal marketing strategies.
As one of the largest spenders on digital advertising in the U.S., the automotive industry is a bellwether. Prior to the pandemic, the automotive industry had consistent double-digit growth in digital ad spending. That growth was forecast to continue through the end of 2020 — then, in March, everything changed.
All eyes are focused on the presidential election today, but for businesses, a ballot initiative in California could have major implications. Proposition 24, known as the California Privacy Rights Act of 2020 (CPRA), is seen by many as an even more stringent version of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). That has some businesses rethinking how they collect user data and questioning whether they might be vulnerable to lawsuits if the proposition passes.
While this holiday season will be unlike any other, retailers have reason to be optimistic. Holiday sales are set to rise 1% to 1.5%, with e-commerce growing as much as 35%. Consumers are expected to spend between $1.147 trillion and $1.152 trillion between November and January. Much of that spending will happen with large retail chains that have omni-channel experiences already set up, and that has smaller retailers rushing to put their own mobile strategies in place.