In 2023, retailers expect a 10% increase in sales of products or services compared to last year, as artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies will be used more intensively to attract customers and promote brands, shows an analysis made by White Image, the largest email marketing agency in Romania. At the same time, the company emphasizes that retailers are preparing for a possible economic crisis, thus resorting to effective methods of advertising.
“2023 is the year in which the focus on zero-party data collection becomes a priority in the context of Google’s announcement to block third-party cookies. The focus will be on the unification of data into integrated platforms that enable the management of the history of a customer’s actions, artificial intelligence and other advanced technologies in product promotion. Thus, retailers who manage to manage data more efficiently to have a more personalized and qualitative communication will be able to increase the customer loyalty rate and attract new ones. However, in the context of the announced economic crisis, we expect diminished increases compared to the initial estimates, stagnation or even reductions in sales”, explains Andrei Georgescu, co-founder of White Image.
The entrepreneur believes that the attention of retailers will be focused on keeping the number of products on a receipt (that is, the same volume of purchases), and in the context of inflation, the value of the receipt may increase. Thus, White Image representatives estimate that the area of basic food products, clothes, and shoes, but also cosmetics will stagnate in terms of the number of products purchased, even if at a higher value due to inflation. At the same time, for electronics and home appliances, retailers’ strategy will focus on mitigating the decline in sales.
Thus, to support sales, in traditional and online retail, for 2023 companies invest, for better data management, in tools that integrate email marketing, SMS marketing and customer support services. All this can only create more opportunities for more relevant and lower-cost communication, which would optimize marketing spend. Additionally, to support efforts with a potentially smaller budget there will be increasing talk about:
● automation of repetitive reporting and data integration tasks
● identifying opportunities to personalize messages to improve campaigns
● the more efficient use of existing primary data and the formalization, if necessary, of the procedures for collecting this data – so that this area becomes strategic
● fully informing customers through onboarding programs, guarantees, education or support; thus customers will receive all the necessary information and services after making a purchase, in order to benefit from the product/service to the maximum capacity
● identifying benefits that can refresh relationships with inactive customers
● launch of personalized loyalty and communication programs
“This year, the companies’ focus will be mainly on strategies to keep current customers, by increasing the zero-party data information databases, collected by granting discounts and other facilities to current customers. Given that the results from social media, Facebook or Tik-Tok are decreasing or even missing in some cases, along with the unpredictability generated, companies are focusing their efforts and marketing budgets on moving audiences to those much more controllable communication channels, such as email or SMS marketing, which also generates click rates 2-3 times higher than social media and an ROI (return on investment) unmatched by other communication channels”, explains Grațiela Lupu, co-founder of White Image.
The representatives of White Image point out, at the same time, that the advance of technology in marketing will be felt strongly in 2023, ensuring greater visibility of brands and helping to promote products or services more precisely in the online environment, a greater focus on gaining customer trust through delivery of quality content and greater transparency in the use of personal data.
Thus, standards such as DMARC and BIMI will be increasingly used, at least related to communication through the email channel (which offers more trust). At the same time, companies will use in automated customer journey communications more and more emails with interactive and more dynamic content, based on AMP technology, which increase both the rate of customer attention, engagement, and loyalty, as well as that of acquisition. For example, emails that contain surveys that can be completed directly in the body of the email, content that is updated in real time, such as prices or availability of product stock, product carousel, expandable menus, and the option to make reservations or confirmations directly from the body of the email.
Artificial intelligence will also have a very big impact in 2023. This will be used to create online content, either for customer responses or informative texts, with ChatGPT, CopyAI and Magic Write technologies being increasingly present in promotional tactics. Thus, the role of marketers will also change, being responsible for both the creative side and the management of artificial intelligence applications for content creation, and the execution time for certain marketing tasks and advertising costs will decrease.
“In 2023, technology and aggregated data will give us a much better understanding of consumers and companies’ relationships with them. Although artificial intelligence can perform an important part of marketing work, it cannot analyse the data we obtain about consumers and their preferences. At White Image, we find methods to obtain this data of potential customers, as well as correctly interpret and implement promotion and sales growth strategies”, explains Andrei Georgescu, co-founder of White Image.
At the same time, companies are preparing for a possible economic crisis in 2023. Their strategy in this situation would require that the email marketing service be adapted for such a context, which would require increased attention to the personalization of messages – the maximum use of existing data, but also the tendency to capture new data to make communication more relevant, the generation of quality content and the most pleasant experiences.
In this case, with changes in the purchase behaviour of Romanian consumers, White Image recommends companies to analyse in detail what convinces them to buy, what are the interests of the customers, how they can promote the products or services so as to increase the chance of purchase, to analyse already existing data, but also to automate part of the activities so as to reduce expenses.