11 Trends that Will Shape the Future of Ecommerce in 2021

11 Trends that Will Shape the Future of Ecommerce in 2021

2020 accelerated the pace of e-commerce by leaps and bounds. Trends like personalization and customer experience are shaping the way companies, and customers connect. According to Statista, retail e-commerce sales increased by over a billion $ from 2019 to 2020 and are expected to grow almost another billion by 2021. Sales will continue to grow, reaching over $6.5 billion by 2023.
Retail e-Commerce sales worldwide

Source

Ecommerce is a huge and extremely competitive industry. Therefore, you need to continually monitor the trends to be ahead of the competition. At CodeFuel, we collected the top e-commerce trends you need to know in 2021.

What Do You Need in 2021 To Ride the E-commerce Wave

1.AR Will Become a Standard for Online Shopping

What once was a “nice to have” feature is now common in more online stores. AR is changing the online shopping experience because it reduces the uncertainty of not being able to try on the product. For instance, companies like IKEA allow customers to overlay their products in any room in the customer’s house.

By giving customers a feel, they can now see how they would look with that shirt or how the coffee table would look in their living room. AR usage in e-commerce sites has grown by 2020 and is expected to continue growing by 2021.

2.Personalization and Customer Experience

Personalizing as much as possible the customer experience is the key to win the new e-commerce game in 2021. People value and remember good customer experiences.

Implementing on-site personalization can increase revenue and reduce bounce rates. Strategies such as serving the customer in the preferred channel, using AI-powered tools to present personalized ads can increase engagement and conversions.

However, companies should be careful with personalization efforts so as not to impact customer’s data privacy.

“Customer concerns about the security and privacy of their online data can impede personalized marketing at scale. Best-practice companies are building protections into their digital properties.” McKinsey.

 

3.Conversational Technology Continues to Grow

Research company Gartner project that the adoption of conversational AI will grow more than 100% by 2025. Consumers are increasingly using voice technology (Alexa, Google Home) for search and shop. Features like Alexa Voice Shopping let you order and complete purchases with voice commands.
Let’s say you run out of eggs, or napkins, or want to order takeout, you can tell your voice assistant. The device keeps your payment details and even remembers past purchases.

AI-powered chatbots are another trend that is here to stay. Now the chatbot can talk to you in a natural, humanized way and take your previous search history with the company to adjust recommendations and answers.

4.AI-Powered Solutions Help Learn About Shoppers

The more you know about your customers, the better you can serve them. Understanding customer behavior lets you provide personalized recommendations and suggestions. Just like a helpful store assistant.

AI helps businesses learn about their customers’ preferences and purchasing behaviors, giving them personalized customer experiences. An example is Diageo’s Bulleit brand of bourbon whiskey. The company used social listening technology to discover a niche in bartenders struggling with wasted skills when the bars are closed.

AI-powered analytic tools can help your company forecast customer demand and prepare for peak times. AI also improves the shopping experience for customers by matching previous customer information and giving real-time recommendations.

5.More Video Content

While we talk about video, consumers are spending more time every day watching online videos. A global forecast estimates that the average person will watch 100 minutes of online video by 2021.

According to PWC, mobile video advertising is expected to grow more than non-mobile video advertising in the next four years.

US Advertising media size
Global e-Commerce payment methods

Source

6.Headless E-Commerce.

Implementing headless e-commerce can improve your company’s ability to adapt to changes. Headless architecture allows website owners to make adjustments in the front-end without having to carry the same changes to the back-end. Companies like Herschel, Gibson, Michael Kors, and Best Buy made the switch to headless architecture.

headless website architecture
Source: Herschel

Benefits of headless architecture:

  • Quick actualization of the front end – when you introduce new content, you can instantly see the changes.
  • Better user experience – headless commerce is compatible across devices and viewing formats. This provides a better alternative to traditional responsive design.

7.Online Sales Will Continue Growing and With it the Competition

The growth of online commerce seems unstoppable. Statistics show that the e-commerce market grew the equivalent of 10 years in 3 months.

