Hello everybody. Welcome to Surge. This week we will talk about the actual trends in 2020 and what you need to do to differentiate your eCommerce business.
Top 3 eCommerce Industry Trends in 2020: Online Branding, Omnichannel Marketing, and Nurturing Your Customers
It’s very hard to make predictions for the new year. But we speak to a lot of clients and prospects. As part of our policy, we do a lot of analysis and research. For people out there who don’t know, we have our own eCommerce operations and affiliate relationships where we promote eCommerce products.
What are the trends in 2020? Give me the top three things that an eCommerce business that’s scaling and growing needs to mind.
Number one is the brand. We’re going to see in 2020 people now starting to emphasize their brand a little bit more and not so much being a reseller, but actually growing and building.
Number two is an omnichannel approach. We mentioned in our last Surge session that you need 26 touchpoints for a customer to engage with your brand to actually purchase. You need to now be on each and every one of these different channels that are out there: Facebook, Instagram, and Google Shopping. Find and follow customers and increase your presence.
Three will be focusing on your existing customers. How can you nurture them? Will you make them a little bit more excited about your brand, site, and company? Can you continue to generate revenue?
Treat them as your sales team. New client acquisition is going to get more expensive. Encourage your original customer base to leverage your product value.
You have more players now in the marketplace who are cross channeling. This is now all integrated. It’s not just about paid searches, social media, or email drip strategies. On the contrary, your concern is branding.
Many people are like, “That’s so generic.” But it’s not, because if you’re not a brand in 2020, you will not make money.
Branding your eCommerce Business
How do you brand yourself?
Small businesses can brand themselves by going niche. Once you find a way to stand out, then you can connect with an audience.
Consider this example. Many people sell organic dog treats. That’s a niche and a brand right there. Even so, the brand is crowded.
If you go to Amazon and type “organic dog treats”, how many results do you get? You get a ton. Everyone wants to go organic for their dogs.
How are you going to differentiate yourself? You can differentiate yourself with the product quality, customer relationship or customer satisfaction. Or offer the best type of deals when it comes to satisfying your customers.
How does Amazon do this?
The company offers free two-day shipping and other perks. You get Amazon Video, Kindle Unlimited, and Alexa. I mean there are so many value propositions of Amazon for that.
If you remember when they first came out, everybody made fun of them. Everybody was like, wow, this is pretty dumb. They asked why people would pay one hundred dollars a year for free shipping.
Now we know why people would do that and that’s what they’re doing. They are, the new acquisition is difficult. They are increasing the lifetime value of their customers.
How are you going to do that?
One way is to expand your market. A big trend in 2020 is going to be B2B eCommerce. When you look at research posted by e-marketer and some of the Harvard Review, you see that B2B eCommerce is going to have the highest level of growth in 2020.
B2B eCommerce Trends in 2020: Distinguishing Yourself in a Competitive Space and Selling Direct to Consumers
B2C eCommerce has already been growing significantly. It will keep growing, but one of the trends is if your business has any B2B implication, you better have quantity and tiered pricing on your website.
Have different customer login levels and aim for terms like wholesale, B2B, and other specialized markets. Everybody’s looking for products to sell. As a result, retail is still pretty active.
Let’s take the organic dog treat as an example. If you can make the best organic dog treat that dogs love, then it makes sense for you. How many pet shops are there in the United States? How many smaller pet shops are there in the United States?
You’re opening an entirely different channel and diversifying your business. Now, if you have organic dog treats and 75% of your sales come from Amazon, what do you say? You’re extremely vulnerable.
If over 70% of your revenue comes from Amazon, Walmart, Overstock, eBay, or Jet House, how are you able to sleep? So this is what we’re talking about. Diversify your business in 2020 while you have the chance, especially if you’re running an operation and you’re doing over a few million dollars because that means you have the cash flow to actually pay attention to it. Don’t delay it.
The other way around, going B2C, is also sensible. If you’re a manufacturer and you’re only selling B2B, you have to start selling directly to consumers.
I know that you might be afraid to anger some of your resellers. But you must. If the tables were turned, they wouldn’t care and would do the same. You have to have the same mentality and need to start selling direct to consumers.
There’s a reason that Apple did the Apple Stores. They could have done what Microsoft did 30 years ago where they had the authorized dealers. Instead, they opened beautiful white storefronts with user-friendly displays.
Amazon, in contrast, built their shipping network because they wanted to go directly to the consumers. Then Microsoft followed. There’s a reason why Tesla owns most of its locations because they want to sell to consumers and Nike just pulled out of Amazon in the last 30 days.
Most businesses are doing that, including Zara and H&M. They were not making a lot of money from Instagram or Facebook two years ago. Then Instagram came with a shoppable feature. Now if you have any kind of social product, you have to be on these platforms with integration.
By the way, only Shopify and BigCommerce integrates with shoppable Instagram.
If you are going through a reseller, you don’t have a relationship with your audience. As a result, your audience is not loyal to you. If you don’t have a direct relationship with your audience, they can buy from anybody that they want. So this is going to be a trend in 2020 not only people are paying attention to their brand, but they’re going to start paying more attention to the relationship with their consumer.
Not only do you not have that relationship, but you also don’t have that data. With no customer data whatsoever if going through a reseller, you have no way of possibly retargeting them or reaching out to them to try to increase their customer lifetime value. There is a way, however, to acquire that.
New Ways to Leverage Data in Your eCommerce Marketing Campaigns in 2020
Customer-related data will become to be the new oil. So you need to try to collect as much customer data as possible.
In 2020, the trends include more branding, better relationships with your audience and customers, and looking at the B2B aspect of things if you are a B2C company. Being the brand also means if you’re reselling a bunch of products from other people, and if you have the cash flow, you better start developing your own products.
Manufacture your own products because right now you cannot sell on Amazon as a reseller, as a new reseller, it’s not possible. You got to have your own brand. So if you’re reselling a bunch of furniture, if you’re reselling a bunch of gadgets, right, you better go to China or wherever and you better start doing your own products.
You’ll see tons of retailers doing the same exact thing. Look at Target, they have their own Target brand, and Publix has its own Publix brand. Reselling just gives them cash flow to then put into R & D to create their own products. That’s where they really make their most money.
We’re going to look at from a trend standpoint, we talked about lifetime value also last week, but very specific for eCommerce only. A lot of people are going to pay attention to increasing their average order volumes on the checkout because the advertisement cost is going to increase. If your cost-per-click increases and your conversion rate remains the same or drops due to the competition because now consumers have more options than ever.
Your average order volume needs to go up to actually be able to pay for that CPC. So do whatever you need to do. Advanced search and filters, pre-checkout upsell, auto reorders, reorder with one click. These functionalities are going to increase your average order volume.
Pre-checkout upsells include “Buy one, get one free” or “Buy two, get one free.” You’re going to need these and different offers to increase the average order volume. Why? That’s going to keep you in the game in 2020 when you’re spending money. You don’t want to increase your advertisement budget significantly, but you want to get the same or increase the level of conversions.
That’s it for this week. If you have any questions, let us know. We’ll speak to you guys next week.
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