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E-commerce Marketing trends for 2017

Online shoppers are here to stay

It is already the fourth month of 2017. By now, the total number of internet users worldwide has reached 3.5 billion from which 40% have bought at least one thing online. Or in plain imagesnumbers, that means that at this moment there are more than 1.4 billion customers worldwide available to be attracted by the e-commerce players in the market. And those numbers are about to rise as marketers everywhere are doing everything they can to get the piece of the online shopping pie. As e-Commerce itself is rapidly growing, marketers are using all possible forms of marketing channels and techniques to stand up against the already large competition and get more customers to shop their brands. But this refining of the e-Commerce marketing is constantly making customers even harder to win.

It’s all about the user experience

As it grows, the market becomes more innovative increasingly technology friendly. With all those new means, like VR for example, not only that attract new customers, but they boost their engagement, creating an extraordinary user experiences. And customers really care about that.  Companies and brands working in line with behavioral trends and following the consumers instead the otherwise will easily succeed in their e-Commerce marketing planning. Knowing the customers, not only current but potential ones as well and integrating their behaviors into the planning will be beneficial for both sides. For example, knowing that nowadays 51% of Americans prefer online shopping rather than in-store — number that rises to 67% for Millennials and 56% for Gen Xers will help you in your further positioning if you’re delivering in the US market.

E-commerce-web-development

The megatrends in e-Commerce

Looking at the numbers, one can easily conclude that brands without online stores are doomed to disappear. Starting from the fact that 2017’s customers owns at least 3 devices – smartphone, tablet, and computer, they expect quick, easy, and, above all, user friendly online shopping experience. So make this your starting point in the planning. Brands will need to be both aware of and benefit from the latest trends in ecommerce. To make it easier, we’ve identified several e-Commerce trends for 2017 to be taken into consideration in order brands to ensure both online and in-store sales growth.

  1. Be mobile friendly and advertise on Mobile: If you own a site that is not responsible for mobile devices, you’re wrong on so many levels. They are convenient and accessible making the customers addicted to them. So, if your customer is constantly holding a device, the chances they indexwill shop from it are really high. Some researchers show that 88% of consumers who search for a type of local business on a mobile device call or go to that business within 24 hours. So, if you don’t own a responsive web site, you’ll be losing at least 70% of the visitors. True that mobile site doesn’t sound like a marketing tool, but if you think about advertising your products or services on Google or Social Medias, more than 0% of the traffic will be mobile device generated. PewInternet.org has researched the US population, concluding that two thirds have a mobile device and using it for the majority of their online searcher. 40% of the Americans abandon a slow loading website. While 74% of them return to mobile friendly websites, 67% were more likely to buy from a mobile friendly website. So, to conclude, making your website responsive, thus mobile friendly, will ultimately lead to more visits and necessarily to maximization of sales.

content-marketing

  1. Content Marketing: It’s 2017, customers already hate advertisements and over 200 million of them have installed an ad blocker. No one wants to be spammed anymore. So now what? You pull out that king card and win those customers with content. There are many companies that already sell thanks to content marketing. Communication with audience in all possible ways will both cost you lower and generate you 3x as many leads. It is simple – people love to be consuming content and creating interesting, relevant and catchy content will definitely increase your traffic and help you in sales growth.
  1. Listening to the customers and understanding their journey: Let’s face it: if one user has a bad experience on your website, he might never come back. Or even worse, a word-of-mouth campaign those customers bring can mean a big failure for a brand. This makes the user experience (UX) of your website now more important than ever. Following and understanding the customer journey by using Google analytics or any other analytics tool available should become top priority for any brand. No one should afford loopholes in their websites since they will lead to sales drops. As Brian Solls in his new book X: The experience when business meets design says: “Experiences are more important than products now. In fact, experiences are products.” So a smart thing to do would be to surf your website as if you were a customer. Shop like you would do on any other site. See what works well and what doesn’t and figure out a way to make the annoying stuff easier.
  1. Consume the technology, engage with VR and AR: From day to day harder it gets to become a market leader. The competition is fierce and overwhelming. So earlier you vrstart investing in the futuristic marketing, the sooner you’ll stand out from the competition. And by futuristic marketing, we mean investing in the “next big thing” which right now is the Virtual and Augmented reality. Take PokemonGo for example. It became a massive viral hit last year. And the total amount of active VR users is forecasted to reach 171 million by next year. So the time is now, take this advantage and improve the eCommerce experience with VR. Make your product virtually presented so the online shopper experiences them as he is in your physical store. Yes it is an expensive cutting-edge of technology. And yes, if you can afford it, go for it and immerse your customers with and VR experience.

