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Three CPG Market Trends to Watch Out for in 2019 and Beyond

The consumer packaged goods market is constantly evolving. While the use of technology remains an integral part of customer outreach, it’s most effective when partnered with physical marketing tactics.

This is creating new challenges for brand marketers when it comes to driving the customer in-store through an online platform and personalizing their experience through brick-and-mortar methods to improve conversion rates. The better their in-store experience, the more loyal they’ll grow to your brand.

According to Deloitte in their 2019 Consumer Products Outlook report, “The continued growth of direct-to-consumer brands, the reemergence of pop-up stores, and online retailers developing a brick-and-mortar presence are all accelerated by the deployment of disruptive technologies, creating more avenues for brands to have a dialogue with consumers.”

So, what can brand marketers do to drive sales and maximize profits in coming years?

Open Pop-Up Stores

Pop-up stores are trending in 2019. In pop-up stores, customers can directly engage with your brand without you having to invest in the overhead costs of a conventional retail store.

The temporary nature of pop-up stores creates a fun experience that gets customers excited to shop. With every single item “available for a limited time only” by default, pop-ups evoke a sense of urgency to shoppers to make more purchases.

Pop-up stores are especially beneficial during peak sales times, such as the holidays. They present a great opportunity to utilize physical marketing materials like creative signage and POS displays to drive customers into your store and increase demand.

mall-shop-high-conversion

Establish Both Online and Brick-and-Mortar Presences

In 2019, a number of exclusively online brands are developing brick-and-mortar stores. There’s no denying that the majority of customers prefer to “experience” products before making purchases, and the best way to capitalize on that is to open physical stores.

Deloitte’s report explains, “From an e-retailer’s point of view, the benefits of having a presence in physical stores can include:

  • Minimizing costs associated with product marketing, delivery, and returns.
  • Being able to access shopping data.
  • Centralizing procurement of niche/regional products and merchandising.”

Traditional stores are also important because directly engaging with customers is the most effective way to learn what they prefer in a retail shopping experience.

Then, you can personalize the experience and tailor it to them. It’s just not possible to give customers that same level of brand connection through e-commerce alone.

smart packaging

Focus on Smart Brand Packaging

Modern-day shoppers are growing increasingly conscious of what’s inside the items they purchase. As a result, smart packaging is a significant new trend that is beginning to dominate the consumer packaged goods industry.

Smart packaging involves creating labels that detail the contents and related health benefits of a product. Specialty items such as those that are organic, gluten-free, and fair-trade are attractive to modern consumers. So, packaging that conveniently and clearly shows these features can drive higher sales.

This is a potential avenue to target consumers’ lifestyle preferences, which in turn creates more chances to build brand loyalty. Essentially, if the customers trust your product, the more likely they are to keep buying it.

By coupling the opening of physical retail stores with the right kind of physical marketing assets, your brand can reach new consumer audiences while simultaneously maintaining the loyalty of your current ones.

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New trends are dominating the market in 2019 and forecasted to continue driving the retail industry into the next level. Pop-up stores are providing a fun, temporary environment that drives demand generation among shoppers. Online brands are opening up physical stores to give customers the full “experience.” And the revolution of smart packaging is changing the way brands communicate product value to audiences.

By understanding these emerging market trends, brands can thrive on new opportunities by directly engaging with consumers through various touchpoints in their retail journey.

And by working with a trusted partner who can help you take advantage of these new opportunities in market trends, your brand can compete on the quality and effectiveness of delivering value to your customers.

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For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

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Top Brand Marketing Trends for 2019

people looking up-crowd

2019 is set to be a game-changing year for brand marketers. Between a rapidly shifting political landscape and fast increases in marketing technology, the way marketers do their jobs – and how brands connect with their customers – is likely to witness some major new trends that they’ll need to be prepared for to capitalize on.

That’s according to an article by Michael Stone, published in Forbes that while “we live in a time of radical transformation” of the retail space, savvy marketers can still prepare themselves for success.