US eCommerce penetration

Source: McKinsey

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, online shopping has become the new normal for most consumers. With stores shutting because of lockdowns, consumers are resorting to online shopping for purchases.

The reason? Online shopping provides a safe, comfortable and
convenient way to shop from home or on the phone.

Experts predict this change is here to stay, even in a post-pandemic market. That is because online shopping gives consumers a quick and contactless way to purchase.

“We saw that consumers immediately shifted their online buying habits with roughly 75% of our consumers at eBay buying more items online,” explains Scott Kelliher, Head of Brand Ads and Partnerships at eBay. “Almost 85% of them plan to keep this new higher level of e-commerce spends for the foreseeable future.”

8.Mobile Shopping Will Grow Strong

It’s a fact that most consumers spend a lot of time daily on their phones. Then, using the phone to make purchases just seems natural. Buying from your phone provides the ultimate convenience when doing it right. An intuitive interface and easy checkout are critical.

Platforms like Facebook (and Instagram) take advantage of these opportunities offering features such as Facebook and IG Shops and in-ad purchases for SMEs to grow their businesses. No surprise, then, that the m-commerce volume will continue to grow over the next few years.

us m-commerce volume

10. Increasing Costs of Acquisition Makes Retention More Important Than Ever

Although the number of online shoppers is increasing, acquiring a customer will be more expensive in 2021. At the end of 2020, we saw digital marketers investing heavily in paid search, and an increase in search shopping ads.

US search ad spending

Source

Costs of online advertising will only grow as online shopping expands to social media shopping. Therefore, companies will need to come up with creative advertising strategies to reach more shoppers while keeping costs under control.

One result of this trend can be a focus on retention strategies and conversion optimization. As competition grows, it is more important than ever to catch and retain customers’ attention via shopping ads that answer your customers’ queries while they are looking.

11. Social Media Purchases Will Grow

2020 brought new e-commerce features for social media channels. Facebook and Instagram added Shops, and in-ad purchases, intending to boost online shopping in their channels. As small businesses were one of the most impacted by lockdowns, Facebook launched a platform for business, adding tools and features to help SME to reach customers through social media.

Customers are carrying on more activities in social media than scrolling down cute videos. According to Statista: ”As of April 2020, 37 percent of U.S. internet users between the ages of 18 to 34 years reported they had purchased something via social media before but did not do so regularly”.

Social media platforms and e-commerce companies are tapping into this window of opportunity. TikTok, for instance, after its exponential growth last year, announced it is testing a feature that will enable users to add shoppable links in their videos. Instagram did something similar in 2020 by adding shoppable IGTV videos.

How Do You Know If a Trend is Right for Your Business?

All the trends mentioned before may seem overwhelming. How do you know which one can be right for your company? Here some pointers to get you started:

  • Pay attention to industry influencers and news: check what is trendy with influencers in your industry, so you can relate to them, and keep current on industry news to be up to date with trends.
  • Use digital tools and analytics to understand your customer’s behavior: many of the current trends depend on how well you can understand your customers and answer to their needs. Use data analytics tools to understand what they are shopping for, where, and when.
  • Check out your competitors: this may be useful to adapt your strategy. Is your competitor doing something that works? Maybe you can use this strategy for your audience? It is worth a try to check them out.
  • Ask your customers: nothing really tops knowing from first hand what your customers think. Use post-purchase surveys, quick polls, and reviews.

What’s Next?

Now that you know the top trends that will shape the e-commerce industry this year, it is time to apply some following recommendations for your company: 

  • Optimize your digital strategy to convert and retain customers.
  • Use digital tools to refine your reach.
  • Prioritize giving a great user experience with personalized content.

CodeFuel solutions enable publishers to increase their ROI through search monetization solutions that optimize search traffic, engage users, and boost revenue.

How CodeFuel Can Help

CodeFuel solutions enable publishers to increase their ROI through search monetization solutions that optimize search traffic, engage users, and boost revenue. 

