Marketing Trends You Should Keep an Eye on in 2020

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article |Marketing Trends|Marketing Trends You Should Keep an Eye on in 2020Marketing is one of the most dynamic fields in the world, and one that changes every day. New technologies are constantly allowing us to reach audiences in new ways. It also allows you to gauge and understand the impact of campaigns, and make adjustments on the fly.

Techniques like email marketing, content marketing, and search have been around for years now, but we are still seeing some innovation in how they are implemented. Let’s take a look at some of the marketing trends that will dominate 2020 and beyond.

Shoppable Post

Chances are there isn’t a single person in your entourage that is not using social media in some sort of way. It has reached virtually all classes and demographics, and has been used as a marketing tool pretty much since its inception. What is not as clear, however, is how many people actually do their shopping through social media platforms.

This represents a huge untapped potential, as 72% of all Instagram users have performed at least one transaction via the app. In one study, it was found that 70% of the Pinterest users surveyed used the platform to make purchasing decisions.

Platforms have been taking note, and are trying to make it as easy as possible for your audience to shop. This is why they’ve introduced shoppable posts that allow viewers to make purchases directly on posts. This allows you to shorten your sales funnel, and prevent leaks. These types of posts are expected to become the norm in the near future.

Augmented and Virtual Reality

While we were in an experimental stage with AR and VR, we are now starting to realize their potential and moving to concrete applications. Both technologies are becoming more common in marketing, and major retailers have already started using it as part of their strategy.

Ikea, for instance, has an augmented reality app that allows shoppers to visualize how a certain piece of furniture will look in a desired space. This could revolutionize the world of online retail, and change the way people shop forever.

Facebook is also betting on AR, and announced last year that it will make AR ads available to advertisers site-wide. According to Facebook’s VP of product marketing, Ty Amhad-Taylor, the goal is to move audiences from product discovery to purchases faster. “Shoppers are now expecting a visually inspired and personalized experience wherever they shop,” he said. “And this is either on their mobile devices and in stores.”

AR allows advertisers to bring both experiences closer together, and allows marketers to drive sales as well. These ads look like any regular Facebook ads, with the exception of the “tap to try” button. Shoppers will then be able to “try” the item in real time.

A More Demanding Job Marketplace

Marketing in 2020 requires students to have a more well-rounded set of skills than ever. While a solid marketing formation is a prerequisite, here are some of the skills that will be expected of marketing professionals:

  • Brand storytelling
  • Social media management
  • Data analytics
  • Serving progressive customers
  • Soft interpersonal skills

According to this piece by Emerson College Online, the marketers of tomorrow will still need to have solid interpersonal skills like listening and communication, even with all the recent advances in technology. Emerson College also puts a lot of importance on progressive audiences, and according to them, marketers who understand how to speak to an increasingly progressive and diverse audience will have a leg up on the competition.

Brand storytelling that is inclusive of all experiences will be needed, and major brands are already pushing towards more diversity in their campaigns.

But one area where marketers of tomorrow will need to be especially proficient in is data analytics. Companies don’t only need to compile data, but they must be able to actually analyze it, and use it to generate results. Data can be used to check if a marketing campaign was successful, and spot trends. Online marketing has the advantage of being easily quantifiable, and knowing how to use data can make a big difference on outcomes, money spent, and return on investment.

Interactive Content

Today’s shoppers are looking for variety and new experiences when they go online, and one of the ways this can be done is through interactive content.

As a matter of fact, a recent Content Preferences Survey found that 91% of responders are looking for more interactive and visual content. Here are some of the reasons interactive content is so powerful:

  • Interactive content is new and different, which allows it to stand out
  • It allows you to keep visitors on your pages
  • It’s immensely shareable
  • It can help build brand awareness
  • It is more engaging

For all of these reasons, we can expect more brands to use interactive content in the future. We can also expect to see more tools and techniques that will make the production and implementation of virtual content easier.


Personalization falls in line with interactive content, but focuses on providing highly relevant ads to customers. Shoppers have now become experts at phasing out adverts that have nothing to do with them or their interests, and this is one of the reasons why traditional advertising is losing some of its power. The only solution is to personalize ads as much as possible to build a connection.