So, what significant trends are set to shape the marketing landscape in 2019?

broadway street view with storefront signs

Merging Online and In-Store Customer Journeys

One of the biggest marketing trends set to continue well beyond 2019 is the merging of an online and in-store customer retail journeys.

As Stone says, “the blurring of online and offline retail will continue at an increased pace.” This is made possible in large part due to advances in customer data tracking and analysis. Thanks to a multi-channel understanding of a customer’s interactions with your brand, you can drive them either to your brick-and-mortar space or your e-commerce website by offering personalized deals through either channel.

At any rate, brands will need to ensure both their digital and in-store marketing are in healthy, fighting shape, as competition continues to grow from retailers moving from one space into the other (like Amazon’s move into brick-and-mortar, and Walmart’s robust online shopping platform). Stone explains: “Retailers will not [be able to] sit still as they continue to up their game.”

Creating Compelling In-Store Experiences

As we’ve discussed on the NVISION blog before, one of the most interesting retail marketing trends is the growing appeal of transforming retail stores into “experience centers.”

With online shopping and e-commerce becoming easier and faster every day (especially with services that offer next-day or even same-day delivery), brands must find new ways to draw customers into their brick-and-mortar stores. To do so, they are creating experience centers, where customers can physically touch, try, handle, and use the company’s products, and even test them in a real-world environment.

“Brands will continue to look for ways to ‘pull’ customers into the brand rather than ‘pushing’ the brand at them,” Stone explains, “such as creatively driven pop-up stores; new, permanent mono-branded stores; malls featuring spa services, tailoring, and personal stylists; branded hotels; themed restaurants; and themed exhibits. Brands and consumers will become more ‘entangled.’”

And as the popularity of these brick-and-mortar experiences grows, so too will the need for brands to create, produce, and deliver their physical marketing materials on-time, on-budget, and with empowered flexibility.

woman holding shopping bags walking

Brands Taking Positions in a Shifting Political Landscape

For years, brands were told to “stay in your lane” and athletes were told to “stick to sports.” But 2019 promises to be a year where much of the rules around marketing and politics change.

As Stone points out, many brands have been “forced” to take a stand politically, citing the example of many brands pulling their support (and advertising dollars) and “abandoning the NRA following the shooting last February at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.”

Other have chosen to take a stand and roll the dice both financially and politically, such as Nike did in 2018 when it made former NFL quarterback and civil rights activist Colin Kaepernick its spokesperson.

“Brands are increasingly aware that younger consumers want their brands to take a position and to have a purpose,” Stone writes. And whether that position is something fairly uncontroversial – like using sustainable manufacturing processes or promoting female executives to leadership roles – or whether it is a new hot-button issue for 2019 (like the widespread legalization of the marijuana industry in the U.S. and Canada), customers want their brands to stand for something.

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2019 will be a year of new trends and changes for marketers everywhere. Between a shifting political landscape and the continued blurring of the online and in-store retail spaces, having flexible and reliable marketing operations will allow many brands to capitalize on these changing trends and post record-breaking years. And that’s a trend we can all hope for.

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Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

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Looking Ahead: What Winning Customer Experiences Will Look Like in 2020

With 2018 in the books and 2019 officially here, smart brands have already begun looking forward to 2020, and the biggest trends for the coming year. And one of the most significant areas where brands are looking to set themselves apart from the competition is with personalized customer experiences.

In fact, according to a recent report by Econsultancy:

  • 86% of customers prefer brands that offer personalized experiences, even if that brand isn’t the cheapest.
  • 73% of customers call customer experience an “important factor” in their purchasing decisions.
  • 65% of customers say that good customer experiences are more important than good advertising.

So, how can savvy marketers and brand directors capitalize on the biggest customer experience trends of the coming year? According to Mark de Bruijn of The Future of Commerce, there are three areas CMOs and decision-makers should focus on.

Let’s take a look at them.

interactive shopping experience-girl touching touch-screen

Hyper-Individualization of Retail Experiences

Thanks in large part to the increase in connected technology known as the “Internet of Things,” brick-and-mortar retail spaces will compete with online shopping by offering unique in-person experiences. How will such a connected retail store look in reality? De Bruijn offers the example of a shoe store.

