There are a variety of forecasts for the future of eCommerce in 2021 but the one thing we all know for sure – it’s booming. The convenience and ease of online shopping has prompted a surge in online purchase habits from consumers. Coupled with the pandemic, 2020 has seen some of the highest-recorded numbers for online activity and these numbers are still growing exponentially.
As more and more consumers move away from in-store experiences, they are looking for equal-quality online shopping experiences. Previously, the direct-to-consumer space was taken up by cheap razors and makeup samples. Today, even the most luxurious brands are making the shift to eCommerce to provide their luxury goods online. Here are six trends to look out for, so your business can be prepared to navigate this shifting consumer environment.
The Role of Artificial Intelligence
What better way to execute a rich online buying experience worthy of comparison to an in-store experience than through the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies? Be ready for future online shopping to include an AI associate to provide a personalized shopping experience! Using past purchase histories and browsing behavior, these AIs will be able to make recommendations and offer a personalized online shopping experience. To support businesses, AI technology and algorithms will be able to analyze data to help you find the best channels, placements and times to advertise your products. Using trends, customer behavior and other customer data, AI will help boost return on investment (ROI) from marketing efforts.
Rise of Mobile Shopping
This one is a no-brainer for the future of eCommerce. Shopping done through mobile devices has continued to increase year after year as people turn to more quick, convenient purchasing behavior. Plan to have mobile shopping dominate a whopping 73% of all eCommerce sales by the end of 2021. What does this mean for your brand? It means your website and eCommerce platform should be optimized for mobile and be easily navigable by a user. Customers are not just shopping online, but they are also researching the products. Make sure that the mobile version of your site addresses any important product features, benefits, and possible questions that a consumer may have prior to making a purchase.
Adoption of Dynamic Pricing
A correct pricing strategy will have a dramatic impact on the overall success of your business. But how do you decide on where to price your product? Dynamic pricing allows you to stay competitive by serving different prices to different audiences in real time. This achieves a testing environment where you can analyze the results from the various pricing models and identify which one yielded the best outcomes. The best products don’t generate enough sales if they are not priced correctly. An investment into a dynamic pricing tool can help you achieve the optimal balance between perceived value and appropriate cost so you can have the highest return on investment.
The Black Sheep – Bitcoin
Most eCommerce businesses offer almost every imaginable payment method for their customers to use. In fact, limiting these options for a buyer can take sales right out of your cart and put them into your competitor’s. However, providing several payment options is a costly factor of running business as many of these merchants charge steep transaction fees. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin offer some relief to eCommerce shops by having more affordable transaction fees and other small benefits. Recently, Overstock partnered with a cryptocurrency platform to add Bitcoin as a payment method. Is it possible that we will see a rise to this new currency in 2021? The jury is still out on this one!
To stay relevant and competitive, brands need to think about the sustainability of their products and processes. Green consumerism is the growing appeal of eco-friendly products and companies to consumers. Customers want to see purpose-driven brands who take pride in “green” efforts. If you have portions of your business that you have streamlined, reduced your carbon footprint or participate in any green initiatives, do not be afraid to promote them. Make sure to advocate where your company stands, as about 65% of consumers are interested in buying products from green-sensitive brands. There are some easy ways to adopt a more sustainable business model such as switching to online-only receipts or adopting eco-friendly packaging.
Future of Ecommerce – The Aesthetics
The old downside to online shopping was that you couldn’t see, hear, feel or smell the product as you would be able to on the shelf in the store. This means that the practice of using imagery to convey exact product specifications is becoming of optimal importance. People want to see exactly what they are buying and not be surprised when the item arrives in the mail. By using bold, bright visuals, brands can highlight important product features while helping to educate the customer on their product. Consider switching out the old reel of product images to 360-degree virtual images or even videos to showcase your products. This visually pleasing approach should be site wide, and not just on your product pages. Your website should be as captivating (if not more) than your in-store experience.
Overall, the theme of the future of eCommerce in 2021 seems to be fine-tuning the customer’s online shopping experience to rival (or exceed) the in-store shopping one. Streamlining, improving, and remaining current all seem to be the direction of the booming eCommerce business. As more and more brands join the eCommerce bandwagon, customers will have access to millions of brands at their fingertips. This means you will need to be thoughtful, creative, and innovative enough to stand out from the competition. The right marketing team will help carry your eCommerce brand to success using multichannel strategies and a creative eye. When the difference between a sale and no sale could be as simple as the right imagery or as complicated as a new website, Strategic Marketing can help you navigate the complex eCommerce space and maximize your return on investment. Strategic Marketing is a full-service agency ready to assist you with all your eCommerce and business needs.
