So far in 2014, we have witnessed several key e-commerce marketing trends and techniques that are effective and innovative. Here are just a few of the e-commerce strategies that have become increasingly popular this year:
1. Mobile-friendly websites
Online shoppers no longer feel the need to sit down at their desktop or laptop computers to buy whatever they need or want. These days, more people than ever are using their tablets and phones to order everything from pet supplies to back to school clothes for the kids and more. To make sure that their websites are easily viewed and used on handheld devices, savvy e-commerce business owners are doing everything they can to optimize their sites, so that customers can easily browse their inventory and place an order.
2. Designing targeted content
Another trend that e-commerce entrepreneurs have embraced this year is designing targeted content. Things like guest blogs, educational articles about the company or products, and videos are now being incorporated into more websites than ever. In addition to helping to answer questions that customers might have about the company and its products, targeted content (like a podcast message created by the founder of the company) will help people get to know the business owner and feel a greater connection to the e-commerce company—all while encouraging website visitors to remain on the site longer.
3. Direct response marketing
There has been an increase in direct response marketing this year as well. Unlike other forms of advertising that essentially work to remind consumers that the company is there and perhaps create an image around the company, direct response marketing focuses on getting potential and regular customers to take some sort of immediate action. From joining an email list and placing an order to being re-directed to a company webpage, direct response marketing is a much more measurable form of marketing.
One company that does this considerably well is Wayfair. As Ad Age notes, Nancy Go, the company’s new senior director of brand marketing, has embraced direct response marketing models to help the online housewares retailer not only survive, but thrive. Go explained that as part of Wayfair’s direct response marketing approach, the company has a strong focus on SEO and works with Google to do everything they can to bring customers to their website.
4. Personalized ads
Although some online stores have used personalized ads to entice customers to order for some time, this year has seen an increase in the e-commerce marketing tactic. Brand Watch notes that as consumers become more comfortable with giving online merchants some of their personal information, it has become increasingly easy for business owners to create more meaningful and personalized website experiences.
5. Faster and free shipping
Although shopping online is convenient, people don’t always like having to wait for their products to arrive by mail. Even though we are well past the “allow six to eight weeks for delivery” standard of a few decades ago, waiting even one week can seem like an eternity for many consumers. One trend that emerged in 2014 is faster delivery options. For example, the popular Amazon Prime program and the Amazon Rank Tracker has done a great job of this with its free, two-day delivery option. For customers who want their orders even sooner, many e-commerce retailers have begun offering next-day delivery for at least some of their items, as well as more free shipping options.