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SwiftERM Predictive personalisation software for ecommerce

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  • David Swift
  • May 22, 2021 08:20:57 AM
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A Little About Us

SwiftERM is predictive personalisation software for ecommerce. It identifies products that are most likely to be purchased for each individual on your database. Analysing buying habits and impressions it calculates what they are most likely to buy next. Then it provokes the purchase by sending the individual details of those products automatically.

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Improving marketing technology ROI

The post Improving marketing technology ROI appeared first on SwiftERM.

Improving marketing technology ROI. Digitally savvy brands invest in combinations of key tech solutions to ensure that their martech drives business value.

After the pandemic broke out marketing leaders cut back sharply on many expenses —except for their spending on technology. Investments in marketing technology still account for a sizable portion of marketing budgets. Yet brands utilize only 58% of their martech stack’s capabilities, according to Gartner research.

The disconnect between technology adoption and return on investment is a persistent challenge for digital marketing leaders. Taking cues from high-performing brands (Genius brands) can help drive greater martech utilisation. Genius brands rank highest on the Gartner Digital IQ Index (DIQ), which scores more than 2,000 brands on four digital competency dimensions: Site, digital marketing channels, social media and path to purchase. Based on its score, each brand is classified as Genius, Gifted, Average, Challenged or Feeble.

As digital marketing strategies grow and mature, leading brands rely on a mix of products. “Leverage product combinations the way Genius brands often do,” says Benjamin Bloom, Senior Director Analyst, Gartner. “Establish which combinations are most relevant to your business and align complementary technologies to maximize capabilities and minimize waste.”

 

Complement integrated-suite technology with point solutions

Many large vendors offer integrated solutions to meet a multitude of marketing capabilities.Genius brands do leverage these products, but point solutions — software designed to solve specific business problems — account for nearly three-quarters of their martech stacks. By comparison, less digitally proficient brands install more integrated products from large vendors at a higher rate. Acquiring all of the essential components of a martech stack from a single vendor is uncommon: Just 29% of brands have more than one product from a single vendor. 

Improving marketing technology ROI

Manage martech complexity for optimal performance

Gartner research finds no correlation between the amount of marketing technology investment and its effectiveness. Not every brand achieves its outcomes in ways that the number of technology solutions alone can explain. For example, about 20% of brands in the Gartner study have swelled in martech complexity yet failed to add sufficient ROI. Just 18% of brands display business performance that correlates with their stacks’ complexity.

To overcome the risk of martech complexity, build competencies around technology, content and workflow that enable technology to efficiently support marketing strategy. Assess capabilities to determine if sufficient depth in talent, training and organization is available to utilise the products in your stack.

 

Combine marketing technologies to extend capabilities

Genius brands extend their technology with complementary tools and build capabilities that advance their maturity. This combination of tools and work processes may explain the improved returns of brands with greater digital intelligence. High-performing brands are more likely to invest in technologies such as analytics and business intelligence, data science, mobile marketing platforms, demand-side platforms and digital asset management.

No single technology product is a key to top-performing martech. Instead, brands with high digital intelligence and complex martech stacks combine several linchpin technologies for analytics, data management, advertising, personalisation and multichannel marketing.

Selling jewellery successfully online – the definitive guide
The wine world in the year to come
Ecommerce personalisation an inconvenient truth

The post Improving marketing technology ROI appeared first on SwiftERM.


Selling jewellery successfully online – the definitive guide

The post Selling jewellery successfully online – the definitive guide appeared first on SwiftERM.

Selling jewellery successfully online – the definitive guide. If you’re thinking about establishing or expanding your own jewellery business online, the timing has never been better. The New York Times reported that fine jewellery sales were up during the pandemic due to people wanting to treat themselves. Current forecasts suggest that the worldwide jewellery market will grow to $291.7B by 2025. As of 2021, 79% of jewellery sales in the United States came from non-luxury items.

These economic forecasts paint the picture for an expansive global market, with room for newcomers and established industry giants alike. The beauty of jewellery is in its diversity, and platforms such as eBay and Etsy make it possible for even the smallest of businesses to find a loyal customer base online.

Jewellery is one of the most popular items people purchase online. From necklaces and earrings to bracelets and watches, the jewellery market is worth several billions of dollars in the US.

In fact, the latest online jewellery sales statistics show that there’s been constant sales growth from 2011 to 2019. In 2019, the online jewellery market generated nearly $8.4 billion, its best year of the decade. 

During this period, the online jewellery market size grew at an average of 8.64 percent annually. The biggest year-over-year increase was registered in 2012 when online jewellery sales surged 18.78 percent. 

Experts say the growth the industry experienced towards the latter part of the previous decade is due to the increased demand for jewellery. This is spurred by consumers’ growing disposable income, which permitted them to not only spend but also spend more on expensive discretionary goods such as jewellery. 

In fact, reports say that the online jewellery market has been growing faster than the overall economy over the past five years.

Why You Should Sell Jewellery Online

As a merchant, you have the ability to reach customers anywhere in the world, regardless of where you’re located. Regardless of whether you are an independent jewellery designer on Etsy or part of a team at a larger brand, you have an equal footing for a discoverable store.

Keep in mind that there were demographic trends in motion even before the COVID-19 pandemic that made the case for selling jewellery online. One important trend to watch is the rise of the Gen Z shopping population.

Shortly before the pandemic began, Gen Z had already accounted for 40% of global shoppers, meaning that they are on the path to becoming the dominant spending force. These individuals have been creating a shift in the way that people of all generations make purchase decisions.

