8 eCommerce Marketing Trends for 2020

The year 2019 is drawing to a close and e-commerce is entering the hottest phase of the year with the Christmas business. The past few months for online shops have been marked by advertising on Facebook and Instagram as well as influencer marketing. E-commerce will continue to grow next year, which also means more competition for online retailers. For this reason, we have put together 8 e-commerce marketing trends for 2020 that online shops must take into account in order to be successful next year.

1. Video content marketing is becoming more important

In the area of content marketing, videos and live broadcasts will continue to gain in importance. The crucial role of video formats has already been clearly demonstrated by several developments in recent years. Facebook has been releasing more and more functions to put video formats in the foreground and to supplement them with live streams and watch parties. On Instagram, “IGTV” was introduced, allowing longer videos to be uploaded. The social media channel TikTok, which is particularly popular among young users, is particularly distinguished by its short videos, which provide entertainment. 

Meanwhile, people spend their time on the Internet ⅓ with video streaming. It is also interesting to note that 92% of people who watch videos on mobile devices also share them with others. Video content on the web is generally shared more often than text or image formats. 

For this reason, as an online retailer and marketer in 2020, you should definitely focus on the video format in order to strengthen your brand. You can use different channels to do this:

  • YouTube
  • Vimeo
  • Snapchat
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • TikTok

Which channels you choose should depend on your target audience and always remember what purpose the videos are supposed to serve. 

You can also use different formats, depending on what business you’re in and which goals you follow:

  • Webinars
  • Product Demos
  • Expert-Interviews
  • Q&A
  • Pitches
  • etc.

In summary, videos can help your online shop generate more reach and have a lasting positive impact on your brand through better communication of the content.

2. Micro-Influencers help you to strengthen your brand

The influencer market has experienced an enormous boom in recent years. Especially large influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers are now bombed by companies, which has led to one or the other channel becoming a permanent advertising broadcast. Of course, this annoys many followers, who now no longer consider many product recommendations credible.

For this reason, more and more companies rely on micro-influencers, which have significantly fewer followers than famous personalities. Marketing campaigns with micro influencers often work better because they have a closer relationship with their subscribers. In return, they have more confidence in them. An authentic presence improves the perception of product recommendations, which has a positive effect on the interaction rate. Studies show that influencers with 1,000 followers have an 85% better engagement rate than those with 100,000 followers. This means that e-commerce companies can efficiently boost their purchases despite a smaller reach and at the same time save costs. 

Another advantage of Micro-Influencer Marketing is that you can address your target group more precisely and, with the right personality, you can focus on your brand exactly as you want it to. This enables you to strengthen your own brand sustainably. 

3. Personalization as success factor

Personalization has been an important topic in e-commerce for some time now and will continue to be a means of success for online retailers in 2020. Studies show that companies that rely on personalization are recording an increase in sales of 19%. Consequently, 94% of the surveyed companies claim that personalization is a critical success factor. It not provides  a critical competitive advantage for e-commerce merchants, but is also desirable for customers and the customer journey. 

Personalization can take many different forms, ranging from email communication to website content display. 

Best Practice Example: OTTO

The online giant OTTO is currently greatly expanding its product range on its platform. To ensure that online shoppers are not overwhelmed by the multitude of possibilities, however, the company has increasingly focused on personalization in its strategy. The content on the website is geared to the preferences of the Internet visitor. For example, the system automatically detects which product categories have been visited in the past and which other pages have been viewed on the website. 

OTTO also uses sophisticated algorithms for newsletters which, based on user behaviour, incorporate various components into the e-mails and thus ensure greater relevance for the customer. 

Another example of personalization in web shops is forwarding to different landing pages. Here, for example, different content can be provided depending on the search query. In addition, it can be recommended to distinguish new users from returning visitors. For example, a “new user” in the online shop will still be looking for certain trust factors that ensure trust, while a “returning visitor” is already a step further in the customer journey and needs more information about the product. 

In this way, online merchants can optimize the customer journey and achieve better results through personalization and dynamic content.

