With 2020 fast approaching and new technologies evolving even faster, we've put together our top three trends eCommerce brands (and store owners) need to know.
Trend 1 - Rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) And What it Means For Your Brand
The #1 trending item on our list is the rise of Facebook’s artificial intelligence engine. As we near 2020 Facebook’s A.I. platform (which delivers your brand’s ads) is undergoing major development to increase ad performance.
This means, to take advantage of these developments your technical strategies must also be updated. Because if dominant strategies aren’t updated at least every six months, it’s likely you're already not extracting the maximum value you could out of Facebook’s ad platform.
For instance, in 2018 the dominant advertising strategies for Facebook were based on very detailed targeting for cold audiences. Brands were focusing on niche interests with audiences <1 Million in size, setting up narrow placements, age windows etc. Taking everything into their hands to the smallest details.
Now in 2019, we find the best results come when you let go of all this control and play correctly alongside Facebook’s algorithm.
This means that wide interest with 20+ million in audience size, automatic placements, wide age gaps and worldwide targeting starts to heavily outperform old approach.
And that’s not all…
If you have enough data and know how to feed it correctly to Facebook's AI, sometimes no targeting at all wins! By no targeting, we mean no interest, no ages, no countries.
Well, it’s not. Here’s why:
Imagine an AI engine that knows pretty much every consumer on the internet and everything about them – which websites they browse, what they buy, at which hours they buy and at what stores they're likely to buy. And also, when their spouses or families birthdays are, and even what their political views. It even knows when you are having a bad or stressful day because of the way and patterns you use internet changes.
When you know how to feed data to Facebook correctly, you enable their platform to learn about habits and the profiles of people who are buying from you. By doing this, you can target similar people who are most likely to buy based on millions of data points.
And in 2020 we are going to see an even bigger gap between people using old strategies and new ones adapted to levering Artificial Intelligence Engine.
Trend 2 - Action-based Segmentation, User Experience and Remarketing Personalization
The second big trend coming your way in 2020 is providing customers with segmented and personalized experiences in their remarketing journey.
For instance, do you remember the last time you visited an online store, then for the next 2-3 weeks you were bombarded by ads on Facebook and Instagram for said store?... So much so it made you never want to look at the brand again?
A lot of businesses are guilty of it.
They simply do not look at a customer as a person, but only as a number in their reports.
You see, personalized remarketing experience helps to solve this and not only it does make the customer journey more pleasurable, on average, it also brings 20-30% improvements in remarketing ROAS.
The way we do it here at AdKings Agency is we recommend to segment audiences into four big parts of the funnel:
- Warm Upper Part of the Funnel – People who engaged with the brand on social networks but haven’t visited the website.
- Warm Bottom Part of the Funnel – People who have visited the website but haven’t shown purchasing intent.
- Hot Part of the Funnel – People who have expressed purchasing intent but haven’t purchased.
- Existing Customers Part of the Funnel – People who have already purchased.
Each segment is then sub-divided into 5 parts of time-based segmentations:
- 1-3 Days window
- 4-7 Days window
- 8-14 Days window
- 15-30 Days window
- 31-180 Days window
The reason for this is, a prospective customer who hasn’t brought from you in 1-3 days is different from a prospect that hasn’t purchased in 15-30. Most likely they didn’t do that because of two completely different reasons.
Usually, during the smaller time frame, your messaging is focused on introducing the brand better, the product’s unique selling proposition and addressing the reasons why a person might have not bought the product e.g. a prospect may not be aware of the 30-day return policy.
Now with bigger time frame (15-30 days) reasons are usually way different. This means the marketing message also must be adjusted.
Insider pro tip: if you have multiple product lines, this segmentation should be multiplied for each unique product or the line.
Numbers of segments can easily reach 4 x 5 x 3 (three product lines) = 60+ with each of the segment having 3-4 different ads running it can easily add up to 240+ remarketing ads running with just 3 product lines!
Part 3: Facebook For Awareness and Acquisition
If you are like any other eCommerce brand owner, most likely, you are aware that Facebook Ads are becoming a cut-throat environment. And more competition ultimately means it's tougher to succeed in.
Increases in competition, consumers becoming pickier, product offer overload and finally the 800-pound gorilla — Amazon.
In one way — It’s a problem.
On the other hand — everybody is facing it, even your competitors.
But let us ask you this question: If they are spending money on it, are they NOT profitable?
NO! They are! If they weren't, nobody would pour cash into Facebook Ads. But the difference is the top eCommerce businesses adjusted their strategies to match the current conditions.
To be exact, they focus on Facebook as an awareness and initial customer acquisition channel, then monetizing through backend funnels. It’s hard to find an eCommerce business that is making $10-$20 million a year and not using this approach.
So what do these 10+ million dollars a year brands focus on?
They focus on having a high converting website or a full sales funnel. And depending on the niche and product price, they are aiming for 3.5 -8% conversion.
These numbers might sound big, but a fun fact is, the average eCommerce conversion rate for 2017 was just 2.1%, for 2018 it was 2.4% and for 2019 it is already at 3% according to Ecomfuel <hyperlink here>.
So not having at least 3.5% for 2019 would mean you are already below average. And that’s a bad place to be in for a business long-term success.
Now, the second thing that they focus on is building a monetization backend. Specifically, having a customer and lead nurturing sequences via emails, SMS, chatbots etc. which would add at least additional +20-30% of the revenue.
Now having these two things would mean that:
- You will gain an unfair advantage in acquisition costs as you will be converting visitors at above-average rate. Plus;
- Even if you run Facebook Ads at a low breaking even point, the additional +20-30% of the revenue made by backend (which has little-to-no marketing costs) more than makes up for that!
These advantages are enough to make Facebook Ads successful and ramp up the profitability for the majority of the businesses that are seeing a downturn in the performance of their ads over the last year.
We have used this knowledge to develop an eCommerce growth framework— we call it “Everest eCommerce Growth Framework” – which enables us to predictably, quickly and sustainably scale our clients eCommerce businesses from 6 to 7-figures and from 7 to 8-figures.
If you are interested, you can learn more about it by pressing the button below.