As the first generation of digital natives, this group relies on social media and online retail experiences to discover new products — a trend that has increased during the pandemic, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). Research from the NRF has also found that 87% of parents rely on recommendation from their children when deciding what to buy.

These trends point to a historic shift in the way that people shop for new jewellery, which is a timeless cultural staple to our human society. The key to getting started is to find the right niche and to build a brand that stands out.

Market Analysis: Trending Jewellery Brand Niches

When you sell jewellery online, there’s an opportunity to reach people with your brand all over the world. This expansive market means that there’s an opportunity for all retailers — from Tiffany and Cartier to the local costume jewellery store — to attract and engaged a loyal customer base.

The flip side of this growth potential is that there’s also a lot of competition. No matter the type of jewellery, making your brand discoverable can be a challenge, especially since attention spans are tough to capture. Shoppers have a seemingly infinite number of options to navigate their purchase decisions.

 

Selling jewellery successfully online

Build a High-Impact Marketing Strategy 

You can think of your ecommerce store as the home base for your jewellery brand. It’s a destination for audiences to visit. As with places to visit in the physical world, you need to help shoppers find their way to what you have to offer. That process involves creating an online presence that spans multiple platforms.

In marketing language, the expression of your brand through its online presence is called an “omnichannel marketing strategy.” Beyond sending people to your online storefront, your online presence can help you collect personalization data to build a more on-target, relevant and enjoyable brand experience. We offer the following guide to omnichannel marketing strategies, and detail why omnichannel retail is essential.

Here is a template to guide you through the process of building a meaningful online presence:

Build a social media presence.

An Instagram presence for your jewellery store is a must. Other platforms to consider include Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and YouTube.

You don’t need to be present on all social media platforms. Rather, pick several — build up each one, one at a time.

One example to consider is Icing on the Ring’s Instagram feed, which includes helpful product photography. Audiences can easily discover and learn more about the items that Icing on the Ring sells.

The brand uses a mix of static images and dynamic videos to create an engaging experience.

Create loyalty incentives.

Jewellery is often a high consideration purchase, meaning that people give careful thought to what they are buying. Especially if your brand is a fine jewellery retailer, it may take several months of browsing before a shopper is ready to make a purchase.

Given that jewellery is a high-consideration purchase, shoppers may feel inclined to compare prices and items across different brands. A rewards or loyalty program creates an incentive for people to make their purchases with your company.

Launch a newsletter and use the biggest ROI marketing tool – email.

Sometimes, people aren’t ready to engage with your brand in a way that drives a transactional outcome. In these moments, an email newsletter is a valuable marketing channel for keeping shoppers interested in your jewellery brand and products.

A successful newsletter will be entertaining to read beyond being a sales pitch for your products. For this reason, it is important to communicate a clear value proposition for subscribing. Whether you’re a small company with insufficient resources ro initiate an email campaign, or a conglomerate fighting for market share, one program essential for today’s ecommerce is the personalisation SaaS. There is no greater example of this than SwiftERM, the number one Martech solution, and Microsoft Partner. It is 100% automatic, using a unique algorithm to them, devised over many years, helping global retailers of all sizes.

The personalisation SaaS (no to be associated with segmenting whatsoever) watches what each individual consumer buys and sees on your website. using every available UTM is rake all your BUs in order of highest potential buying propensity for that consumer. Then, when appropriate, it mails that individual their own unique selection achieving phenomenal returns. the small guy loves it, as he doesn’t need to do a thing to gate returns as high at 2500%, and the big boys like it as it supplements that office full of email staff, with an amazing additional revenue stream, not otherwise available, complementing their own activity. 

Create a content marketing and search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy.

Content marketing is the practice of creating branded education in the form of articles, videos and images. It is an effective strategy in today’s media-driven world where people are researching items before making purchases. Coupled with content marketing is search engine optimisation (SEO), which is the practice of making content visible on Google based on keywords.

To succeed with SEO, your marketing team will need to identify keywords that are relevant to your brand and develop content, accordingly.

It’s important to prioritize content marketing as a measurable strategy. For instance, you can track whether a shopper has engaged with content before making a purchase.

Build paid media advertising campaigns to build awareness and drive sales.

With an established brand presence, your jewellery brand will be well-positioned to find success using paid media advertising. The idea is to participate in the digital advertising ecosystem to build awareness around your brand — and to re-engage audiences through the consideration process.

Social media companies such as Facebook (which owns Instagram), Google (which owns YouTube) and Twitter provide options to purchase spots for advertising. You can also reach out to publications and blocks to see if there are spots available for direct advertising.

Keep in mind that there are many different advertising products available for different types of businesses. As a jewellery brand, to guarantee the biggest impact from your paid media investment, it will be important to make sure that you choose advertising solutions that support your revenue goals.

Work with influencers to build brand awareness and trust. 

An influencer is someone with a social media presence, who has the ability to persuade how people shop. Influencers have a high degree of authority as trustworthy sources of information.

“Be it moody photos, cheeky video reviews, meandering blogs, or blurry soon-to-disappear Stories, the value of the content in question is derived from the perceived authority—and, most importantly, authenticity—of its creator,” explains Paris Marineau for Wired.

Influencers are receptive to working with brands to promote their product. But keep in mind that campaigns need to do more than just sell — strong partnerships between influencers and brands are built on the alignment of values.

SwiftERM recently published a guide to building a marketing strategy, which you can check out, and another on brand ambassadors.

