Online stores were not prevalent in the 1990s. But now if we look around, it would be difficult to find a business that does not have an online presence. Because of e-commerce’s enormous popularity, it's no surprise that several e-commerce founders are among the world's wealthiest people.
Isn’t it how Jeff Bezos became one of the world’s richest people?
Amazon was founded in Jeff Bezos' garage in 1995. Initially, it was simply a company that offered services as an online bookstore. Over time, the company turned that simple bookstore into a multinational firm, began selling almost everything, and eventually became the most well-known name in the entire e-commerce industry.
But how did Amazon became a rags-to-riches company?
It’s a blend of innovation, vision, and smart work accompanied by in-depth marketing research.
It doesn’t matter if you are just starting, or already running an empire, staying up to date with the latest marketing strategies is inevitable.
It's no surprise that this year's top e-commerce strategies and tactics all revolve around improving online shopping experiences and communications. Customer expectations are rapidly changing. They want shopping experiences that are tailored specifically to them.
Here are the top marketing trends in the e-commerce industry that you should be aware of.
Social Media Shopping
Selling directly through social media is like a gold mine for retailers.
An estimated 3.6 billion people use social networking platforms worldwide, with each person spending approximately two hours per day on social media. This means that businesses that can find their target market on these platforms have a one-of-a-kind opportunity to increase their visibility and drive sales.
For instance, the image below is an Instagram shopping gallery of a brand.
Users feel at ease while shopping from the gallery instead of redirecting them to the website. Imagine how easy it would be if you’re scrolling through your Instagram feed and you found a perfect meeting outfit from your favorite designer. Let’s assume, Rohit Bal.
Now you normally wouldn’t shop from his website but now when you see the ad, and the ease to shop directly from the platform, you’d be delighted.
This delight is what social media shopping is going to offer your customers. It is quick, reliable, and an excellent approach to grow as a brand.
Omnichannel retail is immersive and centers around the customers, not the products. It is about communicating in ways that are consistent with why they use a particular channel and demonstrating awareness of their unique stage in the customer lifecycle.
Let’s study an example:
1. You visit a random “Pup House” website, add a dog bed to the cart but leave without purchasing.
2. Now you receive an email offering you a $50 discount on your purchase, but you move past it.
3.Two days later you start receiving the same dog bed ads on all your social media platforms - Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, everywhere.
4. You still don’t buy it and that’s when you see an ad by “Pup House” feeding shelter animals and indulging themselves in charity work. And how every purchase that a user makes helps in funding medical treatments for these animals - with a CTA button.
And that’s where you make your purchase.
So what exactly happened here?
Your touchpoints helped the brand to understand your purchasing cycle. The brand, keeping their product ‘dog bed’ at the center, subtly pushed you towards the purchase.
Customer behavior dictates the next set of tactics in an omnichannel strategy. Every interaction modifies the experience.
The brand's behavior is not random. It is consistent with the customer's behavior both within and between channels.
Almost 88 percent of shoppers search online before making a purchase. Even if there is nothing new here, the number of people who use this strategy will increase in 2021.
As a result, implementing an omnichannel strategy and incorporating it into your 2021 eCommerce marketing plan is critical for your company in order to provide customers with a consistent experience across all touch-points.
Personalization is a highly effective marketing strategy. Your online customers deserve personalized attention, and there are several methods for doing so that are supported by AI and machine learning tools.
When it comes to personalized recommendations, Amazon and Netflix have set a high bar. Not only do more than two-thirds of customers believe brands must personalize their content, but 42 percent are irritated when presented with irrelevant information.
Everyone enjoys receiving a birthday gift, as well as being noticed and receiving personal attention.
This includes emails, product recommendations, a bestsellers list, and more.
Retargeting is an ad strategy that aims to engage customers who have previously interacted with your website. You can show ads to these customers when they visit social media platforms such as Facebook, search engines, and other websites by using cookies.
You must have experienced this too. Imagine you were just randomly checking out Nike’s Sneaker sale. You did not intend to buy. So you leave the platform and casually scroll through Instagram, or Facebook and that’s where you see the same sneakers repeatedly for a few days.
Why does that happen? You were being re-targeted for the same pair of sneakers to influence your decision of making a purchase. And this works amazingly in business, especially for e-commerce.
Retargeting keeps your brand in front of your customers' minds and encourages them to return to your e-commerce store.
Retargeting can be a very effective marketing strategy. After seeing a retargeting ad, more than one-quarter of customers return to a website.
Retargeted website visitors are 70% more likely to convert than regular website visitors.
Didn’t you just see how in 20 seconds, Coca-Cola’s market share dropped by a HUGE $5B?
This is how much an influencer’s move matters!
If you can't compete with the big companies that spend billions of dollars on advertising, there are still a few things you can do to get your brand noticed.
Influencer marketing focuses on using social influencers to spread your company's message to a larger audience. So you hire influencers to reach out and endorse your product to people on your behalf!
For instance, if you have a popular skincare line, you could have a well-known lifestyle influencer test your product and give feedback to their audience on their findings.
Influencers are a huge medium to convince your buyers to buy your products and build a trust factor without having to shell out a lot of money.
By being present on multiple channels, businesses increase their chances of connecting with customers. Multi-channel marketing does not require you to be present on every channel; however, focusing on the platforms your target audience uses, enhances your visibility and creates opportunities to connect.
A company launching a new product can use a multi-channel strategy that includes an email campaign, online ads, product demos on YouTube, and collaboration with an influencer. Cross-channel marketing, as the name implies, incorporates all of the different touchpoints in the customer journey and treats them as a whole, rather than as separate entities.
This allows you to reach out to customers through a variety of channels, including:
1. Paid social media email
2. Google advertisements
3. Retargeting of advertisements
4. Notifications via push (web- or app-based)
5. Direct mail via SMS
This comprehensive approach to the aforementioned touchpoints, combined with a detailed understanding of who a customer is and where they are in the customer lifecycle, enables a marketer to deliver a consistent message across each channel and thus provide a truly integrated experience.
Regardless of the medium you use, comprehending your buyers and creating content that they can relate to and understand is critical.
Watching videos for music, entertainment, information, and DIY tips is one of the most popular online activities for mobile and internet users.
Video content helps potential customers feel more at ease with your product. They can see the product's quality with their own eyes.
It also makes it simple for users to share your content on social media, which raises brand awareness and broadens your reach. Video marketing is huge. The growth is immense in the video marketing industry. You can see multiple videos on social media platforms, ranging from product launches to reviews, to random fittings, anything! It’s a video culture out there.
With an improved internet bandwidth and easy access to internet services, video marketing should be your focus.
Marketing is the push, while branding is the pull. Brand is the offer, while marketing is promoting that offer.
So you see, both branding and marketing go hand in hand.
We might not know everything about your industry as much as you do, but we do know we can help you dig deeper and unleash a brand that will prove great to the world.
If you think your e-commerce business is ready to expand or if you have an idea to start a new venture - our team is here to assist you in all your endeavors.