As we look back at the end of another year, the world is still fighting the pandemic but also learning to function in a new reality while driving economic recovery. These changes over the past 2 years have accelerated some trends that are here to stay while revealing others that are more temporary. Regardless of staying power, these evolving consumer behaviors should affect the way marketers consider their media strategies over the next few years as we continue down the road to recovery.
Kargo has identified key digital trends and opportunities to help optimize your advertising strategies in 2022.
The Future of Retail is Mobile
While it may not come as much of a surprise to see mobile commerce as a focal point for marketers in 2022, one may underestimate the magnitude and growth that it has gone through the past two years. According to eMarketer, US retail Mcommerce sales grew at 41.4% in 2020 and another 15.2% in 2021, reaching $359.32 billion. Annual sales are expected to nearly double between now and 2025, proving the average consumer is more than ready to depend on mobile for their shopping needs.
Consumers may plan to purchase or pick up an item in-store, but more than ever they are turning to mobile to seek out those purchases. Marketers must present engaging experiences across the mobile media that their audience consumes to assist them in that customer journey.
Brands can look to emerging technologies, such as AI and augmented reality, which adds dimensions of personalization, allowing users to move through the funnel with considerable ease. These technologies (especially when paired with apps from their favorite stores) can optimize the digital shopping experience for new and returning users alike.
Creating Personalized, Intelligent Experiences
However, consumers want personalized experiences from the brands that they value — in fact, 88% of Millennials and 87% of Gen Z state that they want personalization from brands they care about.
With advancements in contextual alignment through technologies like dynamic creative optimization and advanced contextual targeting, advertisers today have more options than ever to provide personalized messaging experiences without violating their audience’s privacy. Advertisers can continue to engage with the right audiences, in the right place, at the right time by utilizing contextual and moment-based tactics.
One way this can be achieved is through Kargo’s proprietary AI-powered algorithm, Cohort Intelligence. Through this, we can identify the most effective contextual environments to reach an audience using natural language processing and predictive performance analysis. Cohort Intelligence analyzes and scores an article's likelihood to drive outcomes for a given audience based on a combination of attributes and classifies every page into a targetable group.
Video is King
In 2021, Americans spent an average of 1 hour and 17 minutes with OTT video, with that figure set to increase 5.6% this year. However, creating a video is not enough. For the Millennial and Gen Z crowd marketers will want to focus and perfect the art of short video content which has ruled the past few years, with TikTok becoming an undeniable force in this movement.
Additionally, we’re seeing more people watching videos on mobile devices. Around the world, mobile is the number one device for watching YouTube, capturing 63% of the platform’s video views in Q2 2021. Connected TV/other devices and desktop computers are the second-and third-most popular, respectively, each with a less than 15% share of YouTube video views that quarter.
With the accelerated growth in time spent with CTV/OTT, video should be a major part of any media strategy. With many users accessing video OTT content across platforms, including mobile, marketers should incorporate ways to implement video across all channels.
Social eCommerce and (Re)Building Trust
As we spend more and more of our lives on social media, many users have reflected on the amount of themselves they’ve (perhaps) unknowingly shared with dozens of organizations. Cybersecurity and data protection have become increasingly important as high-profile organizations find themselves in costly breaches. According to eMarketer’s 2021 Digital Trust Benchmark Report, more than half (52%) of US adult social media users said that knowing whether a platform protects their privacy and data is extremely impactful on their decision to interact with the ads or sponsored content they see there. This extends beyond the social network as well; this report found that privacy is the single biggest factor affecting users’ willingness to engage with social media advertising.
It would be remiss not to mention the boom of social commerce that has happened over the past two years. In 2020, (mostly thanks to the pandemic) social commerce surged to 38.9% — with no signs of slowing down. While Facebook may not have the trust of its users (or brands), it still remains as the top social commerce platform boasting $56.1 million buyers. Marketers and advertisers should look to create engaging digital experiences that resonate with consumers at each step of the funnel to nurture sales and awareness.
We may all be familiar with QVC and their unflappable hosts endlessly pitching myriad products as consumers stand by their phones ready to purchase. Livestream shopping — a similar (but different!) concept — is an emerging trend born from the pandemic. Livestream shopping combines livestreaming, a feature that can be found on a majority of social media platforms, with the ability to purchase products directly from said livestream.
This fall, platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, and Twitter began rolling out their own livestream shopping programs. Walmart is the first big retailer to partner with Twitter, rolling out “Cyber Deals Sunday”; meanwhile, Facebook is expanding its livestream shopping programs to a weekly event that will feature various products available for purchase.
What’s Next for the Future of Advertising?
One thing is for certain, this industry keeps you on your toes! Whether you’re trying to bolster your eCommerce business with livestreaming events or investing in more video content, it's crucial to be prepared for anything and everything when it comes to advertising.
There are exciting things coming from us this year — are you ready to take on 2022 with new business opportunities? Contact us today to get started!