A staggering 90 per cent of people trust online recommendations from people they know, with social media recommendations from your peers becoming the Holy Grail for any online retailer, especially if that peer is a celebrity. Retail brands know this only too well; the reach and exposure a brand can receive from a celebrity wearing their garment is endless. It has never been easier for consumers to emulate their idols or those they want to embody; rather than trolling through endless sites trying to find the same top as your favourite celeb, online retailers are now bringing it directly to you.
For example, The Mail Online has allowed retailers to target readers who like what a particular celebrity is wearing. Simply scroll over the image of the celebrity and a pop up window of three similar garments will be automatically shown, ranging from low to high price range and linking back to the relevant retailer. This demonstrates an evident change in retailers being much more forthcoming in targeting their key demographic, but how far will this go?
Consumers want information quickly and immediately, and expect businesses to know their preferences and likes. Brands are now taking the concept of personalisation a step further and tailoring what each customer can see when visiting their site. This method of targeting consumers will have the greatest impact on the new generation, the digital natives, who have grown up in the digital revolution and can’t remember a time when Facebook didn’t exist! For them it would be unnatural not to interact with a brand and socially share their experiences and likes. It is this generation that will soon be the most influential, the impact of social media will only become more prominent and they have make the power to make or break a brand.
Although personalisation can run the risk of being the next ‘big brother’, children younger than two now have a digital footprint and the adverts you see every day have been tailored to fit culture of the surrounding area. So how do you avoid being intrusive and invading privacy? It’s simple – personalise your content rather than pushing it. Retailing online is changing and retailers are finding new creative ways to find their consumer. The future of online retailing will be integration; eCommerce will become a part of our daily lives to such an extent that it will be seamless.
It won’t be the tills ringing this Christmas it will be the number of clicks!
Mark King is EMEA channel executive at PEER 1 Hosting
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