Digital Marketing and E-Commerce Trends You Need to Know In 2021 And Beyond - an interview
The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic will have an impact on businesses long after the threat of the virus has abated.
Companies have had to adapt not only to new ways of working but coupled with the difficulties of managing the financial difficulties that have come with the pandemic, they’ve needed to adjust to new trends in consumer behavior and respond accordingly. Businesses who continue to learn from these developments will thrive, while those that ignore them do so at their own peril.
To find out more about how Covid-19 has changed how companies reach out to their customers, we spoke Andrew Goldstein owner of Promotonics Marketing Agency. With firsthand knowledge of some of the trends that are shaping the Connecticut, Tallahassee FL, and outside markets, we discuss with Goldstein developments within e-commerce, and ways that companies can achieve good results by focusing on specific sales and social media channels.
A Life Change
Goldstein explained “Globally, consumer behaviors have changed drastically due to lifestyle and workstyle changes brought on by Covid-19. This has pushed companies that might not have had an e-commerce presence to quickly develop one: “While many consumers have long enjoyed e-commerce with one-to-two-day delivery service via mammoths like Amazon, some brands only started exploring e-commerce sales channels in 2020. Covid-19 really has pushed many businesses to go digital.”
However, Goldstein explained, this digital transition must be coupled with providing what your targeted consumers have come to expect: “On-time deliver, Undamaged items, instant ability to speak with a representative if necessary.”
When it comes to adjusting to trends and providing Promotonics clients with the best advice for adapting to the Covid era, Goldstein follows several rules of thumb: “For any brand, we have to make sure we keep ourselves up-to-date with the news and be flexible with our content and marketing strategies. While we try to plan ahead, we need to keep up and avoid sounding tone-deaf with our initiatives.” Looking ahead, he thinks that brands will continue to heavily rely on digital promotions/strategies/campaigns in 2021, to keep up with consumers’ spending habits.
The most notable changes in e-commerce that the pandemic has generated are in consumer behavior: “The products and services that people spend money on, and where and how they consume them have altered significantly. The priorities in decision-making processes and the motivation to make purchases is shifting. More and more, people are putting a priority on safety, rather than convenience.”
This meshes with the findings reported in Shopify’s report, The Future of Commerce 2021, which finds that, globally, 84 percent of consumers have shopped online since the pandemic, compared with 65 percent who have shopped in-store. And 79 percent of consumers surveyed said that they would shop online regularly in the next six months, in contrast with the 57 percent who plan to shop in-store on a regular basis.
According to Shopify’s analysis, only 50 percent of consumers have made significant changes in the way they shop—compare with 68 percent in the UK and 65 percent in Spain—and only 34 percent feel uncomfortable with in-store shopping.
However, while these shifts may not be as drastic in America as they are in other markets, Goldstein points out that the trends he has recognized have led to several changes in shopping behavior.
He points out that these shifts are likely to continue, even after the crisis that brought them on have passed: “The pandemic has forced a wide audience, especially those from older generations, to move to online shopping, which will drive businesses to improve their online payment systems and delivery services. Many services are going paperless, which further increases the demands for digitized operations. Finally, more and more people are pursuing healthier lifestyles. Me included, quick shout out to my local F45. I believe these trends will continue evolving, which will require businesses to evolve with them.”
The priorities in decision-making processes and the motivation to make purchases is shifting. More and more, people are putting a priority on safety, rather than convenience.
Andrew Goldstein CEO Promotonics Marketing Agency
But he warns, taking a one-size-fits-all approach won’t work when responding to these transformations: “It is worth mentioning that all these behavior changes and reactions to the Covid-19 crisis vary widely across genders, age groups, occupations, living environment, and lifestyle. So, it is crucial for companies that are looking to make the most of these trends and behavior changes to identify their most suitable target audiences and shift their means of approaching them.”
Focusing on Key Channels
One area where careful targeting comes to the fore is in social media and sales channels, where the effects of the pandemic have meant that companies need to cope with budget cutbacks, and they simply cannot be engaged with as many platforms as they might want to.
As Goldstein further explained, making the right choice is crucial:
“Many companies are trying different channels and different social media platforms. And there are so many: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok to name the top few. Even if you repost the same content, you have different results. And marketers must face the reality that it’s extremely difficult to manage all of these platforms with the same quality. So, companies’ stakeholders are looking to really spend their budget wisely, because of the crisis that we’re all facing.”
“So, they decide to put the money in one or two platforms, which perform really well. But it might be a challenge to find which ones those may be,” he added. “Usually, the process that we follow with our clients operating in the various locations is analysis their business and see how the Promotonics team to suggest what channel would be best for them.”
“They aren’t saying, ‘OK, let’s do Yahoo, let’s do Google, let’s do everything.’ Usually, they have the budget for one, two, or three channels maximum,” Goldstein said. “And then we do the market research to test the different platforms to see what is ideal for that company. For example, for one brand, Instagram might be the best platform they can consider because of its growth potential, and the overall popularity of visuals for their particular product. And of course, this is also where shopping is happening. So, if companies who are investing money have good content, good calls to action, and e-commerce apps that link to their Instagram account, they can be successful.”
Some brands have utilized AI technology to offer counseling services to shoppers to create an interface for their staff to serve their clientele ... but it's not about replacing the customer service staff at all.
Andrew Goldstein CEO Promotonics Marketing Agency
Goldstein added that, particularly at this moment in our history, companies can be very cost-sensitive, which puts a major focus on getting a return on investment from content creation and social media: “It’s data-driven—clients want to know how many new leads they are getting from this platform, or how many sales they are converting from that platform. With one of our out state clients, with every email campaign they put out each week, there are specific details they want to know:
What was the conversion rate?
How many people clicked? How many people buy products?
What is the customer acquisition cost?
And if they are happy, they will continue the volume and expand their budget. And If they are concerned, it means that we need to take a different approach.”
And just as it applies to other market trends, brands focusing on their best-performing channels is a trend bound to outlast the current crisis, Goldstein believes. “We cannot go back to the situation we had before Covid-19. Companies are more sensitive about costs in all areas. This trend is not just temporary—it’s going to last for some time.”
Promotonics Marketing Agency CEO and founder added, “at Promotonics we take an integrated approach to e-commerce and digital marketing, customizing our solutions for every client. Which in my view, is the only way to properly formulate an effective marketing strategy. The growth of e-commerce has also seen an increase in the number of platforms servicing the market. Shopify, WOO Commerce, and BigCommerce, for example, are popular, and although they may have similar services, their business models, features, and functionalities differ. With deep insight into how these platforms operate, we are able to strategically advise our clients on which one to choose and why.”
Are you looking for a marketing agency with the experience and knowledge to help you navigate the new normal? We can help. Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org