Happy New Year! 2019 & E-Commerce…

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E-Commerce in 2019?

Normally I could google, “2019 and eCommerce” or “online marketing for 2019” and the search would lead me to dozens of expert, and some not-so-expert, predictions for internet marketing in the coming year.

But it’s been a bit of a challenge this year to come up with some definitive predictions for eCommerce in 2019. It seems as though many experts are waiting for someone to make a move before jumping on any bandwagon of opinion.

And, believe it or not,  I actually came across some skepticism about what’s in store for online retail. The opinion was essentially that it has all peaked…I probably won’t use that source very often.

But anyway, in my opinion, and reading between the lines, I think it’s a time to be very optimistic. I feel that some of the uncertainty lies with what has not yet been completely revealed by the major players…Google, Amazon, and others.

So, what about eCommerce in 2019?

Without a doubt, the developments of 2018 are still in play. So, let’s take a look at just a few of the key things to look forward to continuing to be improved in 2019 in the world of the internet and eCommerce.

Voice Interaction.  The rise of the home-based digital assistant is helping lead the way in this fresh technology. You might ask how this applies to marketing and the answer is basic: marketing is about human behavior and ease of access. The introduction of new digital personal assistants is advancing this principle through new technology.

2018 saw a shift toward voice commanded searches, and in 2019, this trend is set to continue impacting the way we search for products and services.

According to Google, nearly 30% of all daily internet searches are voice searches; devices like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and the Google Assistant lead the pack. As these personal assistant devices get better at recognizing human speech, they are becoming more and more prevalent.

Social Media.  The power and impact of social media continues to grow—it will not soon go away. One question though is whether Facebook can retain its lead in this marketing channel?

While the online query currently leads the way in product and service research, social platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram are affecting that dynamic. And though Facebook is still in front, the latter two are making bold moves and are quickly catching up.

And in global areas such as the Middle East, Africa, and Latin American countries, social media has overtaken search engines for conducting product research

In 2019, it’s expected the gap between simply socializing and shopping will close even more. Many top indicators point to this new year, 2019, as being the time to give your social media marketing strategy a top priority.

Video Marketing.  Simply put: One minute of video is worth 1,800,000 words. All the evidence shows that videos have the greatest impact of any marketing tool. Shoppers prefer them: they watch them…and they share them. Videos increase click-through rates and increase conversion rates by at least a third.  

A Forbes Magazine article titled, The Growth Of Video Marketing And Why Your Business Needs It, stated, “By 2019, online content will consist of 80 percent video marketing, and mobile consumption of video content continually rises by 100 percent annually.”

Mobility.  Maybe the biggest player of all will be mobile internet marketing. A 2017 report claimed that adults spent 3.1 hours each day on their mobile device. Subsequent reports have increased that to around 3.5 hours per day by the end of 2018. The point is—it’s not decreasing!

The smartphone and other mobile devices are quickly replacing the desktop computer. Thus the dynamic is shifting from just being on the internet to being on the internet while being mobile at the same time.

Some experts predict that advertisers will commit more than 75% of their advertising budgets toward mobile advertising.  

So, for the entrepreneur, any 2019 marketing strategy must take into consideration the advantages of mobile advertising as well as mobile apps for shoppers to use on-the-go.

Global.  Another consideration for your 2019 marketing strategy is that eCommerce continues to grow globally. The borders are coming down and the opportunity to market your business in other countries is greater than it has ever been.

According to statista.com, retail eCommerce sales in 2019 will be nearly $3.5 trillion worldwide and by 2021, sales will approach the $5 trillion mark…U.S. sales account for roughly 16% of these estimates.

So, again, in planning your strategy for the coming new year, not only think outside of the box but also think outside the borders. You have to ask yourself, where else in the world is there a demand or an appeal for my product or service?

The IoT…Internet of Things.  This is a new discussion that has begun and is rapidly coming to the forefront. The Internet of Things…again IoT is the concept that just about anything you use in everyday life is capable of connecting to the internet; your car, your refrigerator, your coffee pot…whatever. More and more devices are being developed with internet connectivity.