In order for a business to stand out, it has to capture the imagination of potential customers. People come in contact with advertisements on a daily basis and are saturated with marketing messages. It can take a bit of trial and error but it’s possible to build an ad campaign that really stands out from the competition and talks to consumers. Here are five of our top recommendations to be successful at creative advertising:
Use a Headline to Grab Their Attention
When you only have a second to grab the attention of potential customers, every moment counts. A powerful headline that makes a statement is an effective way to attract consumers. When developing creative advertising it’s important to ask “Who am I trying to attract and what would get their attention?”
Once you’re able to identify your audience and what’s important to them, you’ll discover the most effective ways to reach them. Encapsulate the idea in a short, bold statement that expresses something specific about your company and value proposition. Just remember to keep it concise and to the point.
Visuals That Make a Statement
Another great way to achieve a double take is by using strong imagery that has a layered meaning. When crafting the concept for an ad, make part of the message obvious at first glance and pair it with something that is more subtle. This will disrupt the viewers thought pattern and allows your brand to communicate meaning in a fraction of a second. The most effective ads are the ones that intrigue the consumer into wanting to know more. When paired with an attention getting headline, imagery can have a powerful impact on potential customers.
Take Advantage of Social Media
Social media is a constant in the lives of most people and it is a quick and effective way for consumers to share your advertising message. Social networks make it easy for blogs, images, and videos to be shared and disseminated to a large audience. Create buzz about your next promotion or event by posting it online. Users will usually react or share relevant content, so make sure your post is something they can get excited about!
Guerrilla Advertising Works
Guerrilla advertising is an effective way for businesses to achieve maximum impact on a low budget. Guerrilla marketing is about finding unusual ways to advertise your service or product. It is a creative advertising strategy that works because it surprises consumers, creating a memorable experience for them. When developing your guerrilla advertising plan make the concept easy for potential consumers to understand and participate.
Sponsor Something Unusual
Have you noticed how almost everything in a major city is sponsored by a company? Next time you’re in a public space take note of what is sponsored. There are many unexpected sponsorship opportunities to take advantage of, such as a city’s bike sharing program or stadium cups at the local ball park. The key is to think about creative ways to capitalize on sponsorship.
Take Your Brand to the Next Level with Strategic Marketing
Strategic Marketing is a full-service advertising agency, offering over 25 years of experience. We’ve helped businesses across many different industries establish powerful branding strategies within their relevant markets. Through various traditional and digital marketing tactics, our specialists can determine the most effective strategy based on your goals. Whether you’re looking to launch a new brand or update what you already have, we can help get your brand noticed. Contact us today by visiting our contact page or calling (561) 688-8155 to learn more.
Trending for a Reason: Gillette Goes Viral
If you haven’t seen Gillette’s newest commercial “The Best Men Can Be” then you are missing Gillette’s view new take on male role modeling. This commercial is definitely getting people talking and there is a lot of controversy about whether the ad is modeling good behavior in men or simply attacking their masculinity. The ad talks about bullying, cyber bullying and sexual harassment by men but also shows men standing up for one another. So, what is your view on this ad?
What Makes a Man Masculine Anyways?
Many men are raised to believe that being tough is about showing strong masculinity. This is partially true; however, Gillette’s commercial displays a different view of masculinity. Men can still be tough, have strong masculinity AND model good behavior. Standing up for what is right and being at your best can exhibit the strength of a man’s character while still sustaining his masculinity. This ad simply shows men modeling bad behavior as well as men modeling good behavior, and I think the message here is that we need to see more of the latter. Being a mom of two boys, I can say the scenes with the mothers hugging their boys hit home with me. It’s a mom’s gut instinct to always protect her children, and I know I am not alone when I say that bullying is out of control. The man in the video helping that child being bullied is what all of us should be doing, man or woman. However, Gillette does make razors for both men and women, and if they wanted to settle the score with the perceived attack on masculinity then they could have made the ad modeling good behavior in both genders. But, with that being said, it wouldn’t have made such an impact nor would it have gone viral. The ad was intentional, controversial and impactful.
See the Good in All Things
If you ask me, I think that we see enough bullying, sexual harassment and overall bad behavior in the news and not just from men. Getting a little reminder that it is okay to stand up for the underdog and that it’s okay to model good behavior should be seen a little more often. I have two boys that I would gladly show this video. It displays the overall goodness of men’s values and character and is what I try to instill in them every day. Gillette’s commercial gets a five-star review from me. It covers many controversial topics and provides an insight on how some problems can be resolved all while preserving a man’s masculinity, but that’s just my take on this commercial. Any commercial that sparks this much conversation is a win in my book.