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In 2017, the e-commerce industry surpassed its previous records and totaled its worldwide revenue to almost $2290 billion. The results are expected to improve by more than 19% this year. It implies that the expected market volume by the year 2021 will be a staggering $4479 billion. These numbers are quite self-explanatory of the remarkable growth of global e-commerce.

The importance of online sales continues to grow but for many businesses, keeping up with the e-commerce digital marketing trends is becoming a challenge. The days of earning double-digit growth in online sales percentage year by year have become a thing of past.

We have now evolved into an era of e-commerce marketing optimization. Businesses today need innovative strategies to maintain growth, which in turn is crucial for making their online presence persuasive and engaging.

Businesses need to invest more in learning about the latest marketing trends that work for their e-commerce business. Having a plan in place works as a guide for you towards your goal. It outlines and supports the core fundamentals of your business and helps define objectives, directions, and tactics that take your e-commerce business to the next level.

Why is marketing crucial for your e-commerce business

The first step is to recognize and accept that an online store is very different from a regular retail store. It does not have a physical location where it gets noticed by millions of potential customers.

An online e-commerce business is literally in the middle of nowhere. No passerby notices it or learns about what you have to offer. There is no recognition for your brand until you spread the word around.

Even people who prefer online shopping, more than 40% consumers directly check Amazon to start their product searches. Therefore, it is essential to be out there and raise your online brand awareness to engage more customers. By using meticulous marketing tactics, you can gain tons of benefits.

So before you jump to the latest e-commerce digital marketing trends and how to utilize them, here are the top reasons why you should consider it

  • From buying tickets for the movie to investing in real estate, everything can be done through online platform these days. The Internet has indeed changed our lives and made it more convenient and faster than ever. The strength of any e-commerce business is its visibility and strong internet presence. Internet marketing is particularly very beneficial for an e-commerce business and depends mainly on higher visibility to a larger population for growth and success.
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  • A properly optimized e-commerce website also improves its position on search engine results. It is indeed the most efficient way to reach a broader audience through search queries on major search engines like Bing and Google.
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  • Customer analytics is another great benefit, which helps you refine your marketing tactics as well as your products/services.

Marketing trends for your e-commerce business you can’t miss in 2018

In e-commerce, trends emerge from the shopping patterns of the customers – what they prefer and how they respond to marketing tactics implemented by businesses. The last decade has been remarkably evolving for e-commerce businesses.

Alibaba, Walmart, Amazon, and tons of other successful e-commerce businesses have been extremely efficient in adopting and utilizing these trends upfront.

To ensure 2018 is as great as 2017 for the e-commerce industry it’s essential that all the e-commerce businesses try keeping up with the marketing trends.

1. Programmatic and Contextual Advertising
Social media is already adopting the change in design required to adjust to these evolving new advertising trends. Programmatic advertising is a direct method of reaching an audience through information available in datasets. By using this method, the ads are shown particularly to the chosen audience based on their research and online shopping trends.

The ads are re-shown to the same audience every once a while to generate more ROI. The idea is to show the advertisement to the audience who would like to see and take an interest in what is shown to them. It is based on their previous preferences and consumption. This hot, new trend instantly improves the chances for e-commerce websites with their targeting efforts.

Programmatic advertising is even applicable in video advertising. The contextual advertisements are shown blended with the video content to make more sense to the audience. Such an advertisement does not seem intrusive to the audience and is likely to sell more.

Facebook has already readjusted its algorithm to cater to the businesses for advertising on this platform. Advertisers can now easily pick their specific audience to show relevant ads. The pattern is chosen by Facebook, which it smartly runs every time with the same audience.

2. Live broadcasting
Live advertisement or broadcasting can boost your organic views by 135% on Facebook alone. Live streaming is an essential feature of e-commerce business on various social media platforms. In fact, it has become a crucial tactic for building up a robust social media marketing strategy.

When you go live, all of your targeted audience and followers get a notification about it. This naturally draws their interest to check out your feed and see what you have to offer. By using live broadcasting method on different social media platforms and YouTube, you can announce the launch of new products/services, conduct demonstrations, host interviews, etc.

This method provides a raw platform to your audience to connect with you and have a conversation regarding your business by commenting, providing feedback, and asking questions in real time. This does not only encourage genuine two-way communication with your customer community but also emphasizes on accountability.

While the aim is to get more conversations, the live video gives you an excellent platform to do that through real conversations. You can instantly spark new ideas in your viewers and engage them with the content you have to share. Live broadcasting also gives you an opportunity to portray absolute authenticity, which is valued today more than ever before.

3. Marketing automation
Previously, marketing automation was a term used specifically for automatic scheduling of social media posts and email marketing.

Today, it has a much more comprehensive concept and has become a new digital marketing trend that holds significant benefits for e-commerce businesses. Today, marketing automation covers areas like easy-to-access shopping carts and even customized landing pages on the website.

If utilized in its best sense, marketing automation can help you with:

  • Easy connection with your audience through tailored emails for each customer.
  • Retargeting customers to boost product sales.
  • Displaying new launches, promotions, and deals based on the shopping history of the visitor.

