In today’s highly competitive ecommerce landscape, retailers are scrambling to ensure they offer the smooth shopping experience their customers expect. To be effective, retailers must meet their buyers where they are in their journey and nurture them through the process. Internet Retailer discussed these challenges and how to use technology to maximum effectiveness with Yael Zlatin, director of ecommerce at Adtaxi, a digital marketing organization.
IR: What are the most significant trends in digital marketing?
YZ: Artificial Intelligence (AI), omnichannel marketing and personalized content are having a strong impact on the digital landscape. Consumers’ paths to purchase often span platforms and devices. A customer might discover a brand’s product via a digital ad or social media channel, but purchase the item in a physical store. Using AI during this process can help retailers with audience segmentation, retargeting and creating custom content for personalized experiences.
IR: What challenges do retailers face?
YZ: Keeping up. Rather than try to stay ahead of all trends, retailers should find what works for their business and focus on refining their strategy. Many merchants also try to manually accomplish goals instead of using technology. That approach is often misguided because it can be inefficient and may result in costly mistakes. Finally, retailers struggle to tap into their target audiences. By incorporating AI and analytic data, they can form more accurate customer profiles and use that information for personalized content and make educated budget shifts to best-performing platforms.
IR: What are some common digital marketing strategy mistakes retailers should try to avoid?
YZ: They often don’t focus on the entire buying journey. Messaging throughout the journey should be tailored and create action to continue moving consumers down the funnel, leading to purchase. Also, using A/B testing in combination with AI can help guide data-driven decisions to segment audiences and create more effective personalized messages—helping both branding and the path to conversion.
IR: How does technology help retailers overcome these challenges?
YZ: There are a number of platforms—including Facebook and Google—that offer dynamic A/B testing, which is incredibly helpful for the sales lifecycle. Facebook recently introduced a new budget optimization tool to automate budget shifts based on key conversion performance.
IR: How is digital marketing technology changing?
YZ: Platforms are finding creative ways to help the audience engage with the content. One of the most notable changes is how content is presented. Using emotion to connect with the audience through engaging visuals and video is becoming more prominent.
IR: What strategies should retailers implement to address these challenges?
YZ: The best strategy is to concentrate on a specific marketing area in which the marketer excels and outsource others for optimal results and to maximize ad dollars. By leveraging outside resources, retailers can access expertise and analytics that can help propel their brand—and sales—forward. Adtaxi, for example, leverages machine learning to dynamically shift budgets across platforms based on performance. We use data to maximize campaign performance and create efficiencies for future campaign success. This method is especially important for online retailers who need to move buyers through the sales cycle with the intention of gaining and retaining customers.