3 E-Commerce Trends You Should Follow to Stay Ahead in A Cluttered Marketplace

No business objective can yield great results without a plan. Just like a chef goes through a preparation process before cooking, an e-commerce business needs a robust marketing strategy before disseminating the brand’s messaging to the audience.

As the owner of an e-commerce business, you may be overlooking various business functions, and delving deep into any one of them might be difficult.

However, making a list of all the methods and the media platforms you plan on using to reach out to your customers can help you keep track of different activities. This simple trick allows real-time analysis and modification of your marketing strategy.

The key to the smooth execution of a marketing strategy is to check on its progress every week or month, evaluating how the ideation and implementation process is proceeding.

Let’s discuss some of the leading marketing trends that e-commerce businesses should definitely consider.

Related: How to Create a Strong Unique Selling Proposition for Your Online Store

Highlight Value Addition

It’s not always about money or discounts. Of course, these do add value to the customer’s shopping experience, but there is more to increase the value of your product/service than just discounts.

You need to work on aspects like tackling a customer complaining of a bad experience. In such a situation, a discount on a future purchase may not be that well received, and an honest apology with a refund/replacement may pacify the customer.

For a better return on your marketing activities, you need to analyze the strength of the buying proposition for any customer. This will determine the brand’s value to the customer, and the higher the surplus value that the customer will enjoy, the greater will be your chances of making sales.

Who has got it right?

The fitness industry is one of the most competitive industries out there. As a result, the web is crawling with hundreds of fitness websites and blogs. But, how many of them offer fitness advice to nerds?

That’s why, Nerd Fitness, a small player in this industry, decided to cater specifically to nerds. The website increased its service value by making it exclusively limited to nerds who are often ignored by the fitness bigwigs in general.

Nerd Fitness

Key takeaway: just like Nerd Fitness, you can also create a product or service exclusively designed for a particular segment of consumers.

India’s online jewelry retailer, BlueStone, is setting new trends in a traditional market like India, where buying jewelry is treated more like an auspicious occasion. The brand addresses the trust-related concerns that Indian buyers often express when buying jewelry such as rings, necklaces, and earrings online, especially when it comes to purchasing diamond jewelry or wedding jewelry.

Among its other offerings, the lifetime exchange option and the 30-day money back guarantee are certainly making this brand a game-changer in the online jewelry industry in India.

Blue Stone

Key takeaway: If you are in an extremely competitive market, you need to find creative ways to offer add-on value to your customers. Find out their primary concerns related to your industry and try to address those by incorporating them into your marketing strategy directly.

Leading B2B e-commerce website, Grainger, pays close attention to the pricing patterns of competitors before determining its pricing. This retailer of maintenance, repair, and equipment supplies targets specific returns on investments, especially on products that can drive greater profit margins.

The company is providing optimized prices that are market driven to compete with the online sellers whose pricing is likely to tempt their target consumers. In this strategy, Grainger deflated prices overall by about 4% that helped increase total sales volume by 5%. Most increased volume came from new or expanded contracts with mid-sized companies.

Grainger

Key takeaway: your product or services costs can be competitive but not low. As your prices are competitive (not low) you can keep your existing customers from going to your competitors without incurring losses. You can also try changing the product price according to the order size, location, customer age group and a bunch of other suitable criteria.

American footwear and apparel manufacturer, Under Armour, uses a different pricing strategy wherein it takes into account the “perceived value” of various product lines offered to its customers.

The company has been successful at establishing a high value of its products, ensuring that its customers will pay for the value they perceive they are obtaining from the purchase.

Their target group includes players and athletes who are more concerned about the functionality of the product rather than the price. So, Under Armour focuses more on the functionality aspect instead of design and price. The idea is, customers will pay a little extra if the product improves their performance and comfort.

Under Armor

Key takeaway: Sometimes, however, there is a little or no room to lower your manufacturing costs. In such case, you can focus on target customers who are willing to pay a little extra for the higher quality, durability, and performance of your product or service.

Adapt to the Age of Micro-video

As a wider section of the customer base is turning to mobile devices for viewing videos, their attention spans are reducing extensively. To ride this wave, marketers have turned their focus on generating video content that is snackable and easily consumed by the audience.

You need to include engaging content in the form micro-videos (under 60 seconds) for the target audience to watch anywhere at any time.

59 percent of consumers watch 60-second long videos every day, and not the long-form videos. These numbers reflect the strong acceptance of micro-videos and how powerful a marketing tool they can be.

Who has got it right?

Califia Farms, a natural beverage company located in Bakersfield California, has been hosting engaging short videos on Instagram for a while to generate brand awareness. The videos are spontaneous, playful, and entertaining. Thanks to the combination of those videos and photos, they have more than 75 thousand followers on Instagram today.

New York-based provider of pet-themed products and technology, Barkbox regularly posts funny animal videos on its Instagram account. Instead of broadcasting promotional content, the videos are purely created for entertainment purpose. However, the company does offer discounts and coupons to their followers. The above video received more than 80 thousand views.