On your next trip to the store, imagine your car informing you that you are low on fuel, and you ask your car to show you the nearest gas stations. The car asks, “Do you have a preference?” You respond, “Show options.” That opens the door for the marketers to vie for your business while you’re still in your car.

Another scenario: You go to the fridge and realize you’re out of milk! All of a sudden you’re a shopper and your refrigerator is your shopping tool.  With home delivery on the rise, this is not too farfetched. Can you see this happening?

Your digital personal assistant and your connected IoT devices are your links to the eCommerce world. It is all about improving the consumer experience and, again, it’s built around human behavior and ease of access.  As technology evolves, so does human behavior and so should the shopping experience.

Content Marketing in 2019.

A theme that seemed to pervade the topics I researched and discussed in this blog was one of customer service. What caught my attention was the underlying push to provide a more personalized online shopping experience for the consumer. It’s largely held that shoppers have grown weary of high-pressure sales and tacky, tasteless marketing… they want the personal touch!

The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as, “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” Add personalization to this definition and you have a blueprint for 2019.

Content is one of your best tools and it is through content that you connect with your customers. Making it interactive and personal is one way to engage the shopper and to bring them into an experience that you create just for them.  

Shopify 2019.

So, why do I suddenly jump into a spiel on Shopify? Simply because Shopify is the leading eCommerce platform and all the issues I have discussed above are matters that are important to them.

So much so that they have opened a physical store in order to meet and work with entrepreneurs face-to-face. The first ever Shopify flagship store was opened in downtown Los Angeles. Its purpose: create a permanent multi-use space for working with business owners in education and technical support.

This effort exemplifies their intense focus on customer service. Enabling others to develop an appealing,  personalized online experience that some experts believe is the next great and much-needed innovation in eCommerce. Can we expect more Shopify stores in the future?  I’d bet on it!

Borderless eCommerce is a reality and Shopify is moving in that direction. You can now conduct your Shopify hosted business in seven different languages; French, German, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, Italian, and Spanish…and of course, English. It’s a simple process to update your language preferences and begin using Shopify in any of these languages today.

Mobile Apps have always been a key element of Shopify from the beginning. And, they continue to advance and refine their mobile features to improve the customer experience. Now, Shopify Ping allows you, the business owner, to manage your Shopify business on the go. It allows you to engage your customers from anywhere you might be, on your mobile device…efficiency at its best!

As I mentioned above, social media has secured a permanent place in retail marketing and eCommerce.  Shopify is on board with this rapidly developing marketing channel. With tools that allow the business owner to plug right into the leading platforms, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, Shopify has just what you need to launch your product or service into the world of social media.

2018 saw many improvements and creative concepts in the areas of fraud protection, enhanced advertising options, payments methods, inventory management—just to mention a few.   It is Shopify’s goal to make starting and running your business as easy as possible. Their objective is providing seamless processes all geared toward your business’s scalability, and that effort will continue into the new year, 2019.

Let Chelsea & Rachel Co. be part of your 2019 strategy.

This article has just been a quick glimpse at what is on the horizon as the new year begins and you prepare your business for another successful year. As you make your plans keep these issues in mind.

Better yet, let Chelsea & Rachel Co. guide you in creating your marketing strategy and helping you stay abreast of the trends and innovations as they develop in 2019.

Just like Shopify, they are all about your success. They started their digital marketing business with you in mind and it’s your success that continues to motivate them today.

And when it comes to Shopify…you couldn’t find a better team to help you get up and running. With a bevy of contented and successful Shopify clients in-hand, they are certified experts in every aspect of Shopify and each of its plans… Shopify, Advanced Shopify, and Shopify Plus.

And, what’s next?

In coming articles, we will unpack a few of the topics above and take a more intense look at how they are impacting eCommerce…and more specifically how they can and will impact your business. Stay tuned!

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