As ecommerce marketing continues to evolve and adapt, 2019 is sure to bring plenty of opportunities for etailers. There is no doubt that online shopping has grown in popularity over the last few years. Statista predicts that by 2021, ecommerce sales will reach 17.5% of total retail sales around the world. If the last year is anything to go by, the industry will also see a number of noteworthy trends emerge in the year to come.

What will 2019 hold for this booming sector, and what can we look forward to seeing in the year ahead? We have put together some of our top ecommerce marketing predictions for the year, based on what we have seen from the previous year or two. Keep reading to see what we are forecasting for this year’s ecommerce trends.

Ecommerce Marketing Predictions Worth Watching This Year

Over the last year or two, we have already begun to notice a number of interesting shifts in the ecommerce marketing landscape. Like many other areas of digital marketing, ecommerce has been slowly but steadily moving forward towards the era of omnichannel. This has had a big impact in many ways, offering more ways for customers to shop online and more ways for online retailers to convert sales across multiple channels. The rise of automation, virtual reality and smart devices has also played an important role in the way that people shop. Purchasing is no longer limited to single devices and channels.

With that in mind, our ecommerce marketing predictions are focused on the natural progression of key trends from the last year, as we start to see just how much potential for growth lies ahead. Some of the things that we will be especially interested in seeing this year include the following:

Social shopping

We have already begun to see an increase in social shopping and we can expect to see even more this year. Platforms such as Facebook have embraced this in a big way, allowing etailers the ability to not only promote their products on their pages but also sell. This has been handy for those without online stores. For smart sellers who want to embrace cross-channel marketing, social shopping can be just as useful.

To get the most from social shopping, be sure to integrate your Facebook store with your online store in a way that offers a seamless experience for shoppers. Rather than trying to sell every single product on your social store, focus on best-sellers or keep your range small and manageable. It’s also worth doing some research into social channels that offer the best chance of conversion.

Voice assistants

Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri and other voice assistants continue to become an everyday part of life for many people around the world, for searches and even purchases. As far back as January 2018, Capgemini released a report stating that just a few years from now, 40% of consumers will rely on voice assistants over websites or apps, while 31% of consumers will choose voice assistants over brick-and-mortar stores.

Even in 2018, 35% of consumers surveyed in the Capgemini report were using voice assistants to purchase various products from groceries to homecare and clothing. This number will continue to grow as the rise of voice assistance continues and more platforms begin to release their own versions. To stay on top of this trend, make sure that your ecommerce SEO strategy is aligned to include relevant keywords that are suited to voice and manual searches.

Augmented reality

Augmented reality offers a powerful tool for ecommerce marketing – especially when it comes to home, cosmetics, clothing, accessories and other categories that are personalised and customised. Much as Pokemon Go fused real-world and a bit of magic, augmented reality brings together the best of both worlds – real and virtual. Using this technology, consumers have the ability to virtually change the walls of their living rooms, arrange home decor items and furniture to see how it would look in their space, virtually ‘try on’ various cosmetics, accessories and outfits, change their hair colour, and even superimpose items into their kitchens or patios. One major reason that this technology is so effective for ecommerce is that it allows consumers to try before they buy. It’s also fun, interactive and highly personalised – all great for conversion.

See how IKEA has utilised augmented reality to see how effective this strategy can be for enticing shoppers into making that purchase.

Omnichannel personalisation

We already know that omnichannel marketing is not going anywhere anytime soon. But it’s no longer enough to simply offer the ability for shoppers to purchase from various channels. You also need to ensure that the experience is as seamless and personalised as possible. The trouble with ominichannel shopping is that consumers very seldom make a purchase instantly. The majority of shoppers will browse from Facebook, for example, head to your online store on their mobile device to have another look at the product they’re interested in, and then maybe finalise their purchase from their desktop after having a bit of a think about whether they want to complete the purchase. All too often, by the time they reach this point, they have either lost the product or they have lost interest after having the same generic experience across every channel.

If that experience were to be personalised on each channel, with browsed products easily showing and preferences remembered, it would allow for a far smoother experience and a far higher chance of conversion. It is essential to recognise the customer as the same person across every channel. Make sure that your channels are synced to keep things smooth and seamless.

Mobile integration

Towards the later part of 2018, smartphones made up 61% of retail site visits globally, with desktop accounting for just 30% of online shop visits, according to Statista. While there is no doubt that mobile browsing continues to overtake desktop for finding information, mobile devices only comprise 45% of online orders, versus 61% for desktop devices. What this tells us is that shoppers use mobile devices to browse products but desktop devices to purchase products.

One of the simplest ways that you can capitalise on this trend is to keep your ecommerce mobile strategy integrated and updated in real-time so that shoppers can easily access their shopping carts on any device, checking out on mobile or desktop easily.

We’re looking forward to seeing what 2019 will bring – not only to ecommerce marketing but to the greater digital landscape in general. Remember to follow our blog for more insights into ecommerce marketing to see how you can continue growing your store, this year and beyond.

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