Retailers are diversifying investments to meet customer needs, says NRF

Retailers are diversifying investments to meet customer needs, says NRF
New research by the National Retail Federation and Forrester showcases how marketing is changing

Elly Yates-Roberts |

A new study by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and market research company Forrester has found that retailers are diversifying their investments online and offline to meet customers’ needs. 

The State of Retailing Online study showed that retailers see the value of physical stores, particularly as e-commerce costs are increasing. Over half of the retailers surveyed confirmed that they will open stores in 2019, and 36% will have a higher store count than in 2018. Only 7% of respondents said their net store count would decrease.

“Retailers are evolving with customers’ shopping behaviours by creating a seamless shopping experience online and in store,” said Mark Mathews, vice president of Research Development and Industry Analysis at NRF. “From pop-up stores to social marketing, retailers are finding innovative ways to engage and acquire new customers.” 

The study also showed that digital marketing is changing. To reach their customers more effectively, retailers are prioritising spending on social marketing to engage with consumers on mobile devices. For the first time this year, social marketing surpassed search marketing: 55% of participants are planning to increase spending on social marketing compared with 51% on paid searches.

“The marketing mix is palpably changing,” said Sucharita Kodali, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester. “Not only has social knocked search marketing from its spot as the top-growing digital marketing tactic, but retailers are also tapping into video marketing and online marketplaces as increasingly important tools for product discovery and research.”

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