The Next Normal for Retail

by | Sep 22, 2020 | Marketing | 0 comments

No Such Thing As “Normal”

“The new normal.” You’ve heard it at least a dozen times in the past week alone. I promise this is the only time “the new normal” will be mentioned here. “The new normal.” There, it’s out of my system.

“Normal” is progressive. With time, it changes and grows. It ebbs and flows. It trades old ways for new, and sometimes flips the script back to the way things used to be. Normal never stands still.

There will always be a new and “improved” version of the norm. It’s like a software update for society. Sometimes it has super cool new features. Other times, they’re aspects you could leave behind. But there’s not much you can do about it besides learn to adapt. And to make the most out of life, you have to accept the world’s quirks, and use them to your advantage.

What Normal Means for Digital Marketing

“Normal” might as well be a curse word around here. We’re not strong believers in the norm.

And if we look at normal as the “average,” we don’t subscribe to the notion of being average, either.

However, as a marketing team, we do recognize trends. And we love to see a good pattern unfold.

We have to look at it this way: the norm is always evolving.

If you haven’t noticed lately, things are changing. (But aren’t they always changing? Isn’t that what we were just getting at?)

Yep! But change comes faster & faster each year with the expansion of technology, and the speed picks up greater velocity when you throw big push-factors into the equation (like a whole freakin’ global pandemic.)

We didn’t exactly have the choice to change over the past year, but this particular change was extremely sudden. It was violently quick and forced us to adapt. We adapt, we thrive. It’s that simple. But what does our future look like?

Digital Marketing’s Driving Force: Technologyretail-marketing

Back in My Day: You went to stores to shop. You buzzed around the mall. You got a little bit of this, a little bit of that. Tried things on. Tested things out. The man in the middle of the mall showed you the latest fad gadget and demonstrated its “ooo”ness and “ahhh”ness with way more ease than you would face once you got it home. (yes, I’m looking at you, man who sold me a $170 hair straightener.)

The push-and-pull of retail was personal. You had persuasion and the smell of fresh, cinnamon pretzels in the air. You were invited in, you stayed a while, and you were influenced by everything (and everyone) around you.

These Days: Isn’t it just easier to click and have it shipped? Even pre-COVID, online sales more than doubled from 2018 to 2019. It’s just so convenient. Free Shipping is abundant. And you can’t beat the selection of, well, everything.

Now that COVID has pushed us inside, you have no option other than creating an online presence.

During quarantine, I couldn’t stop thinking, “If you’re a business or influencer (even just in your community) and you’re not marketing yourself online right now…what are you doing? Everyone’s home. EVERYONE’S HOME. You have the majority of people in ‘one’ place…WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”

I have something controversial to say: Tiger King wasn’t that good.

But do you know what it was? Perfectly timed.

Everyone was at home, and these people’s personalities were ones you wouldn’t dare look away from for two seconds.

I’m not saying strive to be Joe Exotic. (In fact, please, please don’t.)

I am saying that with technology your audience is right in front of you. “The world is your oyster” now more than ever. The world is your platform. We love local businesses and the internet makes us all locals now. We’re all neighbors. We’re all in this together. (Alexa, cue the High School Musical soundtrack.)

However! You cannot lose the personality of in-person shopping just because you’re taking advantage of an online marketplace. You have to keep up with where people are, what they’re doing, and grab their attention. More importantly, keep their attention. That’s THE most challenging feat these days.

If you don’t even know where to start, Gravity Junction can help with that.

Marketing to the Conscious of Your Customer

Out with the Old: Way back when, shopping local is what people did. You didn’t have many other options. There was a desire to support the local economy and there was also a consciousness about supporting your neighbor. There was a strong desire to know where things came from. But then mass production became popularized. There were wars; there was the growth of capitalism; and with mass production, we became mass consumers.

That mentality sticks around, even today. Buy, buy, buy.

In with the New, Or…Back In with the Old?: There’s a new awareness for how and where people spend their money. We’re all still itching to spend and have new, nice things, but people are also looking at the quality of a business before buying. Many people want to know the level of care and consideration that go into products:  from ethical treatment of workers to animal testing to how kind production is to the planet. Most people are conscientious, to some extent, of at least one of these factors.

As a business owner you have to appeal to the new consideration of quality & the story. Don’t shy away from letting people know you are a good guy when you are a good guy. Care as much as your customers about the things that matter most.

retail-marketing-tipsThe Physical Changes of Retail

We play up the online realm because it’s the direction the world is moving. It’s the current we’ve been picked up by, and online marketing is kind of a Gravity Junction specialty. That being said it’s still important to consider physical changes in retail.

The first thing we’re seeing a lot of is: pick-up and delivery. All types of businesses are trying their hardest to make their products accessible to everyone. Online is fine & dandy, but our culture has conditioned us to expect immediate results. Sometimes we want things instantly (okay, all the time). But now that there are physical barriers making shopping in-person more complicated, we rely on pick-up and delivery services to help us satisfy our immediate needs. (And most of the time we can do this in our pajamas, which is just an added bonus.)

In the same vein, businesses are doing a lot more scheduling and reserving. It makes the most sense. Capacity limits have changed. Planning is making a comeback in this “here and now” society. It respects the idea of caution while allowing people to get stuff done.

Zoom interviews and video consultations also make a lot of sense. Even doctors are doing it. It not only prevents a risk, it allows people a little more flexibility with their time (something people are valuing a lot more these days.) Your business doesn’t have to suffer because there are physical restraints. “Disconnected” in today’s society is an oxymoron. There are too many ways to plug in and get the word out.

How Do You Ride the Wave?

First and foremost, get on board.

Don’t spend a lot of time fighting change (we’ll give you a little time to groan about it because, hey, it is very new for some, but we’ll need you to get with it eventually.) I’m sure everyone is tired of hearing me say it by now, but it’s just so real, “Intelligence is the ability to adapt.”

That’s precisely what you and your business have to do to thrive in these new times. Adapt to the circumstances. Rethink the way things have been done. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel to take advantage of the Digital revolution. It just takes a few easy steps, and Gravity Junction can hold your hand along the way.

Before you go, Ask yourself these questions:

  • Can people find my business online with minimal effort?
  • Can customers tell who I am and what my company is all about?
  • Am I offering my customers convenience, especially with everything going on?
  • Is who I am online and who I am in real life the same person?
  • Do I have the tools I need to make the most of online marketing?
  • Is there anything keeping me from talking to my customers right now?
  • Am I doing everything I can to adapt to today’s world?
  • Is there anything else I can be doing for my business?

If you weren’t satisfied with your answer to every one of those questions, reach out to us today!

Our team is well-equipped to take your business online so that you can soar to new heights. We understand that adapting to the new normal is no easy task, but it’s a challenge we’re always up for. Our digital marketing team has mastered all of the little necessities for giving your business a new life online.

Contact us today!

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