Digital trends have the power to disrupt business development strategies, while an increase in consumer demands means ecommerce is constantly improving. Combined, this makes way for great innovation and change. Any ambitious organisation will do everything they can to take advantage of this opportunity.
Here we’re going to unearth some of the digital innovation trends that are fuelling ecommerce. By understanding how they work – or don’t work – you’ll gain greater insight into how you can create a strategy that will expand your capabilities, and ultimately make your Shopify business thrive.
The Personalised Experience
Simply addressing someone by their first name through different points of digital communication doesn’t qualify as a personalised experience any more. In fact by now it’s pretty much expected from you. And while behavioural targeting remains crucial, it no longer covers the full scope of a personalised experience.
If you want to establish a strong connection between brand and consumer you have to put a lot of creative thought into tailored individual experiences.
1. Use contextual marketing properly
This customer-centric approach plays a key role in personalised customer experience because it makes use of real-time targeting based on relevancy and intent. Here, marketing is driven by intelligent automated systems that make use of valuable information like location, language, past behaviour, purchase history, search history, channel preference, device preference and even the time of day. With greater immediacy and relevance comes greater response rates, conversions and sales.
But it’s important to understand that contextual marketing goes beyond the likes of Google Ads, Adsense and social media advertising. You can’t go without these, but you can’t rely on them entirely. Targeted advertisements still drive significant traffic, but today’s sophisticated customers are getting more annoyed with intelligent systems closing in on their personal screen space to display search-related advertisements.
The illusion of synchronicity is a thing of the past. Consumers are likely to skip over your ad – or even hide it entirely – if they feel they’re getting bombarded by your brand.
If you want to accomplish effective contextual marketing that brings you closer to your audience, you have to start using the right advanced ecommerce software that will automate and personalise your marketing across the entire customer journey. Keep track of your consumers’ micro-moments and customise your value propositions as per the needs of the receptive individual.
You can also accomplish proper contextual marketing by implementing machine-driven content recommendations that keep a relevant connection between different points of a user journey. This helps shorten the conversion cycle by automatically understanding what content is most effective in driving customer interest for your products online. It also creates a deeper online relationship with your consumer by delivering conversation lightly and seamlessly.
2. Personalise every page
The product and checkout pages may be at the top of your mind when you think of personalisation. But remember, if you’re approaching an effective omnichannel marketing strategy then customers can enter your site through many different points. This means every single page’s design on your ecommerce site is as crucial as the next, and you should ensure that you’re always including extra encouragement to purchase, no matter where on your site a consumer ends up.
Advanced ecommerce platforms enables highly effective personalised opportunities, but it’s up to you to ensure you’re maximising these capabilities! According to Shopify and other ecommerce experts, some of the most important personalisation tactics you should be tackling include:
Personalising your home page according to new or returning visitors in order to showcase products accordingly. New visitors may first see popular items based on conversions, click-through rates and revenue, whereas returning visitors may first see abandoned cart products, recently viewed products or targeted discounts.
Leveraging intelligent product-detail page recommendations to enhance cross-selling and up-selling opportunities through a direct path. It’s important to understand that page-types don’t all follow the same personalised product recommendation tactics because different strategies are effective at different points. Always dig into your available data before making decisions.
Introducing continuous shopping that makes it effortless for returning customers to pick up exactly where they left off, even across different devices.
Creating personalized bestseller lists based on data gathered from similar targeted audiences, localisation and online reviews, in order to entice click-throughs, drive exploration and increase purchase value.
Integrating user-generated content across your funnel to establish a tangible connection, maintain real-time conversation and enhance word-of-mouth marketing strategies. This tactic goes hand-in-hand with creating personalised bestseller lists and can be useful offsite too.
Using automated popups at the right time and in the right context, based on behavioural triggers, in order to simplify further sales journeys.
Automating personalised email types that will remind visitors of items in cart, entice returning visits, or promote contextual marketing.
Performing user testing, A/B testing and conclusive user behaviour research throughout implementing all of the above in order to verify that your page layout, content and user journeys are aligned to succeed. This is important as an ongoing practice because human behaviour changes as fast as digital trends do.
