2013 was the year that ecommerce became sophisticated. Multi-channel strategies picked up pace, social media turned from a popular trend to a core part of any online strategy and only 4% of consumers now believe online shopping to be less enjoyable than in-store. But what digital marketing changes should retailers expect to see in 2014?
Returning Consumer Confidence
With reports of rising house prices and the reviving property market Britain does indeed appear to be on the road to economic recovery. In December accountancy firm PwC predicted the UK economy will exceed the growth rate of any other city in the Eurozone by the end of 2014. Despite a drop in household earnings this looks set to be an extremely profitable year for retailers as consumer confidence returns to the country.
The Industries Set To Profit
- Furniture manufacturers & retailers
With the introduction of the Help-to-Buy Scheme and a predicted 8% rise in house prices in 2014 there will be a flurry of activity in the housing market, and an increased demand for home furnishings as a result. Furniture manufacturers and retailers should look to capitalise on this opportunity with ranges specifically marketed at first-time homeowners.
The increased demand for housing and renewed activity in the property sector has seen house building rise in Britain throughout 2013. The National House Building Council reported 24% more properties register in the autumn of 2013 than the previous year, and this trend looks set to continue during 2014 as the Government prepares to invest £1billion in new developments.
- Electronic Goods
Sales of electrical goods are expected to continue to rise in 2014, according to a recent report by the RTT. Much of their popularity will be driven by the forthcoming 2014 World Cup in Brazil and consumer desire for the new must-have gadgets of 2014 such as the Samsung Galaxy Gear and planned iPad Pro.
There will be a larger amount of job vacancies to be filled as industries including digital marketing continue to expand. The recruitment industry has already seen marked improvements since the start of the economic recovery, with a 12% increase in permanent recruitment volumes across 2013 and this is set to rise again in 2014.
The 4 Big Trends of 2014
Increase in ‘me-tail’ marketing
Personalisation has already become a big focus for digital marketers, but this year will see the wide-spread adoption of so called ‘me-tail’ marketing to help retailers keep up with the changes in consumer behaviour. Highly personalised shopping experiences are fast becoming the preferred way to buy online, with 53% of UK consumers now likely to place an order as a direct result of highly relevant product suggestions. Delivering personalised and highly relevant content based on previous user data will govern how retailers choose to communicate with their customers in 2014.
Content marketing for authentic branding
Creating valuable content has been proven to generate a high-quality audience for 62% less cost than traditional marketing methods, so it’s not surprising that this will remain high on the agenda for marketers in 2014. But if 2013 was the year of content marketing then 2014 will be the year of the authentic brand voice. Consumers want to buy from the real deal – they need to have trust in a company if they are to be associated with its products. Creative content marketing will be adopted to help support company ideologies, to reinforce what brands stand for and to encourage brand advocacy. But companies will need to work hard to stand out and reach customers on an emotional level.
Mobile will be key
In 2013 the value of in-store sales which were influenced by mobile activity came in at a staggering £18bn, a 45% increase on 2012. Companies that have already made the move to mobile will need to make it a much larger part of their marketing strategy to ensure they don’t get left behind. According to IBM, smartphone traffic contributed to 21% of total web traffic in 2013, a percentage that has been steadily rising year on year. It’s clear that mobile is now an integral part of a customer’s shopping experience, and optimising a site to meet mobile users’ needs will be a high priority. Mobile load speeds and the finer details of mobile sites will also need to be scrutinised to ensure they meet the new Google regulations and to avoid being penalised by future updates.
Social media marketing to expand
If the latest insight from Business Insider is to be believed then the social media scene is about to get busier than ever. 2014 will be the year that social media becomes a fully-fledged part of the marketing machine, and there are 6 job roles set to rock the social marketing front: Social Media Strategist, Online Community Manager, SEO Specialist, Social Media Marketing Manager, Social Media Marketing Coordinator and Social Media Copywriter. Companies determined to get serious about social media this year may want to consider hiring for one of these roles.
Define Your New Digital Strategy
To succeed in 2014 digital strategy will need to be very closely aligned with all business goals. Any digital marketing plans will need to evolve to include each of these 4 areas to keep up with the competition in the year ahead. We offer a range of digital marketing services to help your business succeed in 2014 including search marketing social media marketing and content marketing.