eCommerce: Trends, Best Practices, and Examples


 

How can I optimize my ecommerce marketing strategy?

 


Now more than ever, eCommerce trends and best practices are crucial to master and understand. To do this, enhancing customer personalization, automation, taking risks, and pivoting quickly are key techniques for brands to stay relevant.

D2C practices are another significant component to boosting eCommerce sales and visibility; for instance, as a way to combat COVID-19's effects to brick-and-mortar sales,  L'Oréal leaned into D2C sales, which led to a 63 percent increase and contributed to the company's acquisition of 1.5 billion consumer data points.

Lubomira Rochet, global chief digital officer at L'Oréal, shared integral recommendations for optimizing digital assets, branding, and content, stating, "Many people mistake a digital transformation for a technological transformation, but it is first and foremost a people transformation."

Rochet added that brands can't be all things to all people, stating, "Prioritize. If you start your brand today, you think, "I want to have a YouTube channel, an Instagram account, a TikTok account, a Twitter account, and do my own D2C." So, I think it's really important to start by thinking about your brand equity, your brand utility, and what you're trying to bring to the world. If you're in a situation where it is really important to educate people on different categories, then you may want to use YouTube and adopt a very content-oriented strategy. If you're a makeup company, then very inspiring, very immersive content on Instagram and TikTok might be more appropriate.

So, start with what you want to say to the world, how you want to say it, and prioritize your channels accordingly... Testing and learning on all the channels is really important, to figure out what's working and what's not working. But for an organization our size, bringing to scale is also really important.

And so, you have to be a learning company and have enough data to understand and seize the emerging channels, while maximizing on the more traditional channels as well."

Below are trends, brand examples, and best practices for ecommerce. 


Trends 

  • What's Next for eCommerce in 2022? 5 Predictions About Innovation. ANA, January 2022.
    In recent years, we've seen seismic shifts in the customer experience (CX), with brands aiming to meet consumers' rising expectations for ecommerce and the post-purchase experience. In 2022, these expectations will continue to evolve. eCommerce brands will also have to deal with growing competition, supply chain issues, as well as product and labor shortages.

    Yet, as General Motors CEO Mary Barra has said, "Remember that hope is not a strategy. Problems don't go away when you ignore them — they get bigger." As such, ecommerce players need to meet their problems and challenges head on by innovating around CX. This blog from ANA's Marketing Maestros describes five ways they'll do it:
    • Packaging emerges as the "new storefront."
    • Data tools see more investment.
    • VIP returns grow.
    • Circular ecommerce grows.
    • Livestreaming takes hold in the U.S.
  • eCommerce Statistics and Trends for 2022. Social Media Today, January 2022.
    eCommerce activity has seen a huge jump over the past two years, with the pandemic forcing more of us to find alternative means to browse and buy, due to lockdowns, store closures, and other restrictions. That's accelerated the already rising trend towards online shopping, which now looks set to remain a key focus for some time, with new variants causing more outbreaks, increasing concerns about a return to physical interaction.

    With that in mind, it's worth noting what the latest eCommerce trends tell us about evolving consumer preferences, and how your business can align with such to maximize your opportunities. To help with this, the team from Website Builder Expert put together an infographic of ecommerce trend data, including valuable notes on overall growth, product trends, environmental concerns, and more. Sample finding:

  • 2022 Ecommerce Predictions: 5 Trends that Will Shape the Future of Digital Retail. Retail Touchpoints, December 2021.
    The ecommerce boom of 2020 brought millions of new shoppers to digital platforms, and that growth trajectory continued into 2021. For many retailers, the past year was spent catching up with soaring consumer expectations. Fast shipping, frictionless checkout, quick load times, mobile optimization, personalization at every level — many things that were nice-to-haves before COVID-19 quickly became musts as ecommerce moved even further into the retail mainstream.

    Most retailers have now perfected their baseline eCommerce experience, which means 2022 will be the year they get to the new nice-to-haves. The editorial team of Retail Touchpoints has taken the biggest news from the last year, as well as key insights gleaned from the leading minds in retail, and boiled it all down into five ecommerce trends:

  • 4 eCommerce Trends You Need to Know for 2022. Sprout Social, November 2021.
    Today, it's easier than ever to shop online with just a few touches on your smartphone. Before 2020, online shopping was already on the rise. The pandemic only pushed the growth of ecommerce faster with revenue projected at $5.02 billion in 2022. While physical stores aren't going away, consumers want choice and convenience. It's important for businesses to keep up with the latest ecommerce trends because consumer behavior is constantly evolving. Product launches no longer take place solely in the physical space; the digital one is just as, if not more, important. This article has a specific focus on social commerce, augmented reality (AR) commerce, livestream shopping, and conversational commerce.

Best Practices
 

  • The Complete Commerce Marketing Guide for Brands at Every Business Stage. AdRoll, December 2021.
    From blogs to Instagram to Google ads, ecommerce marketing can be a tough beast to conquer. How do you know which tactic can best help you boost traffic? Increase conversions? Grab more market share? This comprehensive guide will introduce you to different ecommerce marketing channels, tactics, and tools for every brand at every business stage. Whether you're just starting out, looking to grow, or aiming to become a brand leader, you can use these ecommerce marketing tips to drive brand awareness and delight your audience.

For Starting Brands, this SlideShare is helpful:
The Complete Ecommerce Marketing Guide (1/3): For Starting Brands from AdRoll

For Growing Brands:

The Complete Ecommerce Marketing Guide (2/3): For Growing Brands from AdRoll

For Leading Brands:


The Complete Ecommerce Marketing Guide (3/3): For Leading Brands from AdRoll

  • How to Take Your Ecommerce Marketing Strategy to the Next Level. Business 2 Community, December 2021.
    Most business owners and marketers are interested in taking their ecommerce strategies to the next level, especially in the new year, as it's when marketers reassess their various strategies and learn how they can improve. The thing is, digital marketing can be complex, and processes may vary depending on industry, budget, and resources.

