The State of eCommerce in post-COVID 2020

Sam Makad / September 2, 2020 | 5 Mins Read

The State of eCommerce in post-COVID 2020

2020 has been a strange year hasn’t it?

First we get hit by Corona, everything shuts down.

Then everyone flocks to online shopping, 

Toilet paper disappears completely. 

There are conspiracy theories about masks for goodness sakes! 

But one thing is clear. 

A marketing trend that was inching slowly has just exploded and that’s - eCommerce

eCommerce is going to look very differently in the next few years. Experts are saying that we’ve seen 10 times more growth (in sales) than expected, that eCommerce has shot forward ten years. 

With all of these businesses racing forward to optimize their eCommerce marketing efforts how do you keep up? And which channels do you focus on?

In this article, we cover the top eCommerce strategies to focus on in the post-COVID world, for 2021 and beyond. 

Let’s dive in. 

1. Maximize on the power of UGC

User generated content is one of the most powerful ways to boost eCommerce sales. Studies show that 76% of online consumers trust word of mouth or their friend’s recommendations and X% go online in search of these recommendations. 

Maximize on the power of UGC
Source: Yotpo

The world of eCommerce has already graduated beyond the simple text review to the more powerful and compelling visual and video reviews. You can now use tools like Yotpo, Pixlee and Loox to post image and video reviews onto your site. You can also automate the entire process of asking for reviews. 

Here are some ways you can display UGC on your site: 

  • Create Instagram Shoppable galleries - where users can shop the look of each of your Instagram posts.

display UGC on your site
Source: MVMT

  • Publish UGC galleries on your home page

  • Publish UGC reviews on each product page and collection page

UGC reviews
Source: Pixlee

What’s another really great way you can use UGC images and videos? 

You can use these for your Facebook, Instagram, and Google Ads. 

Which brings us to our next topic - paid social media.

2. Bring your paid social to the next level

If you want to be on the map in 2020 and beyond you have to get really good at social media advertising. All the platform algorithms are decreasing organic reach and increasing the need for brands to spend money on ads (because that’s how they get their money after all). 

It’s also better for the user in the end, because there is just too much content on social media and they need a certain way to filter it and target the users which ads do in a very efficient way. 

Here are 3 winning strategies for social ads: 

- Retarget your users on social media and create lookalike audiences to find more similar people to your customer base

- Focus on the value of your product and the solution that it provides. Look back at your customer journey map and make different ads for the different stages of your customer’s journey. It’s also wise to make a series of ads that display based on each stage. For example, show one ad before the customer purchases and another one after, to say thank you, to increase word of mouth and positive reviews.

- Launch ads using Taboola for the Google Display Network. This is a great way to retarget your site visitors on large publisher sites. The best thing to do is to work with a Taboola or Outbrain expert in your specific industry or niche. 

Which brings me to my next point.

3. Hire remote advertising experts 

Everyone is working remotely and with the largest tech giants extending this to 2021, this trend is probably going to stay here for a long time. 

Yet, it’s really hard to find freelancers or experts in your particular niche. How do you get them? How do you make sure that they are consistently working on your ad campaigns? How do you know that they are using best practices?

This is why many brands are starting to use managed marketplaces, and no, I don’t mean Fiverr. 

Here’s the difference. 

Fiverr is a place where you can find a freelancer and the only thing that the platform helps with is financial disputes between the brand and the freelancers, the rest of the work is on you.

In contrast, if you use a platform like Toptal or Mayple, then they match you with the best vetted ads or software expert for your niche. At Mayple, for example, they not only vett the experts before they add them to the platform, but they also do 24/7 monitoring of all of your accounts (using AI), and they have regular calls with the brand to see how they can improve their campaigns. 

This is a kind of white glove service that’s made managed marketplaces really popular among brands. It’s a very affordable way to grow your team and have someone else manage and monitor the work for you. 

The best of both worlds. 

Up next - influencers

4. Influencer marketing is the secret sauce

Businesses are making $5.78 on every $1 that they spend on influencer marketing and the industry is expected to grow to $22B in 2024 (that’s 4X in 4 years). 

There are many different ways to work with influencers.

You can launch hashtag campaigns, UGC campaigns, giveaways, or geographically targeted campaigns to reach a specific audience. Influencers are powerful because they come with a built-in engaged audience that you can access. 

launch hashtag campaigns
Source: Grin

5. Expand to online marketplaces

Last but not least, there are online marketplaces. Since so many people started buying things online it’s only natural that they trust sites like Amazon, eBay and Etsy more than the site of a new brand. 

These marketplaces have worked hard to build trust and a reputation that you can utilize to your advantage. 

Selling on these marketplaces just gets easier and easier every year. There are new eCommerce tools that let you do inventory and shipping management (ShipStation) and pricing management (DesktopShipper) or even take advantage of 2-day shipping if you’re not using FBA - with Deliverr

There are over 150-200 global marketplaces that you can choose from and these could provide extra sources of income for your business. 

global marketplaces
Source: Wish

Recap

If you are an eCommerce manager or marketer you need to get busy this year. There is so much growth potential this year, way more than in the last decade even. You can use any of these marketing strategies to literally 10X your business in just a few months. 

So go out there and conquer!

Over and out, 

Ben

Sam Makad

Sam Makad is a business consultant. He helps small & medium enterprises to grow their businesses and overall ROI. You can follow Sam on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin.

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