This time last year data privacy was neither here nor there, most users wanted convenience and would just click ‘yes’ while unknowingly giving away all their browsing habits plus other useful marketing information to third parties.
2018 has seen the bubble burst all the way to the very top of society and law. Now, the microscope is on marketers like never before. User Privacy is paramount and here to stay.
Undeterred marketers still have to continue to do what they do, and that is to try to reach their target audience with the product and services that they are mandated to promote.
Fortunately, there are ways where you are still able to conduct your business without falling on the wrong side of the fence and keep your marketing practices ethical and equally effective at the same time, while hopefully reaching your targets.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing spends in 2018 is estimated to exceed 2017 by $194% in the US alone, with enormous figures starting to be bandied about for 2019. With Snapchat entering the market more aggressively we anticipate them taking a percentage of Facebook and Twitter’s market share.
We now look at social media differently to the way we did two to three years ago, it is no longer a potential marketing option but a proven marketing channel for many e-commerce platforms, including Facebook and Instagram to showcase products at cost-effective rates.
Mobile-First Web Designing
You may ask what these two have in common. In fact, they are pretty much batting on the same team. E-Commerce design is moving in the same direction – towards a medium of mobile-first web design.
Mobile responsive pages are being primarily designed before prior to the other design elements. Mobiles devices are beginning to dominate traffic now, and this should come as little surprise. 2017 showed it was the highest revenue generating medium, with recent studies estimating that it constitutes 60% of the e-commerce industry as a whole.
Manual processes have proved challenging for many e-commerce businesses in recent years as getting all your marketing elements right at the right time is no easy feat, but this gives them hope for 2019.
Machine learning levels the playing field somewhat. Features such as collaborative filtering and personalized product recommendations can increase business owner’s conversion rates, and we are not talking about the big budget outlay for businesses to implement this.
Voice Search Speech Recognition
Voice search could prove to be a turning point for e-commerce next year. With the marketplace becoming full of search assistants such as Alexa, Cortana, and Siri to name a few. Soon, as many as 4 billion people will be using this technology and the fact that Amazon is heavily involved means 2019 could see a new way of this technology being integrated into e-commerce.
Its model of searching for products, setting you reminders, playing music and also making purchases for you is a match made in heaven for e-commerce, as time conscious consumers will drive the market in 2019; the ability to avoid time costly internet searches will be a significant appeal to many who are currently unfamiliar with the technology.
The Force of User Generated Content
Internet bandwidth is now in abundance with mobile devices possessing a plethora of tools it’s creating an almost factory-like sense of the user themselves becoming content churning machines. Users are now creating their blogs, vlogs, live videos feed, reviewing products and assessing anything and everything that’s out there in the marketplace.
If you are on the right side of this, this can provide a business with the most exceptional marketing tool of all; word-of-mouth, the most powerful marketing medium known to the business community.
Tips and hints left by users on platforms such as Facebook, Google Reviews, Instagram, and Yelp, using success stories and testimonials are gold dust to businesses and help to gain traction and brand awareness at a rapid pace.
Content E-commerce Marketing
This was the foundation of the e-commerce movement, but the time it took to monetize it proved a tedious process, and as time went by we discovered that not all kinds of content and products were as effective in connecting and converting businesses with their perceived target audiences.
However, by putting content and commerce together, the two elements are contributing equally to drive customer conversion rates up. The content is the attraction, it’s used for engagement, giving helpful tips and options to the customer.
Add to this ‘call to actions’ and conversion rates have increased considerably as well written and constructed content pushes impulsive buyers whose curiosity gets the better of them time and time again to convert them into paying customers.
Even though we have been purchasing online for some time now, online payment security is still a major concern for online buyers who can pull out at the last moment. In more recent times it’s not necessarily the consumer who has had to worry about cybersecurity, but the industry as a whole was exposed.
So we find ourselves in a situation where security is a mandate. SSL certificates are now being brought in as regulation for online stores. They encrypt all information being between the two parties and the e-commerce store eliminating the threat posed by third-parties looking to intercept data traffic.
So security wise 2019 for e-commerce looks a positive year.
Although e-commerce has not been without its pitfalls, statistically it’s the fastest growing commerce in the world and will continue to be so for some time to come. While some of what we have talked about are already in place, always keep a close eye out for new concepts and trends.
Some of what we have covered is already in place and mainstream that will simply get stronger and others that may not appear so prevalent in 2018 will grow next year. Non-traditional markets are going to catch-up fast in 2019 which may represent opportunities outside of your normal target market and your comfort zone, the ability to adapt to the requirements of a different kind of consumer could be vital to you and your business.
Whatever trend you follow or use, you will be involved in a very competitive industry in 2019. Stay ahead if of it.