Marketers and retailers alike, every day we wake up in the dilemma on how to build and maintain new and lasting relationships, what to do to endure the fierce competition, and ultimately, how to entice more shoppers to buy more from our online stores. Killer online marketing strategies are what we’re always looking for.

With 2016 nearing to an end, together with the ups and downs to it, 2017’s ecommerce business is on the rise. The sales for next year is looking positive with global projections to hit $2.352 trillion ecommerce sales toppling the estimated $1.915 trillion sales in 2016.

But, with online shoppers seemingly harder to win, easier to lose and even a lot pickier each year, how do you avoid such nuisances? What fresh promotional strategies do you have to implement in this coming year? If you want to keep up or better yet, stay ahead of your game, you need to benchmark against these major trending online marketing strategies that will dominate 2017.

Trend # 1 – Live Video Streaming will fully soar

The popularity of videos over the past years have been exceedingly prevalent to online consumers and effective to retailers. And we’ll still see the widespread of videos, but for 2017 it has come with an elevated twist: live video streaming.

In 2015, live video streaming tools like Periscope and Meerkat were released. But the momentum began somewhere in 2016 as Facebook eventually started its live streaming capabilities, followed by Youtube. In 2017, expect the widespread of live video streaming as it opened a new opportunity for retailers as research found out that people spend 300% more time watching live videos compared to videos that are not broadcasted live.

Take Action: Broadcast for 2017!

Live video streaming can be used as one of your online marketing strategies this 2017. Plus, it’s a very cost-effective tactic.

  • A grand opening. You can live stream a grand opening of your new site or app or brand line.
  • Unveiling new product. Similar to unboxing videos, you can also broadcast live the unveiling of a new product as an alternative.

Trend # 2 – User Generated Contents will be omnipresent

Often overlooked as one of primary promotional strategies for small businesses is user generated content (UGC). The concept of UGCs is simple: consumers post something (videos, pictures, testimonials, reviews, and blogs) regarding your store or product that is available publicly online through social media and other sites.

UGCs’ engagement is highly critical as consumers generate organic contents to share either positive or negative experience about your store or products. Using UGCs can help you gain more leads to your online store because shoppers with UGC interactions are 97% more likely to convert with a retailer as opposed to shoppers who do not.

Take Action: Be popular this 2017!

It takes some effort and time before you can have thousands of consumers praising your product or store, however, UGC’s predominant benefit is that you don’t have to create it! Consumers generate it for you. Here are some ideas to start increasing your UGCs this 2017:

  • A social media product contest to urge customers to take pictures together with your product.

user generated content on facebook

REI’s contest encourages customers to take a photo wearing their favorite brand

  • A New Year’s Resolution. Encourage your shoppers to share a New Year’s resolution and why your product/store could help them in achieving it.
  • Reward by sharing what they love. Incent your loyal customers with rewards once they share what they love about your products.
  • Target Local, Buy Local. If you are a local store, target native influencers with large local following as Buy Local promotion.

facebook marketing strategies

This Facebook post is a sample user generated content for a local fashion brand. The post generated comments from local followers as to where to buy the product, the price and the manufacturer itself.

Trend # 3 – Mobile Shopping will become a constant companion

Mobile isn’t going anywhere this year as 58% of smartphone users are turning to their phones to shop. Wherever and whenever shoppers are, the convenience of mobile shopping is the main reason why mobile will be a constant shopping companion for 2017.

Take action: Bring your store to the pocket of your customers!

  • Build a mobile shopping app for your brand. The volume of app revenue is immense as 54% of consumers used an app for their shopping activities. Start building your own mobile app without having to go through a tedious process. We are seeing lots of small & medium business owners have their app published in Apple and Android app stores with Sellmob application. You can conveniently convert your online store into a sleek and powerful mobile app, with the same tool:

Sellmob mobile shopping app

Though promoting your mobile shopping app to get customers download to their smartphones can be a big challenge, the obstacles you create to hinder competitors once your app is a success are enormous.

  • Use push notifications often to promote and re-engage. One of the functional capabilities of mobile is the ability to send push notifications. You can send promotional messages regarding your discounts and special offers. It’s also useful in re-engaging your seemingly dormant shoppers.

Trend # 4 – Retargeting will frequently emerge

Did you buy the first product from the first website you looked at? Absolutely not. You’ve probably compared products through multiple sites before arriving at a purchase. This situation poses a chance to online shops to utilize retargeting to help them recapture that seemingly lost opportunity as retargeting aids you in getting back visitors who previously left your site.  

retargeting in ecommerceAbove illustration is a graphical representation of retargeting. By constantly displaying your ads on other sites, abandoning website visitors are encouraged to return to your website and continue their transactions.

