When it comes to stories on ecommerce marketing, there has been more than a little gloom and doom. As things continue to shift in technology and marketing, the perception that ecommerce is going to vanish tends to grow. There is no doubt that the retail space has changed a lot over the years. Large retailers are shutting up shop to pave way for their online counterparts. Other stores have managed to successfully merge their online and offline efforts to create a seamless retail experience for customers that makes use of technology such as geolocation and beacons to target customers at every stage, whether they are in store or browsing online.
Traditional stores are also seeing many changes in the retail space – most of it good. Although some store stores are getting left behind, it is largely those who have not been able to adapt their strategies to incorporate new and improved technologies and trends. Truly smart brands who want to get the best of both worlds – real-time online purchasing and in-store loyalty – have the ability to reach customers like never before.
For consumers wondering what the future holds, the first thing to embrace is the fact that retail as we know it will never quite be the same. Consumers today have more choice than ever before. They can purchase just about any product, from any location in the world, on a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or even a mobile phone. For retailers, connection to customers and making more sales has become equally possible on a deeper level than before.
The Evolution of Ecommerce Marketing
What can we expect to see from the world of ecommerce in the year ahead? Which trends are set to drive this industry? How can you take advantage of these trends to grow your results? Whatever the size of your store – small boutique, medium-sized specialist store or even a large multi-departmental mega store – staying ahead of the latest trends is the most effective way to be sure that you are able to scale and grow.
If you have been wondering what the future holds for ecommerce in the year ahead, you’ll be relieved to know that it is not going to be going away any time soon. In fact, the rise of ecommerce shows no sign of slowing down. Each year, a number of trends arise; some offering more value than others. Staying the dark is one way to miss out on the chance to grow your reach. Some of the ways that ecommerce marketing continues to adapt and grow include the following:
Gone are the days where ecommerce is seen as a single strategy in its own bubble. Etailers that do approach their marketing in a way that is less than integrated quickly start to realise that it becomes far harder to forge connections that help to drive sales and loyalty. Over recent years, integration has made it easier than ever for ecommerce brands to connect to their customers on a deeper level. Deeper insight into customer wants and needs makes it even easier to develop integrated campaigns that are able to reach customers at each point of their lifecycle, from their very first interaction with an online retailer to their first purchase, referrals, and lifetime interaction.
Integration also means developing a strategy that is multi-channelled and far-reaching. Putting all their eggs into one proverbial basket is how many retailers learn to value the growth opportunities provided by the wide range of channels available. A decade or few ago, online brands had little in the way of social media, let alone mobile marketing and lead nurturing. Today, brands can easily cross between online and offline channels, creating rich, highly targetted campaigns that increase clicks, engagement and sales. Customers can interact with a store in person, receive a perfectly-timed mobile or email campaign, connect to etailers on Facebook or Instagram, and shop online, all while having a single positive experience with their favourite retail brands that seamlessly crosses between channels without interruption.
Personalisation and customisation are also playing an important role in the growth of ecommerce. In a choice between two interactions, which is more likely to result in a memorable brand experience for customers? A personalised campaign that uses segmentation, customisation, and smart lead nurturing to directly target a specific type of customer or a generic campaign that uses exactly the same language, approach, and strategy to try and win over new customers? Personalisation does not have to be spammy or even awkward if done correctly. Done right, it has the ability to create a more tailored experience; driving sales, reputation, and loyalty in the process.
Upselling & cross-selling
Another smart way to continue to grow your reach is to incorporate upselling and cross-selling strategies. Both of these work especially well for customer retention as well as acquisition. Finding ways to continue to keep ahead of your audience is the best way to ensure that your sales remain consistent. It is the brands that stay behind, letting competitors overtake, who truly battle to thrive and grow in the often competitive retail space. When you put in consistent effort to grow your strategies and strive for new areas for growth, you have the ability to stay on your toes, considering new ideas that you had not yet thought about and growing your results in the process. This is often one of the easiest things to avoid doing, which can have far more impact than you may realise in the short and longer term.
How can you continue to keep up your ecommerce marketing efforts to reap the rewards? For starters, keep putting in the effort to create deeper, more targeted campaigns. Treating your campaigns as something to endure is no way to see any real progress. If you begin to put in the time and effort, and you are consistent about personalisation and other strategies, you will begin to see a difference in your results. Trying to rush through your campaigns, skipping over channels that seem like too much work, not taking the time to plan in advance, and seeing your ecommerce marketing efforts as something to endure rather than enjoy is never a good idea, either. Get invested in your ecommerce marketing efforts and remember why you started in the first place.
Once you started doing this, you will start to see your efforts paying off. It may not happen overnight or in the fastest amount of time. It may not happen all at once or even in a nice orderly row. It will begin to happen, however. Over time, with a clear focus and enough thought, you will soon see how a targeted approach wins the marathon and the race with ecommerce marketing. From that point on, especially once you have managed to bridge the gap between your offline and online efforts, you will start to see how smart etailers are paving the way for the future of ecommerce marketing, integrating rich strategies that help you grow your store consistently, year on year.
When this happens, you will soon see the true power of ecommerce marketing and how it has the potential to reshape the way that customers find and purchase products.