Collaborate with resellers and distribution partners.

This technique isn’t the right fit for every brand. But if you manufacture your own products, you may find success working with partner retailers to sell your products on your store’s behalf.

An example to model is Lisi Lerch, whose products appear both on the brand’s website and on retail platforms such as QVC.

This type of distribution relationship is a valuable way for Lisi Lerch to increase brand awareness. QVC is a platform where shoppers can discover Lisi Lerch as a designer. This discovery process creates a funnel of shoppers to the Lisi Lerch ecommerce website. The brand name also becomes more recognisable.

Distribution and reseller relationships are powerful pathways to build brand awareness. It’s important to choose partners carefully; however, and make sure that your company has enough wiggle room to take a healthy profit margin on sales.

It’s also a good idea to loop in a lawyer who can advise on issues related to usage rights for product imagery and brand communications. Terms and conditions will be an important part of your strategic plan.

Incorporate reviews into your marketing

Testimonials and product reviews are important components of your jewellery marketing engine. As humans, we are naturally inclined to trust our peers for insights. SwiftERM is the only facility in the world which incorporates Trustpilot product review scores automatically into each individual’s own personal selection emails, which is offered permanently for free to users of this facility.

In one study, researchers found that given two similar products, people are more likely to purchase the one with more reviews — even when the less-reviewed option was of higher quality.

For a high consideration purchase like jewellery, reviews can empower shoppers with a sense of confidence. Reviews are one of the most informative pathways to help ensure that we will be happy with what we’re buying.

Reviews can be a part of your marketing in a few different ways:

Featured on your website.
Part of a social media hashtag campaign.
Included in ad copy.
Incorporated into a buyer’s guide.
Highlighted in an email marketing campaign.
The most impactful reviews include meaningful stories that are relatable and enjoyable to relieve. The role of the brand is to help facilitate peer-to-peer discussion.

The Final Word

The online jewellery industry is booming, with plenty of space for newcomers and established companies, alike. You can think of your ecommerce store as a central hub for your brand, to magnetize audiences and build trust with shoppers.

Selling online requires a balancing act between technology, marketing strategy and human operations. You can think of a digital storefront as a virtual space where you’re bringing people together — just as you would in the real world.

The right technology and processes will help ensure that people enjoy their experience with your brand and remain engaged for the long-term.

The wine world in the year to come
Ecommerce personalisation an inconvenient truth
Fashion and apparel 2022 an uneven recovery

The post Selling jewellery successfully online – the definitive guide appeared first on SwiftERM.


The wine world in the year to come

The post The wine world in the year to come appeared first on SwiftERM.

The wine world in the year to come. The wine industry is emerging from yet another chaotic year of conducting business in the middle of a global pandemic. Between catastrophic weather events (including California wildfires, devastating April frosts in France and Italy, and flooding in western Germany) and global supply chain disruptions, plus the growing threat of price inflation, instability has often felt like the only constant.  

Despite it all, however, the outlook for this coming year is far from bleak. With restaurants steadily on the rebound and off-premise sales continuing their post-pandemic boom, the industry is once again proving its endless capacity for creativity, adaptability, and resilience. “There are many reasons for optimism,” says Ian Downey, the executive vice president of Winebow Imports. “The market will be more responsive to the bold, the new, and the innovative in the year to come.” 

In that indomitable spirit, explore six key trends that will continue to shape the wine world’s trajectory – whatever else the year may bring. 

Supply Chain Issues and Price Inflation Wreak Havoc—With an Unexpected Upside

Poll a cross-section of wine professionals across all sectors of the industry, and the consensus is unanimous: Supply chain issues will continue to disrupt all aspects of the trade, causing inevitable price inflation and shortages for familiar brands.

While we’ve already seen these issues impact the Champagne market, fueling fears of inevitable gaps through the holidays and beyond, experts expect the effects to be much more widespread. “Our industry is no different than others that have been impacted by supply chain difficulties, and we are starting to see inflationary prices from our winery partners that will come into effect,” explains Rocco Lombardo, the president of Wilson Daniels. “We’re definitely headed into an interesting time with regards to managing costs and margin structure.”

Faced with rising prices, shipping delays, and limited inventory, buyers will increasingly be forced to look beyond the usual tried-and-true options. While that’s bound to create no shortage of headaches, Christopher Struck, the beverage director for ilili’s New York and Washington, D.C. locations, predicts that the situation will incentivize restaurants to turn to boutique wholesalers that carry alternatives to the usual large brand names.

“In my experience, smaller distributors will be more inclined to hustle and get you what you need,” explains Struck. “They also tend to work with independent, conscientious growers that better align with my ethos as a buyer.”

Vanessa Conlin, MW, the chief wine officer at Wine Access, agrees. In her view, the coming year will set the stage for up-and-coming regions and producers to gain newfound visibility and market share. “These shortages actually offer a chance to get lesser-known wines in front of consumers who would have otherwise reached for familiar things like Burgundy or Napa Cabernet.” As these European benchmark items become more difficult to secure, “we’re going to see other regions making a play to fill the gap,” says Conlin. That’s welcome news for regions eager to break through.   

 

the wine world in the year to come

Stylistic Categories Continue to Blur

The world of wine has long conformed to a fixed set of stylistic categories, grouped primarily according to color. But as a younger generation of boundary-pushing winemakers across the globe explore an array of alternative winemaking approaches and techniques, those once-stable classifications are beginning to blur.

