The recent decades have been marked by the blooming e-commerce sector giving a tough fight to the brick and mortar business. Imagine you are a new e-commerce firm in the quest to reach the pinnacle of success and are trying to get hot on the heels of the established e-commerce firms. But finding ways to encourage customers to purchase products from you can be challenging even if you’ve exactly what the customers need. This is exactly where marketing comes into picture. With 2017 & 2018 coming up with a lot of creative marketing trends, the expectations for 2019 have only increased. You would’ve probably read a lot of articles on upcoming marketing trends but do you really know which ones you should pay attention to!
Don’t panic! In this article, I have compiled the top notch ways that would work as a guiding beacon for your e-commerce store in 2019.
- Search marketing: Tweaks to generate better results: Google being the paragon for search engine marketing, e-commerce firms need to have a look at the changes Google made in 2018, which will be deployed in 2019. The major change being the launch of Google Marketing platform and renaming “Adwords” to “Ads” and tools like Google Analytics, Data studio and AB testing getting tightly integrated.
- Integrated digital marketing strategies: In today’s times, we see a continued interest in developing the integrated digital marketing strategies within the digital marketing strategy. Say your e-commerce firm has failed to integrate digital, using a customer centered approach for different user personas works as the best solution as shown below:
The above visual highlights a major trend in marketing which is the use of “Omnichannel communications” centered around your customers. It shows a more pertinent approach for targeting the right audience incorporating touchpoints across all channels.
- Social media trends: A government made report “Communications market review” gives a comprehensive detail of the social media usage by the customers.According Whito a Merkle report of Instagram clients’ investments, Instagram ad spend grew about 177% in Q2 of 2018 compared to Facebook ad spend which grew by 40% during the same period. Below is the data for the number of visitors of Facebook for 3 consecutive years i.e. 2016-18. Similarly, the report highlighted data for Instagram and Snapchat user base which will come handy for marketers as they can leverage these kind of data and accordingly design their marketing campaigns to target the right audience.
- Say goodbye to Millenials and Hello to Gen Z: While in 2018, most of the marketers tried to implement techniques to target the millenials, the wave for 2019 is going to see a slight change. As people born in the late 90’s and 2000’s are continuously searching for the products online, e-commerce firms need to understand how to target them.Below are some stats showing why targeting Gen Z in 2019 is going to be beneficial for the e-commerce firms.
- There is going to be a burgeoning rise of the number of Gen Z individuals in 2019, the number expected to be around 2.6 billion.
- Almost 85% of the Gen Z individuals use social media platforms to search for new products.
- About 32% of these individuals watch atleast an hour long video content.
Some of the firms are already catering to the needs of the Gen Z. For e.g. 63% of the Gen Z people like to see real people in ads rather than celebrities. This data was leveraged by an apparel brand Gym Shark which has used non-celebrity fitness enthusiasts as influencers to target the right demographics which include a huge chunk of Gen Z individuals.
- Optimizing top of the funnel customers: Imagine a hypothetical situation that you are a customer who doesn’t know anything about Facebook/Instagram ads. So, you’re not very likely to buy products you come across these platforms because you didn’t even know if you need it on the basis of just ads. Marketers first need to understand the complete buying process of the customers and align their strategies accordingly. Consider another example which depicts the complete buying process of the customers.
- Top of the funnel:Joey, a person who aspires to be an athlete has recently started running practice with his shoes and realizes his heels are constantly paining but he’s not sure why.
- Marketing message:Trying to educate him with the reasons of the pain. Videos/blogs may work.
- Middle of the funnel: Ross, who has been running for quite some time keeps getting shin splints. He is looking for solutions like “How to stop shin splints.”
- Marketing message: An article/downloadable video could work as he acknowledges the problem.
- Bottom of the funnel: Chandler, is a customer who currently uses insoles but wants to try a different product.
- Marketing message: Directly talk about your product and direct people to your product page rather than educating them.
A major chunk of the customers browsing on social media are like Joey yet most marketers treat them as Chandler and hence the problem. Marketers will need to focus upon making their content messages keeping customers like Joey in mind
- Storytelling- Redefining marketing: Gone are the days when curating social media content and getting traffic to your online store would work. The coming year would see a major shift in the way marketers would use their brand in the form of storytelling. Say for instance, Canva which has Diversity and Inclusion as one of its core messages, creates and shares its content across all social media platforms to bring awareness on its stance on equality. But, rather than creating the same content across all channels, they change content across every network and hence stand out from the other competitors.
- Content marketing: Changing the conventional approach Digital broadcasts and embedding videos will be the talk of the next year wherever content marketing is seen. Podcasts help you comprehend the content in the form of words which comes very handy. Implanting different recordings from youtube also helps pull prospective customers towards your blog.
- VR and AR to disrupt e-commerce: • An ample scope for e-commerce firms comes in the form of leveraging AR and VR as it gives a real time experience to the customers before actually purchasing a product. For instance, IKEA revolutionized the AR through its app IKEA Place. Consumers get a unique experience experimenting IKEA products into different spaces. The products are in 3D and true to scale giving consumers almost an exact idea about whether the furniture selected would fit their space. The image substantiates the example:
- Artificial intelligence and Machine learning: 2018 became the year of experimenting AI and ML, but 2019 will actually see how brands get it right. Using AI driven technologies, customer driven marketing would see an unprecedented level. Huge differentiators including better trend analysis, enhanced customer profiling and an altogether different personalization experience is expected out of AI. Automated A/B testing and algorithms update continuously and a better marketing ROI is expected. Also, e-commerce firms will get an exact idea of how their campaign is performing and can hence optimize paid advertising.
- Paid and earned media:To complete the whole picture of digital marketing trends, we need to review advertising: one of the most important factor for any e-commerce firm. The image below shows the Y-O-Y growth trends for various forms of digital advertising including video, banners, sponsored content, native advertising, etc.
As shown in the image, Video advertising has overhauled all of the other advertising forms. E-commerce firms can use such data to build upon their marketing campaigns in 2019.
These are the top 10 marketing trends e-commerce firms should look for in 2019 but there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. A lot of it depends on your niche and how after understanding your customer, you develop appropriate marketing strategies.