Mike Austin, CEO of Fresh Relevance, explains why AI, automation and direct-to-consumer strategies will be the trends that will survive the pandemic.
2020 has been a hell of a year for the world of e-commerce. The industry has adapted at a breakneck pace in response to the changes posed by the pandemic, from changing consumer demands to new purchasing behaviors and spending patterns.
In many ways, the pandemic has accelerated existing trends, with ecommerce and marketing professionals having to respond by upgrading systems, launching new technologies, and adapting to new ways of measuring results. In many cases, projects that would normally have taken years were completed in a matter of weeks.
This rapid pace of change is expected to continue through 2021. While it is still not clear how much longer we will be affected by COVID-19, what is clear is that we have entered a new era. for digital marketing and e-commerce. Here are three trends for 2020 that we at Fresh Relevance plan to accelerate this year.
2021 will be the year of D2C
With Covid restrictions forcing more people to turn to e-commerce, online retail has grown from 22% in March to 36% in November 2020. And that increase may be just the start. Online retailers have invested heavily in the battle for market share against Amazon and eBay, which has inspired greater innovation in online retailing.
As part of this development, brands such as Lindt launched Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) strategies in 2020, whereby they completely eliminate the retailer and launch their own e-commerce offering to give themselves increased margin and profitability. more direct and detailed understanding of their customers.
D2C opens up a host of new possibilities, including subscription models and the ability to market directly to consumers through low-cost channels such as email, mobile apps and social media platforms. It also gives brands a more accurate understanding of their customers, which allows them to provide a better experience for buyers.
Automation will enable marketers to deliver better converting campaigns
Due to the economic decline triggered by the pandemic, many e-commerce companies have had to downsize their teams, forcing marketers to respond to downsizing by increasing automation. By pulling real-time customer data into segments and triggering campaign assets based on customer actions and inactions, organizations can engage shoppers with targeted content throughout the buying funnel and market. customer lifecycle.
For example, a single cart abandonment campaign is a reliable source of income. But imagine how much more effective a cart abandonment campaign can be if different emails are sent based on the segment of the buyer. Late customers, VIPs, and recently rehired people can receive different messages or a series of messages depending on what is most likely to resonate, with no manual work required beyond the initial campaign setup.
The quest for the perfect customer experience will increase adoption of AI
While automation makes e-commerce marketing more efficient, the use of AI is helping organizations become smarter. Many ecommerce and marketing teams have upgraded their tech stack with AI-powered solutions in response to increased competition and tighter budgets in 2020.
Best practice guide for AI, machine learning and predictive analytics
Decision engines use machine learning and predictive algorithms to help understand patterns in large data sets and remove much of the guesswork when planning and executing campaigns. Segmentation, content selection, channel execution and optimization of AI-driven campaigns are at the heart of delivering a customer experience that thrills the buyer while helping to achieve commerce goals. electronic.
The refinement of e-commerce strategies will continue
It is an exciting time for e-commerce, born of truly unprecedented circumstances. The vaccine rollout is great news for everyone. But it’s hard to say when we’ll be able to return to some sort of new normal, and what that new normal will be. However, it is clear that the adoption of e-commerce has been propelled forward and will continue to gain in importance. For marketers, this means they must continue to refine the strategies and tactics that have been deployed in response to the pandemic, and e-commerce experiences will become increasingly sophisticated and creative.
Summary of statistics: the impact of Covid-19 on e-commerce