Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
No matter which way you look at it, the ecommerce landscape is getting increasingly competitive. Staying ahead of the competition heading into 2023 will take precision. Advertising costs are up, and campaigns centered on quality, customer-focused content have been dwindling because it has become more about making a quick buck.
According to Shopify, the future of ecommerce is in the rise of acquisition costs, steering clear of third-party cookies and the power of social commerce. Brands must be both authentic and readily available to their customers but also have the ability to engage their audience. As ecommerce continues to shift toward social platforms, content is the driving force behind a brand‘s success.
Ecommerce across social media is becoming increasingly popular heading into 2023. In fact, sales via social media platforms, on a worldwide scale, are presumed to triple by 2025. Additionally, nearly 30% of United States-based internet users are already making social media platform purchases. China currently serves as the global leader as about half of its internet users are making social network purchases which, when compared to the U.S., equates to almost 10x.
It all comes down to the value in customer retention and acquisition. What ecommerce storefronts should not steer away from is generating quality, timely and customer-focused content that will not only attract new customers but keep them loyal to your brand. The question you should be asking yourself is: What is my company doing to create an experience for my customers?
Content is king in determining ecommerce success in 2023
Content is still a powerful proponent in creating a strategy that is both creative and effective. Utilizing tactics in storytelling and maintaining an analytical approach can certainly guide a mediocre campaign to becoming a successful bombshell for a company.
The ability to tell a story that is consistent with a brand’s mission can serve as a powerful tool in attracting an audience and maintaining it as a valuable, consistent and recurring community for one’s business. However, it is important to remember that it is the people, not the product, at its core.
In 2022, paid social was not as much a determining factor for attracting buyers if the content did not resonate with its audience and customer base. The same will apply in 2023. The community needs to connect with an ecommerce business on a personal and even inspirational level, before buyers are motivated to maintain the needed consistency. If sales and traffic are both down, then there is a good chance that neither the content nor the reach is serving its purpose.
With roughly four months remaining in 2022, it is important to buck the trend of most B2C companies in halting the production of B2C content without focusing on B2C results. In other words, as we progress into the new year, companies should begin to create campaigns and strategies that essentially “hit home” with customers and followings, rather than turning in campaigns to generate a quick buck.
Content needs to use written, visual and audio to drive marketing funnels in building interest, desire, action and awareness. In fact, 2023 will be more about how content doesn’t necessarily drive customers to make a purchase, but rather, how it creates an opportunity to better their lives.
You may be asking yourself, how can I develop marquee content to give me an advantage over my competitors? There are roughly three factors to consider. It is important for the consumer, who essentially is digitally window shopping, to want to stop and see more of what your store has to offer. The proper steps here are to attract, engage and garner a positive outcome.
This is done by drawing attention to stopping the prospective customer, whether via an engaging picture, video or short-form copy. Remember, especially in 2022, attention spans are shrinking, and it is important to distribute the who, what, when, where, why and how for the customer quickly and painlessly. Next, customers need to feel engaged, so sparking their interest and convincing them to draw on their desire is important. Typically, the videos earning the most bang for their bucks are the 3-5 second Facebook videos and Instagram reels, while even the 30-second “shorts” on YouTube have proven successful as well.
Things to consider when approaching a 2023 game plan for your ecommerce store
Ecommerce will continue to migrate more toward working in conjunction with social media platforms.
Brand marketing and customer engagement, including advertising, is essentially moving more toward a social media-centric approach.
Video, and to a lesser extent, pictures, are providing a more social aspect to ecommerce sales, which is reimagining how companies engage with consumers.
Instagram is coming around, but in adopting a TikTok-type method, platforms are seeing the power of video when it comes to social media ecommerce. With the ability to perform consultations, recommendations and livestreams, products and experiences are personalized for consumers.
The moral of the story for the remaining months in 2022 as we progress toward 2023 is: When the customer has the desire to navigate and explore, action comes into play. The content should be results-driven. After all, it’s about the sale in the ecommerce world.