With global e-commerce sales set to hit record highs this year, 2015 is sure to see both large and small companies vying for consumer attention. This means international marketing techniques will be more important than ever for companies to compete on a global scale. In today’s post, we’ll discuss a few of the top e-commerce trends predicted to dominate in 2015, along with ideas for incorporating these cutting-edge international marketing tactics into your repertoire.
All about Mobile
This year is set to be the year of mobile. E-commerce will swiftly segue into mobile commerce as more consumers turn to their smartphones to make purchases. The key to creating a competitive advantage in the newly expanding mobile world will be establishing a localized presence in the marketplace. India, for example, is rapidly emerging as one of the biggest e-retailer markets and is predicted to surpass the United States in smartphone users by 2016. To take advantage of this growing mobile market, e-commerce giant Alibaba, which lacked a previous consumer-conscious presence in India, is set to acquire One-97 Communications, an already established Indian online marketplace. The move will create an instantaneous connection with local consumers, which Alibaba can then build onto with additional localized apps, websites, and content, furthering their market penetration in that region.
Omni-channel marketing is sure to be one of the biggest e-commerce trends for 2015. Due in part to the rise of mobile shopping, consumers will look to multiple channels to research products, compare prices, and make actual purchases. Even consumers who shop in brick-and-mortar stores are expected to use their mobile devices more than ever to scan items and compare products and deals while they are physically in the store. To connect with this new omni-channel shopper, e-commerce businesses are exploring the benefits of operating wherever the customer is.
Take Wanda E-commerce for example, emerging in China this year as a competitor for Alibaba. The company plans to boost its e-commerce sales by leveraging its vast fleet of brick-and-mortar retailers and focusing on an “online-to-offline business model.” They’ll use behavioral data from the existing offline consumer base to give online customers a wider, more personalized, range of shopping options.
And acccording to TechCrunch, e-commerce startups like Birchbox and Warby Parker are going the other way, taking their online businesses offline by opening brick-and-mortor retail operations. They’re hoping this new channel will help them “build deeper advocates in person” and explore both “the marketing that comes along with a storefront and the ‘halo’ effects of retail.”
Content is still king when it comes to global marketing techniques, but it is taking on a new dimension with video. Last year’s emergence of the Facebook native video player is already driving more global brands to turn to video content, boosting the number of videos in Facebook’s News Feeds by 94 percent last year alone. And to help you make sure your video ads get to the right audience—that has the bandwidth to actually view them—Facebook released a feature designed specifically for marketers looking to tap into “high-growth” regions where network speeds can be an issue. The feature would allow marketers to “avoid serving a video ad to a user that’s accessing Facebook through a 2G connection and opt to serve them an image-based ad instead, since their bandwidth is limited.” Now that’s a personalized (localized) experience.
What’s clear from all of these e-commerce trends is that localization and customizing the consumer experience across multiple platforms will be vital when it comes to maintaining a competitive advantage in the international market.
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