Brief #89: Opportunities in Retail

This content originally appeared on November 7, 2021 as part of the Future of Marketing weekly email series. Subscribe here.

Welcome to Future of Marketing.

Each week, we send you the most relevant trends, resources, and strategies in social and user-generated content (UGC) from leading marketers and brands around the globe. 

Today, we’re discussing…

  • Omnichannel retail experiences
  • Holiday shopping is getting… social
  • #BrandCrush: Grande Cosmetics 💘

Omnichannel retail experiences

The future of retail marketing will require brands to meet customers across as many channels as possible with a goal to capture attention and convert people into customers. The good news is that holiday shoppers have already embraced the omnichannel shopping experience, where over 60% of respondents plan to shop across various channels this holiday season.

These channels now look like: 

  • In-store shopping
  • Online shopping
  • Curbside pickup
  • Home delivery
  • Email
  • Social media
  • Paid ads

And more.

The thing is… for marketers, creating and distributing content across all of these channels is easier said than done – but there is a way to alleviate this. 

Thanks to platforms like TikTok and Instagram, user-generated content (UGC) is spreading like wildfire, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. On the contrary, It’s content brands can reuse to maximize their resources and create a more credible presence. 

For example, just look at all the mentions pouring in about Yves Saint Laurent’s #BlackOpiumPerfume (that hashtag alone has over 1 million views!). 

User-generated content being shared to #BlackOpiumPerfume

UGC also reduces content production budgets while filling your marketing channels with the highest converting content we’re seeing today – and customers want to make it (they just need guidance). In fact, more than half (50%) of consumers wish brands would tell them what type of content to create and share, so if you’re not already doing this – tell your fans what you want them to share! 

TIP: Add a hashtag to your bio, website, and packaging so fans know what to tag when sharing content about your brand. You’d be surprised at how many brands don’t do this. 

Holiday shopping is getting… social 

Nearly half (48%) of consumers around the globe said they’ll do at least 75% of their holiday shopping online this year – and a recent McKinsey survey found that 87% of Gen Z consumers are planning to use TikTok to find holiday shopping inspiration. 

For example, the #ChristmasWishlist2021 hashtag on TikTok has been viewed more than 57 million times and #Christmas2021 has nearly one billion views – and counting. Many of the videos tagged under these hashtags show a compilation of desired products – from apparel to haircare and cosmetics to electronics – which mentioned brands can (and should) engage with. 

Here’s an example where Olaplex can join the conversation by leaving a comment (and even asking to reshare): 

A TikTok user shared products they want under #ChristmasWishList2021 (like Olaplex in this image).

According to Harvard Business Review, “Retailers should deemphasize [brand] product recommendations in favor of user reviews and community content such as user-generated deal rankings, top-five items in this category according to user ratings today, and so on.”

Having a strong digital presence is crucial for brands as shopping behaviors continue to shift. Whether you’re advertising online or in-person (or both), 70% of consumers trust online peer reviews and recommendations more than professional content and copy, so lean into the voice of your customers. 

What we’re learning

#BrandCrush: Grande Cosmetics

Each week in #BrandCrush, we highlight exceptional brands that are channeling their customers' voice to connect more authentically with their audience.

Did you know we lose 1% of collagen production each year after age 20? 

Grande Cosmetics has been making waves on TikTok for their revolutionary lash enhancing serum. For example, the hashtag #GrandeLashSerum currently has over 11 million views on the social platform. 

Earlier this year, Grande Cosmetics also launched the #OwnYourNatural campaign, which follows four women of different ages and backgrounds on their real journeys as they enhance their lashes, lips, brows, and hair over several months using Grande products. The company even has a page dedicated to sharing their stories, which includes product videos, before and after images, and shoppable products by the four women themselves! 

This is a creative way to establish social proof and increase conversions around specific products – because it’s one thing to say your brand is great, but it’s another to have real people sharing their actual experience with your brand. 

On their website, Grande Cosmetics also showcases impressive before and after images (or UGC) of customers using their products to show you they really work – and this makes you want to buy their products.

A review by a Grande Lash customer that explains how long their eyelashes are after using their serum after 2 months. She shares pictures with and without mascara and rated it 5 stars.

Speaking of their product images – Grande Cosmetics has a “try on” button hovering over their product images, where potential customers can virtually see what their lashes would look like if they use their products! This should give you yet another idea of what the future of retail (or beauty) looks like. 

Want more actionable marketing advice like this? Subscribe to the Future of Marketing to join over 23,000 marketing leaders studying what’s working in marketing – and learn how to take your strategy to the next level.