Kate Conroy has over 15 years of experience helping leading retailers and brands grow their business. She is Google’s APAC Go-to-Market Lead for Retail Ads.
Unwavering loyalty is no longer a trait that defines shoppers in APAC. Recent consumer studies point to a sweeping “loyalty reset” which, for us in the retail industry, is a double-edged sword. Wield it well and it can become your key to sustained profits and growth.
With shoppers willing to switch brands and retailers, their every decision is a chance for you to win sales.
The “loyalty reset” means APAC shoppers no longer stick to a single sales channel or brand. They’re open to switching to their second-preferred brand or retailer if it shows up when they’re exploring or evaluating a purchase decision.1 And more than 80% of them used three or more channels like search, video, and social media to shop over a two-day period during peak sales and holiday moments, instead of a single channel previously.2
This move away from loyalty can impact repeated purchases. But with shoppers more willing to switch brands and retailers, their every decision also becomes a chance for you to win sales. To unlock this opportunity, it’s important to understand and meet the shopper need that is behind the “loyalty reset” today.
Shoppers need a “confidence shift”
Shoppers today, facing inflation pressures and macroeconomic uncertainties, care deeply about getting it right when they buy. For instance, 57% of people in India say they cannot afford to make the wrong decision now with their purchases, especially in times of uncertainty.3 Shoppers therefore research their choices carefully; more than 70% of consumers want to feel they have done their due diligence, putting enough time into research to make the right decision.4
This rise of intentional shopping means customers are finding themselves in the space between wondering about a purchase and knowing that they made the right decision, that is, the “confidence gap.” To move out of this gap, shoppers need to feel confident about what they buy.
It therefore pays to create a “confidence shift” in shoppers, moving them from questioning to knowing and decision-making. Not only do you net a sale, you’re likely to see revenue growth and repeat purchases. Consumers say they spend on average 25% more on trusted brands than the ones they trust less, and those who are confident with their product choice before purchasing are nearly 20% more likely to purchase that product again.5
So, here are two strategies for how you can power a “confidence shift” in shoppers with the power of AI, and drive growth and profits amid a “loyalty reset."
1. Show up with confidence cues on trusted platforms
Cues that help shoppers feel confident about buying from a brand or retailer include industry respect, as seen in industry awards and certifications, and authority, which is bestowed by experts endorsing the products.6 By communicating such confidence cues, you help shoppers choose you.
To amplify the impact of your cues, show up with them on trusted platforms. Doing this results in the “trust transference” effect, where shoppers form positive associations between your confidence cues and a trusted platform like Google Search. It’s the No.1 most trusted online platform, and the top platform where consumers in APAC look to find information.7
The “trust transference” effect also explains why viewers rate YouTube ads as significantly more trustworthy, credible, and honest than ads on other video and social media platforms.8
To further boost your confidence cues on Search and YouTube, such that they show up in a relevant, timely, and scaled way, use AI-driven ad solutions. Broad match, for example, connects your products and cues to people with related searches, based on their intent, and not just those whose searches match exact keywords.
Virgin Australia used broad match with other Google AI-powered ad solutions like responsive search ads and value-based bidding, to achieve 88% more bookings and 150% revenue growth.
Showing up with confidence cues continuously is also important because confidence decays when shoppers don’t come into contact with new information over a long time.9 One way to sustain their confidence is through App campaigns for engagement, which increases user retention and drives in-app conversions. For shopping apps, the likelihood of reengaged users becoming paying customers is 1.9X greater than those who were not reengaged.10
2. Show up for shoppers across channels
Another way to power a “confidence shift” at scale is to consistently show up across channels, since shopping across multiple platforms has become mainstream. In Southeast Asia, 76% of shoppers used five or more channels, like search, video, and social media to shop over a two-day period during peak sales events.11
To reach shoppers with confidence cues wherever and whenever they shop, pair Performance Max with Search campaigns. It’ll help you find your most valuable customers across Google’s full range of channels, and deliver the right cues to them to multiply conversions.
Oppo, the Chinese consumer electronics company, did just that to drive scaled visits to its website and e-commerce channels in Malaysia. It achieved 46X conversions at 96% lower cost per conversion.
Seamlessly integrating your stores across channels can also help you show up consistently for shoppers, and empower them to make confident purchases.
By using Google’s omnichannel ad solutions, such as local inventory ads, you can let shoppers searching on Google know that your store near them has the products they’re looking for. And with Web to App Connect, you can optimize your app marketing strategy by providing your app users with a seamless shopping experience, sending those who click on your ads directly to the relevant page on the app for them to complete the action, such as a purchase.
The “shopper loyalty reset” in APAC can cut both ways. But for those of us in the retail industry who tap into the power of confidence cues, trusted platforms, and AI-driven marketing solutions, this reset is an opportunity. It’s time to win sales with customers’ every decision, and drive sustained growth and profits.
Are you set up for success with AI? Find out with the Google Ads AI Essentials checklist.