We all know it: There’s no stopping technology. Advances happen at warp speed, and businesses have to keep up if they want to thrive. In the world of e-commerce, staying up on trends is not only necessary but downright crucial (what does brick and mortar even mean?). E-commerce, believe it or not, is a relatively new term for those operating outside the digital marketing arena (read: non-millennials or gen Z-ers). To those inside it, the world of e-commerce is growing and shifting at a rate even industry experts are having a tough time keeping up with. How does a business refresh — if not completely revamp — their online presence to stay competitive? With a truly innovative, flexible and savvy marketing strategy, that’s how. Tired of breaking a sweat trying to keep up with the latest developments? Keep reading to get the most out of your e-commerce brand.
Redefining Your Target Audience
Who are you talking to? Without that information, you might as well be searching for a diamond in a sea of rock — we promise that without it, whatever marketing strategy you’ve got will sink like a stone. We’ve got one word for you: millennials.
As of 2018, these folks were making 54% of their purchases online, on average. 40% of men in America would, if they had things their way, buy everything online for the sake of convenience. That laptop you bought for your grandma on your dad’s side? Still in the box. You still get phone calls from your mother, telling you she’s in Bed Bath & Beyond, looking for the perfect birthday gift for your sister amidst the crowds, the muzak, the endless lines. You don’t want to alienate these demographics, but you don’t want to spend valuable time and energy trying to cater to them exclusively. Instead, figure out who your biggest audience is, and what’s driving them. What do they want (whatever it is, they wanted it five minutes ago), and how can you create the best, most efficient, delightful online experience for them?
In other words, how can we nab ‘em and keep ‘em?
Fundamental vs Cutting-Edge: Which Strategy is Best?
Way back when (in 2015, we mean) e-commerce had yet to become a household name, the rules of the game were fairly straightforward: determine your audience, appeal to them in the most effective way possible, generate positive emotions in said audience by improving their experience, yada yada. Don’t get us wrong, those rules still apply — generally speaking. But because of the ever-expanding role of social media, new and improved apps being developed daily, and the introduction of AI and conversational content, (Siri’s here, and she’s here to stay) the playing field has shifted. It’s going to keep on shifting. Stick to the foundations of good customer experience while staying current, and you’ll be fine. Make sure you’re adhering to the fundamental principles of good user experience, but also take the suggestions below into consideration if you don’t want to become a dinosaur.
Successful E-Commerce Strategies for 2019
Don’t forget about video (and virtual reality)
Speaking of customer engagement…
Engage the customer in every way possible — you want their likes, shares, pins, comments and feedback (and then multiply that by infinity).
There’s (always) an app for that
Yes, everyone’s got one nowadays, but does it deliver? Apps must be lightning-quick, yet user-friendly — sophisticated, yet easy to navigate. Empowering the customer in this way only works in your favor.
Repeat after us: the app feels like the website, the website feels like an in-store interaction. They all need to feel the same level of not just AMAZING and DELIGHTFUL, but MEMORABLE. We want the customer to feel like he or she just walked into the original Saks when visiting any e-commerce site.
Check your email
Communication with your customers needs to be fast, and it needs to be impactful. More than that, it needs to be able to support actual transactions.
Search methods include voice searches (see Amazon’s Echo) and personal assistants these days, and that trend is only expected to grow (up to 50% of searches will be voice searches by 2020, according to ComScore).
These six suggestions don’t cover all of the ways in which you can improve upon your current e-commerce model. Trust us, for as many changes in technology as there are in a year, there are that many new strategies to consider.
Making the Leap
So where do you start? So much new information, so little time! Clock Tower Insight helps to navigate the shifting ground of digital marketing for you, using up-to-the-minute research methods and analyzing things like brand measurement and competitive assessment in order to bring your e-commerce strategy into today. In a world where user experience is steering the ship, you want seasoned experts in your corner. Consumer behavior drives e-commerce success, and that’s a golden rule that no new technology can change.