Our engagement and monetization solutions help publishers by bringing together engagement and monetization, we leverage the searcher’s intent to increase conversions. 

How do we do it?  

  • Deliver relevant ads to targeted audiences on apps, websites, extensions, and more.
  • Leverage searcher intent, through presenting the right ad at the right moment
  • Engage users through enriching publisher’s assets with shopping offers and news, across devices, increasing exposure. 

When you bring ads that are relevant to the searcher, it helps strengthen the connection of the user to the publisher, which becomes a trusted source. As a result, CodeFuel solutions bring value and optimize conversions both for publishers and advertisers by giving a great user experience to the consumer. 

At CodeFuel, we are continually seeking innovative ways to generate revenue for our publishers and media buyers. Start engaging users and monetizing content with CodeFuel contact us today! 

New Year. New GEOs to grow your business

New Year. New GEOs to grow your business

Happy New Year everyone! As we start 2021, here’s hoping for a happy, healthy, and prosperous year for all of us. We are delighted to start the year with good news and announce that we now have Bing search coverage in even more GEOs to help you serve searchers in more countries. 
Expanding your reach to additional countries is not the only benefit here, as we also now have coverage for mobile traffic in 34 countries. While in the past year due to Covid-19 we have seen an increase in desktop traffic, mobile traffic keeps growing as well.    

The list of countries now serviced across desktop and mobile are Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela, and Vietnam.  

As a reminder, search coverage is also available in Russia, Belarus, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, connecting searchers with search results powered by Yandex across mobile and desktop. 

Our team is happy to assist you in implementing search solutions and making the most out of the available new countries. Please feel free to reach out to your Account Manager for more details.

Not working with us yet? Now is definitely the time to join!  

Tips to monetize user searches and boost conversions

Tips to monetize user searches and boost conversions

Statistics show that 90% of Internet users which reported search activity visited an online retail site or store, of which 74% purchased a product online. E-commerce is booming, and despite the re-opening of malls and physical stores, consumers still prefer shopping online.

Your customers are visiting your site and you can optimize this opportunity to monetize their search. This article shows you how.

What Users Search: Do. Know. Go

When users search the Internet, they want to perform one of three major action categories: Do, Know and Go.

Do” searches are also known as transactional queries. Users look to perform a specific action, such as purchasing a product or booking a service. These are the kind of queries that e-commerce sites look for.

Know” searches are informational queries. Users want to learn about a specific subject. This kind of queries can sometimes lead to “do” queries. For example, if a user wants to select their next holiday destination, they may start with a generic query [summer holidays south Europe] and then filter until they select where they want to go. At this point they can make inquiries with buying intention.

Go” queries occur when a user searches for a specific brand or product name. For example, if a customer is looking for Gucci, giving them Chanel will not do.

Customer Journey and Intent

The journey of a customer that is doing a transactional query goes through a series of stages, from knowing about the product until the actual purchase. Which each step, the chances of finalizing the purchase increase: 

  1. Awareness – when the customer discovers the product. At this stage the purchasing intent is weak.
  2. Interest – when the customer finds out relevant details about the product. This stage may prompt the decision for buying.
  3. Intent – this is when the customer decides to buy the product.
  4. Consideration – at this stage, the customer evaluates where to buy the product.
  5. Purchase – the moment of purchase.

While it seems straightforward, many customers fail to complete the journey, because they don’t buy the product or because they purchase from a competitor.

How to Identify Users Intent

Shopping platforms such as Google or Bing identify the users by analyzing the keywords used by them when searching. Although it is not an exact science, customer intent can be inferred and classified according to the keywords used.

The more specific the keywords used, the higher the buying intent. For example, a search term “skirts” has a very buying intent, although “navy pencil skirt ¾ length” is more specific and shows a higher intent to buy. The higher buying intent is in exact product names as search terms, for example, “Aroma Electronic Drum Set S-15”

To make the most of the visitors’ intent, apply search monetization strategies for your site.

