Thursday, November 8, 2018

Digital eCommerce 2019

2019 will be an exciting time for eCommerce marketing. Customers have awesome devices (i.e. smartphones) in their hands, and marketers have a lot of wide set of marketing technology available. The key in 2018 will be bringing these two things together in order to both make shopping more efficient and your virtual cash register ring more often.
In terms of time-saving, behind-the-screen technology, nothing holds more promise for 2018 than artificial intelligence (AI). During the past few years users have spent way too much time tapping and swiping their devices in heads-down mode. With the advent of AI algorithms from operating system providers and app builders these high-touch interactions simply aren’t always necessary. Users can ‘request it and forget it’ - that is, either verbalize a query or enter it via an old-fashioned Web form - then just wait a few minutes, or perhaps even a few hours, to see the optimal answer. Increasing use of these intelligent agents will mean people will spend much less time completing common, iterative tasks, and more time interacting in the real world.
On the MarTech side, 2018 will also see more investment in concierge-like features like optimized online chat and product finders. By optimized I don’t just mean ‘added as a link in the site header’; I mean fully humanized experiences that recognize and respect the user’s browsing history, use support agents well trained in empathy and solution selling, and that appear at just the right time and place in the experience. Yes, you always want more visitors to self-serve their way to purchases, but, given that, in my experience, human-assisted sessions have conversion rates three to ten times those of non-assisted ones, your investment in competent human agents will be well worthwhile.
Finally, personalized experiences will no longer be optional, but essential in 2018. Your visitor session data already gives you a valuable ‘footprint’ of what each of your visitors wants, and where they’ve been looking, or searching, to find it. To get higher conversions, and to leave a better brand impression, you’ve got to use this data to adjust the experience, ideally within the current session, but at a minimum between sessions. Focus returning visitor experiences on what’s most relevant by doing things like showing shopped categories more prominently, making recently-used filters larger, and pre-selecting size selections.
Follow these trends and you’ll see your average order value (AOV) and revenue per visitor (RPV), your golden marketing metrics, grow in 2018 and beyond. And you’ll surely see a high return on both your human and MarTech investment."