With the rapid changes in technology and the ever-shifting digital landscape, it’s important for ecommerce marketers to regularly reexamine and refresh marketing strategies and tactics. When it comes to ecommerce, strategies are changing in response to both innovations in tech and the preferences of today’s customers. With a large portion of the customer base skewing younger, brands are adjusting their tactics to reach Millennials and Gen Z customers more than ever before and with these 10 ecommerce marketing strategies, brands can succeed in 2019 and beyond.
1. Employ Integrated Social and In-Store Shopping Experiences
While Millennials are still a key segment, Gen Z consumers are coming into the spotlight and, for this younger generation of consumers, a strong social media presence and lifestyle affinities are the tactics that work best to drive purchases.
Omnichannel marketing is about providing an overall customer experience that is seamless and gives the customers what they want. With an omnichannel marketing strategy, brands can reach consumers wherever they are with a holistic approach that is centered around the customer experience. To effectively attract new generations who highly value experiences, omnichannel marketing is a must.
A shoppable Instagram can help brands gather data on customer interactions and transactions, schedule posts, and monitor trends.
2. Take Your Storefronts Social
It’s no surprise that a large percentage of purchase are now made online, which is great news for the ecommerce sector. But the traditional, static website with a product list is no longer the most effective way to drive sales online. Enter the social storefront. Social storefronts combine the power of social media with an ecommerce store.Social storefronts help harness the power of social media and use it to drive sales. With the amount of user-generated content available on social media and the impact it has on engagement, social storefronts will only become more popular in 2019.
3. Remember that Email Marketing Matters
While some people may think email marketing is leaning old school, it doesn’t have to. Email is still one of the top ways consumers receive information. That doesn’t mean your email marketing tactics should stay static. Figure out what works on social media to make your email more engaging and combine personalization and automation to put data to work.
For ecommerce companies, an abandoned cart can be treated as an opportunity with automation and personalization. Send the customer a personalized email reminding them to complete their purchase to drive conversions.
4. Lean into Your Social Media Audience
Like everything else online, social media trends are constantly evolving. What’s clear is that social media isn’t going anywhere. With younger generations that are digitally native, having an active, well-rounded social media strategy and presence is key for brands to succeed.
Engagement and leveraging influencers (particularly micro-influencers) are important elements for an effective strategy, along with telling real stories. User-generated content in the form of photos and videos is some of the most engaging content across social platforms.
Social media should tie heavily towards community-driven initiatives. Community marketing is essential to successful ecommerce strategies. In 2019, brands can better leverage their communities to boost brand loyalty, anticipate emerging trends, generate more UGC, and find the right influencers for their audience.
5. Press Play on Video Marketing
Video is quickly becoming one of the most popular forms of content and social platforms are going the extra mile to boost video posts. Video marketing is a great tool for brands since it can be used across different channels and mediums--from social posts to email, to landing pages. Unboxing videos and product demos are a natural fit for ecommerce videos and can help answer questions and overcome any purchasing anxiety a potential customer has.
This includes branded videos, stories on platforms like Instagram and Facebook, and live streaming. To get the most out of videos, make sure they’re optimized for mobile and consider including captions to reach users who watch with the sound off or need accessible options.
When it comes to online galleries, adding a video can create a stickier ecommerce experience by showing off products in new ways and giving customers insight into product details.
Just as brands should incorporate shopping features into all social posts, videos should also be optimized to drive sales. Instagram allows brands users to click on look at products in a video, and brands can encourage to swipe up to a landing page on Instagram Stories.
6. Use Retargeting Ads Effectively
Retargeting helps marketers target users who have previously visited their site(s). Then, personalized content can be delivered to these users based on the pages and products they have viewed. Retargeting ads can be used to drive customers to your site through content ads, generate leads by providing valuable content, or drive them to purchase a product with direct purchase ads.
If a buyer has visited a brand’s site and viewed a product, there’s a good chance they’re motivated to make a purchase and can be converted with a little encouragement. Retargeting ads are also a great place to leverage user-generated content (UGC), which receives up to 4x higher click-through rates with a 50% drop in the cost-per-click.
7. Get Better at Content Marketing with Data and AI
Content marketing is a cornerstone of every successful marketing strategy. In 2019, content marketing will be shaped by improvements in artificial intelligence (AI). With AI, marketers can gather more detailed data and use that to shape their content marketing strategy to better target customers and segment their audience more effectively.
AI can be used to sift through enormous amounts of data, draw relevant insights into customer behavior, and then develop ecommerce best practices. For example, AI can sift through user-generated content (UGC) and then select the images that would perform the best in shoppable galleries based on criteria such as image quality, lighting, and emotional content. AI can also help brands better personalize content by testing out and ranking posts in real-time.
The strategy piece is key to content marketing. An editorial calendar is a great start, but if you’re pushing content out with no real strategy, you can only get so far. 63% of businesses don’t have a content marketing strategy--be the other 37%.
8. When in Doubt: Get Personal
Today’s consumers crave authenticity from the brands they purchase from and the companies they follow. They want to feel connected with brands and they want to be treated like human beings. Advancements in technology and in marketers’ ability to learn more about their audience ties in directly to creating more personalized buyer journeys and overall experiences.
In practice, this means that shoppable galleries, emails, and social advertisements can be personalized to appeal to specific demographics and even customers based on previous shopping patterns and preferences.Brands such as Dollar Shave Club to Away Luggage to Caspers are already using personalization to drive conversion rates and humanize the shopping experience.
By creating personalized and dynamic experiences, brands do more than drive sales, they can forge real connections with customers to drive loyalty and growth. Creating content and end-to-end experiences that appeal to customers personally and create genuine connections.
9. Uplevel Your Influencer Management
Building trust is more important than ever before and influencers play an important role in providing social proof. However, the types of influencers consumers are likely to trust have shifted. 84% of consumers trust online peer reviews as much as they trust recommendations from friends.
This is where every day and micro-influencers can provide real benefit for brands. Micro-influencers have high engagement because they feel more authentic and more like friends than a celebrity endorsement. With influencers as with anything else, transparency is key.
10. Go Authentic: Highlight Customer Feedback
With their search for authenticity, more and more consumers are seeking out social proof for products and services before making a purchase. Social proof can take a few forms, but a critical element is customer feedback and reviews. Customers feel more secure in their purchasing decision after viewing real, user-generated reviews.
Most customers want to provide feedback and potential customers want to know what real people think of a product they are interested in buying. Feature customer reviews at the cart validation stage and alongside products in the ecommerce store to provide social proof.
For ecommerce marketers in 2019, driving conversions is only part of the overall strategy. Use personalization and omnichannel marketing to create a unified, end-to-end customer experience. Leverage user-generated content for retargeting ads, social storefront, videos, customer reviews, and more to provide social proof and authenticity.