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6 marketing trends that will shape the future of ecommerce in 2023
Today, marketing trends evolve at the speed of technology. Ecommerce businesses that fail to update their marketing strategies to meet consumers where they are in 2023 will be left out of the conversations that drive brand success.
Last updated17 May 2023
Reading time5 min
Geoff Whiting at Red Stag Fulfillment suggests six marketing trends growing ecommerce companies should watch in 2023:
1. Conversational AI disrupts content marketing
With the release of ChatGPT, there are many opinions about the effect of conversational AI on writing in general and content marketing in particular. Some feel this conversational AI, which responds to prompts with well-crafted sentences and paragraphs, will replace human marketing writers. Others dismiss it because artificial intelligence, trained on online data, fails to differentiate between correct and incorrect information, sometimes returning false answers with the certainty of a bot that can’t do critical thinking.
The reality is likely to fall somewhere in the middle. Businesses that find intelligent ways to leverage conversational AI tools to extend their content marketing capabilities will have a competitive edge in marketing and customer service.
New AI tools can provide responses to customer inquiries 24/7, improve customer relations with personalized replies, and automate repetitive content creation tasks. Think of apps like ChatGPT as tools to make your marketing team’s jobs easier and allow them to focus more of their time on strategy and creative brand messaging.
2. Focus shift from customer acquisition to retention
Customer retention has always been a winning strategy because it costs less to keep an existing customer happy than to convert a new customer (though that is still critical), and churn can be costly. However, as recession fears continue to loom in 2023 and consumers, both online and offline, cut back on spending, retaining current customers will become even more vital.
Customer lifetime value is a critical metric for the health of your business, and repeat customers often make larger purchases than first-time shoppers. A focus on building a loyal base of repeat customers is an excellent way to grow your business in 2023 and beyond.
Customer retention strategies for marketing teams include:
Email marketing: email may feel old school, but most people still read it. Make your emails fun and offer something of value: discounts, sneak peeks, informative content, etc.
Personalized messaging: use your knowledge of your customer to offer them targeted ads for the products they love.
Loyalty programs: offer special perks to your loyal customers such as free shipping or extra discounts. You’ll more than make up for the cost of those perks if you build repeat customers.
One of the best ways to retain customers may also be one of the most surprising: your order fulfillment operations. Working with the right 3PL can boost customer loyalty by helping you deliver orders accurately, on time, and undamaged. Fulfillment is the highest-touch element of online selling, and excellent order logistics create positive experiences that win repeat sales.
3. Marketing expands to include a broader range of customer happiness activities
Ecommerce marketing isn’t just about campaigns. Consumer preferences can change rapidly, but people’s desire to feel valued is constant, and meeting that desire increases brand value.
In 2023, your marketing strategy must go beyond ads and emails to encompass everything you can do to build customer happiness. That includes responsive customer service (with a bit of help from AI), top-notch fulfillment, informative content, and giving customers a sense of community with your brand.
4. Emphasis on diversity and sustainability drive brand value
Advertising has long been about showing consumers the world they aspire to live in. In 2023, that includes two critical elements: diversity and sustainability.
Diversity in marketing messaging shows your audience that you see them and can broaden the appeal of your brand. Exhibiting cultural sensitivity is a terrific way to increase trust and burnish your company’s reputation.
Sustainable manufacturing and packaging have grown in importance to consumers. It’s vital to highlight the green aspects of your products, but it’s crucial to show as well as tell the customer about your ecological credentials.
For example, shipping orders with excess packaging or non-recyclable infill creates a hassle for customers to dispose of and can generate ill will. Extending sustainable business practices to packaging and infill shows you’re serious about preserving the environment, and it builds consumer trust.
A sustainability story can also help you stand out from the competition; emerging ecommerce brands such as Allbirds have built successful businesses centered on a mission to create products with a smaller environmental footprint.
5. Social media gains centrality
The ever-shifting social media ecosystem becomes more critical for marketing every year, and 2023 will be no exception. Social channels let you meet consumers where they are and give customers the opportunity for deeper engagement with your brand. Social media platforms allow you to build a sense of community that strengthens customer loyalty.
In addition, social channels can be an excellent source of marketing data, providing insights on campaigns in near real-time. That data lets you refine your messaging and targeting, allowing you to craft powerful, personalized marketing and deliver it to fine-grained audiences.
6. It’s all about omnichannel
Omnichannel will be inescapable in 2023. Brand marketing will reach the same customer through a variety of channels: your website, social media, email, banner ads on web pages, video and print ads, etc. Creating a seamless brand image across every platform increases its impact.
The omnichannel experience should extend beyond your digital presence to physical operations: in-store displays, packaging, and fulfillment are vital elements of an omnichannel marketing plan.
The fabulous unboxing experience when someone opens a package they ordered online is just as necessary as the design and voice of Facebook or email marketing campaigns. Once again, eliminating silos between marketing and logistics enhances your brand image.
Takeaways for ecommerce businesses in 2023
After several tumultuous years, ecommerce is predicted to grow at a slower but healthy rate in 2023. Staying on top of marketing trends is critical to take advantage of the growing prominence of online shopping.
In today’s fast-paced digital advertising ecosystem, annual and even quarterly marketing plans must be reassessed regularly to ensure that they’re performing. Online advertising provides a wealth of data so you can evaluate the success of each strategy and pivot quickly if needed. Continuous data analysis and strategy adjustment are the keys to marketing success for eCommerce companies in 2023.
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