“We’re seeing more and more people making these experimental wines that don’t have a firm definition,” explains Chris Leon, the owner of Leon & Son retail shop in Brooklyn, New York and Grand Rapids, Michigan. He draws a parallel between the previous fashion for genre-defying macerated whites, or orange wines, and a recent interest in co-ferments, produced by fermenting multiple grape varieties (both red and white alike) together in one vessel.

Bright, fresh, and eminently crushable, the resulting wines successfully blur the line between pale red and dark rosé, but couldn’t be more attuned to the current “chillable red” zeitgeist. According to Leon, we can expect to see more of this stylistic ambiguity in the future. “The rise of this style of wine feels very apropos at a time when people are increasingly willing to sidestep strict classifications or labels and simply take things for what they are,” he says.

Natural Wine Expands Into New Markets

There once was a time when the natural wine counterculture operated within a few clusters of activity confined to large coastal cities like New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. With a growing number of small-scale, natural-focused importers, however, the movement is quickly making inroads into parts of the country that had long been dominated by large national distributors and corporate-owned brands. 

Case in point: the Raleigh-based distributor Kellogg Selections, run by former New York sommelier Jeff Kellogg. Emblematic of this larger shift, he moved south in 2017 with the goal of introducing independent and, in many cases, low-intervention producers (such as Beaujolais’ Mee Godard or California’s Birichino Winery) to consumers across the Carolinas.  

“I knew there was a real thirst among consumers here to drink things other than Napa as a category, but there weren’t enough people filling that void,” explains Kellogg. “My favorite part of selling these kinds of wines in the Carolinas is that I’m able to introduce natural wines to people for the first time. I get to provide that experience all the time to buyers who were previously working in places that just made sure they were checking off the usual boxes of California Chardonnay or Argentinian Malbec.”  

With interest in the category steadily expanding across the United States—“We don’t see interest in natural wine slowing down at all in 2022,” observes Sally Stewart of Colorado’s Denver Wine Merchant—the movement has officially passed from fringe to an essential pillar of wine’s new mainstream. As that evolution continues to unfold, the naturalist gospel is poised to convert a whole new demographic of consumers, many of whom never considered themselves wine drinkers. “If we’re talking about the market in our region, so many people are coming to wine from other beverage categories, especially craft beer,” says Kellogg. “In my mind, natural wine has so much more room to grow.” 

Sparkling Wine Finally Becomes an Everyday Staple

According to off-premise sales data from Nielsen, the sparkling wine category grew by more than 13 percent among American drinkers over the past two years—an upward momentum that shows no sign of abating anytime soon, even with the threat of Champagne shortages and price hikes.

Unsurprisingly, Champagne sales have dominated the premium sector of the sparkling market, with sales between January and August jumping 11.9 percent compared to the same period in 2019, according to Reuters. But value-driven options have fueled much of the category’s surge in popularity. “We’re seeing the same dynamism with our Prosecco Superiore, our Crémant d’Alsace, and our premium domestic sparkling wine,” reports Lombardo. 

As drinkers gravitate towards these more affordable forms of fizz, they’re finally knocking the category off its “holidays and special occasions” pedestal and reclaiming bubbles as part of the everyday drinking repertoire. Though still extremely niche in terms of national sales, one alternative sparkling wine style has played an outsize symbolic role in that transformation: cloudy, crown-capped pétillant-natural. 

“There’s been a steady interest in pet-net throughout the year, not just on holidays,”says Eric Moorer, the sales director at Washington, D.C.’s natural-focused Domestique Wine. If his experience on the sales floor had taught him anything, it’s that the category’s appeal has yet to peak, helping to make the wider bubbly landscape more democratic. “As somebody who has always championed sparkling wine as an everyday wine, pét nat has made that conversation much easier for me,” he says. “People no longer believe that sparkling wine is for Fridays and Saturday nights; they’re popping open bottles of pét-nat on Mondays and Tuesdays.” 

Ecommerce Gets Creative

Even as the world has largely reopened, online wine sales have remained strong. But the future of the ecommerce sector now faces an important challenge: namely, how to find creative ways to drive digital engagement and retain their recently acquired customer base.  

The key to maintaining that growth? Convincing customers that shopping for wine online can be every bit as gratifying as seeking recommendations from a trusted neighborhood wine merchant. “We gained a lot of new customers during the pandemic, so a lot of what we did over the past year was try to set ourselves up to deliver a better experience than customers were able to get in a traditional store or retail environment,” says AJ Resnick, the chief experience officer at Wine Access.

Critically, as Joshua Lincoln, the senior commercial director—Europe, for Vivino, points out, digital platforms enjoy a distinct advantage: a treasure trove of data with which to customise the consumer’s experience. To him, capitalising on that ability will be the wave of the future for the ecommerce space. “We’ve got more data than any store manager could ever keep in their head, so we can actually be way more personalised than any single individual,” he explains. “The real winners in the e-commerce space over the coming five to 10 years will be the ones like us, who focus heavily on this aspect of personalisation.”

Eschewing Formulaic Restaurant Wine Lists for Experimental By-The-Glass Programs

With prices rapidly rising, the pre-pandemic trend of smaller, more focused wine lists will surely extend into 2022. At the same time, though, we can also expect beverage programs to become exponentially more experimental, moving beyond the established templates and reference points that were once considered the industry’s standard. In particular, as sommeliers feel increasingly empowered to depart from expectations, they’re radically reconsidering conventional wisdom about what it means to run a successful by-the-glass program.

