We asked a group of ecommerce
marketing experts for their
predictions about the trends that will
shape the industry in 2016.
Here's what they had to say
With so much digital whizzing by us everyday, millennials in particular are looking for
a digital detox and to share in real world experiences.
A brand that can offer more than just a product or service and that provides an
experiential element will be remembered and valued. This experience may be an
integral part of the brand or can be built into a marketing campaign.
Either way, the experience will most likely be documented and shared through social
channels such as Instagram, Snapchat or Whatsapp which brings it full circle back in to
the digital realm.
CEO, WOOL & THE GANG
It's all about the experience now.
I have a two-sided answer: what I predict will happen and what I think should happen.
I think we’ll continue to see the gradual rise in conversion rates on mobile web,
a trend which started in September 2014 with the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6plus.
Consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable in completing user journeys via mobile.
What should be happening is that companies are working hard to deliver excellent user
experiences via mobile web; however I don’t think this is happening enough.
Forget apps: most retailers don’t have the frequency of interaction with their customer to
make it worthwhile for the customer to download it and keep it.
DEPUTY HEAD OF E-COMMERCE, SCHUH
The allure of integrated commerce, community and content
has been calling digital retail for twenty years, and the time finally seems to have arrived to allow us to craft
exciting and new experiences.
From the merging of fashion media and commerce at Net-A-Porter and MatchesFashion, or the storm of user
generated content from GoPro users to the extraordinary interiors content at Houzz or our own community
of makers at LoveCrafts, blending media, retail and social engagement opens up new opportunities and
deepens the relationship with your audience.
Jeff Bezos has it right: twenty years later it really is Still Day One -
it will be exciting to see what kind of amazing digital experiences can be
built knitting content and community around commerce.
There are a million products that help you with the mechanics of web
optimisation. That is, to help you test out a bunch of stuff.
But there are very few methods that help you with what to test.
This is an important point - if you're testing out two crappy things, and one
wins, it's not the best - it's just the least crap!
Advanced technologies can help you predict what to test now (mine is one of
them) and this is key. In controlled variant spaces (like product
recommendations or email subject lines) machines can out-perform humans.
The technology is nascent but expect to hear a lot about it in 2016 and beyond.
1) As Facebook and Twitter continue to improve their advertising analytics reporting platforms, advertisers
will be able to allocate budget more confidently to social enabling them to
measure ROI more effectively and target customers more accurately on social platforms.
I expect to see more seamless advertisements on social platforms which will often be difficult for the visitor
to know what is an advert and what is content.
2) There'll be stricter guidelines around product placements and endorsements from the Advertising
Standards Authority. The ASA will begin to target Vloggers and Bloggers who clearly ignore the ASA
guidelines. Social platforms may start allowing for Vloggers to clearly label features as advertisements.
3) Content marketing efforts will increase, but large ecommerce retailers still aren't doing
enough to create really engaging content that turns visitors into customers. Blog style content and 'outfit of
the day' editorial will no longer be enough to drive traffic from social platforms to ecommerce website.
DIGITAL ECOMMERCE CONSULTANT
LEGISLATION & CONTENT
The ad networks, including social, have accelerated the introduction of targeting tools for
advertisers in 2015 as the fight for increasing media spend (especially on mobile) intensifies.
Perhaps the best example is Google’s Customer Match, which enables marketers to ‘follow’
signed-in users across devices and deliver highly personalised content and promotions. I know
several retailers and many agencies/consultants already planning how to test this and integrate
it into the media mix.
It needs careful thinking though because you can’t deliver relevant personalised content without
first having the right data on the customer. I can already see strong use cases for areas like
loyalty, rewarding high value/loyal customers with unique content and promotions. The other
application I’d expect to see is funnel remarketing, expanding from the standard email approach
to using advertising as a tool for nudging people back to sites to complete their purchase.
An increase in personalised marketing.
FOUNDER, DIGITAL JUGGLER
1) Going deeper and getting more creative when it comes to social media customer acquisition -
using a mix of content units and ecommerce advertising. Especially for independent ecommerce
brands. Content units are the new ad units.
2) More, more and more branded ecommerce sites will also start posting their products directly
to Amazon, Etsy, and other online marketplaces to expand reach with mainstream (Amazon)
and niche (Etsy, Scoutmob).
This is easier than ever now that Shopify and Amazon have joined forces. Shopify sellers will
soon be able to export and post listings directly to Amazon, synchronising product, customer and
order data between the platforms. This means you can get all the benefits of Amazon’s huge
customer base and traffic alongside all the customisation and individuality of your own branded
3) Ecommerce sellers will take care of their best alpha customers with a combination of premium
custom content and concierge services.
CEO, 818 AGENCY
MARKETPLACES, CONTENT &
For me the big thing next year will be next-level personalisation in CRM and other
marketing - going way beyond the "Hello *|FNAME|*".
I want to create marketing experiences that make people go, "how did they do that?".
It will be about understanding the customer, their relationship with other customers
and the creative approach that appeals specifically to them. This requires smart
customer databases that can hold all this information, as well as systems that can
dynamically generate personalised content and insert it into different channels. It will
be so cool.
HEAD OF LOYALTY, LOST MY NAME
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