Top Ecommerce Trends for 2018

I came across this article in HBSDealer and thought you would be interested in these emerging ecommerce trends.

Consulting firm Absolunet, based in Montreal, Canada, revealed its list of top 10 trends that will impact North American retailers in 2018. The impact will be felt across the entire supply chain: by manufacturers, distributors, retailers and consumers alike, says the company.

“The technologies themselves already exist, we expect the adoption and proliferation of these technologies to grow substantially this year, changing the very nature of how companies do business.” says Charles Desjardins, Absolunet senior VP. “We hope that the top ten e-commerce trends for 2018 report helps retailers, manufacturers and distributors gain valuable insight and helps them choose the right strategies and partners to bridge the ecommerce gap.”

Here are the top ten:

1. The rebirth of brick and mortar

A  breed of retail stores and in-person experiences will begin to replace outgoing retailers.

2. The consumerization of B2B

The perfect storm is about to hit the nearly 1 trillion $ B2B e-commerce sector.

3. AR in your house

Augmented Reality will go from “novelty” to a sales driver.

4. ROPO (Research Online, Purchase Offline), the new measure of a retailer’s digital success

Retailers will be able to know which clicks led to in-store sales.

5. Mobile checkout overtakes desktop checkout

Mobile commerce’s biggest challenge – checkout – will become its greatest asset

6. AI will create the perfect customer experience

Shopping will be customized and optimized for every consumer.

7. Amazon and the year of marketplace maturity

Amazon will be a ubiquitous element in every e-commerce Business Plan in 2018.

8. Voice will change Google/SEO/e-commerce forever

In 2018, consumers will speak to their devices and use voice to make purchases like never before.

9. Photo shopping

Image-based product searches will be big in 2018, essentially altering the very nature of “search”.

10. Reaching peak browser

The browser will no longer be the de facto means by which we purchase products or services digitally.

What trends do you see on the horizon for ecommerce and retail in 2018?

Good Selling!

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22 Content Marketing Facts And Stats You Need To Know

content-is-king-gThis post from Renee Warren is a bit dated now but it is a perfect walk through of the power of content marketing.

Content isn’t just king. It’s the entire monarchy. Let’s be honest: it takes an entire palace to build the relationships required for your startup to thrive in a competitive market made up of smarmy sales tactics and reluctant consumers.

Relationships rely on honest, relevant, and respectful communication. The content you create and curate as part of your content marketing strategy is your first line of communication. Providing and parlaying valuable information about your product or industry in a way that respects your consumers’ preferences for consumption is the way into their hearts.

Don’t just take it from us. On average, 76 percent of shoppers felt closer and more positive about a company after reading their custom content. Consumers have effectively kiboshed traditional marketing as they have become smarter and more cautious about their buying decisions. Wary of banner ads and spam emails, consumers are opting for and expecting a more personalized buying experience.

Millennials, the bread-and-butter consumers of the tech world and up-and-coming goldmine for retailers, are especially difficult to win over. Not surprisingly, “Millennials are willing to share good advertising, but dislike when advertising feels deceptive.”

More than ever, content marketing is taking its place as the key to building the relationships that connect with and convert your consumers.

So, what does the content marketing landscape look like today? Here’s 22 facts and stats you need to know to gain your competitive edge in the world of content domination, conveniently broken up into four chapters:

The Broad Scope of Content Marketing:

content-is-kingIf you doubt that creating stellar content can really help in your industry, consider this thought from expert Jay Baer: “What matters is that big companies are embracing big content, and in so doing they are changing the expectations of YOUR customers.” Why not lead the charge in your industry? Let’s get an overview of what content marketing is really all about:

  1. Marketers are Spending BILLIONS

Marketing teams were forecasted to spend 135 billion dollars on new digital marketing content this year. [Jeff Bullas]

  1. The More Tactics, The Merrier

B2B marketers use an average of 13 content marketing tactics — from social media to e-newsletters and video to blogs — with 70 percent currently working on creating more engaging and higher quality content[Content Marketing Institute]

  1. Email, dead? Hardly!

Every minute users send 204 million email messages, making it the most popular way to share content. [Domo]

  1. Two Words for Traditional Marketing: Slow and Expensive

Content marketing costs 62 percent less and generates roughly three times as many leads as traditional marketing. [DemandMetric]

  1. SEM is the King of Paid Distribution

If you’re looking to spend a few dollars, B2B and B2C marketers rate search engine marketing as their most effective paid method to promote and distribute content. [Content Marketing Institute]

Marketing Trends:

Content Marketing Facts & StatsIt doesn’t take much convincing before startups and small businesses realize that content marketing is a strategy they need to have. Now, where to start in developing the tactics to implement? Let’s take a look at some of the trends readers and prospects have proven true:

  1. We All Live in a Very Social World

There will be an estimated 2.13 billion social network users around the globe by 2016. [Statista]

  1. Marketers Prefer Content Creation

On average, content marketers are dividing their content into three areas: (61%) created, (27%) curated, (12%) syndicated. [Curata]

  1. An Infographic is Worth a Thousand Words

Infographic usage amongst B2B marketers increased from 51 percent last year to 62 percent this year. Here’s why: humans are highly visual learners. Engagement increases by at least 37 percent when copy is accompanied by graphics. [Business 2 Community]

  1. LinkedIn and Facebook Lead in Content Distribution

94 percent of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to distribute content, making it the social media platform used most often, while 58 percent of B2C marketers rated Facebook as the most effective marketing platform overall.[Content Marketing Institute]

  1. Social Media is Still On the Rise

All social media platforms experienced some level of increase in usage this year, with Instagram and Google+ gaining the most (raising approximately 17 and 13 percent, respectively). LinkedIn, while still very popular, did not increase. [Content Marketing Institute]

