With 2018 coming to a close, we’re wrapping up a year of great e-commerce success. With online stores such as Shopify taking over the e-commerce market, we haven’t even reached our potential. With this in mind, there’s a lot to look forward to, such as new digital marketing strategies and e-commerce marketing trends for 2019.
Chatbot applications offer the best of both worlds – it’s cost effective and more productive than other customer support services. Normally, small and medium e-commerce brands have limited resources – manpower and budget.
To mount an effective customer support system, these brands are forced to outsource to call centers, which is a huge financial burden on the brand. Then again, e-commerce brands can’t just ignore customer support or an effective tool for customer interaction.
People have taken to e-commerce as fish takes to water, but old habits die hard. We still need a sales assistant to answer important product and sales questions. For customers, the ‘Offline’ status on the chat tool is a real put off.
In this highly competitive, still expanding e-commerce market, what can you do to stand out and make a personal connection with the customers? The answer is simple; make chatbot technology an integral part of your marketing plan for 2019.
The use of AI in e-commerce doesn’t start and end with chatbots. This technology is already revolutionizing the e-retail landscape and its involvement in enhancing the shopping experience of both buyers and sellers is only set to grow in the coming years.
Are marketers required to learn behavioral psychology to understand customer behavior? Well, you don’t have to. AI algorithms can do the job quicker and better than any human. Already e-commerce companies are using AI to analyze huge amounts of data to understand customer behavior and ascertain their likes and dislikes.
Based on the findings of the AI tools, companies can recommend products and even content for their customers. Amazon has already benefited from the integration of AI technology. There is more, artificial intelligence can also greatly benefit the sellers. AI tools can help the sellers decide high-demand stocks, assist in inventory management, and streamline warehouse operations.
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
There are some who question the use of virtual reality and augmented reality in e-commerce. VR and AR haven’t really set the floor on fire, they say. We’re here to clear their doubts and put things into perspective.
Consumers are now readily accepting new technologies that save time, simplify the daily chores, and make life easier. A survey with 560 respondents revealed that 72% were willing to use virtual reality technology for their shopping needs and 58% believed that VR would revolutionize e-commerce. In addition, more than four-fifths of the survey participants expressed their interest in using virtual reality platforms.
The above-mentioned stats must be enough for any marketer to add VR, and its sister technology AR (Augmented Reality), to their list of things to focus in 2019. For those, who are not yet convinced, here are ways the technology is impacting e-commerce.
Retailers can enhance the shopping experience of customers by building virtual showrooms. A virtual showroom allows the buyers to walk around the supermarket and pick the items on their shopping list. The interesting part is that people can visit the supermarket without leaving their house.
Having to return the T-shirt because it is too small can sour the shopping experience. AR tools used by certain e-commerce companies allow the customers to virtually try a product to ascertain its suitability.
Email Drip Campaign
Instead of presenting our opinion on this one, let us share the views of other marketers on the future of email marketing in e-commerce. From hundreds of responses 5 terms standout: Personalization, Automation, Artificial Intelligence, Content, and Data.
An email drip campaign is the combination of these 5 terms. Unlike an email blast, the drip campaign consists of automated emails, often personalized, that are sent to consumers based on their actions, search history, or certain events.
Why is the email drip campaign so important for the growth of e-commerce? Here are stats that’ll force you to adopt this marketing technique, if you’re not already using it.
Nearly 80% of all leads do not convert because they use other email techniques other than the drip campaign. Compared to other techniques, drips have 3x email CTR (Click Through Rate). Finally, drip email marketers spend just 33% of their campaign budget to drive 80% more sales.
It would be foolish to ignore a technique that you, I, and every marketer know to be the next big thing. Yes, the signs are all around us.
Web searchers were predominantly text-based until a few years ago, now up to 20% of all searches are voice-based. Experts predict this could become 50% to 60% by the end of this decade.
According to a study by OC&C Strategy Consultants, the new search channel is set to dominate e-commerce in the coming years. Currently, in the UK and US, sales figure from voice search alone stands at $2 billion. The study predicts this number to rise to $40 billion within the next 4 years.
Follow the lead of e-commerce giants such as Amazon, Walmart, Apple, and Google. They were quick to spot the growing inclination towards voice search, embraced the new channel, and are actively encouraging the customers to use the technology by introducing voice-only discount deals.
Bear in mind, the use of voice search will impact other marketing techniques as well. For example, instead of using one or two-word keywords, the terms you use should mimic the natural and conversational tone adopted by the customers.
We’re quite sure that social media will rightfully find a place in every other e-commerce prediction list for 2019. That’s because it has managed to bring nearly 80% of the world’s population into its fold. Furthermore, social media is still evolving and marketers are finding new and innovative ways to use SM platforms to drive traffic to e-commerce websites.
We can find people of all age groups, backgrounds, and preferences on social media. It’s still the best place to connect with prospective customers, engage with them, build a long-term relationship, and gain their trust and loyalty.
There are several new strategies to boost sales through social media platforms. An interesting new strategy is to bring the shop to the SM users, instead of taking them to the retailer website. This can be done using shoppable content.
Using shoppable content a customer can add the product described in an image, video, blog post, etc. directly to the shopping cart without leaving the social media site.
A recent study on social media usage reveals that people are spending less time on social media networks nowadays. So, what are they doing then? The latest stats on online behavior shows that more time is spent on watching videos than any other type of online content.
It looks like even search engine bots have a soft corner for video content. It’s believed that websites that have video content are ranked better and placed higher on search engine page results.
A Google report states that nearly half of all online shoppers search for product videos before visiting an e-commerce website. Previously consumers used to rely on reviews and guides, but the latest survey by Wyzowl has found that 79% of the buyers use videos to gather information about products.
Influencer marketing is such an old concept that we feel it’s imbibed in our genes. In life, we seek advice and wise counsel from friends, elders, and experts before making an important decision.
Similarly, before making a purchase decision we look up to experts and trusted individuals, popularly known as influencers, to guide us in the right direction.
In e-commerce, influencer marketing has been a popular strategy for the past several years. We’re quite confident that it’ll remain so for at least one more year.
Our optimism and faith in influencer marketing have only increased with time. That’s because, brands are bombarding consumers with advertisements of various kinds, day in and day out. With so much noise around, consumers often turn to opinions, reviews, and guides from trusted figures and subject-matter experts before they decide to part with their hard-earned money.
Your e-commerce marketing plan for 2019 is incomplete without influencer marketing. This technique will not only put your client on the map, but it’ll also help them build trust and credibility with their customers.
There are hundreds of other marketing techniques and concept, but these eight trends are sure to have a huge role in advancing the e-commerce industry in 2019.
So, what other technologies and trends will dominate e-commerce in the coming year. Please share your thoughts with us.