Search Monetization Tips

There are a few tips you can implement to help monetize your site’s traffic. The first thing to do is ensure your site receives enough traffic. To achieve this, you can apply a couple of site optimization techniques: 

  1. Optimize your page loading time – slow sites not only have higher bounce rates but also figure lower in search engine rankings. You can optimize the loading time by reducing the file size of the images in your site.
  2. Ensure the design is responsivemobile searches and purchases amount to nearly a half of online purchases.
  3. Ensure your site provides true value – you do this by analyzing which keywords people searches for and check that your content, including the ads, match those keywords.

Once you get a decent amount of traffic, you can start earning revenue. Common monetization strategies include:

  • Advertising
  • Sponsored posts
  • Affiliate marketing

The name of the game is to give value to your customers at every step of the customer journey. The easier the searcher can find what they are looking for, the earliest they will make a purchase decision. One way to give your visitors more value by serving shopping ads to searchers.

Boost Conversions by Using Shopping Ads

Product Ads are online ads that feature products matching a search query. They include the essential details of the product: image, name, price, name of the seller and copy.

Serving shopping ads to your customers presents a few advantages: 

  1. High-positioning: Product Shopping Ads are always at the top of search engine pages, responding to an organic search made by a potential buyer. Therefore, your product will draw attention of high intent buyers.
  2. Boost conversions: people are less likely to abandon a search if they click on an ad featuring an image, making product ads more effective than text ads.
  3. Save on bidding: when you use product ads you need not bid on different keywords, since products ads show for several related keywords.

You can display the product ads in a search results page, or on your website. One example of a versatile solution is Shopping Fuel. Based on Bing Ads, it allows you to serve products by different sellers and affiliates. This saves you on having to bid independently by keyword, and you can manage your shopping campaigns more effectively.

Conclusion

Attracting visitors and keeping their attention is not an easy feat. The average person will stay less than a few seconds on a website if they don’t find what they are looking for. When you are looking to boost conversions, there are a few tips you can implement: 

  1. Identify your customers intent: analyze the keywords so you can target the higher intent buyers
  2. Provide value that matches that intent: not only in your content or product. All of your website should provide the customer with as close as possible to what is looking for.
  3. Optimize your website: your website should be easy to navigate, responsive, and fast to load to keep customers interested.
  4. Use product shopping ads: the ads are a useful solution that can draw customers to your site. They target exactly according to your customer search and can boost conversions.
5 benefits of presenting product shopping ads to searchers

5 benefits of presenting product shopping ads to searchers

Online shopping is at an all-time high. Recent events have created shifts in shopping behavior and have caused a massive surge in online sales. With lockdowns being imposed across the globe, consumers have been purchasing groceries, medicines, clothing, and other necessities online. Even after the pandemic, this change in shopping behavior is likely to continue and grow further, with more and more consumers now opting to make their purchases from e-commerce shops.

With the growth and the increasing relevance of digital channels, it’s imperative for business owners to implement effective digital marketing strategies, including the use of product shopping ads. Understanding product shopping ads, their benefits, and how to present them to searchers can be crucial for business growth.

What are Product Shopping Ads?

Shopping ads, aka Product Ads, or Product Listings Ads (PLA), are online advertisements that list products relevant to a search query. What sets them apart from text-based ads is that they feature the product image, the product name, its price, the name of the seller, and promotional copy. The images and product information make it easier to attract potential buyers.

