E-commerce is becoming a massive part of the global economy. In less than two decades, e-commerce has ascended from nothingness to comprise almost 10% of total US retail sales. Amazon has led this charge and is still responsible for nearly one-third of all online sales. These figures are constantly rising because anyone can sell their product online as long as they have a website. That’s where TFC Marketing comes in.
As a leading e-commerce & web development company, we play a part in shaping the trends that are constantly taking the marketing world by storm. Many of these trends happen to be fads that linger for a few months and then falter. Some stick around for a little while longer and have a lasting impact on how we all do business online.
These are 3 movements that we believe will energize the world of e-commerce through 2018, and beyond.
1. Dollars spent on digital marketing will have an increased positive impact on in-store bottom line
When you hire a web development agency for their e-commerce and digital marketing services, you’re probably trying to open a new stream of revenue in addition to the ones you currently have. However, more and more companies are reporting that investments in digital marketing lead to greater returns in their physical stores and channels that are already their largest sources of income.
This is known as the ROPO phenomenon: research online, purchase offline. The ROPO ratio relates dollars spent on digital marketing to dollars earned in a physical marketplace.
With the advent of Google, online advertising is farther-reaching than any physical advertising method has ever been before. People now commonly learn about products for the first time thanks to online ads. They do their research online and decide to buy, but they may not feel comfortable putting their credit card on the internet or they may not want to wait for shipping, so they purchase in-store anyway.
By tracking all platforms including mobile, ERP, CRM, inventory, etc. and merging them with in-depth analytics, retailers can now know for the first time exactly which ads resulted in a purchase, even if that purchase was made in person. As a leading website development agency, TFC specializes in boosting your in-store revenue with a fortified digital presence.
- Matalan, a British retailer, deduced that every pound invested in AdWords returned £46 in sales, of which £31 came from in-store purchases.
- One bicycle retailer in Canada had a ROPO ratio of 9:1; a return of $9 for every $1 spent on ads.
2.Mobile payments for a mobile generation
It’s 2018, and everybody lives on their smartphone. Mobile checkouts are becoming more common than physical point-of-sale. The advancement of mobile wallets like Google’s, payment apps like PayPal, and payment platforms such as Square Cash, have all allowed customers to take advantage of mobile, even while they’re standing in a physical store. Mobile represents 70% of global e-commerce traffic and might soon be the largest checkout medium of any, not just digital.
Here are some glimpses into this revolution:
- >10% of Starbucks orders were executed using the Starbucks mobile app in the US in 2017.
- Amazon Go, a prototype cashier-less grocery store pioneered by the e-commerce giant, bridges the gap between brick and mortar and e-commerce. It allows customers to enter a physical grocery store, pick out the products they want to purchase, and then simply leave. An app tracks which products were placed into the basket or cart and execute payment after the customer exits the store. You don’t even have to pull out your phone: a true bridge between e-commerce and real life.
3. Image-based shopping is here to stay
Imagine falling in love with a jacket worn by a mannequin as you walk down 57th street in New York City.
Imagine snapping a photo of the jacket and uploading it into the search bar.
Imagine instantly being able to choose from 50 similar products, buying one immediately, and having it shipped, same-day, to your hotel in midtown.
Image-based shopping, and more generally image-based search, is a paradigm shift in the way we all use the web. Image and voice-based search are expected to dominate e-commerce by 2020, but they are already having a massive impact. With many so-called “e-tailers” having already adopted this technology, customers are falling in love with a simplified and more humanistic approach to mobile shopping.
- Pinterest is a giant in the arena of visual search technology, has developed a platform that monetizes image-based content across a bevy of industries and sectors.
- Instagram now allows accounts to tag specific items for sale in posts. Users can click directly on the item and purchase it through the social app, bypassing traditional web channels altogether.
- eBay’s visual search tool not only allows customers to upload their own photos but to pull images from the web and search directly for products that have a similar appearance. With companies like eBay and Google’s parent Alphabet developing new and better algorithms to match similar images, reverse image search is vital to continued acceleration of growth in e-commerce as we enter the third decade of the 21st century.
While innovation and evolution are ingrained into the digital marketing world, these three modifications to our online life will have long-lasting implications. As a top web development company, TFC is dedicated to passing on all of the potential benefits of these and other new trends to our clients. We aggressively maintain our position at the cutting edge of the digital marketing universe by offering e-commerce and web development services that boost our clients’ profits both online and in-store. We can take your online presence to the next level, the only question left: are you ready?