It’s getting more difficult to predict which marketing strategies will help you to attract and connect with your audience, as new trends and techniques pop up on a yearly and sometimes monthly basis. With modern technology growing and evolving so fast, digital marketing moves at the same speed with its constant updates and changes to algorithms, making it hard for digital marketers to keep up with the trends and with the competition. That’s why it’s important to be one step ahead and follow the growing trends that will influence next year’s marketing success.
Even though some methods work now, it doesn’t mean they will work again in the future. And just when you think that you finally understand your audience, a new trend, a new technology or an entirely new audience shows up and changes everything. So to help you stay on top of the game, we’ve listed 14 types of marketing trends that will be popular in the year 2020 below.
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14 Trends That Will Shape eCommerce Marketing in 2020:
1. Micro-Influencer Marketing
Did you know that influencer marketing campaigns earn $6.50 for every dollar spent? Today influencer marketing plays a huge role in all types of marketing, but business owners are no longer limited to work with big celebrities and names that everyone knows when deciding to go with the influencer marketing strategy. Today choosing to work with micro-influencers helps to engage more with the targeted audience and boost your brand awareness.
Micro-influencers tend to have fewer followers, from thousands to tens-of-thousands, but their content usually has a higher level of engagement with their audience. Followers consider them as regular people, unlike hard-to-reach celebrities. Micro-influencers give their audience a sense of knowing them personally, like their friends or family, that’s why followers trust their recommendations. In fact, 70% of teens trust influencers more than traditional celebrities.
People say that micro-influencers are the future of influencer marketing. And it’s not the number of followers that determines true influence. Engagement rates, clicks, and purchases are what really matters, making working with micro-influencers more cost-effective for your business.
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You probably heard Dale Carnegie’s famous quote: “Remember that a person’s name is to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language”. If you think about it, this quotation refers directly to the value of personalization.
Personalization is becoming the future of digital marketing, and some marketers even say that 2020 is going to be the year of personalized marketing. There was a survey of 1000 people and 90% of them mentioned that they have found personalized marketing appealing. But what’s more important for your brand is that 80% of the surveyed audience acknowledged that they would be more likely to purchase from a brand that offered a personalized experience. Personalization will also affect customer support teams thanks to alternative solutions to Zendesk that give support agents rich information on customers loyalty and
behavior. Personalization is a great tool for increasing conversions, and that’s why experienced digital marketers have been leveraging personalization for years to improve their marketing achievements.
Nowadays not everyone feels comfortable speaking to a real person on the phone. 45% of users admit that they prefer communicating with chatbots, instead of customer service. And a study shows that 33% of consumers just hate repeating themselves to several sales or customer service representatives. That’s why chatbots are becoming so convenient. According to Grand View Research, the worldwide chatbot market will reach $1.25 billion by 2025, growing at an annual rate of 24.3 percent.
Chatbots are small artificial intelligence helpers, that are integrated into your website and can quickly answer your customers’ questions with personalized responses, understand complex requests and quickly fulfill them.
With the improvement in AI technology, chatbots keep improving their ability to hold a basic conversation with the website’s visitors like a live human customer service representative would. Many businesses use chatbots as they are cheaper than actual customer support staff, they interact with website visitors and customers faster and they are never in a bad mood, meaning they will never be rude to your customers.
4. Testing Your Content
The average CPC for Facebook and Google advertising has increased steadily over the past five years. Depending on your industry, a single click from an ad placed on Google’s Search Network can cost almost $100.
Google claims that their ads generate many times the amount that they cost – but that depends on your profit margin and your conversion rate. So how do you make sure your ad spend isn’t wasted?
Testing your content is the only reliable way to optimize your webpages so that they generate the sales needed to pay for your ads. To do that, you
need an A/B testing tool that lets you experiment with different kinds of content.
A/B testing allows you to compare the conversion rate you achieve with
different titles, images, and page designs. That means more leads and a
better ROI for your paid ads.
5. Video Content
Adding video content to your marketing strategy isn’t something new, but its popularity and effectiveness have increased in recent years. In the past creating video content was limited due to high production costs. But today it became much cheaper and accessible, so it’s easier to leverage it into your marketing efforts, as there’s no need to hire a production company. Today marketers only need a smartphone and editing software in order to create proper video content for the company.
83% of marketers admit that video provides a good ROI and more than 50% of the consumers say that they prefer to see video content more than any other type of content from brands. So really, it doesn’t matter whether you’re making video reviews for your products, stories for social media or even shooting for webinars – video content is an incredibly effective digital tool. So don’t forget adding it to your marketing game and you will notice some impressive changes.
6. Social Media
Social media marketing isn’t going anywhere. It is still a popular trend that’s become a part of almost every brand’s marketing strategy. Social media gives you an opportunity to truly connect with your audience on a personal level. And with more than 3.7 billion people using social media from day to day, it’s essential to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to your brand’s media activities.
It’s not a secret that social media keeps changing, there are lots of updates on a monthly basis and new trends on different platforms, affecting how you can engage with your audience. For example, this year Instagram added shoppable posts and stories feature and it has affected eCommerce world like it never did before. So in order to stay competitive, make sure that as a business owner you adjust your social media marketing strategies and tactics to each of these changes.
7. Smart Speakers
2020 is also a big year for voice search. Today voice assistants and smart speakers are getting cheaper and more affordable, and it gives them a huge potential to become a significant marketing tool in the upcoming year. According to ComScore, half of all online searches will be voice searches by 2020.