In a study that was performed on 1000 people, 90% of them said that they viewed personalization as a positive. But more importantly, 80% of them said that they would be likely to buy if a company was able to offer a personalized experience.

What’s beautiful is that modern marketing methods, such as email marketing for instance, lend themselves very well to personalization. The rise of customer relationship management tools only makes it more powerful.

Lists can be precisely segmented and laser targeted to specific audience based on their prior purchase decisions, interactions, or the stage in the sales funnel. Used in conjunction with a cost-effective mass advertising tool such as email marketing, it allows businesses big and small to have the kind of reach that was only possible for major companies not too long ago.

Smart Bidding

People who are familiar with online marketing tend to also be familiar with automation. But new changes by Google are set to make automation and smart bidding the norm. Google Ads are now using machine learning to optimize your bids. This will allow you to:

  • Have more control over conversion action
  • Allow you to adjust bids automatically when sales stop or start
  • Optimize bids across multiple channels based on specific conversion actions
  • Maximize conversion
  • Avoid having to set a max CPC manually for each keyword

Old Methods Still Going Strong

While new online marketing methods are becoming increasingly popular, that doesn’t mean that old methods are becoming obsolete. Many of the tried and true techniques will still be going strong in 2020. Let’s look at some examples.

Content Marketing

Content will continue to be king in 2020, and continues to be one of the most effective ways to build a brand. Few methods allow you to establish your expertise and authority like quality content does. Content will also continue to drive search results, and play a central role in SEO efforts.

Video Marketing

Another method that isn’t going anywhere is video content. While interactive content will be getting a lot of attention, there is still a large need for traditional video content as well. Video content is not only being used to target customers, but is now being used as a recruitment tool as well.

Marketers who know how to use live video to their advantage will have a serious edge over their competitors. As a matter of fact, it was found that live videos on Instagram Live and Facebook Live were able to retain audiences at 3 times the rate of traditional videos. The average watch time on Facebook live content has quadrupled over the last year as well. People also interact with these videos a lot more. It was estimated that these videos produced 6 times as many interactions as regular videos.

SERP Position Zero

SEO is still going strong, but now, the objective is different. While the goal for many is still to get on the first page, many are trying to go a step beyond and get snippet mentions. These snippets offer additional information related to search queries, and feature a link to the page from which the information was pulled.
Local search will also continue to play an increasingly important role for businesses in 2020. This also means that business will do everything in their power to get more local mentions, and also work on improving their brand’s image with the public. This means more emphasis on reputation management, and concrete steps to improve their customers’ experience, which is great news for shoppers everywhere.

These are only some of the trends you should watch for in the world of marketing in 2020. Make sure that you’re always on top of the most recent changes, and find ways to incorporate them in your marketing strategy.

How to Get Reviews: 3 Ways to Get More Product Reviews

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article |how to get reviews|How to Get Reviews: 3 Ways to Get More Product ReviewsDoes your company need reviews but you’re not sure how to get them? We’re here to help. Product reviews are important in showing potential customers that you have a community of customers that use your products, increasing brand reliability.

Building a community with your customers through reviews can help them feel they have real-life advice and insight into your products. Many times, product reviews can even answer questions other customers may be having about a product.

Increase your sales and improve your brand reliability with reviews. Keep reading this guide so you can learn how to get reviews today.

1. Make Leaving a Review as Easy as Possible

Like all things Ecommerce, leaving a review comes down to user experience. Making sure that leaving a review is easy and simple will increase your chances of customers leaving them.

A great way to do this is to create a space to leave a review on every product page. Give your site’s visitors an easy way to review, like leaving a rating and brief description.

Make sure you’re also sharing awesome reviews on your site and making them visible to other customers. This original content is also great for upping your SEO rating.

2. Incentivize Customers to Review

Incentivizing your customers with discounts or an entrance into a giveaway is a great way to persuade them to leave a review. A discount can be a great idea if you also want your customers to make another purchase with you. Making a loyalty program is a great idea for returning customers, who can continually make reviews and receive points for doing so.

