July has been an interesting month in digital with many platforms improving their offering - with eCommerce and mobile browsing becoming an even more important factor into how users are interacting with brands online.
Computers and laptops are quickly becoming a secondary device. People are using their smartphones more and more to browse the web and shop online.
In a recent digital survey, 83% of people were found to prefer mobile to browse online. We are continually seeing statistics like this and it’s no longer becoming just a ‘good idea’ to have a mobile-friendly website, it’s crucial.
More people are abandoning their computers and hopping onto their smartphone and it’s a huge advantage for businesses who have a mobile-friendly website - and a huge loss for those who don’t.
Our advice: Invest in a responsive, mobile-friendly website or it’s likely that your orders and enquiries will dramatically decrease in the next year or so (although they probably already have).
For brands on Facebook, the decrease in organic reach is no longer a surprise. Marketers have had to continually invest in boosting their social posts to reach their audience and whilst many have complained, we’ve all accepted that it’s necessary to get those sales and conversions.
However, Facebook has released a new tool for users to declare to Facebook which friends and brands they would like ‘to see first’ in their news feed. That means that if, for example, you told Facebook that you would like to see Starbucks more often in your news feed, it would give it higher priority in the algorithm.
Whilst this isn’t something that brands can manipulate, it is great that Facebook is recognising that users need more control over the brands in their news feed.
Our advice: Continue to boost your social posts but make sure that what you are posting is useful, humorous and content that your audience will want to see again and again.
A trend that we are seeing more often this year is existing platforms integrating eCommerce into their interface. Google is now allowing users to book hotels in search results and Facebook is experimenting with allowing users to shop within the social website.
This suggests that eCommerce over the next year or so is going to be more integrated than it ever has been. We’ve already seen the UK launch of Apple Pay - a way for users to pay for products by swiping their phone instead of a credit card. Customers are not just going to buy on your website or buy in-store - they are also going to buy on Facebook, Twitter, Google etc.
Our advice: Invest in an integrated marketing strategy that encompasses a variety of online platforms so that your brand can have maximum reach.
Facebook has begun testing a personal shopper service called Moneypenny. It seems like this is going to act as a virtual assistant to users on the social network similar to Siri or Cortana.
Whilst it’s early days, this could help the usability of the platform and improve their eCommerce offering. Users may be able to order products online, reserve products, pre-order products etc.
This is just another update that suggests that Facebook is working towards dominating the online world and becoming a one-stop place for users that will allow them to do almost anything within the platform - whether it’s buying things or connecting with friends.
Our advice: If you have an eCommerce business, begin investing in a high quality Facebook marketing strategy and build your following.
If you want to discuss how your business can take advantage of these trends, feel free to contact us and we’d be happy to set up a free, no-obligation meeting.