3 Consumer Trends to Shape Retailer Ad Creative
There are a lot of reasons for retailers to be super focused on deals, deals, deals. The economy is tight, inflation is up, and the first half of Q1 is typically a time for clearance pricing to make way for spring merchandise. While low prices and sales are a driver of impulse purchases, sales messages can’t be sustained forever.
Looking at 2023, retailers need to dig deeper to get consumer attention and drive purchases without having to slash prices. Several trends are emerging that can help brands with their campaign design and media approach. Buying behavior is trending more towards searching on TikTok than Google, caring about value and quality, and marketing to consumers looking to treat themselves.
Bye-Bye Google, Hello TikTok
TikTok is the social platform for younger generations. And while that’s not a new insight, one new behavior emerging is the trend to turn to TikTok and Instagram specifically for searches, not just entertainment and discovery. According to a recent study from GWI, nearly half of young adults turn to TikTok and Instagram over Google and other search engines for answers.
For retailers, this means that TikTok and Instagram (and let’s throw in Snap for good measure, with 42 million Gen Z users) are more than just platforms for brand awareness and engagement. Brands can use meaningful data to understand what relevant searches are happening on social platforms and have content at the ready. Brands can go one step further by marrying creative data with search trends, ensuring their ads are leveraging the creative drivers that engage users and prompt action.
TikTok in particular has become a great place to try shoppable advertising to take advantage of those impulse purchases, with more retailers adding a promo code or a “click to buy” option to their creative. In addition to impulse purchases, people could be searching for specific products to see them in action or get ratings or reviews, or look for where to buy them. Creating a more “full-funnel” approach to social media will ensure that a retailer is ready for whatever the customer wants to do.
Consumers Will Continue to Treat Themselves in 2023
Research shows that the “treat yourself” approach that worked during the toughest part of the pandemic has held strong. Nearly two-thirds of millennials and Gen Z consumers treated themselves during the holidays in 2021 and the trend continued in 2022. Brands should anticipate this trend well into 2023.
Brands can take advantage of this with a variety of “get something” promotions. Buy-one, get-one (BOGO) promotions are particularly popular during the holidays, but they can be used any time of year. Try it for Valentine’s Day! Twin heart PJ’s anyone?
Brands don’t have to go full BOGO if that isn’t cost effective. Beauty brands often throw in small samples for buyers if they spend a certain amount, which is an effective way to drive new product awareness, increase consideration, and ultimately land new customers.
New Year's resolutions can be a lot more fun if they feel a little indulgent. A gym could give away a coupon for a free massage for anyone that takes a class in the New Year, providing a fun incentive to get in shape. Brands can mitigate massive returns in Q1 with advertising creative that speaks to trading in something to treat yourself with something else, enticing people to spend rather than opt for a refund.
Quality and Value Matter
With all of the holiday sales having passed, retailers need a new angle to get attention. It’s a great time to focus on value and quality; elements that have become major purchase drivers. A new study shows that value is the top consideration of U.S. consumers as inflation goes up and the economy dips.
However, this insight doesn't mean brands should assume sales and low prices will always do the trick. GWI’s study found that quality actually outranks price as a top consideration for consumers. For brands looking to sustain loyalty as people look for value, focus on how buying quality products can actually be a better value in the long run. For example, Tide has a commercial that explains how its detergent is so effective that people can use cold water to save money and improve sustainability and still get clean clothes. Similarly, buying quality paper towels that actually pick up a spill with only one piece is actually a better value than a cheap roll that needs three or four to do the same job. The same concept can apply to everything from fuel-efficient cars to a quality jacket that won’t fall apart after one season.
For retailers looking to make better connections with consumers in 2023, designing creatively to address these key behaviors can be the key to success well beyond the holiday shopping season.
Talia Wachtel is vice president and head of client success at VidMob, a leading platform for intelligent creative.
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Talia Wachtel is vice president and head of client success at VidMob, a leading platform for Intelligent Creative.