2018 Trends and Predictions for Digital Marketing

 In Branding, Consumer Behavior, E-commerce Marketing, eCommerce, Market Trends, Marketing Strategy

It’s the time of year to look to the future. At Jumpshot, we consider billions of online searches, transactions and other behaviors, and we’ve thought about it enough to get a sense of some big overall trends. So we wanted to make some predictions about what will have the biggest impact in 2018 and how digital marketers can take advantage of them.

Prediction 1: Amazon Continues to Dominate

This one may be obvious as far as predictions go, but Amazon shows no signs of stopping inn 2018. The online retailer grew its share of market during the 2017 back-to-school season and converted a whopping 60% of all Black Friday and Cyber Monday online sales and all signs point to its continued growth. But it seems Amazon isn’t satisfied owning online shopping. With its acquisition of Whole Foods and its foray into brick-and-mortar, we predict Amazon will continue to make big plays to reign over all shopping.

How can digital marketers for e-commerce companies take advantage of this trend?

First, you should absolutely merchandise on Amazon’s marketplace with access to the data you need to fully measure the value of your marketing dollars. There are some simple fixes you can make, but to get a sense of how products play on walled-garden domains like Amazon, Jumpshot’s Insights platform can help you understand how your audience behaves across the web, not just on your domain, regardless of where they convert.

Another way to get a piece of Amazon’s growing pie is to partner with brands that have been reluctant to merchandise on the marketplace. Until July, for example, Nike refused to sell directly on Amazon, meaning customers buying Nikes through Amazon did so through an intermediary. You could be that intermediary for a similar, reluctant brand.

Prediction 2: Specialty Sites Double Down on Niche Products and Categories

While Amazon will continue to dominate eCommerce in 2018, we predict that specialty retail sites will slow their conversion losses to the e-tailer.

For example, 6.6% of visitors to outdoor outfitter Backcountry.com ended up converting on Amazon just a year ago. That number has fallen to just 4.8%. Similarly, REI, who was seeing 7.3% of their visitors convert on Amazon, is now seeing 5.2% of their conversions.

January July
Backcountry.com 6.60% 4.80%
REI 7.30% 5.20% 

 

Cross-site visitation for Backcountry.com in January

Cross-site visitation for Backcountry.com in January on Insights

How can retailers take advantage of this trend?

First, double down on niche products and become the authority on that category with a strong brand. Of course you have to compete on price, but all else being equal, your customers will want to buy from you if they like you.

Second, think about building or growing loyalty programs. REI, for example, provides dividends to members so customers are not only encouraged repeat purchase from the retailer but experience serious FOMO when they buy elsewhere.

Finally, create a great experience in your retail site so customers never need to go elsewhere for reviews, product comparisons, videos, etc. REI, for example, has a comparison feature on its website that lets customers easily compare products so they have less of a reason to leave the site

Prediction 3: Publishers Will Reduce Their Reliance on Facebook Referrals

Facebook has been sending less traffic to online publishers for years, and now Facebook announced it would be making changes to its algorithm to weight user-generated content and posts heavier than media, brand, and sponsored content.

How can brands and publishers take advantage of this change?

Digital marketers need to look for new sources of traffic beyond Facebook. Content discovery services, like Taboola, can be very effective for a content marketing strategy.  

But more than new media outlets, digital marketers need to beef up their data capabilities. Condé Nast, for example, provided more actionable data to its advertisers that improved ad targeting and delivered up to five times the conversions.

 

2018 is set up to be a big year of change for digital marketers and e-commerce. But, with not just more data, but better data, you can set yourself up to make your own predictions about where the market will turn and take advantage of these new challenges.

 

Recommended Posts
Moving past the old way of optimizing ad campaigns. Photo by Patryk Grądys on UnsplashData Graphs Should Be Powered By Statistics that Understand Bias