“The moment a customer passes the store, he or she should get a personalized deal offer on their smartphone, letting them know that the newest edition of their favorite shoe is on sale for 20% off, and is available in-stock at that store, right now,” he explains. But the opportunity for personalization goes further. That customer can then enter the store, and “get measurements on their walking patterns, soles, and weight. Based on that data, they can get advice on the footwear that best suits their needs.” That is an engaging, personalized customer experience worth coming into the store for.

Putting the Customer at the Center of the Product Cycle

Plenty of companies use focus groups and market research during the research and development stage of a product. It’s an excellent way to make sure you’re giving your customers what they want. But what if you could solicit customer feedback and make improvements during the product lifecycle? That’s what brands like Tesco and Burberry are doing with their customer experiences.

Fashion retailer Burberry invited customers to share the ways they personalized their famous Burberry coats, snapping pictures of clever uses and various ways to wear them. Burberry then took several of the most popular suggestions and used them in marketing materials, from print images of models showing the coats worn a certain way to in-store mannequins featuring them.

Burberry saw a 36% rise in sales of their coats during the campaign. Your products should be designed with your customers in mind. Now, you can make sure your customers know it.

augmented reality mobile for shop - retail continuity

Virtual Reality Blending In-Store and Online Experiences

One customer experience trend that will carry over from 2018 is the rise of virtual reality (VR) in shopping. But as de Bruijn explains, retail brands will soon be using VR to bring the in-store shopping experience online. “Consumers will not just use [VR] for gaming, but also for home shopping sessions. They can literally walk through the virtual store from the comfort of their couches,” he explains, adding that retails gain an edge, too. “Retailers will enjoy the traditional advantages of brick-and-mortar stores in an online setting: the element of surprise, the ability to steer impulse buying and strategic product placement.”

Meanwhile, de Bruijn says, brick-and-mortar gets the customization treatment from VR. “The digital setting also offers a unique feature that is not available for brick-and-mortars. The store’s layout and even the inventory are fully customizable to the preferences and habits of the individual customer.”

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2020 is shaping up to be a big year for retailers and marketers. Big on keeping the growing importance of personalized customer experiences in focus, brands can compete and win by delivering truly engaging, winning shopping experiences.

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Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

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Holiday Spending Will be Jollier in 2018: How Retailers Can Engage Shoppers to Increase Sales

woman holding shopping bags walking

As the air turns colder and the year winds down, many retailers’ thoughts are on one thing: the holiday season. The holidays are a critically important time for the retail industry, and businesses have reason to be excited for 2018: the National Retail Federation is projecting a 4.5% increase in retail sales over 2017. That’s thanks to many factors, including consumer confidence being high and unemployment being low.

Steven Barr at Forbes recently wrote about the upcoming 2018 retail holiday season, and what trends brands need to keep a sharp eye on if they want to capitalize on more than just tinsel and snowflakes this year.

Shoppers Are Spending More, Especially Millennials

According to a recent study by PwC, consumers plan to spend 5% more on average than they did last holiday season. Across the entire retail industry, that works out to approximately $1,250 per shopper. When you narrow that figure down to high-earning millennials (incomes over $70,000), retailers will be competing for over $2,000 of spending from each and every shopper. In fact, the same study found that millennials will pay more this holiday season for brands that will offer quality, convenience, speed, and personalized experiences.

Millemmial Marketing

Brick-and-Mortar Retail Will Work Together with E-commerce

When it comes to retail this holiday season, some things haven’t changed, and nothing beats the experience of walking through a store or shopping mall for picking out holiday gifts. 91% of holiday shoppers plan to make purchases at a physical retail location this season, so brands will need to invest in creating winning customer experiences with their retail signage and promotional materials. Creating positive, inviting store experiences encourages shoppers to linger for longer and, ultimately, spend more.

But in today’s digital world, that’s not the whole story. 75% of shoppers “expect an integrated experience across digital and physical locations,” so maintaining brand consistency and creating omnichannel customer experiences that track the buyer’s journey will be critical.