Benefits of Presenting Product Shopping Ads

Presenting shopping ads has a host of benefits for e-Commerce and online shops, resellers, and more. Here are five advantages to presenting shopping ads:

  1. Your products are featured on top of SERPS. Product shopping ads appear where users can see them: at the top of search engine listings. Your products would have higher chances of being noticed by online shoppers when your product listing appears first on search results pages. Moreover, the people who would see your ads are those who are actually looking for your product or a similar one in the same category. Since shopping ads appear mostly in organic search results, having your products featured increases your chances of attracting high-intent buyers.
  2. You increase the chances of getting high-quality leads. When you provide relevant information along with an image, you’d be efficiently summarizing your product for shoppers who tend to click on an ad only if they’re interested in the item. By giving them enough information as quickly and as enticingly as possible, you’ll capture their interest and accelerate their purchase decision process. Through shopping ads, you’ll be able to generate high-quality leads that convert to sales.
  3. Get lower bounce rates. Shoppers are less likely to leave a site immediately when they already know what to expect. They are less likely to bounce as they usually click on an ad when they are likely to buy the product.
  4. Product shopping ads get higher conversion rates. Consumers are attracted to visual cues and tend to pay more attention to aesthetically pleasing ads. Because shopping ads feature product images, they’d be able to stand out more and are more likely to prompt a searcher’s interest. Also, shopping ads appear on organic user searches. Thus, in terms of targeting and conversion, shopping ads are much more effective than text-based ads.
  5. Gain broader reach and better engagement. With shopping ads, there is no need to bid on various keywords separately. Shopping ads show up for more related keywords, so your products appear whenever they are relevant to the search. Moreover, your product listings can possibly appear more than once for a single search query. This means that two or more of your products can appear in a single search results page.

How to Present Product Shopping Ads

Effective shopping ads capture the attention of potential buyers and entice them to click on the ad to know more about the product and to complete a purchase.

To achieve this, your ads should be visually appealing. The quality and style of your product photos are a crucial part of your listing. Make sure that you use only high-quality images that highlight the best features of your products.

Another thing you should pay attention to is your product descriptions and any promotional copy. Make them as accurate but as concise as possible. A catchy image captures interest, but a killer description gets the click.

Product Shopping Ads that Turn Searchers into Buyers

When creating your digital marketing strategy, utilize the power of product shopping ads in attracting more buyers, getting higher conversions, and generating more sales. Something as simple as adding a shopping feed to your eCommerce site or web pages can significantly increase your brand awareness, customer engagement, and business profitability.

Monetizing Firefox browser extensions / Add-ons

Monetizing Firefox browser extensions / Add-ons

Browser extensions, also called add-ons, are additional elements added to your web browser to enhance user experience via customized services. While these may make the users’ browsing experience better, web developers can actually get their fair share of the good stuff as well by monetizing these add-ons and extensions. 

What Are Browser Extensions?

Browser extensions are small software programs that use web-based technologies such as CSS, HTML, and JavaScript to add features and functionality to web browsers. Besides using the same API that the browsers provide, they have access to their own set of APIs, which means that there are more possibilities in extensions than with code on a web page. Extensions enhance the web browsing experience by offering services tailored to the user’s preferences. Here are some examples of what extensions can offer:

  • Add features to your browser – Extensions can add features and functionality to browsers, like enabling you to combine tabs from different windows to a single window, or the generation of QR codes from links and text.
  • Modify web pages – Through their ability to access the CSS and HTML of web pages, some extensions allow for enhancement to the user’s browsing experience when viewing these pages.
  • Integrate services from other programs – Some add-ons act as extensions for external apps, like a note-taking app employing the services of an add-on to clip websites and connecting them to it.
  • Personalize the appearance of the browsers’ UI and web pages – Extensions can also be used to inject the user’s personality in the browsers and web sites they visit by letting them add logos or backgrounds.

Basically, extensions enrich browser functionality with the specific additional features they offer. They can enhance productivity by making certain tasks easier for the user. Thus, it comes as no surprise that extensions are very popular among internet users.

Firefox and Browser Extensions

Created in 2002 by the Mozilla community as an open-source web browser, Firefox was released in late November of 2004. The new browser gained immediate popularity with users thanks to its speed, ease of use, and security features. Within the first 9 months, Firefox was downloaded 50 million times. 

Firefox encourages developers to build extensions for its users, whether for enhancing a website with in-browser features, enabling users to personalize their browsing experience or enable users to add productivity tools. Firefox extensions are developed using the WebExtensions APIs, a cross-browser system for developing extensions. 

