Recession Proof Marketing Strategies: Tips from the 2022 CommerceNext Ecommerce Conference

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The looming recession and the overall current macroeconomic state of the United States economy has frightened every business. Budget cuts are necessary during a recession, and more often than not, marketing dollars are some of the first to go. But sales aren’t going to happen if marketing doesn’t exist, so it’s time to recession-proof your acquisition and retention strategies.

We gathered the three best tips shared at the 2022 ecommerce conference from over 100 industry leaders.

  1. Optimize Your Customer Experience
  2. Emphasize Your Brand’s Value, Not Your Prices
  3. Focus on Creating Meaningful Content

Read on to explore these essential tips for success during a recession and be sure to check out the CommerceNext YouTube channel to learn even more industry insights.

TIP #1: Optimize Your Customer Experience

Modern consumers value personalization and a simple shopping experience. Many brands shared at the 2022 ecommerce conference that they are hyper-focusing on personalizing specific channels to acquire and retain customers during a recession, like these two:

  • Rainbow Shops is capitalizing on the consumers’ wish for personalization by implementing conversational commerce. SMS messaging can reveal specific insights about your customers and allow you to have a two-way conversation with your audience like never before. In addition to building relationships with customers, the data Rainbow Shops collected from using this channel allowed them to hyper-personalize all acquisition-based advertisements and increase sales immensely.
  • REVOLVE found the best way to optimize the customer experience and build loyal consumers is through extensive testing and data collection. The brand collects data to determine consumer signals that indicate they are ready to engage and then thoughtfully triggers sophisticated campaigns across email, SMS and mobile app. This allows them to successfully personalize not only the content but the shopping journey for each mobile customer.

TIP #2: Emphasize Your Brand’s Value, Not Your Prices

With our economy in its present state, consumers have stricter budgets and are looking to only purchase products that bring true value to their lives. This is why it is crucial that your marketing messaging focuses on the value of your brand and its products, not just the dollar amount. This draws in shoppers during a recession and creates a deeper relationship with your consumers. For example:

  • Brilliant Earth focuses on promoting the values of the brand and the value its products can bring to consumers’ lives. For example, today’s consumer is concerned about sustainability, so the brand focuses its marketing messaging on its social responsibility and sustainability efforts. This has helped them build strong, deep connections with their target audience.
  • Olaplex also focuses on marketing its value to consumers by emphasizing the sense of community that comes with shopping for the brand’s products. For Olaplex’s CEO JuE Wong it’s about servicing, not transacting, when selling consumer products. The team puts this ideal into action by prioritizing what the consumer values. For example, Olaplex only posts user-generated content on TikTok to emphasize to their customers that the customer community is what makes the brand special, not the products.

TIP #3: Focus on Creating Meaningful Content

During a recession, it is imperative to make every dollar spent count. Content marketing can attract a larger audience through informative content on various platforms like your brand’s website, social media profiles, blogs and more. This content can be recycled and adapted to all of these platforms, saving your brand money on creation while reaching more of your target market at once. Sounds like a win/win, right?

Take Jenni Kayne, who sees great success from emphasizing content marketing to successfully retain customers. Alexa Ritacco, CMO at Jenni Kanye describes the content creation team as “a force” and its “greatest asset.” The team perfected its content to successfully connect with its consumers through lifestyles. The brand uses imagery and messaging in its marketing efforts to not only promote the products but, more importantly, promote the lifestyle the customers live or want to live. This makes the customer not only want the product but see a stronger connection with the brand itself, ultimately leading them to return.


There are so many factors that a retail brand must take into consideration when preparing for a recession. And the conversation will continue with top brands and executives at the 2023 CommerceNext Ecommerce Conference. Experience the fun and hottest industry strategies this summer, featuring 120+ speakers, 50+ sessions and 1600+ attendees!

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