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4 eCommerce Marketing Trends Merchants Can't Ignore

4 eCommerce Marketing Trends Merchants Can't Ignore

by John Larkin

John runs the blog here at eCommerceLift and is a verified Shopify Expert. Interested in an initial growth consultation? Click here

8 years ago

4 eCommerce Marketing Trends Merchants Can't Ignore

How do you spend your day? Scouring Twitter feeds for of-the-moment crazes, investing time in passing fads, sacrificing sleep for fear of missing out? No, you simply don’t have time for trends. It’s good news then, that the makers and breakers of 2014 will provide a better experience for your customers.

We’ve identified the so-called-trends that can enhance your search, sales and social savviness. Meet the super four that can impact your bottom line, loyalty and longevity. 

Content is Kind of Essential

You want your website to get found, right? Well a little Hummingbird tells us that you might have to rethink your SEO. As you know, Google have recently announced some big changes to their algorithm, but what does this mean for your business? Put simply, less keyword stuffing and more focus on quality content creation. There are no shortcuts to producing content worth reading. But we bet the benefits will prove worthy of your time.

Why Should I Listen?

  • Propel Sales: 57% of marketers have gained new customers through blogging (Brafton), while product videos make 52% of online shoppers more confident to buy (Indivo). 
  • Become an Influencer: Creating quality content can help you become an expert in your field. 
  • Increase Engagement: 48% of marketers say their content efforts result in customer engagement (Skyward). 
  • Rank Higher: Google has revealed that it prefers meatier content (1200-2000 word posts). Google Authorship is set to play a big part too in determining quality. 

What Can I Do?

There is so much you can do. Think regular blog posts, unique product descriptions, newsletters with helpful tips, product videos, infographics and presentations. Yes, content creation can take time but there’s no need to get overwhelmed by the possibilities. Stay calm, choose the most suitable channels for your customers, brainstorm a few ideas and start planning a content calendar today.

To maximise the benefits of your content why not repurpose it? A popular blog post can make a great SlideShare presentation, for example. And all it takes is a few clever tweaks. Also, consider guest bloggers or user generated content to ramp up your distribution and save you valuable time.

eCommerce Example

Whipping + Post, a purveyor of fine vintage goods, are master content crafters who know the strength of a powerful story. They have their own blog, in which they keep customers updated with new product lines, funny anecdotes, customer stories and photos. In addition, their product pages are filled with rich storytelling from quality images and unique descriptions to video integration. They use multimedia to make the shopping experience more engaging. Always a plus in the marketing world.

The Mobile Movement

In 2014 you have a responsibility to get responsive. And we’re not just talking mobile-friendly. Your site should be mobile-optimised to the absolute max. Think seamless and responsive designs, barely-there loading times and intuitive layouts. Aim for a fool-proof mobile site - one so simple that customers forget they’re even browsing.

Why Should I Listen?

  • Reach Buyers: Consumers spend nearly 60% of their Internet time on their mobile devices (Marketing Land). 
  • Make Money: 63% of tablet owners and 39% of mobile owners have made a mobile purchase (eMarketer).
  • Influence Action: 70% of mobile searches lead to action on websites within one hour (iAcquire).  
  • Get Found: 50% of mobile searchers use their mobile device at the start of the search process (Mobile-Path-to-Purchase).

What Can I Do?

First and foremost, you’ll need to tailor your content to readers on the go. Not already optimised? Check out ShoutEm, an awesome app that allows you to turn your Shopify website into an, um.. app. As well as being able to customise its look, you can quickly create exclusive deals and offers. Perfect for mobile marketing to your customers.

Should you be mobile marketing? Well, according to iMedia Connection mobile ads perform four to five times better than desktop ads. With so many searches taking place on the go and so few companies embracing mobile marketing, it might be time to take advantage of Google Mobile Ads. You could also consider a ‘click to call’ feature that allows your customer to instantly reach you. 

eCommerce Example:

Pure Fix Cycles offer a clean and intuitive mobile experience for their customers. Their responsive design provides plenty of space for stunning photos and videos that really showcase their products. Their mobile site is simple to navigate with a pop-out side menu that contains links to their bikes, accessories, blog, contact page and more. And the homepage is easy to scroll, allowing customers to quickly access desirable sections like ‘Shop by Size’ and ‘Products on Sale’. 

