David Sandstrom, CMO at Klarna, and Blair Lawson, Chief Merchandising and Marketing Officer at Beautycounter recently joined the IAB Disruption Summit to discuss the trends shaping the brand economy in 2022. From changed consumer behaviors as a result of the pandemic, to the rise of liveshopping and social commerce, here are three takeaways brands should keep in mind as they think about growing their customers and plan what marketing channels to emphasize in the new year:
Adapting to shifting customer expectations
The pandemic has led to a digital acceleration around the world and rapid growth in e-commerce among not only digital natives, but new audiences who shopped online for the first time. As a result, the industry has seen a huge shift away from credit towards more transparent, convenient, and consumer-friendly payment options. Sandstrom noted e-commerce used to be an add-on to the physical store experience, but today it is everything. With the rise in new shopping experiences comes a rise in customer expectations.
Within the beauty category, Lawson highlighted how consumer preferences changed from the start of the pandemic, as customers looked to skinscare and health & wellness products while at home, to buying makeup products as more people went back out into the world. According to Lawson, new customers of Beautycounter are using Klarna almost 50% more than existing customers, and on average have a 30% higher average order value. Giving customers options on how they purchase is appealing and inspires them to pay with the convenience, flexibility and control they want.
Shoppable content is here to stay
Many brands were inspired to experiment with live shopping due to the pandemic. For example, Beautycounter launched a livestream shopping series with Klarna around Better Beauty, which aired live from Beautycounter’s flagship store in Venice, California, and featured influencers sharing techniques for better beauty routines. E-commerce has been a very transactional option, Sandstrom noted, but the move to livestream shopping opens a new opportunity for brands to not only create their own content but empower individuals and content creators to be their spokespeople. The ability to answer questions live, get peer-to-peer feedback, validation, and support from friends while shopping live online is extremely valuable to customers.
“Anywhere” commerce is the future
Lawson rounded out the session with a key takeaway for brands across categories; the companies with the most success are the ones reaching the customer everywhere. Whether finding compelling content online, through social media, an Instagram story, a banner ad, a native article, in stores—there is no longer a single-channel model option. What is crucial to this shift, per Sandstrom, is a bigger utilization of data which personalizes and benefits the shopper experience.