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September 30, 2021 | Authored by: Rubi Cohen

The one question brands should be asking themselves in 2022

As Q4 2021 rolls around, there are two things we know for sure:

  1. It’s the Golden Age of e-commerce. In 2020, e-commerce sales in the US grew by 34.2%. More people are buying more products online than ever before.
  2. Social commerce is hot. Social media networks, like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, are all working hard to implement new shopping features and turn themselves into the online “malls” of the future.

This is big news for brands. In 2022, e-commerce will be a blend of shopping and social interactions. E-commerce is no longer just about selling products.

So, the most important question brands should be asking right now is: “If we are not competing on products, what are we competing on, and how can we win?”

Products vs. relationships

There are around 30,000 new CPG products (consumer packaged goods) launched in the market every year, and that’s just one vertical. Imagine the number of new products across all categories, both B2C and B2B. The fact is, brands will always have to contend with competitors offering new shoe collections, new perfumes, new toys, new games, new software products. It is getting more and more difficult to compete just on the product, its features and design. However, there is one area where it is possible for brands to truly compete, and that’s in customer relationships.

Building unique, consistent, and satisfying relationships is the best way to stay connected with your buying audience, and the most effective way to compete in a marketplace saturated with products. It’s not enough just to sell products anymore; brands must also become a part of the customer’s story.

Compete on the interaction

Product innovation is complicated and costly. Developing an ingenious idea or first-of-its-kind concept in a tough market is one of the hardest things a company can do. Instead of trying to reinvent a product, why not invest in reinventing the customer experience? This is a competition you can win.

Social commerce is one way to do this. In 2020, there were 3.6 billion people worldwide using social media – that’s nearly half the world’s population. Brands are already engaging and interacting with their audiences on social media, building relationships and connections. To get the benefits of social selling, the next step for brands is to add products to the mix. Social networks are helping brands do this with in-app features such as Instagram Shops, Shopping in Reels, and even hashtag campaigns like #TikTok MadeMeBuyIt.

Another (very powerful) way to compete on customer interactions is with subscription models. Subscriptions are the perfect combination of product and relationship. The customer isn’t just purchasing an item. They have an ongoing connection with the brand and product. The subscription becomes a part of their lifestyle routine; they are constantly experiencing it and interacting with it. If brands want to compete on interactions, they need to deliver smarter, frictionless subscriptions.

Powering smarter subscriptions

This is what Vindicia subscription tech is all about. A great subscription is much more than just connecting a customer’s credit card to recurring purchases. It’s about giving the customer an “identity,” or user profile, gathering data about their behaviors and preferences with the product or service, and leveraging sophisticated algorithms in order to craft better bundles that meet their specific preferences.

Smarter subscriptions are based on subscription intelligence: data-driven insights and predictions about content and offers that will keep customers engaged. Technology is the enabler of better customer relationships and provides brands with the capabilities to compete with other brands in the way they interact with customers This is also true for B2B or SaaS technology companies. While the product they offer customers is their software platform, it is the ability to optimize the user experience that gives added value to the brand and enables them to compete.

For e-commerce brands, it comes down to this: The more you know, the more you’ll grow.

Brands, how can you build better e-commerce connections?

This is the key question for 2022, and the answer lies in technology. It does not have to be a burdensome process. With easy-integration solutions like those of Vindicia, brands can advance towards a subscription-based model that engages and excites customers, creates long-term relationships, and smooths the way for customer connections so they can fully compete in a social-focused, experience-oriented online marketplace.

About Author

Rubi Cohen

Rubi Cohen

Rubi Cohen leads marketing for Vindicia. Previously, Rubi worked at Amdocs, Vindicia’s parent company. Here he held key marketing responsibilities heading the global digital marketing domain, which introduced a successful online footprint and impacted the global brand reach. With over a decade of experience in building and activating data-driven marketing ecosystems, Rubi brings extensive expertise in marketing strategy, creative brand building, communications, SEO, social media, marketing automation, paid campaigns, lead generation, and working with senior management to impact sales pipeline and brand positioning for tech and SaaS companies.