eCommerce is changing—and it's changing fast.
Every day, new apps launch, new tech optimizations emerge, and AI grows like a rising tide, taking eCommerce along with it.
The growing wave of tech innovation will either lift brands to new heights, or leave them stranded in its wake.
If your brand sells on Amazon, it can be intimidating to consider how the changing landscape of eCommerce might affect your business too.
Will you be able to adapt your sourcing strategies to meet the increasing demand for sustainable materials on Amazon? How will you ensure that your brand remains relevant and competitive?
Luckily, while no one predict the future, data can estimate it fairly accurately.
Read on for five trends that are coming (like it or not), and how to prepare for them.
5 eCommerce Trends Your Brand Needs to Master If You Want to Survive the Coming Decade
Trend #1: Mobile Shopping
The average American checks their phone 96 times per day, and it shows. More sales are happening on phones, which means your brand needs to be optimized for mobile, big time.
What does this mean for your brand? You'll need to pare down your Amazon listings to just the essentials. Consumers need to quickly see 1) what your product is, 2) how it helps them, and 3) whether it works (social proof and data help here).
When optimizing for mobile, simplicity is the rule. Your copy, images, headline, and product features should be clear and pared down to eliminate confusion. Confusion and overwhelm lose sales quickly.
Trend #2: Voice Search
What is voice search? Anytime you ask Alexa to "find me" a specific product on Amazon, you're participating in voice search. You, and millions worldwide.
If someone searches for your product using their smart device, but it isn't optimized for voice search, they won't find it, and you'll lose that sale.
But how do you optimize for voice search? By adding conversational keywords to all of your listings in both the content and meta-descriptions.
Conversational keywords are any word that a customer would use to describe your product in conversation.
For example, your exercise watch might have classic keywords like fitness tracker, or heart rate monitor. But your customer might ask their Alexa to search for an "exercise watch."
If you didn't include this keyword in your product description, title or meta-description, this customer will not find it.
You'll need to enrich your existing product keywords now with these conversational keywords to ensure you get these voice search sales.
Without them, you'll only continue to lose more and more sales.
Trend #3 - Personalization
Every day, more and more brands are recognizing the importance of customer-personalized marketing and advertising.
You don't want to get the same email everyone gets. You want one tailored just to you! Right? So does everyone else. Personalized marketing is exploding, especially as AI makes it easier than ever.
A 2021 McKinsey report showed that 71% of customers want businesses to offer personalized experiences, and 76% get upset when this doesn't happen.
That report went on to demonstrate how personalization leads to improved performance and positive results for customers, even stating that faster-growing companies generate 40 percent more revenue from personalization compared to companies that grow more slowly.
Pretty amazing. So, how can you utilize personalized marketing on your product pages?
Get your products featured in Amazon's "For You" section: Use Amazon's recommendation system to suggest products to shoppers based on the their past browsing history, purchases, and search queries.
Personalize your emails to customers with suggested products based on their purchase, such as complementary products, or other products that you sell related to their search history.
Customize your product page: Spend time understanding what matters to the customers who buy your products, and reflect that back. If you sell stylish but durable beach towels, your most active customer may be active, stylish families. "Outlasts every summer adventure," and "perfect for family beach days" might make sense in the images and description, alongside images of a family enjoying time on a sunny beach as the kids play.
Use Amazon's A+ Content to create enriched product descriptions with custom text placements, images, and comparison charts. This allows you to tell a more compelling and personalized story about your products.
Personalize your Amazon ads: Use Amazon's advertising tools to target specific customer segments. Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, and Sponsored Display ads can be targeted based on customer interests, search terms, and shopping behavior. Make sure to tailor your content and images to those customers!
Trend #4 - Artificial Intelligence
When you hear "Artificial Intelligence," you might think of ChatGPT or the eerily realistic Midjourney images on your Facebook feed. But AI's scope is much deeper, as you may have guessed.
It's creating a vast behavioral marketing field and can now instantly modify and transform content to meet consumers where they are. This increasingly utilized feature connects users to brands across the web.
The AI algorithms on Amazon's website are constantly analyzing a shopper's interests elsewhere on the web and updating their homepage to match.
For example, if a customer has recently expressed interest in sports gear, it will instantly highlight running shoes and fitness apparel, aligning with the shopper's preferences. It may even change the color scheme to be more aligned with their preferences. That is how advanced AI is getting, and it's just beginning.
AI is now even utilizing predictive data to estimate a customers purchases before they make them. (Spooky, right?) With enough data, AI can customize Amazon's recommendations far into the future, understanding a customer's actions often before they do.
Not to mention, AI is becoming increasingly adept at fraud prevention, customer sentiment analysis, and even inventory management to prevent stockouts and make sure Amazon always has enough products in their warehouse to keep your sales moving.
Optimization is increasing at the speed of light lately, which means your brand needs to be too.
Trend #5 - Sustainability
As fast as AI is growing, the desire for more sustainable products and practices is spreading.
A joint study by McKinsey and NielsenIQ shows that 60% of consumers are willing to pay more for products with sustainable packaging.
Increasingly, customers are making green purchases. As the market shifts to meet this demand, other brands must keep pace.
Having green practices may become a make-or-break factor for future brands. Is your brand ready?
Consider your ecological footprint, your material sourcing, and how you can move your products towards a more sustainable model.
As customers notice your efforts, they are likely to favor your products simply because you are doing your part while other brands aren't.
How can you make your practices more sustainable? Even if it's just by supporting companies that significantly impact the sustainability movement, that can become part of your legacy and a key element of your company story.
Changing trends don't mean the end of business as usual. In fact, they can become the launchpad for greater performance than you ever expected.
It can be easy to rest on our laurels, especially when you're seeing success. But with how fast trends change, and how many new brands appear on the market every day, this strategy is more dangerous than ever.
Optimize your brand, stay on top of market trends, and you'll protect not only your revenues but also your reputation.
A few quotes to take us home...
"Change is the law of life, and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future." — John F. Kennedy
"Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature's inexorable imperative." — H.G. Wells
"Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower." — Steve Jobs
"He who hesitates is lost." — Joseph Addison
"Resting on your laurels is as dangerous as resting when you are walking in the snow. You doze off and die in your sleep." — Ludwig Wittgenstein.
"Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive." — Andy Grove
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