Staying ahead of your competitors is key to being successful in e-commerce. We have seen radical shifts in technology and consumer behaviour in recent years, . Therefore, it's crucial for marketers to stand ready to embrace and take advantage of the latest digital channels and create social engagement. Here are the e-commerce trends you need to know this fall:
1. Yes, mobile shopping is still increasing
The use of mobile devices is still increasing every month, and it’s a revenue stream that your e-commerce business has to be geared for.
2. Social selling is growing fast
Social selling is increasing around the world. The main reason for this is the growing numbers of millennials. Today, most of the big online stores are promoting their brands and beginning to sell their stuff via social media platforms whether that is through the use of Snapchat geo-filters and sponsored articles, or launching a new product via Instagram.
Instagram has tested a shopping experience with 20 US brands that plays on how its users discover content. Posts can feature up to five products, and users who click go to a product page, and then to the retailer’s site if they want to buy. The idea is to show more information about products earlier, so shoppers don’t have to leave the app to search.
3. Personalise everything
Personalized shopping is the best way by far to entertain and keep your customers. Online stores should customize the shopping experience based on a customer's purchase history, browsing habits, and needs. The ultimate goal of personalization is to use data to make it easier for your customers to find and consume the product or service they want.
eMarketer, CMO of Rich Relevance, Diane Kegley, says that “it’s about putting the power in the hands of the consumer” and says that “there’s now a spectrum of personalization.” For an e-commerce business, this means employing personalization not only on your site, display ads, or via targeted email, but also on other channels like mobile, call centers, even physical stores if you have them. Taking the time to understand all customers’ individual needs is a positive trend for everyone involved.
4. Apply programmatic creative advertising
More and more people learn about programmatic creative, a set of advertising technologies that uses data to present individual consumers with targeted content. Variations of online display and video ads are presented to a viewer based on known information. This means that two very different audiences can be targeted for the same product via different variations of creatives. The potential for enhanced e-commerce advertising is enormous.
For example, Robert Allen of Smart Insights makes a case for shoppable personalized video. It’s a combination of programmatically served video with shoppable video, and personalized video: placing products in a video based on customer preferences. He predicts it will be “a massive change in how e-commerce marketers sell via video.” It’s also another example of how programmatic creatives will help e-commerce businesses convert views to customers.
5. Use self-made content to increase your site’s traffic
More and more e-commerce businesses are using content to encourage visitors to spend more time on a website. The result is that consumers get the information they need, and make smarter buying decisions. They’re also more likely to return, again and again.
Chief commercial officer at Lastminute.com, Alessandra Di Lorenzo, sees this trend as a key strategy for their travel site:
“The purpose of the content hub is to serve as an inspiration engine. Our customers are always looking for ideas. From where to go on holiday, to what they do when they’re there, and what to pack once they’ve booked. We want to offer that inspiration through curated content.” As well as providing further insights on customers, this means they can target the entire travel lifecycle.
But a word of warning! Take the time and effort to produce quality content. Tailor-made creatives will ensure a larger number of clicks and not put people off. By creating attention grabbing blogs, videos, photos or infographics, you can bring traffic to your website.
6. Be prepared for voice search
Another trend that’s growing in prominence is voice search. This is one of the forerunners to the Internet of Things (IoT) and currently more used for fun than to fulfill a specific need, but all that is about to change.
Voice search is an effective technique that can boost e-commerce sales. Even WPP’s Sir Martin Sorrel sees Amazon’s Alexa as a massive disruption to future advertising, while both Apple and Google have their own similar assistants.
To exploit voice search, you need to optimize your website. For example, conversational long tail requests appear more in Google voice search results. In fact, according to Google, 20% of all mobile search requests are now through voice search and this trend is likely to surge soon. Install this functionality on your e-commerce site, and you can potentially drive more traffic.
7. Try bringing your e-commerce marketing in-house
A trend gathering even greater momentum is the use of in-house marketing teams within e-commerce. As we’ve mentioned before, e-commerce businesses are now creating and accumulating unprecedented amounts of data. And with personalized customer relations, is it a good thing that a third-party agency could own both the data and the relationship? It’s not exactly ideal.
Having an in-house team, also allows you to embrace agile ways of working. It means you are on the pulse, with campaigns that are consistent across all platforms and social media. Recruit the right staff, use the best tools, and in-house marketing can become quite useful.
There you have it, seven trends you need to know. But remember: strategies, trends, and technology are changing all the time. Make it your business to stay on top of them!
Make use of Chatbots; what was once science fiction is now a very real and beneficial tool. When the opportunity arises, take advantage of innovative technology that will improves your e-commerce business.