Can you imagine living in not just a digital-first but a digital-ONLY world, where the first option is to buy and sell online, using a mobile device?
In eMarketer’s 2017 report, over 1.66 billion Internet users ages 14 and older was projected to have bought an item off via digital channels last year. At this rate, ecommerce is bound to claim a huge percentage of product sales.
To keep up, we’ve listed down the top trends to watch out for in ecommerce this 2018:
The importance of social media
Well, it’s 2018, and this is number one on the list because it’s a giveaway. With more and more businesses channeling their marketing budget on social media, it should not come as a surprise for ecommerce to embrace the same practice. After all, they both belong to the digital sphere. One without the other would be odd.
When running an ecommerce website, make sure to have social media platforms ready. Be accessible to social media, leverage reviews, reach passive audience, and make use of audience targeting – it’s there for a reason. If you haven’t started making use of social media to drive more leads or sales yet… well, why not?
Personalization and customer experience
In the ecommerce business, returning customers are of high value. In order for you to master the art of retaining customers and making the want more of your business, you’ll need to set up an environment that’s conducive for developing such actions or behavior.
Let’s take Amazon, for example. One key to its great success is the way they personalize the platform. When one logs into Amazon, they greet you with your first name, remembers your “wishlist,” saves the products you added to your cart, and even suggests products that you might like.
In contrast, take a look at Henry’s. They do have a link for “Your Account,” but that’s just about it, with not as much personalized choices as Amazon. Any shopper would see – and feel – the difference in experience.
You can start sending out email marketing campaigns suggesting products to the customer or creating surveys to understand what your existing customers want and need.
Omni-platform and omni-device
When running an online business, you would want to be everywhere. In 2018, however, that alone is not enough. You have to be everywhere and be consistent in terms of visual impact – therefore, you will need to maintain consistent branding, navigation, messaging tone of voice, sales processes, payment gateways, advertising, and social media content.
This year, it’s important to ensure that your websites and apps are optimized for the most seamless visual experience possible for all customers.
According to Hubspot, 78% of people watch online videos every week, and 55% view online videos every day. In addition, Cisco has been predicted that by 2020, online videos will make up 80% of all consumer Internet traffic.
Integrating video content in your advertising channels can prove to be very beneficial this year. In terms of other trends in video content this 2018, one of the best options for your ecommerce business is going live.
Approximately 1.2 billion hang out on Facebook Messenger every month. What do you plan to do about this?
Chatbots and other messenger apps give you the ability to attend to your customers 24/7. This year, messenger bots play a huge role in connecting with your audience. Send customers personalized messages, suggested products, and other special promos or deals. Hop on the chatbot trend to help boost your ecommerce site sales.
Other fulfillment options
Ecommerce sites are as popular as they are now because of one thing: convenience. Customers now want what’s easy, quick, and provides them with the least hassle as possible. Success in the ecommerce business this 2018 relies heavily on the variety and fulfillment options your company provides. Look into how you can expand your customers’ delivery or pick-up options to get ahead of the game.
With voice search, it’s important to think like a customer.
By 2020, 50% of millennials will use a voice assistant prior to making a purchase. Most of these searches have local intent and to seek answers to simple questions. Knowing this information gives you an insight on how to structure your strategies and innovate this year. Experts recommend optimizing Google My Business listing to ensure that local pages are indexed properly.
Storytelling and branding
User interface and overall visual impact of your ecommerce site is something to pay attention to this year. Simply coming up with an ad and targeting an audience isn’t enough anymore. People crave for unique content, so it is now a priority to produce brand stories that drive engagement, stories that allow you to connect with your customers, and eventually, drive sales.
Leverage your team members who are experienced writers or content strategists. If you don’t have anyone on your team yet who does creative storytelling, make sure to hire one.
In conclusion, the ecommerce industry is growing and is here to stay. As a business owner, knowing how to play the field is key. Looking at this year’s up and coming trends, 2018 is definitely about the customers – finding ways to reach and connect with them, improving their overall experience on the platform, and integrating new systems to communicate with them effectively.
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