Online marketing is changing every day and customers are increasing their demands for their online shopping experiences as they become accustomed to more efficient recommendation systems. There are new programming languages in web development, new website styles and designs, and new forms of marketing. Business owners are expected to remain on top of all these advancements.
However, the future of online marketing is not as challenging for business owners as it seems. Here are six predictions of how the future of online marketing will change for your customers’ online marketing experience and how the continued use of recommendation engines will help you stay in business.
1. SPEED WILL BE THE BIGGEST SELLING FACTOR
The speed at which recommendation systems retrieve data, analyze and categorize it, and output suggestions to a prospective customer is important to making a sale. If your website or recommendation engine lags, your viewers will become frustrated and shop somewhere else.
According to a Forbes article on the reasons why customers shop online, they report “retailers that invest in infrastructure will reap long-term customer loyalty.” Make sure your website is updated consistently to handle the increased technological demands of the online marketplace so your recommendation system can work as efficiently and quickly as possible.
2. A BASIC WEBSITE WILL NOT BE ENOUGH
Similar to how effective websites today must not look like they were last updated in the 1990s, your website must evolve along with advancements in web technologies and web development best practices. According to Quicksprout, the bounce rate of a website (the rate of visitors who only visit one webpage before leaving) depends in part on ease of use. If a website is difficult to navigate, your customers will quickly decide to go elsewhere.
This also applies to customers’ ease of use of your recommendation system. The visual experience is very important when used in conjunction with a recommendation system. Viewers need to want to look at your website’s suggested item options. If your website is not in line with current trends, you may lose customer interest in your products.
3. PERSONALIZED CONTENT WILL DRAW VIEWERS
Customers – especially on mobile devices – demand a personalized experience when shopping online and this demand will only increase over time. According to Econsultancy research director Linus Gregoriadis, a personalized web experience will lead to an increase of almost 20% in sales.
A recommendation engine is vital to learning what each customer wants and providing it to them. Your viewership and customer base will increase along with the efficiency of your recommendation system in a cyclical relationship of increased sales.
4. COMPETITION WILL INCREASE, AND THAT IS OK
Marketplace competition will increase as the means of production are now open to everyone. 3D printers are now publicly available and cheap to operate, with independent businesses finding new and exciting ways to monetize the process. Online marketing means that anyone can open a business and start marketing to the whole world, along with companies to service the demands of these companies creating a much larger eCommerce ecosystem. Due to this increasingly congested market, customers will be acclimating and visiting many more websites than they do now for second opinions when online shopping, even when in-store.
A Deloitte study found that “84 percent of store visitors use their devices before or during a shopping trip.”
5. MARKETING WILL BECOME MORE EXPENSIVE
Professional advertisers and marketers will charge more to advertise your content due to the condensed nature of future online markets, with effectivestudentmarketing.com arguing that “[p]aid ads and sponsored content will guarantee that people are seeing your posts.” Even though this is not necessarily a bad thing, it is not necessary to hire a professional.
While effective marketing will become harder when competing against the sheer amount of competition, your business can still corner the market. The best marketing strategy is to carve out a niche and recommend only relevant items to customers from that niche. Become known for a niche instead of spreading your business too thin and focusing on too many marketing angles.
6. MARKETING WILL BECOME CHEAPER
This may seem to contradict the previous point but it doesn’t; marketing will become cheaper if current low-budget marketing strategies are any indication. With an influx of new business owners and operators of online shops due to the strength of social networks, business owners will become more dependent on efficient recommendation systems to help their customers shop online.
However, just because marketing will become cheaper does not mean it will be better. As such, instead of casting a wide net to reign in customers, use a recommendation engine to make relevant and timely suggestions to your core market. Your sales will bypass countless competitors due to your business’s focus and direction.
The main takeaways from this are that the marketplace is expanding, consumers are changing their buying habits in response, and retailers need to stay ahead of the curve if they want to make a profit. It doesn’t matter what challenges present themselves, what matters is who can adapt the fastest. This is why recommendation engines are an integral part of the eCommerce infrastructure.