Digital Marketing Trends Update As an Online Marketing Manager, one of the biggest challenges being faced today is how to differentiate oneself from the competition on existing digital marketing channels, and maximise the opportunities to drive quality site traffic.
The fragmentation of online media channels means that the landscape is becoming ever more complex and knowing where to prioritise marketing spend and company resources is increasingly difficult. The customer is moving to new platforms and researching products in places that did not exist until very recently.
Over recent months, my role in ecommerce has bought me into contact with many forward thinking retailers who have been amongst the early adopters of three new online marketing channels: PriceSearcher.com, Shop the Look by Google and Snapchat Discover. Even though it is early days these channels, based on quality of traffic and conversation rates, are offering a new, and currently less competitive space, in the battle for quality leads.
The big digital marketing channels for 2017
In development for over 4 years PriceSearcher.com (PS) went live in 2016 and already has over 86m products listed globally. A recently completed 7 figure funding round is propelling their game changing new search engine onto the radar of brands, retailers and re-sellers alike. PS's mission is to provide access to the world’s prices across any vertical, product, good or service and with zero barriers to entry. Similar to Skyscanner for travel, YouTube for video or Indeed for Jobs – they are a super-aggregator handing all the relevant information to the customer at the vital point of purchase consideration. Traffic then flows directly to your website with no CPC or CPA cost – its completely free.
For users, PS offers a simple and unbiased search solution where products can be impartially researched and reviewed using the historical pricing data, customer reviews, buying guides and buying options in a simple, easy way.
For sellers, this offers an opportunity to connect with a global audience at no cost. In time PS will develop an AdWords model to monetise the site and fund future development, but listing will always be free.
An early adopter of the site, a top 5 seller on Amazon UK selling 25k+ products daily, quickly discovered that PS traffic was out-performing Google traffic and has listed the entire 2.7m+ product base. For the month of September 2016, PS organic outperformed Google organic lead for lead with an actual sales conversion rate of 2.41% compared to 1.16% on Google. Integration is straightforward as PS take whatever feed in whatever format a seller already uses with no development required... definitely one to plug into for 2017.
Cost: A CPC model
The over-arching concept is for users to see images and headlines which serve as a preview of the content inside. This will mean Discover channels and Live stories on the Stories page, instead of just logos for the publishers or events they capture. The Discover page now features a Pinterest-style mason grid of tiles, while the Stories page now combines the two rows of static Discover channels and Live Stories into one scrollable row of non-friend content.
The user advantage here is that instead of having to dig through all of your favourite Discover channels in the list, you can simply use the new tap-and-hold process to subscribe to them. This means that they will always appear amongst the Recent Stories from accounts you’ve added. This gives publishers an extra call to action on their Discover channels and within their marketing strategy.
The Discover redesign will make building the channels more lucrative for publishers. The dynamic previews are considerably more enticing than the old channel buttons. The result is that it will drive click-throughs and eyeballs on the combination of videos, text articles, images, and ads featured within Discover channels.
Shop The Look on Google
Cost: A CPC model
The idea of shopping the look has been around for a number of years with Google “Buy on Google” or “checkout” bottoms on ad search results. This was aimed to help retailers boost engagement and sales through mobile devices. Now, however, Google is introducing a specific “Shop the Look” feature program for mobile. This aims to put a price tag on the clothes and furnishings you see in your search results. Once a user sees a photo of the product they like, they can tap on the picture, and Google will show them that item or one similar to it. Once the ad had been clicked on, the consumers are taken to a retailer-branded product page hosted by Google. The checkout process could then be completed with saved payment information on a Google Account.
Although ”Shop the Look” is only being tested on mobile devices in the U.S., the idea is for a Q1 launch in 2017 in the UK and take-up is expected to grow quickly.