Mention your incentives and giveaways on social media so that your customers can leave reviews on many platforms, from Facebook to Google as well as your site.

3. Send Follow Up Emails

Another great way to catch your customer’s attention is through email. If your launching a review incentive program or giveaway, send an initial email out to your customer letting them know about this exciting offer. After this initial informative email, set up an automated email that goes out to customers after they receive their products from you.

Try sending an email asking your customers how they like the product, encouraging them to write in a review about a week after their purchase. This makes sure that you give the product enough time to ship, but the product is still fresh in your customer’s mind. This also shows that you care about customer satisfaction.

While all companies hope their reviews are great, it’s impossible to please everyone. If you have bad reviews you’re hoping to get rid of, learn more here.

Tips and Tricks on How to Get Reviews

Reviews are essential to building trust behind your brand and creating a community with your customers. If you need more reviews, keep these tips on how to get reviews in mind today and start implementing them into your marketing plan.

For more advice on business, Ecommerce and more, head to the “Insights” section of our site!

How To Find Your Winning Business Idea

StrategyDriven Innovation Article |Winning Business Idea|How To Find Your Winning Business IdeaThis post will outline the exact framework I’ve used to come up with four very different ideas for my multi-million dollar ecommerce brands. This process will help you not only come up with a product to sell, but also help you create more clarity around your brand vision – something you’ll return to again and again.

First up, if you already have a product on the market this lesson will be equally as important for you, because it’s going to get you thinking about your brand in an entirely new way, so definitely pay attention here.

Right now you’re probably thinking what do I even mean by a “problem first approach to ideation”. What I mean here, in its simplest state is that your product should be the solution to a problem and this is the very first thing to know before starting an e-commerce brand.

You’re not just creating a product, you’re solving a problem. Something that I’ve said time and time again: “The world doesn’t need more products”, so rather than asking yourself what product can I sell, instead ask yourself what problem can I solve?

By flipping this thinking on its head, from finding a product to finding a problem is important for several reasons. First up, if we’re thinking differently to others, we’re more likely to come up with something different and better than what’s already out there.

This method gives you the opportunity to find a better solution to the problem than other standard products on the market. Also if your product is solving an existing problem that your target market or customer already experiences, you know it’s going to add value and be of value to them.

Acing a problem-first approach will also make it easier down the track to create more products that make sense for your brand, because you’ll always have that starting point or brand vision to work from. In fact, coming up with a solution before you know the problem you’re solving can actually be seriously detrimental to innovation. Once you have a solution in mind, it’s really hard to shift from that, even if you know and you’ve got that it might not be the best possible one.

It’s a little like answering a question before you know what the question even was. Even if you take a good guess it’s always going to be a little bit off the mark. Identifying the problem that you want to solve before making your product will make sure that you never lose sight of what your brand is trying to achieve or end up with a product that does miss the mark.

Finding a problem and coming up with multiple solutions means that you’re better equipped to find the best possible product for your brand to sell. What we want to do here is find a problem that you already know exists or better yet you’ve experienced yourself. This is what I often refer to: “scratching your own itch”. That means you’ve felt the pain point yourself, so you’re better able to empathize with your target audience. Ideally, the problem that you’re looking to solve will be in an area that you’re passionate about – you want to be able to do it day in day out, for the foreseeable future.

Let’s use an example that I’ve spoken about before, I’m truly interested in protecting our shared environment for future generations. My interest in this might stem from the fact that my mom is it a little bit of a hippie, she’s taken to doing things like lining her bin with old newspaper instead of plastic bags, religiously takes her own plastic bags to the supermarket, etc. The huge environmental issue is our unprecedented production of waste and dropshipping products – both landfill and recyclable.

So the problem that my brand will solve is how to decrease waste from everyday disposable items. A good way of coming up with your solution here is by turning a problem into a question and your solution will be the answer to that question.

The question could be: How do I decrease waste from everyday disposable items? And one answer would be to make those items reusable and this is something that I do a lot when coming up with solutions – I come up with a problem and ask myself what the polar opposite of that problem would be?

