Ecommerce businesses are establishing their 2024 priorities on shaky ground: with the overall macroeconomic picture remaining cloudy, indecision reigns supreme and volatility shows no signs of subsiding.
To help you plan ahead, we’ve asked three team members to share the trends they expect to shape 2024.
Mike Austin, SVP of Personalization
The rise and rise of personalization
Personalized email marketing was a game changer for many businesses, who could now send out personalized marketing for pennies per recipient instead of a large cost per recipient for post.
Fast forward to 2024 and email marketing is mainstream and probably the most effective push marketing channel. Few would contemplate a modern marketing campaign without a healthy proportion being via email. Email personalization is now far more sophisticated, using many techniques including AI to compose and optimize messages.
But websites have lagged behind in the rush to personalization. The internet was born to be anonymous, but that’s changing fast. For marketers, being able to identify visitors and gain insights from their behavior is a goldmine.
So why doesn’t everyone personalize their website?
The answer is, it’s hard.
You have to collect behavior, identify visitors, then deliver personalized content at web scale and in near-real-time. Doing this yourself requires advanced dev and compute resources, and can all too easily result in a website which can only be updated by developers. Personalization platforms solve this problem, giving advanced personalization which can also be changed in an agile way.
So what’s next? Tech like personalized site search and product discovery, more push channels like SMS. Personalized images and merchandising. Even more intriguing, chat channels like WhatsApp where the personalization is not just outbound but also personalized responses to questions and comments.
One thing’s clear, we’re never going back to one-size-fits-all mass marketing.
Martina Poehler, VP Marketing
A shift in consumer trust
Social media’s reputation is shaken. Due to misinformation fuelled by AI-generated images, deep fakes, and faux human influencers, consumers will turn to established information sources this year. The importance of trusted news outlets, such as the BBC, as well as brand-owned channels, like email newsletters and corporate websites, will increase.
Social media’s image is declining across the globe: 81% of adults in the US, the UK, Spain, and Italy say that there is a lot of fake news and misinformation on social media. Brand safety concerns should also encourage eCommerce businesses to reduce or even stop marketing activities on social media platforms that fail to fight the influx of fake news.
Due to these factors, there will be a long-overdue rebound for trust in more traditional marketing channels. In our recent survey, we found that consumers’ most popular channel for receiving promotional messages is email (35%), closely followed by brand websites (32%) – with social media platforms, such as TikTok (13%) and Instagram (16%), lagging behind.
As the line between real and fake blurs further, eCommerce marketers must double down on those channels that are regarded as reliable and trusted sources by consumers – and provide the best possible customer experience on those touchpoints.
Dominic Carelse, Growth Marketing Manager
A lean towards first party and zero party data for growth
With the death of the 3rd party cookie, eCommerce and travel brands will work their existing traffic harder for long-term results.
We’ve been threatened with the cookie-apocalypse for a few years now, but finally, as of January 2024, it looks as if the phasing out will commence. So are we ready?
According to Martech, 45% of marketers are investing at least 50% of their budgets on tactics that require third-party cookies. In addition, just this year an Adobe study found that 75% of marketing and CX leaders still rely on third-party cookies.
Achieving and sustaining eCommerce growth was tough enough as it was. Now with it about to get even trickier, brands will be forced to make their owned channels work harder.
I predict that in 2024, we will see more brands focus their efforts converting subscribers and existing traffic by leveraging first- and zero-party data. Marketers will lean on gamification and data capture to learn more about their anonymous visitors so that they can personalize communications as soon as possible. At the same time, first party data, such as customer behavior, will be used to power intelligent product recommendations, replenishment messages and loyalty programs with the goal to create high spending forever customers.
Keen to uncover more 2024 trends?
Download our ebook “9 eCommerce Marketing Trends for 2024” with predictions from Fresh Relevance, Dotdigital, Trustpilot, Antavo and other industry experts.