Have you ever wondered how online shopping began? E-commerce’s humble beginnings started in teleshopping in the 1960s before the internet arrived in the 90s. As the internet grew popular, we welcomed the first ever e-commerce stores: Amazon (1994) and eBay (1995).
Since then, the e-commerce industry experienced a meteoric rise in growth. Today, there are between 12 to 24 million online stores. Now, that’s a lot. With all this competition, how do you get noticed? Follow our e-commerce marketing trends if you’re aiming to grow next year.
In this blog, we speak to Colleen, our Head of Client Relations, and her key marketing takeaways from the eCommerce Expo.
What is an eCommerce Expo?
The eCommerce Expo is a yearly event that discusses everything related to online trade. This event is in collaboration with Technology for Marketing, which brings in the latest news in MarTech (marketing technology) and how best to keep up with the fast-changing industry.
During my time there, I met many companies Trio partners with, including TrustPilot, Google, TikTok Shop, Meta and Lead Forensics. I also heard from huge e-commerce players like Shopify, Big Commerce, Mailchimp and Klaviyo .
What is e-commerce marketing?
E-commerce marketing is basically digital marketing. The main goal is to promote your company’s products or services online to drive website traffic, convert prospects into customers and create loyal return visitors.
Improving your online presence can take different forms. You can optimise visibility on search engines with SEO or get immediate attention with PPC or social media advertising. E-commerce marketing also includes content writing, influencer partnerships and email marketing.
E-commerce marketing trends
Throughout the eCommerce Expo, I picked up on four trending topics on everyone’s lips.
E-commerce marketing trends for 2024:
- Use AI to streamline processes
- Integrate machine learning for data-driven, hyper-personalised marketing
- Move towards v-commerce (video shopping)
- Be bolder in your marketing campaigns
Don’t fear AI, adopt it
At this event, leading brands discussed artificial intelligence (AI) as the answer for almost everything. AI is a computer system or robot built with intellectual human characteristics to perform tasks. Some popular applications include ChatGPT, Bard, Siri and Grammarly.
Recently, Canva created Magic Studio, a hub of AI tools from AI image generation to content writing. Plus, almost all mailing brands incorporate AI features into their platforms. We put Canva’s Magic Studio to the test and well, the results were not promising. This is an example meme, which includes AI jibberish.
As an e-commerce brand, you should be exploring all the AI tools available and learning how to use it to streamline processes rather than replace people. For many professionals, AI has a favourable outlook. In Search Engine Journal’s recent report, 72.4% believe AI will bring huge benefits. This is true – AI can automate processes, eliminate human error, improve productivity, and is available every day.
Next time you think of using AI, test it. All major e-commerce brands are A/B testing AI vs human-generated content to see what works best.
Use machine learning
Machine learning (ML) is a branch of AI and computer science which builds systems to learn and improve performance using the data they consume. ML is an extremely powerful tool for any marketer. At the exhibition, one point was made clear to me. If you’re not using ML and AI, you’re already behind.
Machine learning collects, analyses and creates deep insights from large amounts of data. You no longer need to stare at endless Google sheets; instead, use ML to uncover patterns and trends in minutes. ML models can predict customer behaviour, product demands and market trends, making planning your e-commerce marketing strategy essential.
If you sell lots of products, ML will allow you to create highly personalised customer experiences, craft targeted marketing campaigns and product recommendations and tailor customer service to unique needs. It’s time to befriend a machine and start improving your online sales.
Start selling through video
‘V-commerce’ is now the new way of selling. Brands are now investing more into video marketing to drive sales. Don’t rely on your website anymore – video can get you even further.
80% of video marketers say that video has increased sales. This is not surprising. Video marketing will improve your SEO and get you seen on platforms like TikTok, Instagram and YouTube. As such, v-commerce appeals to mobile users, where 59% of digital videos are consumed.
Authentic videos build trust, educate your audience and sell your product in new ways. Plus, video marketing works for any industry, whether you’re service or product-led.
Be bold(ish) in your campaigns
Big brands are starting to get bolder with their marketing. KFC’s recent reverse marketing campaign took a risky approach involving swearing to grab attention. This campaign was about saying goodbye to their infamously bad chips and bringing out version 2 of their signature fries.
It’s all part of the “you asked, we listened” tactic. Brands will use customer complaints and flip them with improved product lines or strategically use them for bold marketing. Take Ryanair, for example.
Taking risks might not always be the best idea if you’re a smaller business. These brands have a strong reputation and tone of voice, which helps them get away with bolder messages. For now, avoid coarse language and focus on making your copywriting more impactful.
Machine learning and AI is one way to help you achieve this. 👀
Contact Trio, your e-commerce marketing experts
Want to convert a website visitor into a loyal customer? Trio Media’s integrated marketing team will help you catch attention, drive traffic and see sales increase with Trio.
If you want to learn more about our digital marketing services, contact our team or call us at 0113 733 2020.