Create Memorable, Shareable In-Store Retail Experiences

As online shopping gets more and more convenient, retail brands will need to find ways to create customer experiences worth coming into the store for. While digital integration will be critical (promotional QR codes, email campaigns with in-store coupons, etc.), even more important will be what Barr calls “grammable” moments, after the popular social media platform Instagram. 

Barr highlights the outdoor apparel outfitter Canada Goose, who designed and created a “cold room” for their flagship retail store in Toronto where customers could try out puffy coats, gigantic scarves, and oversized hats. As intended, the cold room led to many shareable photos, and with a custom hashtag already in place, the campaign took off, and Canada Goose enjoyed a massive boost to its retail sales. 

Shoppers want a holiday filled with cheer. Brands can give it to them by creating these unique and engaging in-store experiences.

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Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

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Print Marketing Strikes Back with Stronger Force for Retail

colorful printed books - print strikes back

When it comes to retail and print marketing, a changing landscape is shifting the priorities of marketing teams everywhere. Digital media marketing continues to grow – industry estimates forecast digital marketing spend to hit $100.8 billion in 2018[1] – and this means CMOs must find new ways to get the most from their print marketing activities. But according to the same estimates, print marketing spend is expected to reach $97.8 billion this year – nearly equaling digital media marketing. There are a few big reasons why print marketing is still huge for retailers, and why smart CMOs are finding new ways to leverage it. That’s according to Neil O’Keefe of DMA, who breaks down the big uses for print marketing today.

NVISION postcard - direct mail insights

Direct Mail Marketing Driving In-Store Retail

O’Keefe points out that one of the largest drivers of 2017 holiday sales was direct mail marketing activities. “Retailers often use print to leverage their private label offerings, as a means to drive visitors into their stores,” O’Keefe says. Though it may seem counterintuitive, physical mail is now a far more unique means of outreach than email. While countless junk emails go directly into customers’ spam folders each and every hour, an actual letter or mailer from a brand shows a much more personalized touch. And because of its physical nature, direct mail is an extremely effective way to drive customers to your brick-and-mortar stores with by-mail only promotions and coupons. Plus, you don’t need an up-to-date list of email addresses and several spam filter-dodging best practices to deliver it!

Print Marketing Still Reaches More Customers Than Digital

Digital channels are growing rapidly, but that growth still hasn’t equaled the overall market share that print still holds. “Print advertising is still very effective and doesn’t show signs of going away any time soon,” writes O’Keefe. “A recent International News Media Association article cites a Nielsen Homescan survey and concludes that about 80% of U.S. households still use traditional printed sources as their primary medium for information about stores, sales, and specials.”

QR code scanning from direct mail

Combining Print and Digital Marketing for Greater Conversion

One of the newest and most ingenious ways CMOs and marketing teams are leveraging print marketing is by using it to promote their digital marketing assets. Many marketers have discovered that a key way to take advantage of the higher open rate of physical mail is to send mailers with custom URLs and hyperlinks, directing the recipient to go online and download an asset, like a case study or infographic. This type of print outreach can make your digital marketing assets go further, too.

What’s more, many savvy retail marketers are using what they’ve learned about targeting and segmentation from digital marketing and applying those lessons to print marketing. “Retailers are doing more experimenting with new ways to send out deals on paper, sometimes mining online behavior or databases of shopper trends to improve their print marketing,” O’Keefe says. “This form of marketing reactivation is seen as cutting-edge, and capability that is generating much retailer interest.”

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It’s no secret that digital marketing is growing rapidly. But, as O’Keefe says: “It is hard to imagine a strategy which accomplishes its goals without print as an integral component of the overall plan.” By understanding the new ways marketing teams can leverage print marketing, and how print marketing fits into a comprehensive marketing strategy, CMOs can make their budgets go further and enjoy a greater return on investment.

[1] MediaPost, Jan 12, 2018. “Digital Ad Spend To Surpass Traditional in 2018.”

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Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

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