Key Marketing Trends from IRCE 2016

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Every year, thousands of e-commerce professionals gather together in Chicago for Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition (IRCE) to discover some of the industry’s latest trends, technologies and best practices. With over 130 sessions by 200+ of the industry’s leading speakers (including AP’s Founder & Managing Director, Robert Glazer), there was an abundance of valuable information being shared.

Here is a quick roundup of the trends that we found most compelling:

Mobile App Engagement

User sessions within shopping apps have grown 174 percent in 2014 and are proving to be the driving force behind mobile app advancement. In response to this growth, retailers will need to offer an exceptional experience that their mobile sites can’t deliver.

Getting a consumer to download an app is hard enough, but keeping them engaged has proven to be an even bigger hurdle. In fact, 75 percent of users who download an app open it and then never come back. Therefore, it’s incredibly important for advertisers to focus on the consumer app experience. Some tactics that will help increase engagement include personalization, convenience, ease-of-use and speed. If retailers can provide positive experiences to their customers through their app, then they’ll be more likely to return to the app and make a purchase.

Voice Search on the Rise

The roles of digital personal assistants like Siri, Google Now and Cortana are beginning to shape the search landscape and are expected to have a tremendous impact on shopping behaviors. People are beginning to talk to their devices more than ever and use voice search as a way to discover new products. ComScore estimates that by 2020, 50 percent of all searches will be conducted by voice.

Voice searches are very different than typed searches, so as these behaviors shift, marketers will need to change the way they think about how consumers are searching for their products and services. For example, it’ll be important for retailers to optimize for long-tail keywords and focus on full sentences and phrases.

Content is Still King

Generating compelling content is key not only for SEO, but also brand loyalty. Retail marketers have found content to be highly effective for engaging with customers and potential customers by providing them with expert knowledge throughout the path to purchase. Retailers are beginning to lure customers in through blogs, videos and social media with the intent to differentiate themselves from competitors, build brand loyalty and of course, drive more sales.

Creating and presenting original content can help advertisers capture visitors and convert them to customers. With that said, figuring out what kind of content will resonate with each different buyer is certainly not one-size-fits-all strategy. It’s important to dive deep into your buyer personas and create content that will appeal to each different persona at different stages of their buyer journey.  

Did you attend IRCE and want to share what you learned this year? Share your comments below – we’d love to hear some of your key takeaways!

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