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It's (Almost) Summertime, and Customers Are Distracted. Here Are 5 Ecommerce Trends You Need to Pay Attention to, to Keep Customers Listening. Micro-influencers, chatbots and mobile marketing are all trends you should be diving into, to connect when everyone's at the beach.

By Syed Balkhi Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

huePhotography | Getty Images

If you're the founder of an ecommerce business, you need to always be on the lookout for new trends. New trends alert you to new strategies and technologies you can adopt, in order to stay ahead of the competition and sustain business growth.

Whether you're a SaaS business or an online store, you need different marketing strategies at different seasons of the year, to better serve your customers. The season we're now in (unofficially, following Memorial Day) is, of course, summer. And summer requires extra effort because people spend more time outside, meaning you'll need to put extra effort into getting, and keeping, their attention.

Related: 3 Strategies for Ecommerce Sales and Growth Using the New Technologies

So, start your summer marketing strategy by updating yourself on the current trends in ecommerce. Here are several important trends to help define your ecommerce business growth during the hot months:

The rise of micro-influencer marketing

People always hesitate to spend money on a product they've never heard of. This is the main reason why direct marketing often fails. People don't realize the usefulness of a product until it's shown to them; this applies especially to millennials. That's why influencer marketing works wonders.

According to a survey described in Medium, 30 percent of consumers polled said they were more likely to buy a product recommended by a blogger. They said they actually valued those bloggers' opinions more than the those of celebrities.

Leveraging these micro and niche influencers and bloggers is the latest trend in ecommerce marketing. It's much easier and more cost-effective than traditional onlinemarketing techniques.

Tip: team up with some of those micro-influencers in your niche this season to promote your products more effectively.

Email marketing delivers better conversions.

If you've been growing an email list for your ecommerce business, now is the time to cash in on that investment. When it comes to driving conversions, there's no better marketing channel than email.

Surveys reported in Search Engine Journal showed that 66 percent of consumers polled had made a purchase based on an email marketing message. That's more than twice the conversion rate of all the social media platforms combined.

Related: 4 Fundamental Strategies for Launching a Successful Ecommerce Startup

Tip: Create a special seasonal email marketing campaign to target your potential customers via promotional emails about things like summer sales. Create a product catalog, offer discounts and upsell your existing customers via special promotions.

The majority of customers use mobile devices.

Summer is a season when most people spend their time away from work camping or going on beach trips. They'll be using their phones more than ever to upload their selfies on Instagram and snap their best moments on SnapChat.

The number of people who shop while on social networks is on the rise. And, here, Facebook is still taking the lead in terms of social commerce: Statistics reported in Marketing Week showed that 33 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds surveyed preferred to buy products directly from Facebook.

Tip: Create a marketing budget to run a social media promotional campaign this season. Maybe even double-down on your efforts by using your email-list segments to run a retargeting ad campaign using Facebook Ads.

More customers now use voice search.

With more virtual assistant-powered devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home taking over households around the globe, it's important that you build an SEO strategy aimed at improving your website, blog and product pages, by optimizing for voice search.

By 2020, according to ComCore, 50 percent of all searches will be voice search. That future is not too far away. In fact, according to the SmartAudio Report, 1 in 6 Americans (16 percent) already own a voice-activated smart speaker.

Tip: Start optimizing your product pages and descriptions for voice search. Instead of using keywords, start using search phrases to target people's voice commands, questions and searches.

Bots provide better customer service.

Providing responsive and better customer support is another important part of a business that you need to tackle, not just during the hectic times of year but also almost every day. Just a few minutes of delay in your response to a customer question could lead to a big loss of sales and revenue.

Utilizing chatbots may be your best solution. Contrary to popular belief, bots actually provide better customer service than human customer-service representatives, according to some industry observers. The reason is that they allow you to give instant responses to customer questions 24/7, at minimal cost.

According to research found by the blog Invesp, 40 percent of people in one survey said they didn't care whether they got help from a chatbot (vs. a human), as long as they received the help they needed. As a business owner, you can actually utilize a bot to take care of 80 percent of your customer engagements.

Tip: Think of all the money you could save and the sales you could generate by providing better service to your potential customers via chatbots.

Conclusion

Following the trends is important. But, providing a better customer experience is what you should really be focusing on.

Related: #7 Brand Strategies to Build a Great Online E-commerce Brand

Everyone wears a smile in the summer. Use the warmth and the happiness of the season to promote your products and services. Take advantage of the special summer holidays and celebrations to create targeted promotional campaigns. And, above all, keep testing and improving to generate better results.

Syed Balkhi

Award Winning Entrepreneur - Online Marketing Expert - Founder of OptinMonster

Syed Balkhi is an entrepreneur and the co-founder of WPBeginnerOptinMonster and WPForms

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