Through all this automation, don’t forget to breathe creativity into everything that you decide to do. Digital transformation may be caused and supported by technological advances, but both only exist because pioneers in their field got creative. Imagination is still the key driver of innovation. So don’t simply copy every trend and guideline that seems to work – find a way to bring your brand to life through it.
Google voice search, which is only about eight years old now, has grown to be of the most disruptive trends in the digital world – and the statistics show!
According to a report by OC&C Strategy Consultants, voice search is anticipated to jump to $40 billion in worth by the year 2022, while voice-assistant shopping will see 1,900% growth within the next two years. It’s also predicted that by next year, over 50% of all online searches will be voice searches.
As an ecommerce entrepreneur you still have the opportunity to leverage voice search opportunities before it hits the forefront of online shopping, because we’re not there just yet. According to an Adobe Analytics survey that questioned over 1000 people, the most common voice searches are used to ask for: music 70%, weather forecast 64%, fun questions 53%, online search for information 47%, news 46%, and directions 34%.
Only 30% of those surveyed said they use voice search for online shopping. For now. Voice AI, speech recognition technology and machine learning are improving exponentially, so you need to start giving it your full attention as soon as possible.
The emerging popularity of voice search has also already introduced a fundamental change to SEO practises, and it will continue doing so. Here are some of the most important SEO rules that will become more and more prevalent with the rise of voice search:
- Content should only use natural language that can answer short and specific questions directly.
- Schema markup and rich snippets must be used to help search engines understand the context of your content instantly.
- Content duplication must be avoided at all costs, along with unnecessary information that causes clutter.
- Hyperlocal search behaviour needs extra attention from the marketing team.
The dawn of 5G
The introduction of the 5G chip is set for delivery in 2019, and approximately one million 5G smartphones will be shipped out of an estimated 1.5 billion global smartphone sales. Comprehensive rollouts are expected to continue in 2020.
This technological advancement offers a massive jump in network speed and its low latency boasts the ability to support next-generation technologies like:
- Evolved virtual/augmented reality capabilities
- Advanced cloud-computing
- Introduction of robotic, long distance surgeries and telemedicine
- Development of automated traffic systems and smart cities
- Expansion in the amount of connected devices, impacting the power of IoT
It also means that millions more people will gain access to the internet as 5G coverage becomes available in different areas, creating even greater possibilities across borders and bringing unprecedented societal change on a global scale.
But at the same time, thousands of scientists, doctors, environmental organisations and concerned citizens in over 200 countries have started an international appeal to stop 5G on earth and in space because of the harmful side effects of such extremely high waves of radio frequency. Experts are boycotting the deployment and calling for 5G satellites to be prohibited since it will result in a massive increase in inescapable, involuntary exposure to wireless radiation which is harmful to humans, wildlife and microorganisms. As of this month, there are over 130 000 signatories appealing this deployment, stating that “5G constitutes an experiment on humanity and the environment that is defined as a crime under international law.”
Our environment comes first and digital innovation holds a massive responsibility towards improving our planet – not destroying it. It will be interesting to see how experts defend the name of 5G coverage to the UN, WHO, EU, Council of Europe and governments of all nations who are against its launch.
While this debate continues, thousands of citizens also fear this digital trend because of computerised innovation taking over so many jobs. But this is where we must remember: anything that cannot be digitised or automated will become extremely valuable. We must not fear the changing technological world, but rather embrace it and submerge ourselves into what it is becoming. Like the inspirational futurist Gert Leonhard says, “human only traits such as creativity, imagination, intuition, emotion and ethics will be even more important in the future, because machines are very good at simulating - but not at being. Humanity is where true and lasting value is created.”
Our role as digital experts in ecommerce will become increasingly important because since we have direct contact with consumers in the real world, we’re part of the change that paves the way to complete online transformation.
Ready for the next step?
If you want to take a leap into the future then you should start taking full advantage of digital innovation now. The success of your ecommerce store depends on your ability to transform alongside the online trends that get consumers to take action.
Transcending this sort of technology doesn’t happen overnight. You need skill, insight and mad dedication. So leave it up to us! Our digital and tech teams join forces to create modernised and highly efficient experiences for any business using the Shopify platform. Check out our portfolio to see some of the work we’ve accomplished so far and contact us when you want to get started.