Like I said, the opposite of disposable is reusable this is another strategy that you can use. So we have our problem – the waste from disposable everyday items and our solution making them reusable. Now we want to have a bit of a brainstorm around what some of these disposable everyday items could be, that we could make reusable. This is going to help us come up with some potential product ideas.

So, now let’s start thinking of some items that you use daily, are disposable that you could make reusable. First things that immediately come to mind: Erasers (shopify best sellers), tooth brushes, takeaway coffee cups or straws. Now you want to begin to have a think and do some research around each of these potential product ideas in terms of what you think has:

  • biggest market potential
  • competition

It’s important that they aren’t being done as well by other brands. You can fast forward and go for the item of areas which has the least market saturation (which in our case, from the items listed is the disposable straws).
Then we want to focus in and start to do some additional research around our problem and solution. We want to look at some facts and figures that you can focus on to highlight the problem of disposable straws. Apparently an estimated 500 million straws are used each day in the US alone – this is a powerful number and it can help you convince the customer the importance of making a change.

Then we want to highlight the fact that plastic straws cannot be recycled and they sit in our landfill for years or pollute our waterways. So, you’re starting to create a compelling reason for your prospective customer to switch to a reusable straw, by getting them to understand and even empathize with the problem.

If you’ve felt the pain point yourself, you’re not only going to be more motivated to solve it, but you’re actually going to be more equipped to solve it as well. If you ask yourself your problem as a question, your solution can be the answer or another approach is thinking of the polar opposite of your problem, for example: Disposable and reusable dehydration and hydration or in the case of SkinnyMe Tea (my brand if tea) toxins and detox.

If you’re stuck on ideas you can look at websites like trendhunter or Kickstarter, for example. On trendhunter you can search according to a category you’re interested in:

If you’re interested in health and wellness, then you can go into the health category and maybe look at some of the top trends for that month in the health and wellness space or you can see if anything really catches your eye.

For me obviously if detox teas was written down, I would have found that really interesting and I would have tried to think about some of the ways that I could solve that problem differently to what was already being presented.
Another good place to do some research once you have a general idea is Pinterest. You can type in things like: “the benefits of hydration” or “dehydration” or “detox tea recipes” and look at some of the DIY tips and trends there. As an action item I’d like you to come up with five broad problems that you’re looking to solve.

How to Grow Your Ecommerce Startup in Year One

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article |Ecommerce startup|How to Grow Your Ecommerce Startup in Year OneAs many proud business owners can attest, the growth cycle for ecommerce businesses doesn’t necessarily adhere to older principles related to the growth of physical stores. Indeed, when you’re setting up online, you’re bypassing many of the difficult aspects to scaling that you’d have had to work through with brick-and-mortar stores.

In this article, you’ll learn about your priorities in year one in order to make a sustainable and profitable business that scales effectively into your second year of operations.


To scale, you need more people to visit your website, and more people to make purchases to boost your ecommerce business’ profits. It’s really that simple. While there are some other underlying elements to scaling mentioned later in this article, you’re going to need to build out a marketing campaign as a priority in order to draw in traffic, clicks, shares and sales to your site.

You can do this in a number of different ways, depending on your budget and the personnel you have on-side. If you’re a small company, you may prefer to outsource marketing to an experienced digital marketing firm, which will help you build a long-term strategy to increase engagement. Otherwise, look online to uncover some of the fundamentals of digital marketing, enabling you to slowly bend your strategy to fit with the wants and needs of your audience and your target customer.

Operational Efficiency

Many ecommerce startups begin with manual processes, and slowly move into the automated software world as they scale. That’s exactly what you should be looking to do in your first year, so you spend less time managing orders, responding to emails, and doing all those little repetitive jobs that end up consuming most of your waking day.

As a starting point, you should automate orders on your website, and automate emails through to confirm orders, confirm subscriptions, and add individuals to mailing lists. Mailing lists are incredibly important for your data collection, and to offer deals and discounts seasonally, so they’re also best set up in your first year in business. Once you’ve taken a good look at your operations, and made as many of them automated as possible, you’ll be able to deal with scaling far easier.


