16Feb

Posted: 16 Feb 2018 Contributor: Therese Palmere

eCommerce Marketing Experts Give Their Prediction on 2018 Trends

eCommerce Experts Predictions in 2018

Globally, 2017 amassed 2.3 trillion in retail sales. 2018 is expected to produce 2.8 trillion, and by 2020, experts forecast a whopping 4.5 trillion will be made in retail eCommerce (and these are only a couple online shopping trends statistics). The online marketplace is becoming competitive with more and more brands enhancing their digital marketing strategy. To help you stay on top of your eCommerce web development, below are 5 experts and their predictions on what the state of eCommerce will look like in the coming months.

Neil Patel and Chatbots

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) has been a topic Internet users can’t get enough of. Everywhere you click, consumers are talking about the progression of AI. Some users are even frightened by how fast these improvements are rolling out. Never fear! Neil Patel, Co-Founder of Crazy Egg and Hello Bar, adds his 2 cents on how we should relate to these bots: 

“With the increasing abilities and commoditization of AI, services such as customer support, list segmentation, and prospect data are cheaper, faster, and more readily available. And that’s a good thing. It means that more entrepreneurs and solopreneurs can utilize the benefits of AI and build successful businesses with less risk to their wallets. But the benefit isn’t just for small companies. It’s also for large corporations, where the savings are exponentially greater. In 2018, lead generation will be ruled by AI because the bots have officially become smarter, faster, and better than us. But don’t be afraid. Robots might rule the world. But we rule the robots.”

Witnessing these technological advancements is exciting! We are in the age where we can watch the science fiction of our childhoods become science reality before our eyes. Chatbots can greatly benefit your eCommerce marketing strategy and provide you with the skills you need to succeed, with or without a team. They reduce costs and engage your customers at the same time. All this and you didn’t have to lift a finger.

Jayson DeMers and Voice Search

Alexa, can you tell me what the current trends in eCommerce are?

Today, 40% of adults use voice search daily, but by 2020 you can expect 50% of all searches to be done by voice. Jayson DeMers, Founder & CEO of AudienceBloom, believes “ [w]e’re on the verge of full-scale search revolution in the next few years.” He credits this shift to the availability of digital assistants like Google Home and Amazon Echo. He notes that, “[s]mart speakers are almost exclusively reliant on voice commands to operate, conditioning people to resolve their questions and accomplish tasks using voice-based queries.” As users adapt to the changing technology, their behavior will change as well.

While purchases aren’t happening through voice search (yet), consumers can certainly conduct research through voice. Voice search operates in relatively the same way that  mobile SEO does. When optimizing for keywords, remember that users tend to speak more colloquially when they talk. Bryson Meunier of Search Engine Land sees voice search as a race among the tech giants, but to determine who will win, “[f]irst, we need to know what types of queries commonly trigger featured snippets from voice search,” and that may take a bit of time.

Andrew Youderian and Authenticity

Honesty is the best policy, especially when it comes to your business’ eCommerce web development. Why? Because you’re in a relationship with your consumers. Like it or not, in order to make any relationship work you have to be real. Andrew Youderian, eCommerce entrepreneur and owner of Right Channel Radios, says that “[b]eing authentic pays off enormously, especially in 2018.” Inspired by eCommerceFuel Live, Andrew recapped one exchange at the event noting how two influencers were able to increase their brand awareness and sales just by being candid.

“Matt and Meredith also had a talk, and they talked about how they really, you know, came out of their shell and instead of trying to be careful and not offend anyone, they got very political with their beliefs with their T-shirt company.

And when they did, their sales just exploded. Especially in Amazon and today’s world in ecommerce, being authentic just pays off enormously.”

In a world where users are concerned about fake news, being real pays off. This might seem like one of the most unconventional trends in eCommerce industry, but it makes a lot of sense. Users want the authenticity, so give it to them.

Gary Vaynerchuk and Personalization

78% of users agree that when a brand produces personalized content, it increases their purchase intent. Users don’t want to feel like a number, they want to feel human. To large corporations, it may seem impossible to independently address hundreds of thousands of customers, but customization is one of the top current trends in eCommerce.

When it comes to online purchases, 44% of users choose to buy books, music and movies via the Internet. Gary Vaynerchuk, author, entrepreneur and internet personality, urges brands to reach out to users, especially when selling books. His advice? “Reach out to people one by one asking them to grab a copy, check it out, give you feedback. Stop sending mass emails. Get personal.” Treat your users the way you want to be treated!

Arnt Eriksen and Videos

Across the globe, 51% of marketers agree that videos are the content with the best ROI, which is why it’s no surprise that 87% of marketers utilize video content to further their eCommerce web development. Not only are videos easily shareable on social media, but they’re also mobile SEO friendly. Arnt Eriksen, Executive Creative Director at Nordic Agency, expects to see a particular video type trending on social media in 2018:

In 2018, expect that social media platforms will continue to improve their setups to offer higher quality video streaming, as well as more interactive features to appeal to advertisers. You can also expect smart brands to spend a larger percentage of their social media budget on live engagement streams, even if it means shifting budgetary resources away from pre-recorded video.

Allow users to understand your brand better through livestream video! Create content that isn’t only original, but also exciting because what they see is happening in real time. If you haven’t already included live video in your content marketing strategy, now is the time!

Wrap-Up

While Internet sales have been booming, eCommerce is still in its early stages of life. These trends by eCommerce marketing experts are only a couple ways your business can spice up its digital strategy. Let’s go over these tips one last time:

  1. Don’t be afraid of new technology and use chatbots to cut costs
  2. Voice search functions are a lot like mobile SEO, but use less formal language
  3. Users crave authenticity, so remember that it’s okay to be candid with your audience
  4. Personalize your content to engage users with your brand

Try live streaming content instead of using pre-recorded videos to pique new user interests

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