To Dallas-based sommelier Tiffany Tobey, the glass pours she offers function as a critical form of research and development, allowing customers to explore more obscure expressions in a non-threatening and cost-effective format. “My by-the-glass program is geared towards a completely different compilation of regions and off-the-beaten-path stuff,” she explains. “I’m offering stuff by the glass that people have never heard of before, but they’re still willing to try it because the rest of my list still contains plenty of the familiar favorites that make them feel comfortable.”  

At the two restaurants he oversees, Struck has adopted a similar approach. “I think there’s too many self-fulfilling prophecies with beverage directors who insist that you set yourself up for failure if you don’t offer certain specific reference points by the glass,” he says. “That may have been true in the past, but not so anymore. I mean, we’ve already entered a whole new era of dining, haven’t we?” 

Ecommerce personalisation an inconvenient truth
Fashion and apparel 2022 an uneven recovery
Metaverse marketing the essential guide

The post The wine world in the year to come appeared first on SwiftERM.


Ecommerce personalisation an inconvenient truth

The post Ecommerce personalisation an inconvenient truth appeared first on SwiftERM.

Ecommerce personalisation an inconvenient truth. The word personalisation is often bandied around, and made to fit whatever criteria mosts suits the author. The OED defines it as “the action of designing or producing something to meet someone’s individual requirements”. Take particular note, that there is zero mention of “segmentation”, in this definition, as it has zero place in personalisation. Spot the person trying to suggest it is, they are trying to flog you old technology.

Personalisation, has become almost a cliché, alongside other favourites like “synergy”, “cross-platform”, and “cloud computing.” The idea of personalising the shopping experience for individual customers has almost become the standard of perfection in the ecommerce world.

If you can sufficiently customise the customer experience, it’s guaranteed to create a buying frenzy—or at least that’s the idea.

And there certainly is some truth regarding the benefits of personalisation. After all, Amazon is the king of personalised recommendations, analysing your shopping patterns and browsing history, the preferences of similar customers, and thousands of other data points to give frighteningly relevant shopping suggestions.

But there’s an inconvenient truth lurking behind the bold proclamations regarding the power of personalisation: personalisation is only effective when it’s built upon the solid foundation of good user experience. 

Personalisation – a more detailed definition

Before we get into the nitty-gritty details of personalisation, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page. It’s a relatively simple concept. In a nutshell:

Personalisation is real-time customisation of a customer’s buying journey using dynamic content delivered based on individual preferences.

In other words, personalisation means creating a unique shopping experience for each customer in real time. Every customer sees a slightly different version of your message/brand, with that real-time experience being shaped and defined by that individual shopper’s personal preferences.

SwiftERM use buying history and impression to identify not only each individual consumer’s own personal preferences, but most importantly, ranks them in order of which have the highest imminent buying propensity. If every indication says, this individual product is next on the shopping list, what fool would send them something else? No wonder then, that this delivers a meteoric rise in the rate of return for marketing, but more importantly it isn’t limited to a new strategy, or different implementation. It work’s alongside existing campaigns and infrastructure, to complement existing returns.

When you’re nearly out of dog food and finfur.co.uk send you details and a link to the exact product, brand, variety, flavour, including pack size, you most want, that’s personalisation. When you’re on Zappos and you get a discount coupon because it’s your birthday, that’s another form of personalisation.

At its heart, personalisation is about presenting a customer with the right offer and information at the right time so you can maximize conversions and give the customer a pleasing shopping experience.

Personalisation is about being as relevant as possible to the individual consumer in the hopes of generating the greatest level of conversion.

The Power of Personalisation

Just how effective is ecommerce personalisation? Recent studies indicate that it’s incredibly effective.

study in Forbes showed that personalisation truly matters to customers and can significantly increase conversion rates. Just take a look at the introduction to the study:

“Consumers expect highly personalised shopping experiences from retailers and are willing to spend more money when brands deliver targeted recommendations. Despite those expectations, however, a majority of consumers are disappointed with the ongoing lack of personalisation in their shopping experiences. On average 71% express some level of frustration when their experience is impersonal. The proliferation of new devices and the rapidly evolving technology landscape has led to a “personalisation gap” in the shopping experience, and as consumers’ expectations rise, retailers are struggling to meet them.”

The study then goes on to reveal some truly impressive numbers regarding the effectiveness of personalisation.

  • 44% of consumers said they would likely become repeat customers if their experience was personalised.
  • 49% of surveyed shoppers purchased a product they didn’t originally intend to buy after receiving a personalised recommendation.
  • 54% of consumers said they expected to receive a personalised discount within 24 hours of identifying themselves to a brand (via email signup, etc.).
  • 40% of consumers purchased something more expensive because their experience was personalised.
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Fashion and apparel 2022 an uneven recovery

The post Fashion and apparel 2022 an uneven recovery appeared first on SwiftERM.

Fashion and apparel 2022, an uneven recovery. After nearly two years of disruption, the global fashion industry is once again finding its feet. Companies are adapting to new consumer priorities, and digital is providing a nexus for growth. Still, the industry faces significant challenges amid supply-chain disruption, patchy demand, and persistent pressure on the bottom line. With the majority of companies struggling to turn a profit, growth will be a key priority in the year ahead.