How to Monetize Firefox Add-ons 

Getting the right balance of monetizing browser add-ons while maintaining good user experience can be very difficult, as any aggressive changes to defaults and user choices may drive users away. It’s important to find the right business model that aligns with the extension’s functionality without interrupting the user’s browsing experience. Fortunately, there are quite a few ways to go about this such as the paid features model, affiliate marketing, and search advertising.

  • Paid Features model – Also referred to as a freemium model, where developers offer an extension with basic functionality for free, with the premium version or additional features coming at a cost. The idea behind this is that the users get to experience the product first, and when they find that they like it, they would eventually opt for the added features present in the premium version. This gives the user more flexibility in choosing, and also enables them to ‘test’ your extension before going premium.
  • Affiliate marketing – Affiliate marketing is a way to earn a commission by promoting another company’s product. In terms of extension monetization, this can be done by displaying banners or ads leading to that company’s site or product page. Revenue is generated when a user completes a purchase using your link. While this may be one of the popular ways to monetize browser extensions, some users may find it off-putting if the banners or ads have nothing to do with the functionality that they downloaded the extension for.
  • Search advertising – Search advertising is another marketing technique that places ads on search engine results, and revenue is generated when users click on the ads. Unlike affiliate marketing, search advertising is less intrusive and can be customized to the user’s search results so that the ads they see are still relevant to what they were searching for. This is one of the preferred modes of monetizing extensions as this strikes the right balance between generating revenue and enhancing user experience, and for the businesses employing this marketing technique, they are able to reach their target audience so much faster. This method for extension monetization is likely to generate significant revenue if your extension has a large user base. 

To explore search advertising for your Firefox or Chrome browser extension, drop us a line

 

Top 7 tips for creating a successful search results page

Top 7 tips for creating a successful search results page

A search results page, also known as SERP, is a very important part of the user experience. A well designed SERP offers a positive experience for your users, engages them, and keeps them coming back. In this post, we are sharing our top 7 tips to help you create the best SERP experience.

1. Make sure the results are accurate and relevant. The most important elements of a SERP are the results. A user’s search experience will be disappointing if the search results aren’t correct or applicable and will put them off from visiting the site again. User satisfaction is key.

2. Pay attention to what your users are asking you. If a user is searching for a black, second-hand Holden, it is pointless to also show them a white, brand-new Holden or a red, second-hand Toyota. If there are no black, second-hand Holden cars available, do not lead the user to a ‘no results’ page. Instead, explain the situation, suggest an appropriate substitute or guide them in the direction of how to find what they are looking for. Always make sure the algorithms are up to date and working properly.

3. A good SERP is designed well. An important element of a SERP is how it looks. If it’s too cluttered or all over the place, the user will be put off. Use fonts, sizes, and colors that are easy and clear to read for all screen sizes. Your SERP should also be mobile phone and tablet-friendly, in both vertical and landscape views.

4. The main element – the search box. The search box needs to be clearly visible. Users will expect to find it towards the top center or top left of the SERP. It also needs to be big enough for users to easily click on it or touch it with their fingers. A call to action, such as ‘what do you want to look for’, or a picture of a magnifying glass is also beneficial.

5. Make things snappy. Long loading times are annoying. Make sure the SERP loading time does not exceed two seconds. However, if this isn’t possible, then a progress indicator should be implemented so that a user can see how long they may have to wait. Use cute, quirky or funny animations to divert the user’s attention while they are waiting.

6. Assist with spelling. Many users misspell search terms. Offer the user ‘corrected’ search terms so that a ‘no results’ page is avoided.

7. Offer Results Filter option. If a user is searching for ‘iPhone’, they don’t want to be shown every single iPhone on the web. A good SERP offers filters so that a user can specify their search, for example by price range, brand, color, etc. Provide filters that are relevant to the user’s search.

Wish to learn more about Serach and how to monetize your digital assets using search?
Drop us a line here.