The only physical part of your ecommerce business is delivering parcels to customers. You want this to be as effective and efficient as you can possibly make it. You’ll know only too well that one of the main market differentiators in the ecommerce world is customer service, and that’s primarily driven through cheap yet swift delivery services. You need to get your parcel to its destination within the shortest-possible timescale.

The problem with distribution is that you can ship your products easily to local distribution centers – but it’s the final mile that’s the kicker, adding costs to your overall logistics operation.

Indeed, last mile delivery costs are one of your greatest overheads, and something you’re going to want to keep low in order for you to succeed in your first year in ecommerce. Be careful when signing contracts that you’re getting what you want to get from your delivery deal, and that you can hold delivery companies responsible for late packages, too.

Funding and Cash Flow

Finally, you need to be cognizant of your funding situation, and how much cash you’ll have in the kitty to support a growing business, before you enact your scaling plan. If you’re unable to meet soaring costs related to providing more for your customers, you’ll miss out on delivery times, you’ll miss payments to clients and subsidiaries, and you’ll endanger the soul of your business just as it shows promising signs of sustained growth. You need capital – some saved for worst-case scenarios – before you scale.

This capital will help you bring in new personnel if you’re swamped with orders to process. It’ll enable you to buy in bulk, reducing your order costs in anticipation of larger order volumes and it’ll enable you to invest in made-to-scale, cloud-based software – the kind that’ll help you to build your audience through automation, and meet the extra demands placed upon the entirety of your operations. With financial security in place, you won’t need to worry about your labor and your investments going to waste as you’ll be prepared for your next great step into ecommerce profits for 2021.

These tips are all designed for ecommerce startups in their first year – those which are ambitious to scale, but a little concerned about how to achieve sustained and sustainable growth into 2021 and beyond.

4 Ways To Ensure Your eCommerce Website Is Easy To Use

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article, 4 Ways To Ensure Your eCommerce Website Is Easy To Use

One of the best ways to improve your customer journey on your eCommerce site is to ensure your website is easy to use, but where do you start? With so many things to consider when it comes to creating an eCommerce website, you need to ensure you’re putting usability at the forefront of all of your decisions. Whether you’re improving your site navigation or using a trusted checkout provider, doing what is best for your customers is important. With that in mind, here are 4 ways to ensure your eCommerce website is easy to use:

Make The Navigation As Simple As You Can

One of the best ways to make your eCommerce site easy to use is to make your navigation as simple as you possibly can. Although you may want to add in multiple pages for SEO purposes, ultimate your sales will come down to how usable your site is. If your customers are having to click through hundreds of different pages to find what they want, chances are they’re going to look for another stockist before wasting any more of their time. Keep things as simple as you can and you will start to see immediate results when it comes to your bounce rate.

For a guide to reducing our bounce rate, you can visit this site here.

Don’t Use Too Many Pages To Click Through To Checkout

If you want people to have a quick and easy journey through your site, you need to ensure there are not too many pages to click through before they get to the checkout page. Although there may be a number of things you need to confirm, the more pages there are the less likely they are to pay.

Use A Trusted Checkout Provider And Make It Easy To Pay

If you want people to feel safe when they’re purchasing products from your site, you need to ensure you’re using a trusted checkout provider. Often, when it is a provider they don’t recognise or they haven’t used before, you will find they’re less likely to purchase from you due to fear of fraudulent activity. Whether you host your own checkout or you use a gateway service, you need to ensure your provider is as trusted as it can possibly be. For more information about API and gateway services, you can visit this site here.

– Make Returns As Easy As You Can

Finally, it’s important you’re making returns as easy as you possibly can. Although you want to aim for no returns, you need to be sure you’re making it as easy as possible for those that do need to send something back. Whether they find the item doesn’t fit or they ordered the wrong colour – if it’s too difficult to return you may find they’re less likely to purchase from you again.

For a guide to making returns on your site easy, you can visit this site here.

Is your eCommerce website easy to use? What can you do to ensure customers have a positive experience on your site? Let me know your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below.