To say the past few years have been ones of constant change would be an understatement. As a business owner, change can be your best friend or your worst enemy. The most important thing you can do to ensure it’s the former is to stay in touch with these shifts and ensure your business is prepared.

In this post, we will discuss the following:

  1. Search Engine Marketing (SEO and Search Ads)
  2. Changing Shopper Behavior
  3. The Move From 3rd Party to 1st Party Data
  4. New Players in ECommerce Marketplaces

1. SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING

“SEM” is a term that includes both SEO and Paid Ads on search engines.

WHAT’S CHANGING IN SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING?

Quick Facts:

  • As much as 93% of online shopping begins with a search engine
  • While about 6% of clicks go to ads, 94% of all clicks go to organic results
  • SEO and PPC ads have long been pillars of eCommerce marketing

Search Ads

  • Ads are slowly taking up more and more space on results pages, with up to four ads showing above Google search results.
  • Google is encouraging all businesses to create free shopping listings as part of a plan: future marketplace = more ad spend
  • ROI is getting more difficult to achieve without an advanced strategy

Organic

  • Helpful Content is Google’s most recent algorithmic update
  • User experience is still a more recent important ranking factor
  • Mobile is becoming more and more integral, with over half of online searches happening on a mobile device

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO ABOUT IT?

SEO should be your long game and search ads your short game. Then, you should use PPC to fill in the gaps in your organic rankings.

2. CHANGING SHOPPER BEHAVIOR

Quick Facts:

  • The average session duration for eCommerce websites is 2:03
  • A good conversion rate for eCom websites is typically around 2.5-3%
  • 58% of shoppers have decided not to buy a product because it didn’t ship for free
  • 88% of visitors are unlikely to return after a poor website experience

WHAT’S CHANGING IN SHOPPER BEHAVIOR?

In 2023, economic worry combined with other factors is leading to longer consideration times than ever before.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO ABOUT IT?

Your business should take these longer consideration times into account and invest more time and effort in the stages between awareness and conversion.

Typically, this includes content marketing, re-targeting, and the use of lead capture tools.

3. THE MOVE FROM 3RD PARTY TO 1ST PARTY DATA

3rd party data is the data that platforms like Google and Facebook (Meta) have relied on to power their ad services. These platforms collect user data, then charge advertisers a premium to utilize it with targeted ads. 1st party data is data you have gathered and your business utilizes, such as your email list, and use of strategies like lead scoring and customer surveys.

WHAT’S CHANGING IN THE DATA GATHERING WORLD?

You may have noticed the ROI on social media advertising falling in the last year. This is largely because of technology companies allowing users to opt out of tracking functionalities. While Apple has blocked third-party cookies on its browsers and added an opt-in feature to mobile app tracking, Google has announced it will put an end to third-party cookies by 2024. With mass data gathering being banned, 1st party data will be invaluable.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO ABOUT IT?

Gather and utilize more of your own data. The point above, about reaching customers during the consideration phase, ties back to this. Invest more in strategies that do not utilize 3rd party data (SEO, content marketing, email marketing) so that you can wean off of targeted ads.

4. NEW PLAYERS IN ECOMMERCE MARKETPLACES

In 2022, Amazon made up 38% of all eCommerce sales.

WHAT’S CHANGING IN THE ECOMMERCE MARKETPLACE?

Google and Meta are fighting to be the next top eCommerce marketplace. While Google has vowed to never charge a percentage of transactions (like Amazon and Meta do), they plan to make their money through ad spend.

Meta has had some stumbles with the launch of their in-platform eCommerce features, but don’t expect them to give up that easily. They are banking on eCom replacing their lost ad spend revenue.

WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT?

It’s important to not invest all your marketing dollars in one marketplace. It is also crucial to invest in your own owned channels so you aren’t at the mercy of several platforms and their shifting priorities.

CONCLUSION

  • IN THIS YEAR
  • Organic traffic as long-term plan
  • Educational content and strategies to keep users engaged during the consideration period
  • Gathering your own user data
  • Watching out for new eCommerce platform
  • OUT THIS YEAR
  • Reliance on paid ad platforms for your sales
  • The assumption that awareness to conversion is a one-way street
  • Jumping on the latest “ad tech
  • Putting all of your eggs in the Amazon basket

It can feel challenging to stay ahead of the ever-evolving eCommerce landscape. Still, with a smart, well-aligned digital marketing strategy, you’ll be well on your way. But we’ve only scratched the surface in this post! For even more useful insights and actionable tips for re-aligning your digital marketing strategy, see how we drive results for our clients, schedule a free consultation with us.