Automation helps you with customizing what your store offers for each of your customers based on their interests. Moreover, the previous shopping history, items present in the cart but not yet purchased, and keywords in the search bar are some common ways your marketing automation works to customize the online store’s offerings.

4. True North Metric
This year, the digital marketing world will see a massive shift towards ‘organizational experimentation’ from ‘conversion optimization.’ Experimentation does not only broaden the organizational focus, but it’s also a mindset that changes the approach of traditional markers towards innovative and successful marketing tactics.

True North Metric is considered as one of the most essential and influential optimization champions this year. The idea is to pay more attention to the growth metric of any organization.

Using experimentation as a marketing strategy for e-commerce business means that your experimental program will cover the ideas revolving around different departments to achieve the cross-pollination of ideas about what factors are put to the test.

This experimental program leads to new success metrics, which you further utilize to focus on the growth metric of your organization.

But how do you figure out which factor drives growth in your business when the results show you various possibilities and tons of data?

For most businesses, the most important metric that improves the overall growth structure is usually ‘customer loyalty.’ The focus of the True North Metric is then diverted towards this factor to improve customers’ lifetime value instead of just focusing on a one-time conversion.

The following are a few True North Metrics for some more prominent names in the industry:

  • ‘longer sessions per user’ – Google
  • ‘increased numbers of nights booked’ – Airbnb
  • ‘frequency of orders over time’ – Subway

5. Artificial Intelligence (AI) revolution

Artificial intelligence is and will remain a hot word in digital marketing today and the years to come. AI, however, is creating a lot of curiosity amongst marketers. It is the chatbot of the marketing trend, and that’s exactly how it will be implemented.

Marketers are using chatbots for making customer service useful and memorable. These smart bots have a personality of their own, which they use to interact with customers. Their program ensures they offer personalized service to customers based on their preferences.

The ‘Whole Foods’ messenger chatbot on Facebook is a great example of it. The bot doesn’t only help you in looking for the right ingredients but also helps you with recommendations. The customer simply clicks on the ingredient and get recipe recommendations.

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The language learning process and machine learning also help the program to adapt FAQs. In short, it tends to get smarter as more people start interacting with it. And with more than 1.2 billion users on Messenger, there’s no way it’s going to fail.

6. Improved shipping options
Enhance the way you deliver your products to your customers and earn their loyalty. Improved delivery service is a great way to attract customers. Nevertheless, logistics and shipping are areas noted to be stagnated in previous years.

People tried to make improvements, but nothing extraordinary could happen until 2013. Eventually, the idea of safe and efficient delivery became mainstream. In fact, Amazon took it to the next level and introduced drone deliveries in USA. The service is still in its testing phase. The program uses Google Maps to discover the destination and the most suitable route.

The trend will grow as technology evolves, and soon delivery drones will become an imperative component of business delivery.

7. Voice search
Voice search is one of the best ways to optimize content for e-commerce stores. Google has released new guidelines according to which more textual content should be programmed in paragraph form. This helps the content to appear in knowledge graph and rich snippets.

Many businesses incorporate pictures and tables in content. However, websites fail to garner any benefit from such actions. On the other hand, if there are voice-enabled buttons, it can lead to more conversions from smart speakers. This is indeed a tremendous digital marketing trend for e-commerce businesses.

NorthFace, Amazon, and other well-known brands have implemented e-commerce voice assistance to receive orders from users directly through smart speakers.

8. Emotional marketing
The most common forms of emotional marketing methods one can use include behavioral economics, neuromarketing, and marketing psychology.

This year, these terms will pop up more frequent due to their effectiveness in digital e-commerce marketing. No matter which type you use, the focus remains the same: emotion.

Richard Thaler, a behavioral economist, won the Nobel Prize in 2017 for proving that people do not have a rational approach when it is about decision-making. He emphasized how emotions play a significant role in inciting actions. According to his theory consumes decisions – both purchases related and financial – are not based on calculation or logic.

The trend is changing towards the non-conscious factors to focus on emotion. While it is essential to talk about benefits and features, it isn’t enough to close the sale. Thus, adopting the change is important.

Use the different tools such as framing, anchoring priming, and social proof to make offers more attractive and conversions more likely. For e-commerce marketing, emotions are much more than just a consideration now.

9. Growth marketing
Growth marketing encourages a shift from traditional marketing methods to focus more on the growth required for strategic mindset and technical knowledge. It improves customer experience as a result of marketing success.

This brings back Brick and Mortar models back in action, but virtually. These new retail stores focus on offering a personalized digital experience to customers without really producing or storing any inventory.

The perfect example for this is a real estate business. Clients now can check the 3D version of the property or the housing society without really going on-site. These services are available within a real estate outlet.

Virtual reality is an excellent way for e-commerce business to attract customers. It is an extraordinary step towards growth marketing for 2018.

Things to note

Our marketing methods are continually evolving. To stay on top of your game, it is crucial that you adopt the changes and keep up with the marketing trends. E-commerce businesses are here to stay. In fact, they will only become better and prevalent. Your focus should be on improving your customer experience to improve sales.

As an e-commerce owner, one must gain as much information on this as possible to embrace the tends that are more valuable and suitable for your business model. This list offers you everything you need to know!

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