Where should brands be expanding in 2016?

The exponential growth of digital has created an environment that certainly did not exist 20 years-ago. Even today, many are still trying to find their way around it.

Because of this, some brands are now needing to work a lot harder in order to develop and achieve their cut of the market. But where exactly do they need to focus their attention?

The mobile consumer

E-commerce and retail are currently in the process of a dramatic industry shift, particularly in the realm of digital marketing strategies. What’s more is this shift has been inevitably steering towards mobile for quite some time.

Last year saw great advancements in mobile technology and next in line is the optimisation of such strategies. Businesses have become aware of the need to extend their efforts into becoming more mobile-effective – for example, Google updated its algorithm in 2015 to penalise websites that are not utilising this. And so, to be able to expand, grow and overall develop as a brand there are a few key trends that need to be taken on board – all of which have a strong focus on mobile.


Globally, an increased amount of shoppers are buying products online and, in particular, on their mobile phones. This means that there is a clear opportunity for growth in this specific market.

Plus, not only have online payment options become secure, but in many fast-growing emerging markets the internet is the safest and fastest way to get products from international brands.

The always-connected consumer

A.T. Kearney’s 2014 Connected Consumer Study represents how much time consumers’ around the world are using the internet. It shows that from a sample of 10,000 ‘connected consumers’, over half are ‘continuously connected’ and check the internet at least once every waking hour.   

A.T. Kearney's representation of how often a consumer connects online.

A.T. Kearney's representation of how often a consumer connects online.

Plus, we’ve all heard about ‘micro-moments’ lately - that is, those specific moments that happen any time a consumer grabs their phone throughout the day to browse or look up something. Now that these consumers are continuously able to search for information, it’s important for brands to work hard and get in front of them. For example, this can be achieved by assessing what exactly they want to receive out of this ‘moment’ and to not rely solely on demographic-based targeting.

The need for omni-channel

Physical retain isn’t dead. Regardless of the rising popularity and justified buzz for mobile and e-commerce, there are still a vast amount of consumers who prefer to touch and feel the products, be immersed with the brand and engage with sales associates. In fact, 90% of retail sales still occur in stores, and 95% are captured by retailers with a bricks-and-mortar presence. 

Successful retailers understand the importance of omni-channel strategies that maximise customer satisfaction, as well as profits, by seamlessly improving the journey from the physical shop to e-commerce.

An example of this is when Burberry renovated their flagship store on London’s Regent Street in 2012. Rather than making the digital journey separate from the in-store experience, they put emphasis on integrating it with their premium 1920s store. This was accomplished through the addition of iPads with customer purchase history, screens in the fitting rooms that showed specific product information and many other technological advances.

On the other hand, many online-focused retailers are changing their focus to physical stores with the knowledge that a physical presence can bring significant value.

They key global markets

Many different markets offer different opportunities. Despite the key global markets continuing to decline, some are still thriving and represent many interesting prospects for online retailers.

“…with the well-established brands or retailers there are low risk, low investment strategies to access the majority of major global markets and drive incremental revenue.  For high street brands markets India, Turkey and Australia have large and growing middle classes with high disposable income and an increasing acceptance of online as a key component of the omni-channel retail environment. For premium and luxury brands the UAE, China and South Korea offer an aspirational middle to higher class willing to spend highly to achieve a western symbol of social status,” said James Storie-Pugh, Managing Partner and Head of Client Relations at Pivot Commerce.

In summary

Thanks to the internet, online technology and a clever use of digital content marketing tools, brands are now able to expand and reach new geographical markets.

Here are some top tips on what you can employ to drive growth:

  • By integrating internationalisation into your brand, this will enable central content to be generated, tailored and translated for many individual markets. This, plus a team of localisation experts, will be an integral part of creating an overall global impact.
  • There are now so many technologies available to enable brands to reach wider audiences. One of the key success factors in modern marketing is knowing how to harness such innovative technology – by embracing the omni-channel experience, for example – in order to reach new markets and expand.
  • The localisation of social media and mobile activity is crucial for many global brands. By utilising this as a supreme marketing tool, you can capture a wider audience and gain useful feedback into products and services.


For further information about how your brand can achieve international digital expansion, please do get in touch.