With 2018 underway, most e-commerce businesses already have plans they are putting into place to drive further business success in the New Year.
For most, customer experience remains the focus. That’s a good goal to keep in mind no matter what the strategy. More off-the-shelf software and the ease in creating websites has created a situation where many sites have the technology, but not all focus enough on customer experience.
Those that do will find they have a competitive edge on the competition.
The following areas are some of the places businesses are expected to focus to achieve that edge in 2018.
Increasing, organizations are turning to outside digital marketing agencies, such as iFame Media, to get the expertise they need. Outside companies also have the latest innovative technology tools to improve the customer journey through a site, increasing conversions and driving more traffic.
Email Continues To Prove Powerful
Email remains one of the most powerful channels to reach potential customers even as social media grabs most of the headlines. Forbes reports that email marketing, when done well, remains highly effective in driving new customers to a website. With new technology that gives people the chance to make purchases from their inbox, according to Forbes, email will become more critical than ever.
As experts in outside agencies already know, an increase in collaboration between different departments is more important than ever for marketing success in e-commerce. This can include people from social media, public relations and content marketing. All are needed to achieve the desired goal of strong consumer engagement and experience.
Content and Credibility
Content also will continue to be important as the New Year unfolds. Almost every e-commerce site knows to create content. The question then becomes: Is it any good? A vast majority of consumers research before they make a purchase, meaning that content must engage readers and provide or direct them to useful information. Content also should aim at improving a site’s rankings in Google searches. This combination has proven effective in the past and will continue to do so in 2018.
Leaders in ambitious e-commerce businesses will continue to look for ways to personalize their brand through content, advertising, website design and marketing campaigns. The goal is no longer to simply display a product or service in the best light, but to also connect with potential customers on a personal level. This also can involve giving customers the ability to customize their products and services.
Part of personalization is localization. With the buying public more fragmented than ever, aiming for potential customers in certain demographics is critical. This can simply mean a company in Central Florida providing information about Central Florida. It can also mean reaching out to niche groups, such as fans of certain products or hobbies (video games or traveling are two examples). Whatever they case, more localization is needed to achieve success.
This is an area that is just beginning to take off for most companies. While gathering data is important, most companies can now do this. The key is determining what to do with that data. Data can be used to make recommendations to frequent customers, for example, and help identify buying trends that can inform future marketing and sales efforts. Finding innovative ways to use data is an important “next step” for many e-commerce companies in 2018.
All these issues tie back into customer experience, perhaps the most critical issue that companies face. The emergence of online shopping has given more power to the customers. How e-commerce businesses further enhance that trend will take centerstage in 2018.