The fashion industry posted a 20 percent decline in revenues in 2019–20, as earnings before interest, taxes, and amortization (EBITA) margins declined by 3.4 percentage points to 6.8 percent. As the pandemic continued to run its course, the performance inequalities that have become a challenge over recent years were more in evidence than ever. A record 69 percent of companies were value destroyers in 2020, according to the latest reading of the McKinsey Global Fashion Index (MGFI), compared with 61 percent in 2019 and just 28 percent in 2011. About 7 percent of companies left the market entirely, either due to financial distress or because they were bought by rivals.

From a geographic perspective, China was the standout performer over 2021, as its economy recovered much faster than those of other countries. In 2022, the industry’s growth will likely be driven by both China and the United States, while Europe lags behind and will need the return of international tourism to recover fully (Exhibit 1). In the meantime, domestic markets are set to continue their recent strong performance.

Fashion and apparel 2022, an uneven recovery.

Discount and luxury outperform

Despite a dip in margins, discount and luxury outperformed the wider market in 2020, while the midmarket continued to be squeezed. However, performance was uneven, as countries with strong healthcare systems and economic resilience fared better than others. Among product categories, it was a breakout year for sportswear, with 42 percent of positive economic profit in the MGFI index coming from sportswear companies, amid strong growth for Chinese players.

In last year’s report, we did not publish our annual list of “super winners,” due to distortions and reporting gaps caused by the pandemic. This year, we return to our analysis but with an adapted approach: smoothing pandemic-induced distortions by calculating the average economic profit over both 2019 and 2020. Over that period, the top five performers by economic profit were Nike, Inditex, Kering, LVMH (including Tiffany), and Hermes. The prominence of luxury brands among the top performers was attributable to the economic resilience of wealthier demographics, leading to a continuing demand for bags, luxury jewelry, and ready-to-wear.

Ten themes for 2022

We kick off our ten key themes for this year by taking the temperature of the global economy and analyzing the complex impacts of the pandemic as it continues its unpredictable progress. Amid these challenging dynamics, the imperative for brands will be to secure their recovery. At the same time, they must adapt to evolving consumer demand and ensure they take the opportunities offered by new digital frontiers. As sustainability becomes a more urgent concern, brands need to ramp up their efforts to reflect customer values in their assortments, supply chains, and ways of working. Finally, amid rising competition for talent—particularly tech talent—brands need to find new ways to attract the best and brightest, with cybersecurity likely to be near the top of the agenda.

Fashion and apparel 2022 and uneven recovery
Fashion and apparel 2022 and uneven recovery

In many global regions, the business of fashion is set to pick up momentum in 2022, as consumers unleash pent-up buying power and dress to impress (where the pandemic allows). Indeed, recovery is at the top of executives’ minds for the coming year, with 75 percent of luxury-segment executives, 61 percent of midmarket executives, and 50 percent of value executives expecting better trading conditions. However, as they pivot toward growth, a significant challenge is potential shortages of products and resources, as chocked supply chains and rising shipping costs undermine operations. Over recent months, numerous companies reported struggles to manage inventory flows or tied lower sales forecasts to supply-chain blockages. In response, many have turned to remedies that include more nearshoring, in-store supply stocking, and agile operating models designed to respond flexibly to change.

Among the standout themes of the past year has been the continuing flourishing of online business models, reflecting a longer-term trend that accelerated during the pandemic. Hyper-interactive digital environments and investment in e-commerce are increasingly the leitmotifs of brands that are pushing on fashion frontiers. We expect in 2022 that companies will seek fresh approaches to online creativity and commerce, with nonfungible tokens, gaming “skins,” and virtual fashion edging closer to the mainstream. Some brands over the past year expanded into the digital “metaverse,” rolling out virtual stores, gaming, and digital events. In the coming 12 months, these efforts will gather pace, as in-app social commerce plays an increasingly important role.

More than ever, sustainability is dominating consumer priorities and the fashion agenda. Consumers want to know where materials come from, how products are made, and whether the people involved are treated fairly. In response, more and more companies are expanding their sustainable assortments and working to boost the sustainability of their supply chains. As part of those efforts, some are leveraging digital product passports. These can be embedded in items to support after-use activities such as resale and recycling. Brands are also turning to passports, married with distributed-ledger technologies, in the battle against counterfeiting.

As fashion brands invest in new digital applications, they must work harder than ever to protect their systems, partners, and customers. Amid intense competition, cybertalent will be at a premium. And more broadly, all-time-high vacancy rates mean brands must find novel ways to attract and retain employees—as other industries compete hard on salaries, sustainability, and job security. Authenticity and employee well-being will be more important than ever.

The bottom line going into 2022 is that the fashion industry faces a complex mix of challenges and opportunities, in which there is little room for missteps. Decision makers have their work cut out to manage the demands of digital, sustainability, and the supply chain. That said, the past year’s experience shows that consumers are resilient and that as economies recover, demand will follow suit. Therefore, the task for companies will be to unlock growth, align with changing customer needs, and focus intently on the bottom line.

Download The State of Fashion 2022, the full report on which this article is based (PDF–14MB).

 

Metaverse marketing the essential guide
Ecommerce Trends For 2022
Reshaping Ecommerce Personalisation in 2022

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Metaverse marketing the essential guide

The post Metaverse marketing the essential guide appeared first on SwiftERM.

Metaverse marketing the essential guide. Technology has been rapidly growing and shifting. We’re seeing innovations that were previously unimaginable. One of these innovations for many people includes the metaversea unique, immersive virtual environment that is quickly taking over the internet. You may have seen it first in science fiction movies like Ready Player One or The Matrix series, but now it is more than fiction. 

