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The Retail Trends of 2016

We all want our businesses to boom this year, but in the retail sector particularly, there is so much competition and so many day to day tasks that have to be completed, it is easy to get distracted from some of the key things that may actually help you reach that sales target more easily. We thought we’d highlight some of the key trends that are going to be big for retail this year, and have a positive impact on your marketing. That sales target won’t seem so distant after this.

Paid Social

Social media is key to any business these days, but unfortunately, having a presence on the big social platforms and posting pictures of products and other content is not enough any more. The brutal truth is, to gain cut through – especially in ultra competitive industries, you’re going to need to pay. However, paid social media is not as expensive as you would first think. You can set budgets for a day, week, month and so on you can spend exactly what your budget will allow for. The results are phenomenal too. You can reach targeted audiences, and really get results. In our experience, it takes about 3-6 months to start to see a real impact on sales and useful engagement. First you start to get the likes, then the all important shares and comments that eventually translate into new customers and sales.  Arguably a relatively short amount of time in comparison to many other marketing channels. Who knows, you might even find a whole new target market out there for you.

Mobile Friendly

If your website is not already mobile friendly in 2016, then you are almost definitely missing out on business – especially if you’re an ecommerce business. Those who shop on mobile spend 66% more than shoppers who only buy in-store and we know from personal experience, that if you try to look at a website on mobile and it does not work, you’ll probably give up and shop elsewhere. If  you’re already well established as a retailer a native app should be a serious consideration. Although this takes a little investment, millennials show a marked tendency to download the app for their favourite stores over and above using the website. A mobile app is in the palm of your customer’s hands at all times, even whilst in your real life store.  According to smartinsights.com, 41% actively looking at the app whilst in-store shopping.

Humanised and Personalised Customer Service

Retail is getting tech savvy but this is where it gets complicated. Customers do not want a robot but they do want you on demand whenever they want you. Your audience wants a human. If they have to enquire about something, they want to know that they can have a normal conversation with someone that understands – whether that is over the phone or online chat. That humanized approach also has to be personalized. A customer does not want to be like any other customer (even if they match your ideal demographic perfectly). They want to be recognized as an individual with their own needs and wants. Great data capture can assist in this. If you have their number on record and they call you, greet them with their name. A personalized approach almost always guarantees loyalty in 2016.

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