5 Marketing Trends E-Commerce Business Owners Shouldn't Miss
Take your e-commerce business to the next level by ramping up your marketing efforts. It's not enough to have a great product and positive reviews. To expand your customer base and get in front of the right consumers, you need to be proactive and promote your business across many channels. Meet your customers and prospective customers where they are: online.
Much like food and fashion, e-commerce marketing is heavily impacted by trends. New, click-worthy ways to catch customers’ attention crop up all the time, and taking notice of which methods are relevant to your brand is key to staying relevant in the online marketplace.
This year has seen a lot of development when it comes to e-commerce marketing strategy. Though not every trending marketing method will work with every online store (and some trends are classics making their way back into the mainstream), sellers of all experience levels can benefit from investigating how current fads might positively impact engagement and revenue.
With social media influencers having only existed for the last few years, this e-commerce marketing strategy is practically brand-new. Influencers, or social media users with large followings, are often willing to serve as marketing conduits for products they believe in—for a price. Their endorsements come in countless forms, from individual Instagram posts and YouTube demonstrations to a sponsored series of TikTok videos. And with more than 70 percent of the US population holding at least one social media account, these relationships could hold the key to increasing traffic to your online storefront. Influencer post pricing can vary widely, and if you can’t swing for the first potential relationships that come to mind, try checking out micro-influencers, or social media users with smaller yet highly-engaged followings.
It’s unfortunate but true: shoppers are more likely to purchase an item with pleasant packaging than an item that looks lackluster upon arriving at their doorstep. Regardless of product effectiveness or fit, consumers want the products they use to look good. And in a highly visual social media world, appearances matter more than ever. The attractiveness of a product can make or break a consumer’s decision to tap your Instagram ad, browse your virtual storefront, and ultimately make a purchase—at every step in the process. It’s a significant reason why Glossier, an online-only cosmetics brand, is so successful; despite the company producing standard makeup and skincare products, its minimal “millennial pink” packaging lures even skeptical buyers into trying those products at home. By serving up your products in aesthetically pleasing (and even environmentally-friendly) bottles, boxes, and wraps, you can appeal to consumers’ desire to live an equally pretty lifestyle.
QR codes exploded in popularity at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic as businesses sought ways to reduce physical contact. As it turns out, these boxy little codes can serve as an easy way to keep customers connected with your brand. They can be placed on product packaging to link back to your social media, satisfaction surveys, or a discount page for loyal customers’ follow-up purchases. QR codes can also be added to stickers and business cards to provide a path to your storefront for anyone new to your brand. By implementing cleverly-placed QR codes, you can reach customers where they already spend a vast amount of time: their smartphones.
This is a tried-and-true e-commerce marketing tactic that’s here to stay. By building connections with other website owners (such as bloggers), you may be able to create a relationship in which you link to one another’s sites. These links are known in the marketing world as “backlinks,” and they significantly boost your site’s SEO, as search engine algorithms view backlinked sites as more steadfast and legitimate. The Amazon FBA business grinderPUNCH, which sells eyewear for a variety of demographics, has utilized this technique by experimenting with earning backlinks on affiliate websites. The result? A search engine boost, plus an increase in potential customers who wouldn’t have known about grinderPUNCH if not for their relationship with the site that posted the backlink.
If you’ve noticed that most of these trends are highly visual, you wouldn’t be wrong. The Internet is a visual space, where users love to be entertained; just consider TikTok and Instagram Reels’ rise in popularity over the past year. From quick, 10-second clips to long-form content on YouTube, video offers you the opportunity to show off a product’s many uses, answer frequently asked questions, demonstrate assembly, and more in an engaging way that doesn’t sacrifice your brand’s personality. And if you aren’t quite convinced yet, consider this: YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine after Google. Users there are looking for your content!
These popular marketing strategies each offer the opportunity to increase awareness around your brand, convert skeptics, and build customer loyalty, regardless of the size of your e-commerce business. Which trend will you try first?
Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor