E-commerce is on the way to almost completely replacing traditional physical outlets. While there will likely always be some demand for in-person shopping, consumers live online these days, and the idea that a retail business is neglecting its website as a direct sales channel is unthinkable.
Oberlo Online Store Service Provider estimates that there will be 2.14 billion digital buyers in 2021. That’s about 27% of the world’s population. Given the advancement of technology and the upward trajectory trends in e-commerce as an industry, we will likely see continued growth for years to come.
E-commerce business leaders are well versed in managing disruption. From consumer behavior, fulfillment logistics to digital marketing, store owners have been successful in managing a lot of headaches that were thrown at them.
Here are three important trends developing in the industry that you should be aware of.
The need for convenience
Start talking about “convenience” and many online store owners will think of free next day delivery. Consumers expect this service to be standard in some parts of the world, and providing instant shipping is not as much of an added value as it is an essential part of your business.
Convenience these days is more about giving consumers the choice to shop where they want, when they want. With the explosion of online retail mega-platforms like Amazon, consumers expect to be presented with several products that complement their initial purchase.
On top of that, they are conditioned to receive suggestions for similar products and packages. Meeting these needs requires significant investments in infrastructure and in-depth inventory analysis. Showcase your offers through social media, your website, and your app.
Consider partnering with other companies that make complementary products to improve the shopping experience for your customers. Many businesses have less than optimal shopping experiences. Perform a thorough analysis of the customer journey to reveal any flaws.
For example, are you making it as easy as possible for the customer to pay through the one-click settings? How user-friendly is your cart page and clearly displays complementary products? Correct these inefficiencies and you will delight your customers with great experiences.
Buyable ads on social networks
GenZ is coming of age, and research shows that almost half of them spend 10 hours of their day on their electronic devices. About 85% of them discover new products through social networks. As a result, the number of buyable ads on social media has increased and will soon become an indispensable part of e-commerce.
These days, organic reach on social media is virtually non-existent, thanks to the way platforms make money. Publishing paid ads on social media is much more difficult these days thanks to the increase in cost per click (CPC) values through competition.
Before posting an ad, you should do a thorough analysis of your audience and know their buying triggers. Just five years ago, ecommerce owners could instantly post an ad on Facebook and expect the clicks to come. Nowadays, buyers are more selective because they have become oblivious to advertisements.
In addition to audience research, competitor research is essential. You need to understand who you are up against in a niche or market before entering it. For example, you might want to enter the Spanish market with your product. You will first need to determine which are the best ecommerce websites in Spain before you decide to target the ads to consumers in that location.
Also, when evaluating e-commerce marketing opportunities, it can make a big difference if you have the ability to check traffic to websites. Keyword research tools also discover the primary source of traffic your competitors rely on and their referral networks. Affiliate marketing and influencer marketing are the best ways to build brand credibility fast, but you need to research the sources of referrer traffic and the quality of their engagement.
Experiment with a variety of videos in your ads. There is no shortage of choice in terms of available formats. You can post unboxing videos, explanations, tutorials, demos, user interviews, and more. If you run out of video content, post your product photos as a slideshow and download them as a video.
A / B test your CTAs and invest heavily in the shopping experience on social media. If you look at the trends, most consumers will be using them soon.
Embrace data analytics
Analytics has always existed in e-commerce, thanks to paid advertising. However, most ecommerce owners focus on basic metrics like CPC, CTR, and COA. These days, you need to be specific and understand your customer using the data they provide to you.
For example, when a user logs into your store, do you know how likely they are to abandon their cart? You also need to know their audience segment and tailor marketing campaigns accordingly. Segmentation is becoming more and more important since personalization has become the norm in e-commerce.
Large companies like Amazon have millions of customer segments and tailor remarketing campaigns in different ways. Some consumers prefer regular follow-up, while others like to be left alone. Do you personalize your campaigns this way?
Personalization starts with looking at your buyers and listing them with the data you have. Examine your personal questions and your data collection methods. Also note the context in which you collect the data. For example, you can ask customers about product improvement options but neglect to ask if they want an entirely different product.
Integrate your CRM systems with your CMS to ensure that marketing and customer information is readily available when you run campaigns. Invest in an infrastructure that allows you to do this if your resources are currently lacking.
Marketing flexibility informed by analytics is the way to go, and ecommerce owners need to react quickly to this trend.
If the history of e-commerce has taught us anything, it’s that disruption is constant. There are always new solutions appearing in the market that change consumer behaviors and force e-commerce owners to adapt.
Whether it’s a new social media platform, a meme trend, or a growing social responsibility, prioritize the above three trends in everything you do.
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