Marketing in 2020 has been shaped by the influx of time customers have had staying at home. Search queries have become question-generated as customers spend less time browsing stores. Although many companies have pivoted their marketing goals to align with digitalization, just being online will not be enough to see positive numbers in 2021. Retail eCommerce sales growth in North America has increased by 18.1% (eMarketer, May 2020). Although many businesses have entered the digital scene, the World Economic Forum recognizes that “digital transformation and adopting platform-based business models will define the shape of an individual organizations’ recoveries.” The upcoming year will reward businesses that stay relevant through impactful content, and remain agile to changing customer needs.
1. TikTok – The Eight-Second Window to Connect
The rise of short, interactive forms of advertising received widespread attention in 2016 when Microsoft conducted a consumer study and found that our human attention span has decreased from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds. With a shorter attention span than that of a goldfish (9 seconds), this research showed that even five years ago, customers desired a quick emotional connection sparked through quick advertising.
Five years later, this customer choice methodology is subconscious. Have you scrolled through Netflix trying to find the show to watch for the night? Did you end up settling for a movie you’ll deem worth it at the end? As you search the variety of movies and t.v. shows, you’re looking for a connection. Do you want to laugh? Cry? Learn something new? With so many products and services to choose from in a digital environment in 2021, customers will remain loyal to those they most connect with.
As with scrolling through Netflix, customers don’t always know what it is they’re looking for. This is where TikTok is powerful – providing users with a limitless supply and refresh of content. The videos are no more than a minute in length. The best part – if a user doesn’t find satisfaction with one video, hopefully, their next minute is better. Not only is TikTok growing as a marketing platform, but furthers Microsoft’s claim that users continue to be product driven by seeking emotion in a limited amount of time through an attention-grabbing visual medium.
In 2021, daily mobile internet consumption is projected to increase to 155 minutes, more than four times the 37 minutes predicted for desktops (Statista, 2020). The magic in TikTok is that it has stepped beyond self-directed feeds with its For You Page, generated by inputted targets such as hobbies, age and gender. Much like TikTok, digital marketing introduces customers to an unlimited variety of personalized targeted ads. Short videos connect with short attention spans. With a projected daily 155 minutes to scroll through the internet, customers will see an abundance of targeted brands. How you catch their eye is determined through social media relevance and creating compelling images and video content relevant to its connective customer experience.
2. 63% of Customers Experiencing Live Chat Will Likely Return to Your Site Again
According to eMarketer, online customer retention is crucial to the longevity of a business. 2020 shifted eCommerce from a viewing platform to one that requires customer service as quickly as if entering a store. Whether it be for a product or service, live chats increase customer loyalty and revenue. You can also visit Salesforce.com to help you implement good customer service systems.
The immediacy that a live chat offers bridges the gap of online customer service, allowing customers to receive a reply as quickly as two minutes. Although 42% of businesses think that customers prefer phone support, 79% of customers favor live chats for its idea of a quick connection. Whether it be an automated bot or a real agent, customers will remember businesses that keep quality service top of mind even in a digital age. Live chats offer 24/7 service, allow queries to be saved, and lessen customer waiting times as well as the effort of dialing through a phone menu. Businesses may second guess this feature for its additional cost, but implementing a live chat is an investment. Think about the time and labour saved in the future by having a resource able to answer multiple queries throughout the day.
The live chat feature tops email, app, social media, and phone customer service responses, with customers 82% satisfied. As 2021 is unpredictable, the long-term relationships created by a live chat feature ensures customer loyalty. A Connecting with Customers Report reveals 83% of consumers require online support before they make a purchase. Building customer engagement and brand credibility, a live chat offers a solution for clicks that didn’t quite make it to conversion.
3. SEO – 43% of smart speaker owners in 2020 use this technology to shop
Amazon Alexa, Google Nest and now the release of the Apple Homepod. Technology trends continue to lean toward making our lives more efficient – so efficient that we don’t even need to type our product searches anymore. In fact, 43% of smart speaker owners in 2020 use this technology to shop. BigCommerce reports that mobile eCommerce sales are projected to account for 54% of total eCommerce sales by 2021. With the majority of shopping being optimized from a mobile device, the percentage of shopping via voice will continue to grow throughout 2021.
Before voice technologies, SEO strategies circulated keywords that customers would be typing into their search engine. How does this differentiate from the keywords customers are speaking into their smart speakers? Customers using voice search speak naturally. When asking Alexa to search for something, their keywords will be hyper-specific to ensure Alexa generates exactly what is asked. Top web design companies leverage long-tail keywords to reflect these specific searches. Speaking to Alexa, a customer will want to specify which winter jacket and ask, “Alexa, buy a cropped black winter jacket for women.” These keywords are embedded naturally in a web design companies’ strategic content plan to boost website traffic and generate quality leads.
Including a nearby landmark such as your city or region within your content is critical for Siri to find your page, especially for small businesses and franchises. Think With Google found that 52.8% of people use a search assistant when driving. A customer may have typed in “coffee Calgary.” When a potential customer says “Hey Siri, what is the closest coffee shop to me?” – you’ll want Siri to connect the user’s location to specific locations you’ve mentioned on your website and within your content.
Voice technology is becoming an extension of how customers shop. Thinking about voice technology as a customer when strategizing your content SEO is an important 2021 trend. As people use voice search by asking a series of questions, aim to create consistent content that answers new questions and addresses customer needs.
2020 proved that a digitized marketing strategy is a necessity for any business – a trend that will not slow down throughout the decade. The popularity of short-videos, dependence on social media, growth of Artificial Intelligence to continue to personal audiences, the rise of live chats and the development of voice technologies creates a fluid marketing platform that must leverage customers quickly in a question-answer content approach.