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How to Set Your Company Up for Success in 2022

The Evolution of First-Party Data, Supply Chains, and Apple Privacy Updates

Photo by Isabela Kronemberger on Unsplash

Companies always face big questions. How should brands be thinking about their omnichannel strategies? What are some of the new platforms or channels top brands are testing out? How is the ecommerce and retail landscape evolving? With 2021 coming to a close, it’s time to look a little closer at all of those questions and try to answer them for brands looking ahead to 2022.

Caila Schwartz is the senior manager of consumer insights and strategy at Salesforce, and she has all of the stats, data, and insights you need in order to give some tips and advice to brands that want to get ahead and stay ahead in 2022. So what are some of the main takeaways for brands?

  1. The Battle For First-Party Data is On:

According to Schwartz, loyalty programs and social will be key to get first-party data because they are the best ways to engage one-to-one with the consumers. It’s about a give and take between the consumer and the retailer, so the innovators in the space that can create unique ways to engage will ultimately win out.

“We know that today the modern consumer expects so much more out of a loyalty program,” Schwartz said. “So it’s not just about collecting points. It’s about experiences. It’s about new and unique ways that you can deliver what the consumer expects out of that relationship. And so I think we’ll see more loyalty programs headed into market, but the ones that will survive and do really well are the ones that are innovative and find innovative ways to engage their customers and collect that data. And it really is about it’s a two-way street, right? If the consumer is giving that data up, it really is up to the brand and the retailer to compensate that consumer for the data and any additional data that you ask or prompt them for. Again, it’s about a give and take between the consumer and the brand and retailer.”

2. Growth Spurts and Supply Chain Problems

In 2021, growth was much more modest than in the past and there were fewer promotional campaigns and discounts than in years past. The supply chain issues and the economic issues around the world have played a role in this change, and the trends may not necessarily reverse in 2022. As a result, consumers are impacted and brands have to find ways to pivot to make sure that consumers are getting the best possible experience.

“The supply chain has really been in a difficult spot since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020,” Schwartz said. “It hasn’t gotten better. I don’t anticipate it’s going to alleviate itself for a while. And we saw the inventory crisis really hit retailers this year. We saw over cyber week — which is the point where we see the greatest increase in new SKUs coming to market — we actually saw a 5% decline globally. So there were far fewer skews. And as a result, consumers saw far fewer promotions. So the actual number of campaigns or promotional discounts that were being offered to consumers was less this year as well as the average discount rate was actually a lot less aggressive than it has been in years past… So the consumers weren’t getting as great of discounts, prices were higher, and just because holiday is over, I don’t foresee those challenges going away anytime soon. So I anticipate that consumers will still continue to feel the rub of those economic issues. And retailers and brands will still have to deal with inventory crises from a consumer perspective. Even though they’re technically spending more money, they’re actually placing fewer orders and buying fewer items.”

3. iOS Update TLDR

Apple’s update in late 2021 has flipped email marketing on its head and brands have to adjust. If your marketing strategy is built around or includes open rates, then you should be rethinking and refocusing on click-thru rates instead. To get more results in that area, you have to level up your actual emails and create better, more engaging content.

“One of the things that we’re recommending is don’t build your marketing automation strategy on open rates,” Schwartz said. Open rates really aren’t a great metric regardless. Click-through rates are really what you should be focusing on. So if any part of your marketing automation includes open rates as a trigger or if it’s part of your overall scoring strategy, I would definitely change that now. That is definitely stepping one. And the next component is really going to be, how do you improve engagement within the email itself? So thinking about how you can embed forms or click-throughs, what type of engagement or content can you provide in the actual body of the email that will make readers click or tap or engage? That’s really going to be critical for improving those click-through rates. And this new reality that Apple is forcing on marketers.”

For more insights, tune into Up Next in Commerce.

Up Next in Commerce is brought to you by Salesforce Commerce Cloud. Learn more at salesforce.com/commerce

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