    You must keep these factors in mind when you're trying to decide how you'll increase sales, subscriptions, and engagement in the coming months. This article shares universal tips to benefit business leaders and marketers, regardless of what you sell or how you've promoted your brand up until this point. They include:
    • Diversify your subscription options.
    • Make personalization a marketing cornerstone.
    • Show visitors sales notifications.
    • Boost sales by inspiring FOMO.
    • Use retargeting to reach lost customers.
  • 15 eCommerce Business Types to Get Your Head Around. Influencer Marketing Hub, October 2021.
    eCommerce has grown rapidly over the last few years, and its existence has literally been a lifesaver during the lockdowns of COVID-19. Online stores are flourishing. In many cases, the biggest problem they face is sourcing sufficient stock to sell, rather than finding customers. Unlike traditional bricks and mortar stores, it can be relatively cheap to set up an eCommerce business. This makes it an accessible sector to enter, although fierce competition may mean that it is not so easy to survive unless you have planned your business clearly and know precisely what you want to achieve.

    If you wish to set up an eCommerce business, you need to set clear goals. You need to know precisely the type of ecommerce business you want to operate and why. There are a few fundamental decisions you must make as part of your planning. You need to be able to describe the type of business you intend to establish.

    You also must decide how you intend to sell your products, along with a general idea of the marketing methods you will use. This article categorizes ecommerce businesses in various ways. Although you may fit into more than one group in each section, you need to decide where you intend to place your focus.

  • 6 Best Practices to Swear by When Marketing a New eCommerce Store. Business 2 Community, June 2021.
    Every ecommerce store, new or old, big or small, has one goal: to increase conversions and sales. But not all ecommerce stores are successful in achieving this objective. According to multiple sources, including HuffPost and Forbes, 90 percent of ecommerce startups fail within 120 days. One of the top reasons why ecommerce businesses fail is poor online marketing, leading to a lack of online search visibility. This article summarizes the significance of marketing your ecommerce stores the right way. If you want to be a part of that 10 percent cohort that runs a profitable ecommerce business, read through and implement the tactics shared here.

  • eCommerce Site Best Practices: The Anatomy of the 'Perfect' eCommerce Site. Core DNA, April 2021.

    The internet is a shopper's paradise. From the comfort of the home and with one click, a consumer can purchase almost anything they desire, without the hassle of fighting traffic, finding parking, braving the crowds, and coping with adverse weather. So where does that place you?

    In an increasingly overcrowded ecommerce world against your fellow online vendors. To beat the curve and join the ranks of the high-flying eCommerce stores, you need to provide consumers with a well-organized and efficient online shopping experience. Great eCommerce sites have several elements in common. Core DNA breaks these down by looking in depth at the most important pages, including examples.


Examples

  • Personalization Strategies in the Age of Creativity. ANA, May 2021.
    COVID-19 has disrupted many industries, particularly retail. As a result, consumers have shifted their spend to digital in droves, introducing many first-time buyers. The most effective marketers have always known the strategic value of engaging experiences and visual communications, and the benefits have only compounded in 2020.

    During the past year, Office Depot has used email to communicate with consumers to increase e-commerce sales, find ways to deliver products more seamlessly, and be a trusted resource. Office Depot's Tom Griffin dug into how the company brought its in-store experience directly to customers' email boxes, which in turn drove increased e-commerce sales, developed deeper one-to-one connections, and made the organization's marketing more relevant and resonant than ever before.

  • Driving Growth by Reinventing Beauty Experiences, Content, and Commerce. ANA, April 2021.
    Lubomira Rochet, Global Chief Digital Officer, L'Oreal, discussed how the pandemic accelerated the company's digital transformation to the point where e-commerce is now its biggest market. Lubomira shared how L'Oreal is capitalizing on technology to re-imagine commerce, content, and experiences in the beauty market.

  • LifeStyles Healthcare Australia: Publicly Traded. ANA, April 2021.
    Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), like stocks, are "publicly traded." That was the idea at the heart of this stock-market-inspired, ecommerce platform for LifeStyles Condoms that aimed to create value for customers, inspiring them to provide their email address and phone number for future communication.

  • How to Elevate eCommerce in Your Organization. ANA, March 2021.
    Despite the emergence of online shopping, consumers still want to visit physical stores. But brick-and-mortar and e-commerce aren't competing business models. The two should complement each other, as more people are going online to guide purchasing decisions in-store.

    For example, 35 percent of Walmart store customers visit the company's website before making a purchase in-store, and 55 percent of consumers who visit the site buy something in-store within 24 hours. Thus, retailers need to optimize both their physical and online presence to create the best consumer experience. Todd Hassenfelt, senior director of ecommerce at Simple Mills, shared how companies can leverage online channels to drive sales and in-store traffic.

Tools

  • Ecommerce Planning Kit. HubSpot.
    Ecommerce business need to track the sales, conversion rates, and go-to-market plans for countless different products. To alleviate this, HubSpot created an all-inclusive planning kit for ecommerce businesses. Included is a template to document your ecommerce marketing and sales plan, alongside 6 abandoned cart email templates to reduce lost customers. Additionally, they've included a tracking template to determine sales, revenue, conversion rates, revenue by vendor, and more.


 

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Source

"eCommerce: Trends, Best Practices, and Examples." ANA, 2022.