Retargeting is a valuable whole year marketing technique. And in 2017, retargeting will grow even bigger and will be a constant companion as one of small businesses’ marketing strategies as website visitors who are retargeted with display ads are 70% more likely to convert on your site.

Take Action: Shoot a bull’s eye next year!

To utilize retargeting, on an average, your ads must take 7 touch points before a shopper buys your product. In order to fully optimize your retargeting techniques by 2017, use these best practices:

  • Segment your customers and tailor fit the display ads shown to each of the segmented group. For example, people who looked at bags will be retargeted with display ads containing backpacks or pouches versus those who looked at sunglasses.
  • Retarget customers whom you’ve converted with upsell or cross-sell. Avoid retargeting a shopper who bought white sneaker with a retarget ad of white sneakers, instead use it as an opportunity to upsell or cross-sell new offers.
  • Prioritize your timing in respect to the type of products. For example, if today’s December 20, you should prioritize in immediately retargeting those shoppers who are looking Christmas presents versus those who are shopping for Valentine gifts.  

Trend # 5 – Voice Browsing will boom loudly, so as voice purchasing

A voice browser is an application that allows users to search via interactive voice interface. Through vocal interactions, the need to use hands to type for browsing is eliminated. In 2016, Google Home and Amazon’s Echo allowed multiple households to use voice as a first means of online browsing.

By the end of 2017, voice browsing enabled devices are projected to reach more than 10 million homes. This opens a budding device to create new marketing strategies for small businesses. Amazon’s Alexa is a virtual assistant made popular by the Echo in 2016. Alexa allows users to place orders, add item to a cart or complete the purchase.

amazon voice purchasingAmazon started voice purchasing last November 2016 by allowing users to purchase holiday items using Alexa.

Take Action: Warm up your voice to sell this 2017!

  • Integrate interactive voice selling into your site. Voice can be used in guiding your online visitors when shopping for items by asking you verbally what they want and from you end, showing them the filtered results.
  • Add voice to your mobile app. You can also use the same approach to your mobile app for faster selling and transactions.

Trend # 6 – Interactive email will let consumers buy conveniently within an email

In the traditional internet marketing strategies, email contents are simply photos and highly relevant write ups to get the recipients to visit your website where the actual purchase will take place. Therein presents the challenge: email is just a gateway and you cannot convert unless with human intervention.

But try to imagine if a shopper can complete the purchase within an email, this could potentially transform the shopping experience, right?

Take action: This 2017, get interactive!

  • Invest in an interactive email with “buy now” buttons to directly complete the online payment within the email itself.
  • Grow your email database by incorporating website strategies like Better Coupon Box to help you convert visitors into email subscribers.

Trend # 7 – Augmented/Virtual Reality will become even more real

There was a time when you see a flock of people outside playing one app: Pokémon Go. During the app’s momentum, it earned $10 million a day. The obsession to Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) is not dying anytime soon as Adobe recently launches AR and VR capabilities in marketing cloud.

As new AR and VR technologies are on the rise, potentially these realities will start shaking up 2017 in how online sellers will take advantage this new platform. AR and VR will transform in how retailers will create and drive new engagements.

Take action: Next year, be real!

  • Virtual reality shopping is within our grasp. Imagine where you can virtually hold a bag in your hands and inspect it closely like when you’re scrutinizing a purse before you buy it? Now that is an exciting cutting edge technology you want to incorporate as your online marketing strategy.

Trend # 8 – “Buy” buttons will be extensively pinned in Social Media and Google Search

You might have recently seen one or two online shops with the “buy” buttons in social media which allows shoppers to directly buy from social networking sites instead of being re-directed to the online store’s website.

This trend could potentially cut the time and effort shoppers make in purchasing which allows them to shop productively. Thus, making huge implications of widespread use among ecommerce businesses in 2017. Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and YouTube are among the social platforms that have rolled out the “buy” buttons in 2016.

buy button in Google search

Google will also incorporate complete shopping experience via Google Search itself.

Take action: 2017 is just a click away!

  • As soon as full availability begins in 2017, seamless shopping is just a “buy” button away, cutting more barriers to successful purchase.
  • Build a portfolio of social profiles for your brand (Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook…) and incorporate Buy buttons.

Start the year right!

The expanding internet and mobile penetration, intensifying consumer buying power, never ending rise of social media, and progressing technology and infrastructure will all help in fueling the fire to e-commerce development in 2017.

With the culmination of 2016, starting the year right by developing surefire online marketing strategies powered through the trends and insights we’ve discussed above will serve as your kick starters in elevating your 2017’s selling supremacy.

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