1. Commerce through email will become vital to brands.
Disruptive companies like Rebel are revolutionizing how e-commerce brands can sell to their customers through email. Email already drives more revenue than all social networks combined, and it's been incredibly efficient at driving visitors to a website. But by allowing customers to make secure purchases directly within their inboxes, companies like Rebel are poised to make email an even more powerful channel.
2. E-commerce and other departments will need to work together more closely.
If you look at my lists on social media trends, PR trends, or content marketing trends, you’ll see some overlap — that isn’t out of laziness. It’s because the focus on customer experience has pushed every department to prioritize gaining trust with customers, developing real relationships with them, and truly making their lives easier. Therefore, whether you are a director of digital or search or PR, you should be doing everything you can to align efforts to help your teams connect authentically with audiences and achieve your e-commerce goals.
3. E-commerce will focus on continued engagement.
In 2018, e-commerce advertising is going to continue to increase in expense, and becoming a media platform is going to be much more critical. Erik Huberman, CEO of Hawke Media and someone I work with and trust, says, “Brands that find ways to continue to engage their audience outside of just purchase points will start to gain ground because those who don't will find the expense of bringing people back too great to compete.”
4. Credibility points throughout the buyer's journey are now assumed.
As customers interact with your brand and consume content related to your industry, it’s vital to produce and distribute content that cements you as a trusted resource for them. Eighty-five percent of customers conduct research before making a purchase online, so it’s vital to really own your organic search results. Build out your content, and align it with your PR strategy to attract, educate, and engage customers as they're researching their purchase decisions.
5. Personalizing and humanizing your brand will be a differentiating factor.
Disney was one of the first brands that really stood out to me as having a solid grasp of the power of personalization and how to use it. My family and I went to Disney World when my oldest daughter was 2 years old, and she got a personalized bracelet that — combined with Mickey Mouse knowing her name — made her feel like the most special person in the entire world. Technology is getting better every day, and that makes personalization a must, especially on customers' e-commerce journeys.