Online shops have stopped being seen as a luxury. In 2019 the total value of the global eCommerce has reached a startling $3.45T. eCommerce trends have stopped being something only a few companies like Amazon and eBay need to care about. They are part of almost any retail shops and — no question about that — they are here to stay.
The shifting trend has put all kinds of eCommerce on the radar of many businesses, making it not an uncomfortable thought, but almost a priority. But what can you do to succeed?
1. Now, customers decide
Customers have always been the driving force behind any retail business. But with the development of the digital shops more than even it became clear who has all the power.
When so many people have access to the Internet and information, customers do not just make a purchase. It became much harder to cheat — if they came to you, well, it means they CHOOSE to do so.
You, as an eCommerce, should understand why on Earth they would ever come to and how you can make them stay. You need to make your product and business appealing.
How can you do that? Treat them as humans. It does not mean you need to speak to them as to an immature baby — quite the opposite indeed (if your audience isn’t kids, of course). Speak to them as to the earning adults that want something. Offer value, create working products, build a brand that you would have loved to be associated with if you were them. Put in the real effort.
Remember that behind all the numbers seats someone just like you. eCommerce platforms are moving towards personalization and humanizations. If you do not do that, so will do someone else.
2. It’s a team effort
While many blogs and articles are proclaiming death to the retail, the professionals know that the dispatch is at least a little rushed. And it is especially true for marketing eCommerce businesses.
As the Head of Marketing at Google Canada Fab Dolan has said, ‘Building anticipation and an appreciation for the magic of our products happens in the real world, even though most people buy online or through call centers.’ In other words, while you might want or already make sales online, you cannot only rely on digital marketing.
So, the biggest eCommerce marketing trend is combining your product work in real life. Billboards, direct mail marketing, and even traditional media ads should not be out of your toolset completely just yet.
3. Learn new terms and ideas
The success of many digital brands like Warby Parker and Casper has opened a new perspective on the eCommerce. Yes, right now, giant corporations are controlling the online and offline retail, but the smaller companies that have found success are the ones that have emphasized ‘brand equity.’
The new eCommerce trend is a growing interest in concepts like direct-to-consumer (DTC) models of sale and digitally native vertical brands (DNVB). It is not enough to offer a product, it is important to make sure your customers are getting value out of their purchase.
The new model has challenged the concept of seasonal sales and discounts. Surprising? If you think about it, it should not be.
DTC businesses have figured that what people want is not as much low prices for their own sake. In the age of product oversaturation, people seek value. And since the products and services are not ‘price’ but value-driven, new digital businesses see no need in constantly working on sale tactics. So far, it has been working well.
4. No cheating with content
The word ‘content’ has been around for a while. Almost all websites have blogs and social media, regularly produce cool videos. But as the recent studies show — it is not enough. Just 5% of all branded content gets almost all the attention (90%) of it.
What is the reason for such an equal distribution of attention?
While it all comes down to content and its quality. And by quality, we mean not only production but also:
- Regularity of production
- Whether it helps to build a connection
- Content’s creativity
- Convenience (using all kinds of different mediums in the right combinations, at the right time)
- If you are taking accurate measurements and reacting to it
The eCommerce trend that seems to be the most obvious is also the one companies make the most mistakes while developing content. You are working with people and should produce content that those people would want to have in their life — whether it is informative, funny, or uplifting.
The only rule is that you should do it well. Really. Putting in the time, though, and passion it takes. We live in an exciting time when a funny image can attract a fanbase that would last for years. It would be irrational not to use it.
5. Social Commerce isn’t the biggest eCommerce trend
While building communication with your customers using online platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest is an effective communication tactic, social networks are not a Swiss knife.
The direct sale prospect might have generated a lot of media coverage, but it is all still hypothetical.
So, you better leave social media to do what it does well and not spend all the time trying to optimize your business to its conveniences. Use them to create and spread content, communicate with your potential customers, and build a brand identity.
Before social networks work on making those systems more adapted to the online retail, you can skip on the eCommerce trend and focus on building, let’s say, a better website instead.
6. Keep on choosing quality over quantity
The world of eCommerce gets messier and messier. With so many channels to choose from, a million strategies you can develop, incredibly detailed personalization, it is easy to get lost.
To make things work, however, you need to focus your attention on the following things:
- Results tracking
- Technical performance
- Customer services
Instead of trying to be everywhere all the time, try to focus on results and take it seriously. Are you getting enough returns on the ads? If no, it means you are doing something wrong. Track the mistake, change the channel, and make it part of your process. If something is not working, it means you are missing the point.
Now, imagine you put together the best social media campaign. The people click on the banner/image/link only to find a website that has no idea what it is doing. What will people do? Well, they will click away.
Putting marketing before backend is simply dangerous. So, before setting up a marketing campaign, you need to make sure the technical performance of the website is on the level. It should not overwhelm the person with pop-up bars and chatbots. Keep it simple and purposeful.
Quite logically, the same goes for customer service. Nothing will ruin your reputation like a wrongly delivered product and customer support team that does not respond to calls and emails.
Future of eCommerce? Trying things out
We live in an exciting time. Some things we deal with regularly would have treated as crazy-talk by other people just a decade ago.
As a business, the best thing you can do is move with time. If you are doing what you have been doing from day one, you’re probably doing it wrong. eCommerce trends are changing, and they will keep on changing, establishing, and reestablishing themselves in 2020, 2021, and 2030 in a previously unimaginable way.
So, try things out. Measure them. Do what works. The practice is the only formula.