Keep Your Strategies Sharp: 2022 Ecomm Marketing Insights, Trends, and Predictions

With 2022 upon us, it's an exciting time to look at the fresh ideas, strategies, and innovations taking place on the marketing scene. The last two years, we've watched marketing teams pivot their entire approach in the wake of a global pandemic, and there is no shortage of inspiration that we can draw on as we move into the year ahead.  

If you are looking to keep your marketing sharp, look to these marketing trends for ideas to drive your business forward in 2022. 

Consider every demographic.

Naturally, when we think of digital media demographics, our mind goes to Gen Z and millennials who rule the world of TikTok and have grown up alongside influencers. Still, Gen X and baby boomers are the biggest spenders in the US, so don't overlook them for the more obvious digital-first demographics. 

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These potential customers are heavily active on social media—even those used by their younger counterparts, building communities and finding their niche.

According to Pew Research, Baby Boomers and Generation Xers are preeeeeetty involved in these online communities, so if you want to reach your target customer, be sure to know your platform and where your ICP shows up there. 

PS, the Boomer generation is big on email.

Evolve and synchronize your email & SMS experience.

First off, automate, automate, automate. Tools like Drip (shameless plug) can automate many of your processes, especially around email and reporting, and it's time to fully utilize these processes to help your email and SMS strategies excel in 2022.

Email marketing is one of the biggest drivers of conversions and traffic to key landing pages for many brands. When paired with the impressive efficacy of SMS, the duo is your 2022 marketing superpower. When you synchronize these essential strategies, they can work with each other and build off each other. It means that every send has a better chance of getting opened, read, and clicked by your customer, which leads to better conversions. 

Let us double-tap once more on SMS before we move on… it's your must-have marketing strategy for 2022. We have a dedicated piece on the matter if you're not already leveraging this powerful tool. With recent iOS updates and considerable shifts in consumer privacy, SMS will be more important than ever in 2022. 

Plus, customers love it and want to shop with brands that strategically and creatively use the channel.

Make mobile the priority.

Everything — and we mean everything — happens from our phones: shopping, socializing, grocery shopping, getting prescriptions, even going to the doctor has been made mobile-friendly, a trend wildly accelerated by the need for pandemic required social distancing. 

Mobile optimization is even more important as synchronization between email and SMS becomes best practice and drives their potential to accelerate and amplify efficacy between one another. 

So, it's simple enough: optimize your website for mobile viewing, and ensure that all of your content across social, email, display ads, video clips, and so on are optimized for mobile display as well. Not only is this important for search engine rankings, it means people aren't leaving your sites because of unreadable content or an awkward experience.

Find third-party cookie alternatives.

Though Google’s plan to phase out support of third-party cookies has been postponed until 2023, consumers are still demanding privacy over their web browsing and ecommerce shopping experiences. Better to get started now than wait until the last minute to find an alternative to collecting user data and using it to inform your marketing strategies.

So how do we do this?

First, a lesson on third-party cookies versus first-party cookies: Google’s killing the third-party cookie, which allows third-party sites (see how they did that?) to collect data when a user visits a site. These are typically owned by advertising publishers. A first-party cookie is set by the domain owner itself to collect data. If you own your ecommerce site, you have a first-party cookie installed in order to learn about your shoppers’ habits. 

Now, you can sift through first-party data until our eyes bleed, but we recommend investing in a CRM and creating interactive content across channels to get first-person feedback across the board that you can re-implement in your strategy.

Expand your content mix.

We all know how important a robust content program is, but have you considered not only what you're posting but where you're posting your content? Have you reconsidered your distribution plan to reach new audiences? (See above. Hint, hint).

Refresh your content program to highlight new products, new philosophies, and updated brand guidelines every year. That includes new places to distribute your stuff. Maybe it's forging co-branded content opportunities or venturing into previously unknown territory (Reddit for content marketing, anyone?)

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Leverage cryptocurrency and NFTs.

If you've followed the ebbs and flows of Bitcoin, you're likely up to speed on the wild world of cryptocurrency — and many are making the argument for ecommerce brands to allow customers to pay in crypto.

However, NFTs (or non-fungible tokens) are new to the scene - audio clips, videos, and other multimedia assets that consumers hope will increase in value over time and thus be a source of currency or accumulated wealth.

Anyways: how can brands capitalize on NFTs? According to Forbes, "Taco Bell, Coca-Cola, Campbell's, Microsoft and Nike are among the brands and companies that introduced NFTs. Although NFTs have been sold for a few years, they entered the mainstream earlier this year when digital artist Beeple auctioned an NFT for $69 million earlier this year, and Jack Dorsey auctioned his first tweet ("just setting up my twttr") for $2.9 million".

Brands can create their own NFTs in the form of personalized products and content or monetize ads repeatedly by making them an NFT. Not only does this open up a new revenue stream to potentially put back into your marketing efforts, but Forbes also mentions that brands use proceeds to fund a charitable donation. It's never a bad idea to get those brownie points and show your audience what you're about!

Try out AR and VR.

Now, what about AR and VR? They've majorly increased in popularity, so ignoring their impact could mean missing out on meeting your customers in a meaningful way. 

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These technologies are equally mind-blowing, but they can be used in many different ways around community-building and fostering unique experiences for your customers. Create a branded experience to help customers shop better and virtually try products out. Use VR to mimic an in-store shopping experience that brings customers into the world and lifestyle of your brand. There are endless possibilities that only AR and VR can make possible; leaning into them eases some of their intimidation and lets you try all kinds of cool projects.

Invest in video content.

Visual content of all kinds outperforms non-visual content, but video is particularly effective, with 87% of marketers citing a positive ROI on video. 

Now, as you're ideating the types of videos to make, know that you don't need an entire A/V crew to make your creations come to life. Text-only videos set to music or audio or a bit of animation works just as well. Whether making them in-house or working with a content team, use multiple versions and cutdowns of the same media to distribute across YouTube, TikTok, or Instagram Reels.

Just as you want to create a variety of content for other channels, consider mixing in some educational video content as well as brand-forward executions, interviews, memes, or influencer videos.

Make your social shoppable.

Social media has become shoppable on many platforms. Instagram Shop is the most notable, but Twitter is improving its ecommerce platform to make tweets shoppable, too. Ecommerce brands should prioritize, at the very least, exploring these options to reach audiences amid scrolling.

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When you implement a shopping feature into your social media content, you push your audience to engage actively. 

Plus, you are making it easier for your customer to get what they want, and that ease translates to better conversion rates (aka you get what you want, too).

Prioritize your tools. 

This past holiday season said one thing clearly: the ecomm rebellion is in full swing and only getting stronger. That's great news. Yet, a surging customer base signals great opportunity and steep competition. That's a lot to handle. 

Your best bet going into this new era of marketing is to find tools that help you automate tasks that can slip through the cracks and cost you money while also helping you deeply understand your customers.

Drip is one such example of a tool that can do it all, especially for email and SMS marketers. It's also entirely free to try out and feel if it's a good match.

Get excited, the New Year is here! 

We are overflowing with excitement for the year to come, knowing our customers have success within their reach, and we can help them grab it. Expect to see updates on the Drip app that will continue to keep you ahead of the curve on your metrics, analytics, and email and SMS marketing strategies overall. 

An updated dashboard and enhanced segmentation tools are just a few of the tricks we're got up our sleeve. We're here to fuel the ecommerce rebellion, which means giving you the savviest tools to build your business and connect with customers.  

Most importantly, remember, you've got this and we're here to help every step of the way.