Paying attention to the latest eCommerce trends can help keep your business on the forefront of consumer activity and growth. Here are some of the most important trends to watch in the coming year.
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Omni-Channel Marketing Will Be Key
Over 2 billion people shop using their mobile devices. Most of these customers, according to studies, look up information before they even make contact with a business. They've done their homework. Google has even found that 85% of online shoppers complete a purchase on a different device than the one they started on.
It is going to be vital for businesses to utilize an omni-channel marketing approach if they want to maintain and optimize a loyal customer base. It's important for your customers to feel that the marketing is integrated between channels, regardless of the platform they are on, or whether they're comparing an in-store experience with an online one,
Your company brand, marketing tone, advertising, and content must all be integrated and consistent, whether your customers are shopping on your website, through social media, or through an in-house visit to a traditional brick-and-mortar store. Through omni-channel marketing, you are providing a consistent experience in what is otherwise a messy consumer buying process.
Of course, this requires a very well managed inventory across platforms, as well as a multi-channel attribution strategy, two things most retailers do not have. As consumers continue to split the divide between eCommerce and brick-and-mortar retail, businesses must engage in effective inventory management and message consistency through an omni-channel approach.
It's Increasingly a Mobile World
Adobe analyzed data from 2017's Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) and found one very interesting fact: 46% of all traffic came through a mobile or smart device, but only 30% of sales were closed on one. People love to browse and hunt deals on their mobile device, but when it comes to sealing the deal with a purchase, the desktop still has power.
While many consumers are still purchasing in a brick-and-mortar store or prefer to finish a deal on their desktop, the trend is pointing toward increased mobile sales if a business is smart enough to embrace a strategy that pushes effective mobile site design and management. By making the shopping experience more personalized and more convenient, retailers can take advantage of consumers' growing expectations concerning smart device transactions.
Google and Apple are already making leaps forward in mobile payment technology, pushing mobile sales both to respond to and further feed the upward trend. When a company like Starbucks reports that 10% of all their sales come through mobile devices, and studies have shown that consumers spend twice as much money when they order via mobile phone versus a non-mobile device, it behooves every retailer to examine their mobile platform and make it a convenient purchasing avenue.
Searching and Shopping by Voice
With Amazon Echo and Google Home becoming more popular by the day, businesses are noting how consumers are increasingly interacting with a brand via voice. Studies show that increasing numbers of people are using voice assistance technology to search for products, with 70% of millennials having used voice assistance technology to make a purchase.
By 2020, more than 21.4 million smart home assistance devices will be in use. It is estimated that 50% of all informational searches will be done by voice in the next two years. By 2019, the voice recognition market will be a $601-million enterprise.
This raises a very interesting question for businesses, namely, how can consumers find your products and services if they are not visiting your website? Businesses need to begin thinking about not just engaging in SEO, but specifically how their SEO strategy accounts for voice search. This requires additional research into how the queries used by consumers through home voice technology differ from the standard search box queries used online.
It also means customizing a strategy so the results put forward through voice technology are just as relevant to the consumer as those that would come up with a traditional search engine request. As voice technology becomes the norm in American households, businesses need to start thinking of voice as not merely an adjunct to a traditional search engine request, but as a viable information source (and purchase point) in and of itself.
Custom Content Is the Most Significant Future Trend
According to Demand Metric, 78% of CMOs see custom content as the wave of the future. Excellent content can be helpful and entertaining for consumers, but also extremely cost-effective and a big boost to ROI for businesses. When 64% of consumers state that their customer experience is more important than a price point for evaluating a brand, businesses need to pay attention. The bottom line is that a well written and engaging blog is 13 times more likely to generate a positive ROI.
If you're looking for significant eCommerce trends, you must pay attention to content marketing. Effective content marketing can increase brand awareness and promote consumer loyalty and engagement, as well as increasing product interest and sales.
Here are some of the numerous effective ways that companies are beginning to approach content marketing:
Curating an in-house blog
Promoting a YouTube channel
Answering questions regularly through online forums
Providing social engagement through personalized email marketing
Promoting more interactive content via website and email
Creating a media platform of their own
If you want consumers to follow your brand in an increasingly fragmented online environment, interesting and engaging content is the way to go. It's no longer enough to throw a few content pieces up on your website. Consumers are expecting to engage with your brand in an interactive, comprehensive way. The trend is for experiential content, not just static content with no interactive component.
To keep up with all the growing eCommerce trends, you need to work with an expert in maximizing online content and business strategies. IronPlane is a full service Magento eCommerce agency with the expertise to address the important eCommerce trends and create a strategy to maximize their impact for your business. Contact us today for a consultation, where we can discuss other eCommerce trends and their impact on your business.