Even before the last post-holiday sale offers hit inboxes in 2014, the eCommerce blogosphere was flooded with predictions for 2015. Social media gurus, tech-news junkies, and digital marketers all had plenty to say about the coming year, which ranged from the logical (the importance of the customer journey) to the improbable (Oculus Rift virtual offices, anyone?).
2015 is now in full swing, and marketers have hit the ground running. As the dust settles from different predictions, there’s a clearer view of the trends that have actually taken root. Here’s what we’ve learned.
There are no jaw-dropping, buzzword-worthy “new” trends for 2015.
That’s right. Despite promises to unlock the secrets of 2015’s digital marketing landscape, the majority of the tips and tricks are things we’ve all heard before. Social media is becoming more powerful; data-driven insights will power better marketing. Check, and check. Omnichannel marketing? So 2014.
All that said, the most important takeaway from these predictions is this: 2015 is the year these new-old trends will mature, driving real change. 2014’s hot topics may have carried over, but they’re more relevant than ever, especially for Retention Marketing. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve already heard of Retention Marketing. Research has proven the value of existing customers over new ones; recent reports show that 82% of businesses agree that retention campaigns are cheaperto execute than acquisition. The same goes for this year’s trends – the concepts are familiar, but marketers must now focus on being better, faster, and stronger. Here’s how:
Mobile features like Apple Pay, the rise of wearable technology, and the trend of clicks-to-bricksall have one thing in common: consumers now demand a connected, integrated experience in their day-to-day lives. An omnichannel marketing approach is more important than ever in creating and nurturing the customer’s journey across all channels. From using similar messaging in onsite display ads and email offers, to adhering to a specific aesthetic on both the mobile and desktop version of the website, the key is creating a seamless, cohesive experience for the customer.
Faster Response Times
Consumers are now all about instant gratification. Google reported a 2x increase in searches for “same day delivery” shopping in February 2014 compared to 2010. Retailers must be quick to respond to customer needs to keep them engaged. Whether this means instant chat options for customer help or a faster and easier shopping process, speed is key.
This goes for mobile shopping options, too – customers now use their phones to shop whenever, wherever they are. Mobile was the clear winner of 2014, and continues to take center stage this year. Mobile-friendly no longer makes the cut; now, savvy companies must think mobile-first. This means optimized sites, stronger in-app interfaces, and formatting to make reading and shopping easier on a mobile device.
Thanks to the amplifying effects of social media, it’s easier than ever for disgruntled customers to make their opinions known. What’s more, the plethora of online shopping options means they aren’t afraid to cut their losses and move on. The best way to prevent this is to build strong relationships, and upon that, brand loyalty. Use customer data to derive insights on how best to keep customers happy. Strengthen relationships with engaging content, real value, and genuine personality.