This is not a "woe-is-me" article. It's a petition for the ignored middle child. Traditional advertising is the older brother who protects his siblings, but otherwise doesn't have time for them. Social media and digital are the babies - full of energy, while getting all the attention. Shame, shopper marketing is left to its own devices.
Pity that, considering that South Africans spend a whopping 25% of their hard-earned cash at till points. Not exaxctly indicative of a cautious consumer.
The truth is our #CabinetReshuffle is bound to have an impact on consumer confidence. Yet while all of this is happening in the foreground, there are a few trends in 2018 that may make it easier for us to part with our rands and cents.
Tap and go
You wouldn’t leave home without your phone or your wallet, right? But we’re slowly getting used to the ease of tapping our bank cards without having to remember which code matches which card, or having to sign a receipt. I approached this new method with caution, but its R200 limit allowed me to build trust in the process. Now, I gladly tap and go. In 2018, you won’t even need to open your wallet. In fact, you may lose the need to carry one altogether. Paying will be as easy as tapping your phone.
Getting personal, artificially
Who has time to endlessly search for something you like at a price that suits your pocket? In a world where shoppers now have longer digital footprints (shopping histories, social media profiles and interests), retailers can offer a tailored selection of products. The smartest retailers are taking advantage of advancements in machine learning, deep analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) for a more targeted and personalised shopping experience. It comes down to one thing: brand relevance to the customer. It’s all about you.
While online shopping is embracing change and technology, the in-store invironment is lagging behind. Customer journeys are omni-channel - not just digital, and technology can amplify the customers experience in aisle. Convincing and converting the shopper in the moment of truth will be as important next year, as it is today in 2017.
So, take care and consider your shopper solutions for 2018, as this middle-child shows a lot of potential.
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