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BizReport : Advertising : January 15, 2020

Reports: Subscriptions, Search important for 2020 success

2020 may change the way some businesses engage with customers, but according to three new reports those changes may be building on changes that merchants should have begun adopting in the past. Things like subscription-based options, an increasing reliance on customer search, and an fundamental understanding of what the core customer wants.

by Kristina Knight

First, new data out from Cardlytics points to the advantages of merchants taking another look at their fitness spending. That's because, as per usual, many New Year Resolutions are linked to fitness. But, more than an increase in consumers' awareness of their need to exercise, the Cardlytics data finds that investing in on-demand fitness programs and subscriptions that are accessible 24/7 via apps or online hubs, for example, are more and more 'sticky' for consumers.

Traditional gyms and fitness centers, for example, lose about 75% of their membership between the high of January enrollments and August. By comparison on-demand programs keep about half their membership numbers during the same time frame. Overall, the growth rate for on-demand fitness subscriptions is just over 58% (2018 to 2019). More data from Cardlytics can be found here.

But the takeaway isn't just about fitness. Consumers are increasingly interested in subscription services, be that for digital content or boxed deliveries of physical goods. Merchants poised to offer their customer based subscription-based content and items will likely move smoothly into 2020.

Meanwhile, Deloitte's 2020 Retail Industry Outlook points to a growing interest, from consumers, for convenience in their shopping experiences. That interest is pushing merchants and brands to simplify the online shopping experience. This could be a good thing for brands, as for many shoppers convenience is equal to saving times.

But Deloitte's report notes that retailers should be cautious about 2020, overall. That's because the US economy slowed in 2019, with GDP increasing less than 2% between Q1 and Q3. Their overall suggestion for merchants is to look to the core customer base rather than relying on general assumptions or metrics about the general population.

More data from Deloitte can be accessed here.

Finally, new Episerver data underlines the importance of social marketing but also the on-going importance of more traditional search marketing strategies. According to their data search continues to drive about double the traffic (23% organic traffic, 17% paid traffic) of either email messaging (6% traffic) or social marketing (6% traffic) to merchant websites.

That said, conversion rates for search have dipped slightly (-0.4%) while social conversion rates have increased by about 1% according to Episerver's B2C Retail Benchmark Report, Q1 2020 report. Search's overall conversion rates remain about double that of social at 2.6% for both organic and paid search campaigns.

"The research shows that getting customers to click through on social is not enough," said Alex Atzberger, CEO of Episerver. "Strong and personalised content remains king to create meaningful experiences that resonate with shoppers. Retailers must invest in a relevant post-click experience as people increasingly discover products and companies by swiping, not searching."

More Episerver data can be accessed here.

Tags: advertising, advertising trends, Cardlytics, Deloitte, Episerver, mobile marketing, search marketing, social marketing

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