With the continuous rise of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), metaverses are penetrating the internet. It is estimated that approximately 85 million users will experience AR or VR at least one a month in 2021. While the Metaverse isn’t exactly what sci-fi has depicted it to be, it still continues to produce unimaginable value as a new computing platform.

For one, top-tier media seems to be all in. Forbes even started a column with Cathy Hackl, a renowned tech futurist and metaverse strategist. More than that, there’s an existing fund called the metaverse Investment Fund Metaverse ATF (NYSE: META). All these point to the rising significance of metaverses right now.

And consumers seem to be catching on. The keywords “metaverse” yields 677,000 results on Google. Meanwhile, the hashtag #metaverse is widely used on Instagram, with more than 60,000 posts on the social media platform and is tweeted more than 500 times per hour on Twitter. 

Understanding the Metaverse

Today, the metaverse involves a shared virtual space where users are represented by virtual avatars. These virtual worlds continue to evolve and grow based on user decisions and interactions within the space. To that effect, it mirrors the real world in that it has no “end.” It’s just a universe that continues to expand as more and more users jump in.

It’s not just a simple virtual theme park where the design is centrally planned out; nor is it just a simple game exclusively for the enjoyment of children. It’s also not a simple application you can download off the app store and “play” at your convenience. Metaverses are virtual universes that merge reality and the virtual world.

If you find that a little difficult to wrap your head around, Matthew Ball has outlined the key characteristics of metaverses:

  • Always active. Metaverses do not pause when you leave them, nor do they end. They just continue on indefinitely.
  • Exists in real time. The metaverse has a timeline that synchronizes with the real-world timing. 
  • Players have individual agency. Players can be doing separate activities at the same time. One could just be standing still in the corner while others are interacting with each other. 
  • Self-contained and fully functioning universe. The metaverse is a fully functioning universe that allows users to create, own, sell, and invest. Users can also be recognized and rewarded for the labor they put out in the metaverse.
  • Mix of different platforms. Different platforms can work together in the metaverse. For example, in the case of video games, you should be able to bring items from one game to another game.
  • User-generated content. Metaverses are more than just virtual spaces for users to hang out in. Users can create content that other users can also enjoy.

    Marketing in the Metaverse

    Digital marketers need to be kept up to speed with the latest technological developments. This includes understanding the metaverse and its full potential. What marketers need to understand is that metaverse is not just a trendy new thing; it seems like it is here to stay and is making its way to be the next big thing.

    How can marketers adapt as this metaverse expands?

    First, marketers need to keep in mind the value of millennials and Gen Zers as a target market. These generations are also avid users of some forms of metaverses, such as games like Roblox and technologies like VR. With that in mind, let’s explore how marketing can be done in the metaverse.

    Parallel metaverse marketing within real-life marketing

    Create marketing experiences that tie in with real-world experiences or parallel what your brand already does in real life. For example, the AB InBev’s beer brand Stella Artois worked with Zed Run in June to create a Tamagotchi-like experience crossed with the Kentucky Derby. They did this because AB InBev’s Stella Artois is big on sponsoring sporting events, in particular horse races. Hence, creating an online platform where non-fungible token (NFT) horses are traded, raced, and bred seems like a natural entry point for them.

Immersive experience is key

You can offer virtual advertising in the metaverse. For example, Bidstack, a video game ad tech company, transitioned from working off in real-world outdoor advertising to placing ads on virtual billboards.

However, you can go beyond virtual billboards. Since metaverses are experiential and immersive in nature, it’s best to take advantage of this by offering the same immersive experience with your ads and marketing initiatives. Offer branded installations and events that users can interact with, as opposed to just placing simple ads.

We have seen early movers offer immersive experiences to their users such as a Lil Nas X concert in Roblox, the Gucci Garden experience visits, and the virtual rendition of the Washington Heights neighborhood as part of Warner Bros.’ promotion of In the Heights. Brands have recently discovered new revenue streams through collaborations with the Roblox metaverse and other metaverses.

Make collectibles available

People like collecting things, and the metaverse is yet another space for them to showcase their interests. You can make the same experience available in the metaverse by offering assets or limited-edition items that they can only collect in the metaverse.

For example, the Gucci Garden experience on Roblox offers The Collector’s Room. It allows people to collect limited Gucci items in the metaverse. Gucci, from their initial sales of the collectible items, collected 286,000,000 Robux from the game.

Engage with existing communities

Generally, people are opposed to advertising. So as brands try to penetrate the metaverse, it’s important to not show up and annoy people who are already there. More than that, you’ll need these users’ positive reception since you will be trying to market to them.

Remember that you can’t just enter a new platform without taking the new format into account. In Roblox, for example, brands gain more traction when they partner with members of the Roblox developer community in creating items and experiences. Similarly, when O2 threw a concert on Fortnite, they partnered with creators who were already experts on the Fortnite platform.

Continuously experiment

It’s an exciting time for marketers. While there are guiding principles that could inform what kind of strategies and tactics marketers can make, the metaverse remains to be a generally new platform that offers plenty of room for experimentation. Best practices have yet to be properly established, and paradigms have yet to be fully and comprehensively created. This gives marketers plenty of room to try to be unique and experimental in their approaches. 

