October 25, 2018 By BJ Cook,


A few weeks back we invited the members of SDSI to our office to talk all things ecommerce, digital marketing, and strategy. After fully caffeinating we sat down with BJ Cook, CEO, and co-founder of Digital Operative, who walked us through a full assessment of the ecommerce landscape. Below we’re running through the highlights, the main takeaways, and a few actions you can take so you’re not left in the dust. Let’s get started.

Retail has a new calendar...

...but this new calendar goes beyond the classic Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Back-to-School, etc. In order to reach your customer through the noise of holiday season advertising, it’s no longer enough to target the “classic” holidays. You need to find those micro-holidays that are specific and relevant to your audience.

Some of those micro-holidays include:

  • Vegan-uary: triggered by new year resolutions and holiday indulgence this holiday usually takes place during the month of January, to promote healthier habits & wellness. This is a good opportunity for businesses that work in fitness, apparel or even cosmetics if you offer vegan products.
  • Post-Holiday “Me Buys”are predicted to grow 40% YoY, a lot of people shop for themselves after the holidays, starting the day after Christmas they usually shop until the end of December. This might be a good time to reward your loyal customers with a special gift or an exclusive sneak peek into next year's collection.
  • International Women’s Day (March 8) is a great holiday for inspirational marketing, a word of caution however when it comes to those holidays you want to make sure your content and engagement is authentic and honest otherwise it could easily backfire.

Borderless Business Growths

According to the Nielsen Commerce Report, 57% of respondents who made an online purchase in the past 6 months say they bought from an overseas retailer.

    -Consumers are looking to purchase authentic foreign brands, often at lower prices than they can find in their home country

    -Research local buyers’ preferred payment methods & decide between online marketplace vs. your own website

Marketplaces Continue to Dominate

While Amazon continues its dominance in the US ecommerce market, forecasted to drive 80% of the total growth, we look to some other opportunities.

Just to name a few...

  • Google Express is a shopping platform that allows users to purchase items using the Google Express website, app or with voice search using Google Home. For retailers, it provides an opportunity to gain a competitive edge by being part of a marketplace with a significant number of customers without the need for more internal resources from the company.
  • Bonanza Marketplace sells more than 10 million items across Canada, the U.K., France, India, Germany, Mexico, and Spain. This platform is an opportunity for industries such as beauty, fashion & health categories to be considered best-sellers in the marketplace.
  • Iconic is a marketplace operating in Australia and New Zealand. It launches 200 products daily and targets mostly younger females.

VR & Millennials

Industries such as beauty and jewelry are investing heavily in new technologies like AR to provide a more personalized and seamless experience. AR has helped tremendously increase engagement and sales for the brand Benefits that launched a virtual makeover tool beginning of 2017 which resulted in an 80% conversion rate boost on its website.

Where there’s an opportunity to create word-of-mouth, a better customer experience or expanding the geographic reach of retailers, AR can be that technology solution.

Unsurprisingly, social commerce is also becoming more mainstream with Snapchat recently partnering with Amazon, enabling users of the platform to shop directly on the app.

Snapchat Amazon partnership Image via Snapchat

Beyond social networks Millennials can and want to be reached and engaged with, in many ways:

  • Subscriptions, Personalization & Pop-up Shops
  • Bots can provide the human-like responses that millennials crave
  • Informed shopping experiences that are unique and personalized
  • “Servitization of Retail” - Buying experiences over things, read: DIY workshops, education, etc.

Other trends still going strong

We’ve covered quite a few trends from 2018 as well as emerging trends for 2019. But in case you haven’t had enough, here are some more trends to consider...

  • Voice Commerce - The “chore shopping” will continue, but people will crave experiential retail moments, discovering and socializing
  • Social media continues to be critical - Facebook Live, Instagram Stories
  • Consumers continue to be mindful - products that are sourced responsibly, are good for their bodies & environment
  • Subscription Services
  • Using Chatbot for customer service
  • Personalized Products
  • Attribution & Automation key for marketing

Clearly, you’ve got a lot to choose from when you’re taking a look at your next moves within the ecommerce landscape. We hope this has helped to shed some light on an ever-evolving industry. If you’re looking to take the next step with your ecommerce business we’d love to help. Please reach out here, we look forward to earning your business!

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