2021 was a year of radical change for the digital transformation of retail spaces. Today, in-person shopping is back, but ecommerce marketing remains a necessity for brands to succeed. Consumers expect a seamless online shopping experience; here are 8 things they want from your brand in 2022.
1. On-Site User-Generated Content (UGC)
UGC gives your brand’s team a clear notion of your service’s effects on the ground and provides you with content that your audience can trust. Heavily edited professional photography is no longer mainstream on ecommerce websites; consumers today want to see your products in action, being used and loved by real people just like them.
Radio Flyer showcases UGC with Pixlee TurnTo, featuring videos and images of real customers across its website and social media channels.
Luckily, social UGC can be automatically collected, published on your brand’s site, and analyzed with Pixlee TurnTo. While you’re saving time, money, and resources creating branded content by replacing it with authentic community media, you can also keep tabs on how your community talks about your brand and what products they’re loving.
2. Investment in Influencer Marketing — Beyond Social
Studies show that 49% of all ecommerce customers base their purchasing decision on an influencer’s recommendation. Thus, it would be harmful to miss out on the trend. Your strategy should include the influencers that create content related to your industry and maintain an engaged, loyal audience — not just the ones with high following counts. In fact, micro-influencers are growing in popularity today because of their ability to connect with their own unique audience and influence their purchasing decisions.
It’s important to remember that the content created by influencers you work with doesn’t have to stay on the social media platform they post it on. Consider featuring influencer content across your ecommerce website to provide inspiration and social proof at every step of the customer journey.
A good case study is Leonisa, a global innerwear brand that used Pixlee TurnTo influencer marketing to boost its brand through influencer marketing. The company reported nearly double the purchase rate and a 46% increase in audience retention.
3. Tailoring the Shopping Experience to Each Customer
With ecommerce, the absence of a customer’s physical presence poses a significant hurdle. Yet, you can close the gap and maintain a DTC model by increasing personalization. This involves going beyond anniversary/birthday offers and loyalty programs.
Statistics show that 66% of all customers expect the company to understand their needs. Despite that, most ecommerce websites offer multiple categories containing hundreds if not thousands of product listings.
Instead of overwhelming each visitor, prompt them on their areas of interest and types of products.You can apply this to your email campaigns as well. Pretty soon, you may observe an increase in the click-through rate for your website.
Apparel brand Windsor lets site visitors log into their account to view personalized recommendations. Anonymous visitors can also filter the brand’s on-site UGC gallery by occasion and category to find the best product for their needs.
4. Optimizing Content for Social Commerce
Windsor takes its UGC gallery a step further by making Instagram content from its community shoppable on its website. Though many brands today take advantage of the in-platform selling features that channels like Instagram and Facebook offer, only a fraction bring this element of social selling to their ecommerce websites.
UGC carousels and galleries can be made shoppable within the Pixlee TurnTo platform once you upload your ecommerce product catalog. Then, sales can be mapped back to specific pieces of content to help your brand determine what types of creators and images to focus on.
Creating opportunities for site visitors to browse community picks and authentic images while providing a clear path to purchase is likely to have a positive impact on conversion and time spent on-site.
5. Highlighting a Sustainable Supply Chain
Various media outlets covered the pollution and human rights issues that unfortunately existed within many high-profile ecommerce businesses. As a result, most customers and influencers remain far away from ecommerce sites with a shady sourcing record or lack of pollution checks.
For Delta, transparency with the brand’s community about fuel efficiency and emissions is a crucial part of its marketing strategy.
If your ecommerce business practices eco-friendly methods such as disposable packaging, mentioning it can earn some brownie points for public perception. Additionally, you can increase quality recruitment and CTR for your website if you publish personnel testimonials giving an unbiased review of their working conditions.
6. Providing Accurate Updates for Every Delivery
According to studies, tracking notifications are helpful for customers. The open rate of such notifications is as high as 80%. It is easy to plan for an extended duration for any delivery. Yet, writing a press release for any potential audience addressing the supply chain issue is a PR nightmare. In its place, you can use the opportunity to build trust in your existing customers.
Incorporate real-time order tracking with every delivery. If your customers know the status of their package, they are more likely to visit your website to place more orders. You need not provide the exact GPS coordinates, just the approximate location, so the consumer remains aware of any unscheduled changes.
Annie Selke’s order tracking page provides expected delivery date, a space to leave a review, account details, and a carousel of customer UGC to inspire future shopping.
7. “Try Before You Buy” Experiences
Beyond the traditional “try before you buy” model of actually sending a product to a customer for trial, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality constitute the emerging techs that almost any e-commerce website can wield to its benefit, especially when it comes to try-on services. VR seems more futuristic, with all the talk of Metaverse going around. However, AR is much easier to pull off and remains more accessible for now.
Maui Jim and other sunglass brands introduced an AR feature allowing shoppers to virtually try on a pair of shades during 2020’s closure of retail stores.
You can use any AR software available online for your e-commerce website. Adobe’s AR tool is a promising option, which combines multiple goods in a single view. Although it remains in the testing phase, the technology shows excellent potential for e-commerce websites that desire accuracy in a three-dimensional space.
8. Exploring Emerging Payment Modes
As per the statistics, over 68% of Gen-Z users want P2P payment options on their favorite e-commerce site. You can further offer the customers more opportunities to make their checkout process less restrictive. Modify your website’s payment page to include cryptocurrencies, and you’ll notice a better conversion rate within a few weeks.
If you can iron out the creases, a postpaid service can drive substantial traffic to your website. You cannot directly charge a customer during the purchase but build their credit over several days. The customer gets ample time to make payments and a robust return policy.
The ecommerce landscape is evolving rather quickly. Some trends and mechanisms come and go within days, and can be challenging to keep up with. A refined experience that builds long-term relationships between brands and customers should be your underlying goal as you implement these strategies for success.
Antonio Gabric is a co-founder of SaaSmatic, an agency specializing in growing small SaaS companies through hyper-personalized link building. When he is not working on marketing strategies, you can find him on his motorbike exploring the world.
Pixlee TurnTo Contributor
Pixlee TurnTo welcomes contributed content from leading marketers, influencers and ecommerce experts.