Data-driven predictions for ecommerce marketing in 2018

2017 is soon to be a thing of the past, crazy right? While it may be hard to believe the end of the year is here (and the busiest time for ecommerce stores), the end is near.

You may be wondering, what’s on the horizon for ecommerce marketing in 2018? I reached out to a number of ecommerce pros to see what data backed predictions they had, and wanted to mention one beta product launch I think will shake up ecommerce marketing in the coming year. How’s that for a cliffhanger?

But first, let’s dive into a few data-driven predictions for ecommerce in 2018.

Brands double down on Facebook advertising

If you feel like Facebook advertising really took off in 2017, influencers like Tracey Wallace from BigCommerce, are predicting it will skyrocket in 2018!

“For the first time ever, Facebook Advertising surpassed email marketing as the highest revenue producing channel for online merchants. In 2018, we’ll see more and more brands double down there and tactics get much more sophisticated, especially with Facebook in the spotlight for who and how folks advertise on this platform. That said, it will likely also get more expensive, in the same way Google’s PPC has.”

Wallace predicts that brands will begin to look internationally at new markets to use the tactics that helped them grow in the U.S. With ads cheaper internationally, and the audience ripe. The barrier to entry for brands of all sizes to launch localized sites is almost non-existent, especially if you already have one site!

If you still somehow haven’t jumped on the bandwagon of Facebook advertising, take a minute to learn more about how to build an awesome Facebook audience, target inactive subscribers on Facebook, and 6 segments to target using Facebook’s Custom Audiences.

Emails are going to (continue to) shrink

We have spent a lot of time talking about what types of emails perform best, how to craft the perfect subject line, and what type of content to include in your emails, but one trend that we have already started to notice is that many of the top performing emails are short, very short.

The trend of shrinking emails doesn’t seem to be slowing down in 2018. According to Matt Sanocki of Mineral.io, “Users spend on average 69% of their media time on smartphones, and this number is increasing. In sync with the trend, we’ll continue to see email lengths decrease with greater focus on personalized, bite-sized messaging. According to Boomerang, the sweet spot for sales email length is between 50-125 words (with an open rate just over 50%)! While every email and audience is different, emails with clear, creative and compelling content will always triumph.”

I couldn’t agree more, an important part of sending relevant and targeted emails is a clear message!

Data and personalization get closer

“With the plethora of data digital marketers have at their fingertips, 2018 will most certainly be the year of personalization. From personalized audience segments and dynamic content to UTM-dependent landing page experiences and even personalized chatbots — specific, tailored and timely touch points will be king in 2018. Ninety-four percent of CMOs think personalization is critical to reach and retain customers, according to PWC’s Digital Services group. It’s a noisy digital gym out there, flex those personalization muscles if you want gains in 2018!” – Mike Banuelos, Senior Director of Strategy at Hawke Media

Looking to get ahead with segmentation? Check out our benchmark report on how segmentation and automation drive email marketing success.

Data gets cleaner and leaner in marketing automation

“Data will become about leaner, cleaner lists as emailers begin tightening opt-in procedures. Process-wise, the continuing rise of automation for all email marketers right down to micro-businesses. It is now available with even the lowest cost services and working with smaller businesses those marketers are looking to drive timely, highly relevant communications more than ever with the use of automation processes. Creatively, interactivity in emails whether it’s interactive images carousels or the ability for recipients to act from within the email using integrated surveys or forms.” – Brad Shaw, Dallas WebDesign

Start 2018 with a cleaner list by following these resources to grow, organize and clean your master list.

Death to stock photography, video is on the rise

Video marketing and advertising has been on a fast rise for the past decade. 2018 promises to me more of the same. Ian from Phoenix NAP Global IT Services can attest to this,“the days of stock images in ecommerce stores and advertisements are coming to an end. Pay attention to videos — these are and will be trending in 2018 for sure! From product pages to social media, video will be the driving force of online sales in 2018. We recently had a client run an a/b test with implementing videos on product pages and saw a 23% increase in sales.”

If you haven’t invested in video marketing for your ecommerce store, check out our guide to using video in email marketing.

A new feature we can’t stop thinking about: Spotify Self Serve Ads

Back in September, Spotify rolled out a beta launch for their new self-serve ads platform. Once this rolls out of beta and to the masses, I predict this being a game changer for SMBs looking to roll up their sleeves for another channel to use targeted segments. With Spotify self serve ads, companies can upload a ready to go ad or a script that Spotify will then create an ad for.

Just another super targeted way to get to the right message to the right customer at the right time.

What are your predictions for the state of ecommerce marketing in 2018? Post in the comments below.

Alicia Thomas
Alicia is a Content Marketing Manager at Klaviyo. She is fired up about helping marketers learn the best tactics and strategies to grow their businesses. Prior to Klaviyo she held positions on both agency and in-house marketing teams. When she's not writing the latest ebook or blog, Alicia can be found producing marketing videos.
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