  1. Embrace the Blog

Companies with an active blog generate 67 percent more leads per month.[InsideView]

  1. Inbound Marketing Generates Leads

Inbound marketing delivers 54 percent more leads than traditional outbound marketing. [Jeff Bullas]

Marketing Hurdles:

Customers should not be a roadblockAcknowledging your organization’s biggest challenges can determine the tactics that will work best in your content marketing success just as much, if not more, than knowing its strengths. Here are some of the hurdles being faced in the world of content marketing:

  1. B2B Requires Brand Awareness

84 percent of B2B marketers listed brand awareness as the key content marketing goal for their business, with “lead generation” coming in as a close second. [Content Marketing Institute]

  1. Sad, But True: The Majority of Created Content is Wasted

Approximately 60 – 70 percent of B2B content that is created is never used because the topic is irrelevant to the target audience. [Inbound Writer]

  1. Webpage Views Amount to Mere Seconds

17 percent of pageviews last less than 4 seconds, and a mere 4 percent of pageviews hold a reader’s attention for 10 minutes or more. [Statistic Brain]

  1. Content Marketing Professionals are in Demand

More B2B marketers say they are challenged with finding trained content marketing professionals this year (32%) than last year (10%). [Content Marketing Institute]

  1. More Content Does NOT Equal More Web Traffic

Less than 20 percent of a company’s website content drives 90 percent of its traffic, and only 0.5 percent of a website’s content drives more than 50 percent of its traffic. [InboundWriter]

  1. ROI is Tough to Track

Most marketers have a tough time tracking ROI, with only 21 percent of B2B marketers and 23 percent of B2C marketers listing that they are successful at tracking the return on investment (ROI) of their content marketing program. [Content Marketing Institute]

Measurable Content:

Content and the Sales FunnelSpeaking of ROI… measuring the effectiveness of your content is essential in determining if your marketing and business goals are being met. Easier said than done, but when over 25 percent of an organization’s marketing budget is spent on content marketing on average, measurement is worth a shot. Here’s what’s marketers are doing currently:

  1. Web Traffic as an Indicator of Success

60 percent of B2B marketers use web traffic to measure their success.[DemandMetric]

  1. Marketers Measuring Pageviews Over Duration

69 percent of marketers are using pageviews/unique visitors to measure the success of their content, while less than half are examining the time the user actually spends on the site. [Contently]

  1. Effectiveness Depends on Documented Strategies

60 percent of B2B marketers that have a documented content marketing strategy rate themselves as highly effective, compared to the 32 percent with a verbal strategy. [Content Marketing Institute]

  1. Testimonials = The Bee’s Knees in Content Marketing

Customer testimonials yield an 89 percent effectiveness rating for content marketing. [Jeff Bullas]

Capitalize on Content

Listening to the FutureThis is no bandwagon you need to jump on; no passing fad. Business success depends on successful relationships, and relationships require communication. Content marketing is your in with your customers.

Content marketing has usurped the traditional world of marketing. The most effective content marketers are using the latest statistics to target a clearly defined audience with relevant and consistent content.

Good Selling!

6 B2B Marketing Trends To Outperform The Competition In 2015

With 2014 nearly over, it’s time to get out the crystal ball and share what will be the big trends for B2B marketing in 2015.

There’s no end to posts predicting the next big thing in 2015. And we all know those predictions are usually wrong – let’s make some, anyway!

Seeing marketing through the customer’s eyes

Seeing through the customer’s eyesMarketing and sales are starting to focus on adopting buyers’ perspectives with regards to selling. This “customer-based selling” is not selling in the traditional sense but more about helping customers to buy – a subtle but distinctive shift in mindset – and content is absolutely key to the success of this. Moving into 2015, content will become even more critical in the customer-based selling process, as marketing and salespeople look to share insights and engage customers based on what they need to make it easier for them to buy.

Content marketing is here to stay

Content marketing is here to stayContent, which is here to stay because brand building is storytelling and marketing is teaching, will continue to improve in quality instead of just quantity. The most successful content will be relevant, entertaining and informative based on where the customer is during their purchase journey. Content should build on itself, be aligned to your sales funnel and move with your customers in their purchase journey.

A picture is worth 1000 words

A picture is worth 1000 wordsVisual content is critical for brands to reach and engage their audiences. Infographics (especially with interactive graphics and embedded video) will continue to grow in popularity because of their value in education and thought leadership, all delivered in understandable sound bites. Expect short, graphically powerful slideshows to also gain popularity in delivering sales messaging.

Show and sell with video content

Show and sell with video contentWith Youtube’s popularity showing no signs of slowing down, video content will become the go to content resource for marketers. There may also be a shift from longer, consumable content like YouTube videos to shorter, snackable content like Instagram 15-second videos and Vine 6-second videos in B2B marketing.

Data will drive personalization

Data will drive personalizationIn 2015, data will play a larger role in content marketing. Beyond just producing great content, marketers need to reach and engage the right audience. Marketers will use data to personalize and deliver content to their highly connected, always-on users helping to create a more informed decision that reduces the risk of being overlooked and increases purchase confidence.

Fostering brand advocates

Are You Your Customers Biggest Fan?Marketers have always known that users who love their products buy more. We’ll see B2B marketers using creative and varied tactics on multiple social media platforms to build sales and win more users by sharing that are visual, compelling buyer testimonials.

Trends are both threats and opportunities for B2B marketers

6 Trends in B2B MarketingCompanies that see social media as something for teenagers will miss the opportunity to connect and educate their customers in a compelling way. Ultimately, they risk becoming irrelevant.

Marketers who move forward with these trends have the opportunity to differentiate themselves in the marketplace, be seen as innovators and improve their odds of outperforming the competition.

What trends do you see for B2B marketers in 2015?

Good Selling in 2015!