Last year smart speaker shipments grew nearly 200% over the year, and by 2022, 55% of households are expected to own smart speaker devices. So how can Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant help you to gain more customers? Try optimizing your content by framing information around questions. So when a customer asks “Where’s a nearby jewelry shop?” or “Place an order for kitchen supplies.”, voice assistants will be able to easily see your brand and suggest it to the customer.
8. Mobile-Friendly Experience
Mobile usage is increasing with a speed of light, especially for search queries, social media, news and business websites. Mobile is becoming a dominant platform and starts outpacing the traditional desktop web. So to give your customers the best experience possible make sure that your website is mobile-friendly and your customers are able to access your website from anywhere.
Your brand’s website needs to be easy to find and read via smartphones, and the website’s speed is also very important. For example, Google prioritizes better and faster performing websites in its search engine results pages and, of course, no customer wants to browse a slow downloading website.
9. Position Zero in Google’s Search
Ranking No.1 in Google’s search is no longer the goal for experienced marketers. The top spot in search engine results pages (SERPs) is now position zero – a featured snippet of text that appears above Google’s search results, originally called “Quick Answers” and also referred to as the “answer box”. Getting your content to the position zero is big as it’s the first and most of the time only result that users will view and proceed to the website.
How can you get your content to the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs)? It’s all about delivering the best possible answers to search requests. Produce the best content possible on your business’ topic and ensure that Google and your potential clients find answers quickly by optimizing your content for position zero.
10. Customers’ Security and Privacy
In the marketing world, data is highly valuable, and some people even say that data is the new oil. It helps marketers run and analyze marketing campaigns, create personalized experiences for each segment of customers and develop new products. And today it’s every business owner’s responsibility to ensure that its security is absolute. Whether it’s your customers’ credit card information, location or email address – it’s very important to take care of it, as customers view their data as precious and privileged.
Unfortunately not every company can promise security or privacy, and customers are noticing this as they understand the importance of secured data. Many small companies have already lost their customers’ trust or even been sued over privacy mishaps in recent years. People are informed about possible data leaks, hacks, and even theft, and they will probably choose a company that can promise them the safest buying experience.
11. Focus on Gen Z
Gen Z is the newest generation that was born between the years 1995 and 2015, and they are currently between 4 to 24 years old. And just when marketers seemed to learn to understand Millenials, it’s now time to pay attention to Gen Z, because by 2020, Gen Z is expected to account for 40% of all customers. As Gen Z is getting older it enters the workforce and starts earning money, meaning they can bring in major revenue, their own as well as revenue from their parents.
So what do marketers already know about Gen Z? They don’t check their email, have an 8-second attention span and people jokingly (or not) say that they are killing businesses that are not online. They are growing in a world with a struggling economy and overflow of information, and are going to be quite a challenge for marketers. But in the end, they want the same thing as everybody else – build a relationship with brands that bring value and care about its customers.
12. AI and VR/AR Technology
AI and VR/AR technology will make a huge impact on digital marketing trends for the next year. AI (artificial intelligence) refers to technology that can work like humans do, for example, chatbots and smart speakers Siri and Alexa, that were mentioned above. AI makes data analysis quicker and more efficient, easily understands and fulfills requests, targets potential leads, generates personalized recommendations by understanding people’s behavior and taste. Did Spotify or Netflix ever recommend a perfect song or a movie for you? That’s AI.
VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) is a technology that was created to improve customers’ experience online, and you are probably using this technology from day to day. Have you ever seen a 360° video? That is VR. And IKEA and Gucci implemented AR into their mobile apps, helping their customers see how the products would look on them or in their homes. Both of these technologies are becoming more accessible for regular customers, that’s why businesses are adding VR and AR to their marketing strategy.
13. Rewards and VIP tiers
VIP tier is a great way to build customer loyalty and remind your long-term customers that you value a relationship between them and your brand. When reaching a certain condition, customers in addition to or instead of points gets a special status that allows them to enjoy certain privileges or get access to additional features like early sales access and exclusive products. And motivate your customers to like and promote your brand, repeat purchases and increase their customer lifetime value by designing Rewards and Loyalty Programs.
It’s needless to say that people love discounts and rewards, it makes them feel valued by your brand. So show your appreciation to your customers by rewarding them and using a system of ranks or tiers. It will help you keep the best ones engaged with your loyalty program and your brand.
14. Shopping with a Purpose
Today more and more people are ready to pay extra money for products and services from brands with social or environmental impact. When asked, 87% of people replied that they would buy a product with a social and environmental benefit if given the opportunity and 92% will be more likely to trust a company that supports social or environmental issues, according to Forbes.
Also, consumers love buying products that have a story. Was it handcrafted by women in Africa or does it come from the mountains of Central Asia, is the product vegan-friendly or made from recycled materials? People want to hear a story behind the product and add value to each purchase.
Being aware of emerging or continuing marketing trends is an essential part of keeping your business and marketing ahead of the game. So try leveraging a few of these trends into your 2020 marketing strategy and stay focused on the marketing updates that matter in your industry. Because businesses can no longer afford to ignore marketing innovations and technology if they don’t want to be left behind their competitors. I would wish you good luck with your marketing strategy in the next year, but we all know – there is no luck, only good marketing.
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