While COVID-19 has negatively affected many aspects of life with brick-and-mortar stores closing down, it seems to benefit the e-commerce sector. According to Statistica, e-commerce sales rose by 6% on average across online platforms in the first quarter of 2020.
The aforementioned figure is great news for online businesses. However, the pandemic has pushed many businesses online which is an indication of tougher competition. The number of businesses and ecommerce specialists that you will be or are competing with to get customer’s attention has also increased.
To stay ahead of the game, it pays to have an idea about what will trend in ecommerce marketing throughout this COVID-19 pandemic.
In this article, we will share 8 of the marketing trends that ecommerce specialists are expecting to see this 2021.
If your target is the local market, big SEM companies highly recommend you to start learning about local SEO if you haven’t yet.
Here’s why: Mobile searches for the phrase “near me” that contains “to buy” or “I can buy” grew over 500%. This statistic is an indication that consumers searching the internet for local businesses is now more prevalent than ever before. And you wouldn’t want to miss this opportunity.
One of the ways to improve your local SEO is by creating a Google My Business account. Besides, according to Moz, Google My Business remains the leading driver of local SEO success.
Google My Business is a free local business listing service provided by Google. However, only businesses with some form of face-to-face interaction with their customers can take advantage of it. So if you're a 100% online marketing company, this will do you no good.
The aforementioned tool will help you manage how your business will appear on searches. You can add NAP details, photos, opening hours, etc. With a Google My Business account, your business will more likely appear on the search page once a customer searches for a place near them. Just make sure to complete the verification process and always update your business profile when needed.
It is important to note, however, that Google My Business isn’t a holy grail in local SEO. You still have to put effort into on- and off-site SEO practices.
As a precaution to the COVID-19 pandemic, various governments across the globe have imposed lockdowns in their states and cities. People were required to stay at home for safety, which increased social media usage.
Well, the increase in social media usage isn’t surprising since social media such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok gives us an engaging way to pass the time, stay connected, and find entertainment when we have nowhere to go.
Consumers are on social media platforms. So there’s no reason not to include social media marketing in your marketing strategy.
However, it is crucial to remember that while social media platforms offer many opportunities to reach new audiences and attract new customers, these are also treacherous places. You probably have already heard about the cancel culture, which can wreak havoc in a business. To be canceled means to be collectively targeted for boycott or backlash. And no ecommerce marketing agency in their right mind wants that to happen.
Here’s a tip to avoid cancel culture: always review any content before posting and regularly audit any automated ads. Of course, that is not everything but we cannot cover all canceled culture-related information in this article.
Also, it’s crucial to remain transparent and real. Netizens will scrutinize your posts or content more closely than ever. It would be a problem if they perceive your content or found out it wasn’t real.
Voice search isn’t new, and we are expecting it to be one of the marketing trends to happen throughout this pandemic.
It seems like voice search is becoming the new way of searching online specifically for mobile users. According to Google, 27% of global online users are utilizing voice search.
Meanwhile, Adobe Analytics reports that among the most common activities of mobile users using voice search is online search (47%). Also, 58% of consumers use voice search to look for local small businesses.
Ecommerce specialist have been incorporating voice search marketing in their marketing mix for a while now. And there’s no doubt the trend will continue even during the pandemic. Besides, consumers these days are gradually looking for convenience. And convenience is one of the perks of using voice search.
Below are some tips to help you optimize for voice search:
Another trend that ecommerce Specialist should know about during the pandemic is video marketing.
Just like the other trends in this list, this marketing strategy has been around for quite a while now. And it’s not going off anytime soon. We’re expecting it to grow more with the introduction of new video streaming platforms.
In addition to YouTube, there is Twitch which is mainly used by gamers. And we cannot ignore the meteoric rise of the short form, video-sharing application called TikTok.
Also, it has been predicted that online consumers will likely spend a hundred minutes per day watching online videos this year. It’s not unlikely to happen given the change in people’s lifestyles since the pandemic.
With tons of negative events, online videos became a positive antidote for many people. Video connects people to the discovery of services and products during the time of forced isolation.
To that end, ecommerce specialist will continue incorporating videos in their online advertising strategies.
With that being said, here are some tips you may want to keep in mind in terms of video marketing during the pandemic.
If you are advertising for an online shop, you probably have encountered the problem of businesses related to cart abandonment.
Potential customers visit a website, find a product they like, add it to their cart, and then leave. The item remains in the cart, never to be purchased.
It's a lost business opportunity.
To minimize the risk of instances like car abandonment, Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) can be of big help.
If you don’t know what CRO means, well, it’s a strategy of turning your website visitors into paying customers. It’s all about getting the most out of your website traffic. And it could be a practice that specialists would adopt during the pandemic.
If you are into CRO, here are some tips you may want to keep in mind:
On different social media platforms, some individuals rise to fame. Some have successfully acquired the attention of not only thousands of individuals but millions. With such wide coverage, it’s no surprise that businesses started reaching out to these individuals to help promote their products/services.
And it works! Industry surveys say that 80% of ecommerce specialist find this marketing strategy effective.
It also delivers a massive increase in ROI. According to different social media agencies, influencer marketing content provides 11 times higher ROI than traditional means of digital marketing.
Influencer marketing delivers many benefits other than high revenue - improved audience engagement (influencers usually have highly engaged audiences), and less overall marketing costs (you can repurpose influencer-created content).
If you want to embrace this trend and reap the benefits during this pandemic, here are some ways to help you get started:
Another digital marketing strategy that has already been around for a while but has just gotten quite popular is customer segmentation.
The idea behind this marketing strategy is to create and run smaller marketing campaigns tailored for specific groups of individuals or audiences instead of targeting general audiences.
You will group your target audience by certain behaviors or traits like shopping habits or demographics and create marketing content that will suit the preferences of the target group.
Take note that modern customers like personalized experiences, and by customer segmentation, you’ll be able to provide their demand. And if your customer is happy, so is your business.
But segmentation is not an easy task. You’ll need to accumulate data from trusted sources, which can take months to complete as well as a massive resource. The challenge has become tougher with the outbreak of COVID-19 which has disrupted the economy and has changed consumer’s purchasing behavior. Segmentation that was created before the pandemic has lost its usefulness.
Despite the challenges, this strategy will remain a crucial element in an e-commerce marketer’s toolbox.
So how can you possibly practice segmentation if it is quite difficult?
The answer is flexibility.
Flexible segmentation will enable you to capture your audience's desires and interests across geographic boundaries without months of research, hundreds of surveyors, and millions of dollars. On top of that, it is not easily derailed by unforeseen disruptions since it relies on real-time data.
You can also get insight into customer behavior from social media and customer data platforms without having to wait for many months.
Last but not the least, we should look into the possibilities that Zoom will bring.
Zoom is a video conferencing tool that has become in demand out of pure necessity since the beginning of COVID-19.
In January 2021, the said application ranked 4th in the most downloaded non-gaming applications. Well, it is thanks to almost everybody relying on virtual meetings including educators and other professionals who started working from home since the pandemic.
In terms of how the application can be used in your marketing firm, well you can record Zoom meetings and use them as marketing collaterals. You can repurpose Zoom-hosted webinars, for instance, or customer testimonials.
We’ll admit. This article does not cover every possible trend that would emerge during this trying time.
But hopefully, this list will provide you with an idea about where you can invest your resources and efforts.
What trend do you think you will start incorporating in your marketing mix?
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