4. More reach through Podcasts

The number of podcast listeners has tripled in the last 10 years and this trend will continue in 2020. A study from 2019 found that 32% of adults in the US had listened to a podcast in the last 30 days.

Especially if you want to address millennials, you can use podcasts as a marketing tool because 44% of global podcast listeners are between 18-34 years old. 

Podcasts are particularly popular because you can listen to them on the go easily with your smartphone which makes especially enjoyable compared to reading something. 

For online merchants, podcasts can be useful to increase awareness and reach new people with informative content, but also to build trust and position themselves as experts in a specific area. 

For example, as a dietary supplement manufacturer, one could record a podcast on healthy nutrition and offer added value with informative content. At the same time, this would allow the company to position itself as an expert in the field of fitness.

5. Voice Search Optimization

Speech recognition technology is advancing faster and faster and will have a major impact on search engine marketing in the coming years. Online merchants who want to follow the trend in time to be able to benefit from it in the future must act now. By 2020, 50% of all online searches will be conducted via voice searches. This is also due to the fact that more and more households own smart speakers from Google, Apple and Amazon.

Retailers can benefit from Voice Search in particular if they ensure that they always offer up-to-date information and optimize Google My Business.

6. The “Amazon effect” – E-Commerce Shipping Optimization

The “Amazon Effect” describes the challenges e-commerce retailers face in competing with Amazon. This applies in particular to the free and fast delivery of products offered by the online marketplace. Amazon can offer this to its customers thanks to investments in the expansion of its international logistics network. This poses great challenges for small and medium-sized online retailers, because online shoppers prefer free and fast shipping. 

To keep up, e-commerce companies need to develop a fulfillment strategy to optimize their e-commerce fulfillment and shipping.

7. Again: Mobile Commerce is on the rise

The fact that more and more people are using their smartphones to shop on the Internet is a trend that has been known for some time. However, this trend must not go unmentioned in this list. Meanwhile, every second person shops with a smartphone and mobile commerce is now almost as common as buying a laptop in Germany. Especially young people in Germany, rely on mobile devices for online shopping – 81%.  

By 2020, more than 70% of e-commerce purchases worldwide will be made via smartphones. Online retailers who do not prepare their web shops for this will certainly suffer significant losses. Above all, web shops have to ensure that mobile optimization is available throughout all steps of the purchasing process. The checkout process in particular still needs quite some improvement, which applies to many online shops. This can be achieved through the usage of user-friendly payment methods and by keeping the checkout process as short as possible.

8. Greater emphasis on environmental protection

Only recently, the EU declared a climate emergency and the issue of environmental protection will continue to be a topic for us in the coming years, also because of the urgent need for action. Sustainability also plays an important role in e-commerce, as consumers are paying more attention to it and climate protection is having a significant influence on the purchasing decision for online shopping. This also has a potential negative impact on e-commerce, as one in four online shoppers already states that they order less online for this reason. However, more than half of online shoppers say they are willing to pay extra for environmentally friendly packaging.

In addition, women, who normally have a higher return rate, confirm that they send fewer parcels back because of climate protection. This is the positive news for online merchants because it can save costs.

What does this mean for online merchants? 

Online shops must optimize their processes along the entire supply chain with regard to environmental protection. From the regional production of the products to reduce the distance covered, to the appropriate packaging and climate-neutral shipping

As an e-commerce company, you can thus not only contribute to climate protection yourself, but also strengthen your brand sustainably at the same time. 

Summary

The year 2020 will be marked by trends and countertrends. On the one hand, Voice Search through Alexa can lead to increasing sales on Amazon. On the other hand, many consumers, with regard to climate protection, will try to shop less often at the online marketplace and will rather rely on retailers who pay attention to environmental protection. Moreover, while some online shoppers demand free and fast delivery, others are also willing to pay for environmentally friendly packaging and wait longer for the package. Accordingly, the year 2020 will once again bring exciting challenges for online retailers!

Nevertheless, we hope that we have been able to give you a good insight into what e-commerce retailers need to prepare for in 2020 and wish you all the best!

 

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