Other Unique Metaverse Examples

  • Dimension Studio made $6.5 million in revenues as a result of their experimentation with metaverses for fashion brands. They established a virtual production set-up that allows a user to step onto a platform, be scanned by 106 cameras, and dropped into virtual worlds to test out garments and other items. They are most known for their work on Balenciaga’s Afterworld game for Autumn/Winter 2021.
  • Grand Theft Auto V, an open-world sandbox game, released clothing options that were similar to what the protesters in Hong Kong wore. Hong Kong protesters were able to take their battle in the real world into the metaverse, joining many artists who have been repurposing virtual worlds for political expression.
  • Home decor company Houzz allows consumers to create digital photo collections of their furniture and home items. Houzz earns each time someone purchases items through their service. In 2017, they added a 3D viewer that lets users view items in 3D directly through a camera and visually incorporates them into the user’s physical space.
  • Google Maps demoed an AR feature of their walking directions feature. This feature offers exact visual instructions and arrows that would make it easier for users to find their way to their destinations. The user simply needs to point their camera towards the direction with which they need instructions, and the AR feature will point them in the correct direction.

The Future Is in Metaverse

Now, many companies are investing in metaverses. They are betting on it, not just for entertainment purposes, but for business and professional purposes as well.

For example, the biggest social media platform, Facebook, is seeing itself as a metaverse company in the future. Mark Zuckerberg is focused on building social metaverses and investing in Oculus, Facebook’s AR and VR technologies. In August 2021, Zuckerberg introduced a work metaverse for Oculus that allows people to work together, sit in a conference room, and interact as if in an office. This is perfect timing as more and more offices have been switching to work-from-home arrangements.

More than Facebook, Silicon Valley, in general, has been busy betting on metaverses as the internet’s next generation. There are also plenty of games currently incorporating metaverse-like elements on their platforms. For example, Fortnite and Animal Crossing allow concerts in their game.

On top of that, HTC is working its way towards business-based—instead of consumer-based—VR technology. This is a sign that VR technology is slowly becoming more than just for entertainment.

If everything mentioned above hasn’t convinced you yet, then perhaps this will: people are buying real estate in the metaverse, particularly on Earth 2. Now that’s a strong indication that the tech is here to stay.

Challenges in the Metaverse

The metaverse promises an exciting future for brands, but there are still some challenges to overcome along the way.

For one, while metaverses are gaining popularity, they can still use some more traction. Because of the technological requirements of metaverses, accessibility is an issue for it. Not everyone has access to the devices necessary to enjoy the metaverse, such as higher-end computers and VR lenses. This greatly limits the potential market for brands and hinders efforts for mass marketing.

Brands also need to be careful in navigating metaverses. Seamless integration is crucial to avoid alienating players from the brand. Because the technology is new, brands might still be having trouble finding their proper place in the metaverse and may come off as overly blunt in their messaging. Plan your placements well and make sure that it feels natural and well-integrated in the metaverse.

There are also still a lot of misunderstandings surrounding metaverses. People often think of them as a simple game for children. Not everyone understands the value of metaverses, so brands may risk not being taken seriously for their efforts in establishing a presence within these platforms.

Data privacy and security remain to be a challenge in the metaverse. With new technology comes the need for more evolved security measures. This requires building new methods of data privacy and protection where there was none. For instance, personal verification might require more data from users, thereby increasing data privacy risks.

Lastly, because metaverses are free for all, brands need to be careful in protecting their image. The more control users have in a metaverse, the higher the likelihood that your brand might appear next to questionable content. There’s also the risk of getting your placements vandalized or disrespected by users. This is why it’s important to be seamless, mindful, and precise with your marketing strategies so that users can feel good about sharing the virtual space with you and engaging with you there.

Ultimately, metaverses offer a promising future for computing and the internet. Even more so, they offer plenty of room for innovations for marketers and advertisers alike. Despite these challenges, the opportunity to be experimental, provide an immersive experience, and be innovative triumphs. 

The metaverse promises an exciting future for brands, but there are still some challenges to overcome along the way.

For one, while metaverses are gaining popularity, they can still use some more traction. Because of the technological requirements of metaverses, accessibility is an issue for it. Not everyone has access to the devices necessary to enjoy the metaverse, such as higher-end computers and VR lenses. This greatly limits the potential market for brands and hinders efforts for mass marketing.

Brands also need to be careful in navigating metaverses. Seamless integration is crucial to avoid alienating players from the brand. Because the technology is new, brands might still be having trouble finding their proper place in the metaverse and may come off as overly blunt in their messaging. Plan your placements well and make sure that it feels natural and well-integrated in the metaverse.

There are also still a lot of misunderstandings surrounding metaverses. People often think of them as a simple game for children. Not everyone understands the value of metaverses, so brands may risk not being taken seriously for their efforts in establishing a presence within these platforms.

Data privacy and security remain to be a challenge in the metaverse. With new technology comes the need for more evolved security measures. This requires building new methods of data privacy and protection where there was none. For instance, personal verification might require more data from users, thereby increasing data privacy risks.

Lastly, because metaverses are free for all, brands need to be careful in protecting their image. The more control users have in a metaverse, the higher the likelihood that your brand might appear next to questionable content. There’s also the risk of getting your placements vandalized or disrespected by users. This is why it’s important to be seamless, mindful, and precise with your marketing strategies so that users can feel good about sharing the virtual space with you and engaging with you there.

Ultimately, metaverses offer a promising future for computing and the internet. Even more so, they offer plenty of room for innovations for marketers and advertisers alike. Despite these challenges, the opportunity to be experimental, provide an immersive experience, and be innovative triumphs. 

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The post Metaverse marketing the essential guide appeared first on SwiftERM.


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