shutterstock_188819837The global eCommerce landscape is shifting. More and more users are drifting from their desktops to mobile to search; retail sales are increasing, and eCommerce sales are in the low trillions. What does this mean for you in 2016?

Meet customers where they are
It’s easier than ever for marketers and retailers to connect with customers, and that’s meant customers’ service and experience expectations are sky-high. As a canny marketer it’s your job to meet them where they are – so personalisation is the name of the game. How do you deliver this and boost conversions?

Turn small actions into big data…

…And turn that big data into results. Every click, swipe and tap a customer makes is loaded with information – likes, dislikes and preferences; habits, attitudes and social activity (more on that later). That’s before you look at what they’re spending, online or in-store.

The smart retailer will have solutions at hand to join up big chunks of online and offline data and turn them into targeted, personalised marketing, and as a marketer your analytical skills will come into their own. As this forward-thinking 2011 report by the McKinsey Global Institute points out:

“There will be a shortage of talent necessary for organisations to take advantage of big data. By 2018, the United States alone could face a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills as well as 1.5 million managers and analysts with the know-how to use the analysis of big data to make effective decisions.”

Think small
Small devices, that is. The UK alone is a ‘smartphone society’, according to this 2015 Ofcom report. A third of internet users are using their mobiles to surf; users with 4G are shopping more than those without. The headline of this Econsultancy survey points out that 32% of UK consumers are shopping with their phones. So it’s important that your brand is also making itself available to mobile users through well thought-out apps and responsive websites.

Push without being pushy
To deliver results, look towards leveraging key influencers on social media, location-based technologies, and ‘micro-moments’ – when you check your phone for no real reason – to build relationships and trust.

Be customer-centric in the smartest possible way
You can also drill down into users’ intentions when they pick up their phone, so that your campaigns are seen as useful and ‘on time’ rather than intrusive. Will a voucher for a nearby shop or restaurant come in handy? Are users talking about your brand or talking to the brand itself through one of its channels? How can you make push notifications work for your brand and your customers?

This recent Google report, ‘Why Consumer Intent is More Powerful Than Demographics’, puts this approach into clear terms: “Marketers who consider intent from the onset are primed to win consumer hearts, minds, and dollars.”

You could call it marketing done the customer’s way.