E-Commerce Growth Trends that you need to leverage in 2021
As the COVID pandemic continues to loom large in our respective lives, many industries have been forced to radically alter the manner in which they engage with customers and ultimately, do business. Perhaps the starkest contrast has been seen in the e-commerce sector. With traditional retail outlets forced, in many cases, to shut up shop for extended periods of time this year, more and more consumers have made the decision to go ‘online’ for the products or services they require. With a projected 57.2 million end users projected by the end of 2020 in the UK alone, the e-commerce space represents the single fastest growing market place for both B2B and B2C enterprises in the coming years.
E-Commerce and marketing, where to begin?
In the complex and nuanced world of e-commerce, every web store has one thing in common, they all want to drive traffic to their websites, increase conversions and ultimately, generate higher sales. But in a market place characterised by fierce competition, how do businesses make sure that those one-off buyers turn into loyal, repeat customers? Well, marketing strategy plays a key role. As a rule of thumb, a good e-commerce marketing strategy will combine a broad mix of channels, whether it be through social media, content-based marketing, paid ads or email marketing. This last one plays a really important role, helping you to develop nurture programs and making or breaking the customer experience of your leads. If you’re looking for information on how to automate these processes, browse our B2C offering page to check out the functionality that you could be employing on your own web store.
So we’ve had a brief look at the state of e-commerce today and some marketing channels that will boost your online visibility. Now let’s go through those 2021 trends we mentioned up top.
Automation in the E-Commerce space
Most of us have probably heard about marketing automation for B2B but does the same apply for B2C and e-commerce? The answer is a resounding yes! And watch out because this trend is only likely to grow. At its most basic, a marketing automation tool does everything it says on the tin, automated software processing most of the activities that a marketing team would be doing manually. This can encompass quite a wide variety of activities but for e-commerce purposes, it will usually centre around nurturing and scoring leads, email workflows and promotions, through social media for example.
Now you might be wondering why automated software plays such an important role for a web store. Much of it has to do with data. In order to run a successful marketing strategy in this sector, you need to keep on top of the vast quantities of consumer data you’ll be handling. In a nutshell, this means that you’ll require a database that’s capturing and storing your lead data and triggering activities based on the actions that your contacts take on your website. This gets to the heart of what we mean by automation, it’s simply a way of orchestrating actions on the thousands of contacts visiting your site and making sure that they are all being nurtured in the right manner, whether it be through welcome programs, push promotions or post purchase communications.
This one’s a no brainer. In the world of e-commerce, content is key but most importantly, it’s personalised content that’s going to drive the difference between you and the competition. Customers want to be treated as individuals and generating repeat business will largely hinge on your ability to make a consumer feel like they’re receiving promotions that are specific to them.
Luckily for you, personalisation strategies are still criminally underused by many e-commerce sites today with research suggesting that up to two thirds of sites have no such strategies in place. 75% of consumers won’t even open non-targeted campaigns so if you’re looking to really stand out from the competition, make sure you segment your data and deliver personalised content to every customer. As you begin to refine and enrich your data, you’ll then be able to start engaging those customers with dynamic content and fill your sales pipeline with the type of repeat purchasers that every B2C marketer dreams of!
And to round off our list of trends picked up during 2020, we examine the importance of the customer experience in the typical e-commerce journey. Customer experience has been floating around as an e-commerce buzzword for a while now and it’s something you should pay particular attention to as it’s considered a strong indicator of whether it turns that one-off purchase into a happy long-term customer.
So, what do we mean by customer experience? This should be the crux of what your marketing strategy aims to achieve, creating the optimal journey for your website visitors without introducing any roadblocks, so that from the moment they visit your webstore they are taken through to the products or services that they want to see and are guided through each phase with relevant promotions that are specific to their areas of interest. In essence, this involves having the correct data driven approach that takes that consumer through a welcome, nurture and post purchase program, in a manner that keeps them coming back for more. Having the right data and setting up relevant email workflows will play a big part on pulling this off, if you want to know more about how to create the optimal customer journey via your webstore, make sure you read our product brochure to get you e-commerce ready!