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Is Pinterest the Future of Shopping and E-Commerce?

If this article were to list everything that has changed in our day-to-day lives between January 2020 and now, it would be an unending article. (And you probably don’t have time to read that!) So, let’s start by getting right to the heart of the matter at hand: the retail industry during and after COVID. It is undisputed that 2020 brought many changes to the retail industry and consumer behavior. What role will Pinterest play in the future of shopping and e-commerce, and how can you harness its power?

First, let’s review what Pinterest is and how it works. Although arguably less popular than other social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, Pinterest boasted an impressive 459 million monthly active users in the fourth quarter of 2020. Pinterest works differently from other social media platforms. While you can still add friends and follow their posts, you are not sharing details of your life, recent activities, videos of yourself dancing (as is popular on TikTok), or “throwback” photos from your pre-COVID travels.

Instead, Pinterest allows you to share links from things you like around the internet. Pinterest calls itself a “visual discovery engine,” focusing on helping you find inspiration in images and links. Some of the most popular types of “pins” (or posts) on Pinterest include recipes, home decor, fashion, and more.

How does all of this play into the changes in the retail industry and consumer behavior in 2020 and beyond? Pinterest also facilitates online shopping. When you see a pin of something you like (whether it’s a sweater, a bookshelf, a hairstyling tool, or a lawnmower), you can click on that pin and be taken to the website where you can purchase. Brands can also purchase ad space on Pinterest, with the type of ads shown being tailored to each user’s preferences and behaviors.

Although Pinterest included this e-commerce functionality pre-COVID, the platform saw a huge increase in its use in 2020. In the first half of the year, Pinterest saw a 50 percent increase in users who visited places to shop on the platform. Pinterest knew they couldn’t rest on their laurels there—to continue to grow and provide the services their users need, the platform needed to continually adapt to new user behaviors. As explained by Milka Kramer, country manager UK and Ireland at Pinterest, “It is crucial for brands and marketers to align their efforts with this customer behavior and adapt their messaging. Many industries will see permanent changes in consumer behaviour after this period so the critical nature of insights will remain into 2021 and long after this is behind us.”

So, what is the future of shopping as we continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and eventually move past it? Kramer believes the key will be to merge the best of in-store and online shopping experiences. E-commerce will continue to grow, and consumers will look for a shopping experience that is more than scrolling through products. Consumers are looking for inspiration and connection, and it is up to your company to give them that experience. To learn more about the future of e-commerce and how social media platforms like Pinterest can play a role in your company’s marketing, we welcome you to contact us today at AudiologyPlus. With over 20 years of experience in marketing, we are ready to help you grow your business.

Reasons for Optimism in 2021

Reasons for Optimism in Audiology in 2021

As we begin 2021, you may be thinking that this year feels oddly similar to last year. Many people had hopes that 2021 would be completely different from 2020—free from the worries caused by a global pandemic and other far-reaching events. Although January 1, 2021, was not a magic date that ended all of the challenges, difficulties, or stress that began in 2020, there are many reasons to be optimistic in this new year.

2021 may indeed bear some similarities to 2020, such as adapted ways of doing business and living your day-to-day life thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. However, audiology leaders foresee a bright year in which audiology professionals around the world will continue to provide high-quality, personalized care to their patients. Here are a few reasons you can feel optimistic in 2021:

  • Greater access to hearing healthcare through telemedicine

One of the first challenges that arose at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic was how to care for your patients when it was a potential health risk to you, your team, and your patients to see them in person. A huge portion of audiology professionals rose to the occasion by adopting new technology that makes telemedicine not only possible, but a convenient, safe, and simple choice for providing your patients with personalized care.

While in-person visits will never be obsolete, telemedicine gives you a way to care for patients who cannot come to your office for any reason.

  • Highlighted importance of hearing health

Many areas of the country and the world have experienced lockdowns. In these times, when people had very limited contact with anyone outside of their household, it quickly became apparent how important hearing is. With more and more people turning to technology like video calls, making sure you can hear those you are speaking to is essential. This highlighted to many people that they had been neglecting their hearing health and encouraged them to seek the professional care they needed.

This trend will continue in 2021 as video calls and other technologies remain the norm for conducting business, attending school, reaching family members, and more.

  • Decreasing the stigma surrounding hearing aids

With more and more people realizing that they would benefit from hearing aids or other types of hearing health care, the stigma surrounding these devices is fading quickly. Hearing aids are continually being made smaller, more discreet, and easier to use, and people find them easier to accept in their lives. As hearing aids become increasingly acceptable to the consumer, more people will feel comfortable seeking the hearing healthcare they need.

  • Increased collaboration with other healthcare providers

It would be a great understatement to say that the healthcare industry was under stress in 2020. Challenges arose that most health professionals had never experienced before. The response, however, was one that impressed the world. In 2020, audiology professionals began collaborating with other healthcare professionals in unique ways. This will continue to grow in 2021, with ever-expanding opportunities to move the industry forward and better deal with new challenges.

  • Growing patient control over hearing devices

Hearing healthcare technology has improved immensely in recent years, and it is not slowing down now. One of the greatest innovations seen in 2020 was that more patients were able to adjust their own hearing devices through their smartphone or computer. Giving patients more control over their devices allows them to make the necessary adjustments without the need for an in-office visit. While 2021 may bring its own challenges, and you may still be working through some difficulties that began in 2020, there is no doubt that this year is full of new opportunities. To learn more about how to continue to grow your business in 2021, we invite you to contact us today at AudiologyPlus.