Technology is evolving at a breakneck pace and giving consumers options they never thought possible. Imagine explaining to someone in the year 1995 that by 2020, 20 percent of all grocery shopping will take place over the internet. Couple that statistic with the staggering fact that consumers spent a whopping 126 billion dollars during the holiday shopping season in 2018. It’s not hard to see how far we have come over the past two decades.
The point is simple; technology is changing rapidly, and we all have to do our part to keep up with these advancements. The evolution of artificial intelligence, a rise in influencer marketing, and increased personalization are three of the most significant changes we’ve encountered in 2019. Other factors, like ever-shifting algorithms, create additional challenges for marketers.
We are going to take a look at how these trends will shape the shopping experience for consumers during the coming year. As a bonus, we are going to explain how to get the most value from these technological advancements and changes in consumer behavior. Let’s dive in!
Voice Search is on the Rise
Devices like Amazon’s Echo were once viewed as luxury products with a value that was on par with something you would buy from a novelty shop. Things have changed drastically since that time. Now, it’s estimated that by 2020, 50 percent of all searches will happen with a voice-activated device.
In other words, you’re going to see a large percentage of consumers find your website through voice search, instead of a traditional typed Google inquiry. Voice search is on the rise because the devices are more affordable, Amazon recently hosted a 22 dollar Echo as part of their Black Friday deals. But another contributing factor is the devices that now come with voice search. For example, Apple has Siri, Android has Google Assistant, and Windows 10 devices have Cortana.
The best way to prepare for this influx of voice inquiries is by optimizing your website for voice specific keywords. The way we type differs drastically from the way we speak. For instance, if you were looking for a seafood restaurant while searching, you might type “Seafood Restaurants in Los Angeles.” However, someone talking to Alexa or Google Assistant might ask, “Where can I find a good fish dinner?”
You can find diverse spoken keywords by looking at features like “People Also Ask” on Google, or by using a free resource like Answer The Public for keyword ideas. It’s important to note that optimizing for voice search doesn’t mean you should give up your old SEO strategy. Both text and voice are going to play a significant role in spreading brand awareness and increasing sales in 2020.
Increased Partnerships with Influencers
Influencers can vary greatly depending on their medium (blog or social media) and how many followers they have at the time of your consideration. Internet personalities with less than 100,000 subscribers are known as “micro” influencers and have a small, dedicated audience. These people are excellent resources for reaching your target audience.
The key to discovering influencers for your business is finding someone that has a similar target audience. For instance, a makeup website would want to find an influencer who does makeup tutorials or beauty tips. If an influencer has over 100,000 followers, their audience is more diverse, and they are more hit or miss when compared to micro-influencers. But if your goal is spread brand awareness, influencers with a large following are excellent marketing tools.
Research shows that 59 percent of marketers plan on increasing their influencer budget next year. Marketers are flocking to YouTuber’s as their primary influencers due to their extensive reach, and the fact that social videos are highly shareable. In fact, social media see an average of 1,200 percent more shares compared to other types of content. Couple these statistics with an ROI of 60 percent, and it’s no surprise that this trend is on the rise.
Personalization Leads to More Sales
Personalization is one of the most sought after traits consumers look for when shopping with a new business. People want to associate with brands that go out of their way to deliver personalized content and offers based on their past experiences. If you want a prime example of this technique, look at Amazon.
Amazon stacks levels of personalization marketing throughout the entire buying process. Once you land on the page, you’ll see a list of recommended products based on your past purchase history, which is used to deliver relevant items to consumers. While you’re browsing new products, you’ll see a list at the bottom of the page showing what other consumers purchased when they bought that item. The result is an experience where the customer feels like Amazon knows them, what they like, and delivers appropriate suggestions at the right time.
You can use personalization on your eCommerce storefront or blog. If you’ve created a blog with content and an email list, you can encourage subscribers to sign up for your list and receive personalized content based on their browsing experience. Ecommerce retailers can use tactics similar to Amazon, such as product recommendations or emails with exclusive offers based on past purchases.
AI Merges with Customer Service
High-quality customer service is one of the pillars of a successful website and marketing campaign. Consumers want answers to their questions, and they expect them fast. Research shows that you are seven times more likely to convert a lead if you respond to their inquiry in less than an hour.
We know that for many businesses, a 24/7 live support team is hard to manage and fund. You can ease the burden on your service team and help customers that have common questions by integrating chatbot technology with your live customer service staff.
Artificial intelligence-based chatbot applications allow marketers to address answer common questions about products, give delivery updates, and enable customers to change their password in seconds. Some questions will require human intervention, but the simple tickets that come in 50 times a day can be automated with chatbot technology.
Back to You
All four of the trends mentioned here are going to have a significant impact on sales and conversion rates in 2020. As businesses adapt to this technology, we expect to see improvements in accuracy and efficiency, leading to stronger customer experiences.
Now that you know our picks for 2020 marketing trends let us know what you’ve observed in the marketing world as a business owner, consumer, or both. Do you see any other trends emerging as we enter the new year?