 

  1. Take what your customers give you with User generated content: The idea of motivating your customers to generate content for you has been ongoing for a while now. users-social-media-contentBut is not as easy as it sounds. A brand should really stand out to have its customers speak instead. Being relevant, unique or even funny are among the attributes a brand should have to trigger conversation from its customers. And believed or not, user generated content id 20% more influential than any other media but much harder to have. Increasing the conversation should be among top of the planning list for eCommerce strategy for this year. Especially when 70% of consumers consider product and brand recommendations from their social circles trustworthy and 46% trust online reviews posted by other customers. In comparison, only 10% trust banner ads on websites. So, ask your customer to post images from your products, give them a hash tag, give them coupon or small rewards and increase the conversation for better sales.
  1. Invest in Review Marketing and Social feedback: And by invest, we mean try really, really hard about this. Today you’ll win a customer based on the reviews. It’s pure psychology. People like to be a part of the pact. They believe s recommendation they receive from a close member or someone they trust. So, the right thing to do now is to have a small incentive investment in your current customers in order to gain new ones. It will ultimately pay off. Numbers say that almost 63% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a site if it has product ratings and reviews from other customers. So if we haven’t convinced you yet, these numbers should.
  1. Hire a professional Influencer: Influencer Marketing can really help you increase your reach and ultimately your sales, if you do it right. And the right way to do it is by knowing and finding the right influencers. Whichever platform you choose (Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Snapchat or Instagram) they each have different influencers. And it is still human recommendation. Consider influencers as brand ambassadors. Have them say what you have to say instead of you and have them interact with a community that will eventually become your community. And if knowing that almost 74% of consumers use social media channels to make purchase decisions and the previously stated facts that they believe user recommendations over brand ones should motivate you enough. As soon as customers relate to your brand it will be much easier.

 

  1. Make your customers feel special with a Loyalty program: It is quite easy. Reward your current customers for their loyalty. Coupons or points for discounts on every purchase will make them really happy. At the same time it is quite a good trigger for other customers to become yours as well. Attract the “onetime shoppers”, intrigue the “browsing shoppers” and reward the “loyals” and you will definitely rise your online sales.

 

  1. Be everywhere. Use an Omni-Channel selling. You have an banner-building-b2b-omni-channel-commerce-platform2eCommerce site. Your online shop is seamless. But why restrict? Put your products everywhere, on all selling platforms such as Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Jet, etc. This may seem like a contrary-marketing for you but you are wrong again. Multichannel shoppers do shop more often and they do spend over 3 times more than single-channel shoppers.

 

Other important marketing channels to focus your eCommerce in 2017:

  • Wallet payments
  • Triggered emails
  • Better & Free Return Shipping
  • On-Site Personalization
  • Social Media And Google Search Buy Buttons
  • Marketing automation
  • Non-robo response
  • Video marketing
  • Data driven from SEO
SmartCity

Smart cities, are we living there?

IoT is changing the game

We are all digitalists. Modern citizens living in a modern, digitalized era. IoT-Smart-CityEvery day we wake up more connected and more productive thanks to the tools and devices out there helping us to have all the complex things in life done simpler. What was once the Internet is now The Internet of Things. All the digital solutions are now making life more endurable and enjoyable and goods more approachable. The Internet of things is the smooth switch to smart technologies, helping us to save energy, to improve our safety, and even improve our business. And the game is truly being changed since we’re starting to live in completely connected homes and the living is made so much simpler and easier thanks to Smart Cities.

Enhancing the quality of life

The sole purpose of connected-life premises is not only to have your friends online at all time, but to make life easier and people more self-aware, mindful and conscientious. smartCityThe new digital dimension enhances the quality of life. It helps people gather real-time information that can help and improve living in so many spheres. The intelligent solutions are helping in saving the environment by cutting energy use, lowering carbon emissions, reshaping and lowering waste production. The new digital platforms will help calculate the quantity of water drops we use thus saving the amount of water we spend. They will increase the security of each and every one of us. Smart solutions will reduce dangerous jobs for people, making them being operated more safely and much more effectively by autonomous and self-driving devices. The benefits will also emerge in the fields like medicine, architecture, economy, education and even entertainment, making our lives better by all means.

