Jim Matorin, of Smartketing and Advisor of the Social Media Research Associate.
New World Data Treasure Throve
By the numbers: Adobe Analytics reported total online U.S. sales increased 25% on average at the end of March compared to early March; grocery 100%. A short-term anomaly attributed to the shelter-in-place phase of the COVID-19 pandemic? Not according to data analytics. The spike in online sales was primarily driven by two demographic groups: Millennials and higher-income consumers. For that reason, this does not represent a temporary shift in consumer buying habits. Smart marketers forecast more consumers will continue to reduce their in-person activities and further adapt to the convenience of digital technologies. eMarketer projects 7.4 million new digital buyers in 2020.
The surge in online sales during the COVID-19 health crisis generated a plethora of data points. For starters, marketers will undoubtedly benefit from the utilization of AI to analyze their customer data and leverage machine learning algorithms to personalize their future marketing messages. Specifically, by mining the new pandemic treasure trove of online data, marketers will be able to analyze/learn the purchase journey for all individuals. Some examples:
- Household essentials.
- Food-away-from-home delivery: time of day, as well as food preferences.
- Browsing history.
- App utilization.
- Devices utilized for entertainment, downloading e-books, social networking, etc.
- The addresses, both physical and online for each customer.
Second, marketers will utilize the data to engage with their customers, recommend products, offer dynamic pricing (a.k.a. discounts) to build long-term brand loyalty/trust. Last of all, thanks to AI, marketers will utilize the data to optimize their advertising, thus deliver relevant, real time marketing content to their customers when they are in the digital world.
In closing, Gartner research predicted at the beginning of the year 2020, 90% of the brands will use some form of marketing personalization. Conversely, they believe most will fail delivering the relevant content their consumers seek. However, based on the increased utilization of digital technologies due to the COVID-19 pandemic, marketers now have a silver lining – a treasure trove of consumer data to connect with their buyers and build long-term loyalty.