Make it a September, to remember!
Some thoughts, facts of the digital world, and industry forecasts, that can make us a little more certain and a little less insecure this new season.
September has always been an alternative to “January” and maybe a more practical beginning of a new year because most of us feel the need to begin planning and organizing the season ahead.
Filled with boundless energy and restored creativity after our vacation, we start making new business plans, fresh starts, and lists of intentions.
Besides promising ourselves that we will sleep better, spend more time with friends and go swimming until the end of October, we are trying to make critical predictions about our business strategy, imagine how our company’s tomorrow will be, and keep our head clear for the longest possible.
But with the pandemic experience, that proved the saying “if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans”, we feel insecure about long-term planning and uncertain about our predictions. And as we cannot possibly know the COVID-19’s impact on the next 365 days of our lives, we have some facts that cannot be questioned. Facts that could define our next moves and work as a starting point, as some digital behaviors are here to stay.
The COVID effect on online experiences
The mass uptake of e-commerce during the pandemic introduced consumers to new ways of shopping and interacting with brands. As they are getting more and more familiar with e-commerce, users now demand:
a. more flexibility
b. a personalized store-front
c. certainty that they’re making the right purchase decision
d. and a more humanized digital experience across all of their devices, among others.
Privacy & Personalization
The two Ps that go hand in hand. An Accenture’s survey stated in 2017 that “it ’s estimated that retailers can unlock $2.95 trillion this decade through personalized shopping recommendations for consumers.”¹ This estimation was published before the e-commerce boom of the pandemic and we now can be sure that while consumers are growing increasingly mindful of how businesses use data, we also know that they are more likely to buy from a business that offers personalized recommendations.
Diversity & Inclusion
The previous year was also a year that people rose up and spoke up, shedding light on cultural taboos. Diversity & inclusion are gradually being embedded in many brands’ DNA, and words are translated into valuable actions and not only in emojis or hashtags.
The importance of the augmented product
Businesses used to have a priority to produce and offer a certain product or service to consumers. But now they have to meet customers’ expectations and make it easier for customers to buy their products and services when, where, and how they want them. Being easy to find, to use, and to reach again is anticipated and considered as given.
Messed up analytics
By combining 2019 metrics, 2020 metrics, and our brains, we can make more credible predictions. We used to be sure that Saturday night was the worst day & time to send a newsletter and then the lockdown came and Saturday nights were the ideal time to get in touch with consumers. Holidays like Christmas and Easter found our audiences in the cities and travelers planned their holidays one month ahead and not one year ahead.
Along with the above facts, we are sure about a few more things about this new “school” year: that we should have confidence, be agile and hold our nerve. Happy September, everyone!
1. ”Painting the digital future of retail and consumer goods companies” by Accenture, Aug 2017
Industry perspective: The evolving customer experience, Facebook IQ (2021)
How has the coronavirus pandemic impacted marketing?, Morag Cuddeford-Jones, The Chartered Institute of Marketing (2021)
The 2021 Creative Forecast, Facebook IQ (2021)