Five Tips for Retail Marketing in 2023

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Whether a local shop or online brand, the past year has forced all areas of the retail sector to think differently about how they market themselves. The impact of Covid‑19 has encouraged retailers to embrace the full benefits of technology and adapt to broadening the services they offer, while fostering deeper connections to customers is arguably more important now than ever.

For the past twelve months, we’ve been closely tracking consumer sentiment here at iStock. Surveying over 10,000 people in more than 26 countries, and analyzing our own customer search and download data, we’ve garnered valuable insights into the key factors affecting consumer purchasing decision making. We’ve distilled these down into five tips to help you with your retail marketing strategy.

Be relatable

When you are creating your marketing materials, are you authentically representing your customer base? Nearly 80 percent of people globally said they expect companies to do a better job at capturing people’s true lifestyles and cultures, and six in ten prefer to buy from brands that are founded by, or represent, people like themselves. It’s important therefore to be mindful when it comes to your communications and ensure you’re representing your customers in a way that feels real and relatable. When selecting visual content, take into consideration the seven communities; age, body size, ethnicity, gender identity and sexuality, disability, socioeconomic background, and religion.

Demonstrate sustainable practices

Sustainability is an enduring concern, which is universally relevant across generations, gender, and regions. Despite the pandemic, the concern for the environment has not waned with 92% of consumers stating they are concerned about the environment. It’s clear that consumers are more than willing to put the effort into practice sustainability, and in our most recent research, 81% of consumers expect companies to be environmentally aware in all their advertising and communication.

Ensure you’re meeting modern standards of sustainability by rethinking how you choose images and videos for your marketing. Include details such as reusable cups or metal straws in your visual communications in order to convey your commitment to sustainability.

The power of virtual connection

In light of the pandemic, the mindset of consumers has shifted—our research shows that positive associations with technology are increasing, with 79% believing that it helps people feel connected to those that matter most. As this type of communication grows in popularity, it’s important that you shift your visual strategy to adapt to it. As people, from all backgrounds, are positively embracing the benefits of virtual connection, reflecting this in your visual communications will make your marketing more relatable. Instead of showing people shopping in groups, focus on visuals that demonstrate alternative ways of coming together.

Show that you care

Over the past two years, an average of 62% of consumers ranked health and wellness as a top priority, regardless of generation, region, or background. Your customers care deeply about emotional wellness with 89% stating they try to take care of themselves emotionally. To stay relevant in the long term, it’s important your visual strategy is sensitive to all your customers.

Visuals which support wellness are key to creating campaigns that resonate, so think about incorporating images of self‑care, individuals connecting with nature, or people finding different ways to unwind.

Reflect reality

Customers want to see advertising which reflects their reality, and they’re drawn to relatable visuals. Be mindful of this in your marketing. Whilst previously, showing images of your crowded shop might have been effective, they won’t resonate with your customers anymore. Instead, weave in images of social distancing and visually demonstrate the precautions you’re taking to making your shop a safe space.

Incorporating these five tips in your marketing strategy will ensure you’re creating content that drives engagement among your customers. To discover the most effective visuals to use, visit the iStock website to browse through a host of images, videos, and illustrations related to retail.

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iStock Staff