The cities of the future

We live in the same cities as before, now much more improved. The cities themselves are changing and adapting to this new digital dimension providing the citizens an easier and more comfortable life. All this thanks to the M2M technology that enables actions and information exchange of all networked devices without any human assistance. Urban environments are already experiencing the benefits of Intelligent lighting, the self-driving public transport, the Intelligent Traffic management. So how will our everyday life be better living in the smart city? Let’s have a common, yet not a pleasant scenario: if a gas leeks, SmartCitythe smart home sensors will be able to detect the change and notify the officials, who will be able to immediately locate the nearest available crew to be sent onsite. The automatic traffic lights will be adjusted so the field crew gets onsite quickly, while the digital signage could inform the other traffic participants of the situation and alert them on driving changes. The other residents of the building could be alerted immediately, they would be able to leave the site with the automatically set public transport, and they could also participate in further sharing of the information in order to have the problem fixed in the fastest and easiest possible way. It is a simple example of how smart city technology could help and make living more enduring and cities more adaptable to its communities and citizens.

smartcity

Smart City solutions

Smart City solutions are based on the critical points of living in big cities. And the Smart parking systems are among the best solutions because they notify the drivers when a free parking spot emerges and in big cities with a lot of vehicles, this will mean lowering the citizens’ time and the air polluting. Or in numbers, by lowering the average parking-search time from 15 to just 12 minutes will lower the CO2 emissions by 400 tones in cities with average 5 million people. Nowadays, most of the bigger cities have interconnected and using Intelligent transport systems. This helps in public transport coordination and providing real-time information. Smart taxis are helping the customers even now, enabling them to book a car with an application, while using their location to find their quickest ride available. smartcityAnother popular Smart City solution is the Traffic management. Having monitoring of all road systems and informing the drivers of their best route at any given time. The traffic management solutions will automatically manage the traffic lights and reduce overcrowding to the minimum. There are cities that are currently testing the systems of Smart grids. This solution will provide the necessary amount of electricity depending on the demand, maximizing the power efficiency. On the line of electricity saving, the Smart urban lighting will also reduce the energy waste by adjusting the intensity of the light depending on the people who are around or turning it down when nobody is on the street. In living the environmentally friendly lives, Smart containers and Waste management help people a lot. These solutions will increase the efficiency in waste collection leaving the cities cleaner. Smart Cities are cutting down the billboards, printed posters and delivering the information on the Digital-signage. All of the urban ads will now be tailored to each citizen personally helping the customers to see and buy things they like with app clicks from the signage. As technology grows bigger, the innovations become smarter providing help in all aspects. The future Smart city maintenance will help the citizens to communicate with city representatives through their smartphones making the city damages being repaired faster.  And all that, without any human assistance. Only technology solutions.

Masdar City in Abu Dhabi

There are few great examples of Smart Cities around the world and the 67cb5dfc24e7ccb676970e9c87fd91dfMasdar City in Abu Dhabi is one of them. Having relying only on solar and renewable energy sources, this city with its unique construction was created to be a sustainable and very friendly to pedestrians and cyclists. The construction itself, helps in maintaining a pleasant temperature and having a breeze push for a slight cooling effect. The buildings in Masdar assembled closely together to create streets and sidewalks shielded from the sun. Initially, the design of the cities banned cars and the transport is via public mass-transit and personal-rapid-transit (PRT) systems, onto the existing roads and railways.

Amsterdam Smart City

Another city that pushes itself to innovativity and smart solutions is Netherlands capital, Amsterdam. Over the years Amsterdam has become social, open and sustainable European1019-header-94793a6c02879bdbda21ff86a963b201-ASC_V2G_infographic_770.jpg pearl promoting IoT challenges, involving more than 100.000 Energy Neutral Homes, motivating and involving the residents and homeowners to develop cost effective and sustainable houses in their neighborhoods. They have already implemented the Smart Parking and the Smart Waste solution and over the years Amsterdam is known for the bike-friendly living and Smart Transport solutions, running on solar or renewable energy.

By now we all want to live in a city that is fully digital that offers smart solutions and helps us in delivering easy living. Unfortunately, for full implementation, we’ll have to wait a while, or move to a smarter place.