E-commerce Marketing 2022: new trends and strategies
E-commerce is a generic term for the buying or selling of products on the internet. E-commerce marketing is the practice of using promotional tactics to drive traffic to your online store, converting them into paying customers and maintaining those relationships after the purchase.
E-commerce has definitely revolutionized the world of commerce. In 2021, the omnichannel experience, which sees the merging of physical and online retail, has made itself official. With new technologies and the increasing use of mobile devices, shopping habits have changed and will continue to do so. The goal is to stay ahead of the curve and adapt to customer desires. Here are some figures on the fate of e-commerce in the future (source: Oberlo):
- Online sales are expected to reach 4.5 trillion in 2022.
- Voice commerce will grow 55% by 2022.
- Market penetration index is expected to reach 25% by 2025.
- Annual retailer spending on AI will reach $7.3 billion by 2022.
- By 2022, more than 120,000 stores will use augmented reality.
- Over 50% of shoppers prefer a personalized online experience.
- The global image recognition market is expected to reach $81.88 billion by 2026.
In short, it’s a decidedly growing market, with no end in sight. Therefore, companies need to be prepared for every trend and update and, above all, be careful to avoid mistakes that could be harmful in turn.
Mistakes to avoid in e-commerce
The complexity of e-commerce marketing is underestimated. It’s not enough to just open an online store — the investments that you’ll need to make are not that different from that invested in a physical store.
In fact, it’s easy to make mistakes that will only take you further and further away from your goals. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:
- Neglecting strategy and planning: creating an e-commerce platform is the final step of what should be a much larger project: Business plan, marketing plan, communication plan, competitor analysis, knowing your target. It’s also about everything that concerns the management of warehouse and logistics in general.
- Not knowing your target: having the data available to create a profile of the ideal client will allow you to know which content to present and how. Nothing should be left to chance.
- Aiming just at savings: it’s common to believe that opening an e-commerce business reduces costs, but that’s not necessarily the case. The money you’re not spending in rent will be invested to reach users, such as in SEO optimization and online advertising.
- Choosing the wrong platform: think about your needs and those of your customers, think about the services you want to offer and the features you need, then, based on this information, choose the software that’s right for you.
- Overthinking the user experience: your site must be easy for the user to navigate in order to make the path to purchase a smooth one. Pay attention to the quality of photos, content, and detailed product descriptions. Put yourself in the consumer’s shoes: what information would you like to know about a product?
- Excluding unregistered users: during the purchase, the last thing the user wants is to have to fill out a long form to register on the site. This dynamic discourages the purchase and the user tends to abandon the site. It’s important to give everyone the chance to complete the purchase and only then to register.
- Neglecting the “Contact” and “About Us” pages: if users aren’t already familiar with the site, the information that will allow them to understand who they are buying from is essential. With the lack of some essential information, the user could become suspicious and ready to abandon the site.
Now, let’s move on to the trends that you can’t miss and the strategies to implement if you want to take full advantage of this market.
Tips and trends for successful e-commerce
To grow your e-commerce business, there are several aspects to take into account. And, as we have just seen, there are many mistakes that can be made. So, let’s look at which aspects you should focus on.
Create a series of promotional videos
It’s undeniable, by now, that video is one of the most popular and most appreciated formats. It’s the format that increases traffic and reinforces engagement. Short-format, informative, and content-driven videos are the most impactful, and they can also serve as social proof. For example: using video to showcase your products and how they are used or worn by real people, for example, can increase the sense of trust in your brand and the likelihood of greater conversion on your website.
Showing your human side and allowing users to empathize is a great way to achieve your goals. Using storytelling and being as concise and clear as possible, with your customers’ needs in mind, will make the job easier. In addition, a good call to action (CTA) shows that you have a goal, whether it’s reaching a specific product page or completing a purchase.
Build and promote your social media image
This point and the previous one are closely related. Videos need to be disseminated and social platforms are the best place to do this. This allows you to discover potential customers and make yourself known to a wider and more diverse pool of audiences.
Sharing company updates, providing information about products, and promoting your brand values can all be content that are aimed at engaging your audience. This way, you can gain followings on an organic basis, but it’s not enough. Investing budget in social, campaigns, and influencer marketing allows you to reach even further.
Ad formats vary by platform and should be tested to find what works best. Influencer marketing is also an avenue to promote your products — it could help you reach a more difficult audience. And, by representing your product as part of a “lifestyle,” it improves your brand image.
Reward your most loyal customers
Trying to hold on to existing customers is much cheaper than creating new ones. One way you can reward your customers is through a loyalty program that is made especially for them. Such a plan based on getting points with each purchase that the customer can then turn into cash or coupons gives them an incentive to keep buying your brand.
Obviously, the better you know your customers, the better you can approach them, perhaps with personalized offers that are designed specifically for them. This will help you increase sales. Thanks to various software platforms available, you can have the capability to manage your relationships with individual customers and view their purchase history, thus allowing you to determine the relevance and effectiveness of a personalized offer.
Use email and SMS
According to research by Oberlo, about 69.57% of carts are abandoned. This means that a stronger remarketing and targeting strategy is needed. One avenue in this direction can be email and SMS.
Sending automated reminder emails to users is one way to draw the audience back to your site and drive increased conversions. These emails can also be triggered when a buyer abandons the checkout process.
Text messages (SMS) are another great way to interact. The average open rate for SMS marketing is 98% (source: Findstack). Here are some strategies to increase customer engagement and, in turn, sales:
- Send shipping and delivery notifications via SMS.
- Send loyalty program rewards to get more traffic and return customers to your online store.
- Send promotions and cart messages with a discount code.
Flexible payment methods
Payment is no longer just a means of collecting money, it also contributes to improving the customer experience. Often, payment methods are few and limited and not everyone can take advantage of them. A greater variety in proposals and more flexible payment methods would meet the needs of a wider audience.
A great innovation is represented by BNPL, which stands for Buy Now Pay Later. This allows users to purchase a product and pay for it in installments, through a loan charged to the card used at the time of purchase. This solution has allowed many consumers to shop during the health emergency, and it’s becoming more and more popular.
Mobile Shopping & Voice Search
In 2021, 73% of e-commerce sales were made from mobile. This foreshadows that companies will need sites that are 100% mobile responsive to compete in the marketplace. While online shopping once was a slow, even time consuming activity, today, buying online is part of our everyday life, just as the smartphone is practically an extension of ourselves and one that we can use to shop while we are out with friends, at work, at the gym, etc..
What is new, however, is the use that will be made of voice devices. It seems that making purchases through smart speakers will be increasingly common, and by the end of 2022, it could reach 55% of owners this way (source: OC&C Strategy Consultants).
Furthermore, by 2024, global sales of voice assistants will exceed $30 billion (Global Market Insights). Voice assistants will be increasingly present in our homes and will be used not only to automate heating or lighting, but also to search and order products online.
Personalization is the secret!
Times are changing and during the purchase journey, consumers will increasingly look for elements such as transparency, efficiency and usability. And the personalization of services and customer experience will be the clear answer to the current needs of consumers.
To create a personalized experience, in the e-commerce context, companies will have to take full advantage of the data provided by users in order to satisfy their preferences, needs and priorities and create a purchase path tailored to them. In this way, companies will increase the chances of potential customers converting into buyers.
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