Personalised Experiences

Your customers are getting tired of your one-size-fits-all marketing efforts. It all just seems so, well impersonal. They’re frustrated with the endless stream of online ads selling things they don’t want or need. In 2014 customers want relevant experiences tailored to their individual desires. Why not adopt the approach of a local shop and provide customers with great service combined with the personal touch? It could result in happier and more engaged shoppers.

Why Should I Listen?

  • Engage Customers: 74% of marketers say that personalization increases customer engagement (Econsultancy). 
  • Gain a USP: Only 29% of marketers today invest in website personalization and use of behavior-based data (ExactTarget). 
  • Happy Customers: 74% of online consumers get frustrated with websites when content (e.g., offers and ads) appears that has nothing to do with their interests (Janrain). 

What Can I Do?

Analyse your customer research and data. Then think of ideas that can provide value to your customers and make them feel appreciated. Start with simpler tasks like adding personal names to emails, segmentation, setting up wishlists where shoppers can add their favourite items and creating targeted suggestions that group similar products together.

Once you've mastered the basics, you can try something a little more unique. Think of how you can you make your customers feel a part of your mission and community. Could that involve an interactive game, a targeted geographic location strategy or a simple shout-out on your social media site? 

eCommerce Example

Modcloth is an online store that sells inspiring fashion and decor. Not only do they provide opportunities to make aspiring designers’ dreams a reality, they also let customers become their very own buyer with a fun and interactive game. It’s called ‘Be the Buyer.’ Users click the left or right arrows to view a range of exciting and upcoming clothing items. The aim is to select ‘Pick It’ or Skip It’ depending on whether they like the item or not. Modcloth then put the best-loved clothes into production, showing their customers that their opinions matter.

Frictionless Shopping

Have you ever been annoyed by a complicated checkout process or a website that lacked information about buying? So annoyed in fact that you decided to abandon your cart and maybe the website altogether? Frictionless buying is all about creating a seamless experience for your customers. In essence, it’s about removing any annoying element that might get in the way of buying. Your job? Ensure that customer expectations are met, benefits are clearly articulate and needs are satisfied quickly and conveniently.

Why Should I Listen?

Reduce Abandoned Carts: 67.91% of online shopping carts are abandoned (Baymard Institute).  
Make Money: 59% of shoppers believe that easy navigation is one of the most important factors influencing them to buy while 57% give credit to an easy checkout process (Chain Store).
Return Customers: If customers find your checkout process easy the first time they’re more likely to return.   

What Can I Do?

Try not to force shoppers to register and create an account. If creating an account is a must, keep the fill-out form as short as possible. And ensure that your shipping, security and delivery information is clearly displayed. If a potential customer needs to search for important information about their buy, you risk them leaving.

You’d be mad to present them with unexpected delivery costs at the checkout process. Remember, a frustrated shopper is always one step away from abandoning their cart. If possible offer different payment methods and refund solutions. Your customer needs three things from you: peace of mind, trust and answers. Give them what they want and get what you want.

eCommerce Example

Meet the fuss-free checkout. Sugarfina are a super-sweet online candy boutique who sure know their customer-friendly design. Their interface is intuitive and beautifully presented throughout. Before the customer completes their purchase they are offered useful information like gift wrapping options, attractive discounts and shipping information. When the customer clicks on ‘Shipping Info’ every question they could possibly have is answered. And in a well-laid out and visual manner too. From exact delivery timeframes and methods down to detailed costs and package presentation. 

So it seems that the trends of 2014 could mean big business for you and a great experience for your customers. Do you have any tips of your own you’d like to add? We’d love to hear your ideas. 


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