CHICKEN DOG HAS RETURNED!! SOUND VERY IMPORTANT #hehasreturned #henevertrulyleft . @owenthegriff

A post shared by BarkBox (@barkbox) on 

In its latest campaign, Reebok highlights the importance of the days that people spend to achieve their goals. The video wants its audience to constantly honor hard work and push themselves to the limits. Through its #HonorYourDays campaign, it expresses the notion of striving for a healthier lifestyle without any spoken words.

The brand’s message is powerful: Make the most of the days you have by “honoring the body you’ve been given.” Putting a sense of ownership to one’s fitness works as an impactful psychological motivator for Reebok’s audiences. The beauty of the campaign lies in the fact that the messaging is compelling as well as actionable.

Key takeaway: The key takeaway here is to offer your customers the content that doesn’t look promotional at all. Instead, it connects with them.

Do you think video is too expensive or difficult for you? Check out these posts:

Personalized Communication in the Age of Automation

With the Internet being used heavily as an advertising channel for brands, customers are often unhappy because of websites being flooded with advertisements. With the use of ad-blocking tools, a lot of relevant content does not reach users.

An increasing number of businesses are relying on automated media systems to communicate with their audience in a more personal and storytelling manner. Personalized communication with customers is the ideal way to engage with them. This technique allows you to automate repetitive tasks, reduce errors, manage multiple tasks and measure your efforts.

The first step to integrating automation with personalized brand communication is to use data on demographic and psychographic details about the target audience efficiently. It may sound surprising, but even a seemingly simple touch such as using their name or preference while delivering a message or reminder can take customer engagement to the next level.

Identify each audience group based on behavioral segmentation. This approach is often referred to as the “audience first” approach. For example, you can divide your audience into different groups based on their loyalty, buying patterns, benefits sought, and usage rates among others.

Second, gather information about audience preferences and set up campaigns based on the media receptivity for these insights. You can use various online tools such as Facebook insights, Twitter analytics, Google analytics, and consumer surveys to identify your target audience groups.

Build a strategy to reach out to each of these audience groups, and test the volume and categories of media platforms that are needed to get the desired results.

Third, go all in with your creativity and develop an engaging script that caters to the touch points for each audience without seeming promotional. With this, you can engage with a wider spectrum of your target audience with utmost efficiency.

Related: Customer Groups in Ecwid

Who has got it right?

Linguabot, a subscription-based mandarin (Chinese) learning site, decided to display its web pages according to the geographical location of the consumers.

The site used Google Analytics data to find out that a large portion of its customers comes from the Philippines and Hong Kong. So, the website started displaying prices in Hong Kong dollars and Philippine pesos.

As a result, the number of subscriptions from these two countries increased significantly. You can apply the same personalization technique to create suitable changes to your website.

Linguabot

Neutrogena has been applauded in the marketing biz for its use of programmatic storytelling to drive sales through custom, contextual recommendations for its target audience. The brand built its automated personalized communication on the insight that 75 percent of Neutrogena customers are loyal to only one product segment.

The brand rolled out a campaign to convince loyalists to buy one additional product with their usual choice through its communications strategy. To boost purchases, Neutrogena showcased two different offerings in the same visual. These “perfect pairings” were assembled based on the customer’s preference and previous purchases.

This added a personal touch to their automated marketing system. Even the promotional banners and video ads included details of customer forums on social media that enabled users to interact with the pairings and receive personalized information.

Key takeaway: Though your business offers a variety of products, not everyone is interested in all of them. Your target customers will always prefer to buy some of your products. Thus, you must provide them with personalized information if you want them to stay loyal to your brand. Though Neutrogena is a big brand, small businesses can also try this personalized promotion tactic to improve their sales.

Also read: How to Run Remarketing Ads to Your Store Visitors With Facebook Pixel and Ecwid

Among consumer brands, Nike’s NIKEiD and L’Oreal’s Makeup Genius have ventured into providing portable e-commerce experiences to customers. They have introduced mobile apps that act as in-store beacons and also invested heavily in digital out-of-home digital media networks.

This enables them to automate the process of customer interaction to provide an uninterrupted conversation with their shoppers even before and after the purchase. NIKEiD is a service offered by Nike that allows potential customers to design and customize their own Nike shoes. The mobile app enables the end consumers to design and purchase their shoes directly from their smartphones.

NIKEiD

L’Oreal uses its app to provide customized beauty and makeup advice that may be valuable to the customers. This broadens the concept of personalized offerings during the point of sale.

L’Oreal mobile app

Key takeaway: Though small, your business can also benefit from a mobile app that facilitates personalized communication with your consumers. A small bakery, for example, can enable its customers to order customized cakes and bakery products through a mobile app.

You can turn your Ecwid store in a mobile app too and provide an ideal mobile shopping experience for your customers.

Ecwid ShopApp

Learn more: How to Launch and Promote Your E-Commerce Mobile App

Wrapping It Up

Inspire rather than market. This is what is going to pave the path ahead in the marketing world. Customers want to associate themselves with brands that don’t just tell their stories in advertisements but inspire them. Develop and act on powerful media insights to advise various spectrums of your target audience, and you’ll be able to balance the marketing strategy with ease.

About The Author
Vivek Patel works with E2M, a content marketing agency based in San Diego. In his free time, he loves to stay updated with the latest photography lessons and enjoy photographing on his cam.

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