OK, Big Thinkers, we’ve almost made it. Just another week or so to go before the New Year is upon us. To get you ready for the big day, take a look at these 9 shocking trends shaping e-commerce and digital marketing in 2015.
- Forrester says that 62% of businesses still treat mobile as a new technology, according to an article on Mobile Marketer. 62%?!? Almost two-thirds? How can that be? Mobile is far more than a trend at this point. It’s a way of life for your customers. For instance, Luxury Daily has data that shows mobile is making big inroads among higher-income consumers, with fashion and luxury purchases representing 33% of all mobile transactions. And, as is often the case with e-commerce, that activity will trickle down to middle and lower-income consumers over time. (Especially when we’re seeing a big rise in the quality and quantity of $30 smartphones available). If that number is still above 50% in 6 months time, I’m going to be really shocked.
- Speaking of shocking facts, the Boston Globe notes that retail customers now set the trends in age of e-commerce. Due to the rise of e-commerce, customers now expect variety among the products and services they choose. And as we enter a world where it’s all mobile commerce they don’t have to wait to get home to actually buy from someone else if you can’t meet their needs. Mobile commerce will win, for sure. Which is why the best strategy is to integrate mobile into the shopping experience naturally. The best way to beat show rooming is to support your customers and direct them to your own mobile site when you don’t have exactly what’s needed in-store.
- For examples of how mobile might change the retail experience in practice, check out this eMarketer report: “Auto Dealers 2015: Still Waiting on Mobile,” which highlights the ways auto dealers are about to feel the pain of disruption in the next year or two. Compelling read and a valuable case study for any industry.
- The New York Times lists the dozens more companies that have signed up for Apple Pay. I strongly suspect that digital wallets will be the top e-commerce trend shaping customer behavior in 2015. Most importantly, it will streamline mobile commerce transactions, eliminating the need to type tons of characters into tiny little form fields. And secondly, because as consumers gain familiarity with the process, they’ll expect the same behavior during any checkout process, whether mobile, online, or in-store. Stay tuned for much more on this front.
- Another great look at customer behavior comes from Linda Bustos and the fine folks at GetElastic, with their latest infographic, “The Tablet Commerce Barometer.” Cool insights into how your customers use tablets in ways that differ from smartphone or desktop. Well worth checking out.
- Looking for even more disruption? The Verge outlines Amazon’s test of its one-hour Prime Now delivery service in New York City. This is what you’re competing against. And if waiting an hour or two is preferable to purchasing in your store, you need to take a good look at what you need to do better.
- One long-standing way of offering a more personalized experience to your customers is to provide a loyalty program. And as eMarketer notes, if you really want to know whether loyalty programs are worth it, just ask Amazon. The report details how much value Amazon receives from its Prime customers (hint: a LOT), and offers some guidance on what you can do to compete.
- Another key trend worth watching as we head into next year, according to the GetElastic team, is visual search. While I suspect that’s going to take a bit to become a mainstream behavior (I think voice is far more practical in most cases), it’s undoubtedly worth keeping an eye on as we head into 2015. Pay attention to what your customers are doing in-store and get ready to move if you see a big shift in activity there. Oh, and while we’re on the topic, you’re really going to want to check out the newly updated edition of “Search Engine Marketing, Inc.: Driving Search Traffic to Your Company’s Website” by Bill Hunt and an old friend around here, Mike Moran (you can also check out my review of “Search Engine Marketing, Inc.” here). Bill and Mike have created an outstanding look at search engine marketing overall, and provided the right foundation no matter what direction search heads.
- Finally, no matter how much things change in 2015, no matter how shocking the changes upon us, content will remain king, helping your customers to find, research, desire, and purchase the products and services they need. To that end, check out these fantastic Search Engine Land tips on how to make every single page on your website evergreen. Excellent advice to help your search engine rankings, and your customers, regardless of where, when, and how they choose to purchase.
If you’re interested in more, you’re going to want to check out these 4+ Outstanding E-commerce Insights to Kick Off Your Week, the 11 Exceptional Reads about E-commerce and Mobile, these 5 Must-See Black Friday and Cyber Monday Trends: E-commerce Link Digest and the 9 Outstanding Marketing Posts to Warm Up Your Weekend: E-commerce Link Digest from our regular E-commerce Link Digest series. Plus don’t miss 10 Exceptional Marketing and E-commerce Essays: The Top Posts from November, too.
And if you want to learn even more about how customers changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, be sure an register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.
You can also check out these slides and video from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions: Three Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year”:
(And, yes… you can hire me to speak at your next event, too).
And, finally, you might want to take a look at some of our past coverage of the e-commerce, mobile commerce, and digital marketing overall, including:
- 10 Key Posts about Millennials and Mobile: E-commerce Link Digest
- The Secrets Behind “It’s All E-commerce” for 2014
- The Zen of Digital Marketing Strategy
- 7 Steps to E-Commerce Heaven
- Today and Tomorrow: Mobile and The Changing Customer Journey
- Mobile Makes E-commerce Even More “Frictionless”
- Your 2014 Internet Marketing New Year’s Resolutions – Thinks Out Loud Episode 56