Time for chit chat
2016 has, in several respects, been a tumultuous year. But it’s also seen great changes in the world of e-commerce. Let’s examine a few of these changes, and see if we can draw any conclusions about how online retailers should react to them.
For years, users have been able to enjoy online content on a variety of different devices. But 2016 might be the year in which desktop PC users finally become a minority. If your website isn’t optimised for use on a palm-sized screen, then it follows that you’ll be missing out on an enormous amount of traffic. Indeed, one could soon argue that the smartphone should be the primary focus of optimisation.
One major hurdle for smartphone adoption has been the unwillingness of most people to part with money over their phones. But this hurdle looks to have been well and truly surmounted – and we should expect to see a rapid uptick in willingness to shop using a mobile device. If you’re an online retailer, then, you can scarcely afford to ignore the mobile market.
2016 is a year in which social media has become particularly important in getting a message out there. In this arena, video content is the undisputed king, demonstrably more effective than other forms of media. That’s not to say that other forms of media should be ignored – they’re indispensable parts of a multi-pronged marketing strategy. However, a good video-marketing campaign, if deployed correctly, can yield explosive exposure!
Just a year or so ago, voice searching was seen as an awkward gimmick – indeed, it was difficult for most people to talk to their smartphone without feeling faintly ridiculous. But these early compunctions have now all but evaporated, and many are choosing to enlist Siri, Cortana, and Google Now in their searching behaviour.
This has huge implications for content creators, as people speak a great deal differently than they write. This means that a conversational tone – and ‘rich answers’ that assistants can reply with directly – are more effective.
You might have noticed recently that Google is delivering many more local results – even if you haven’t explicitly inserted a ‘near me’ into your request. This is no accident – it’s part of Google’s strategy. Exploit this early by differentiating yourself from the local competition, and you’ll reap the rewards.