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Tips & Guides — 09 May 2022
Setting Up eCommerce Strategy For The Cookieless World
In recent years, data has helped shape digital marketing strategies. Marketers used cookies to understand more about customers and optimize eCommerce campaigns. Customers, however, are increasingly concerned about their privacy and the way that companies have been using their data acquired from cookies.
As a result, third-party cookies are going away, and eCommerce is entering an age of loyalty and trust. Transparency will be key to building relationships between brands and customers in a cookieless future. Marketers will continue to learn from their customers, but it will be essential for eCommerce to adopt an approach that values connection, engagement, and trust-building.
Currently, third-party cookies are automatically blocked when users browse through providers such as Apple, Firefox, and Brave. Google Chrome, which represents more than 60% of the search engine market share, has announced that it will also block third-party cookies until 2023.
However, regardless of changes implemented by the browsers, consumers were already taking action against cybercrimes and other issues involving personal data. Searches show that 1 in 2 internet users regularly deletes cookies from their devices. When combined with other privacy habits, such as using an adblocker or a private browsing window, this increases to 3 out of 4 people actively taking steps to avoid being tracked and targeted online.
This has led to several business changes and has become one of the most discussed topics among digital marketers. The main question is: What’s going to happen with digital marketing strategies without cookies? According to Shopify, many brands will turn to primary data, which will continue to help to identify and improve the user experience on a website by collecting data with customers’ consent.
Transparency is another topic that is growing in digital marketing. Research further indicates that 44% of brands already plan to be more transparent about using customer information and rethinking how they do personalization. Although personalization is becoming more common in eCommerce, overly personalized websites are three times more likely to be abandoned by customers, says Shopify.
However, one crucial factor is particularly directed at digital marketers: 61% of consumers said they are willing to share their data with a brand if necessary, and 44% of consumers are okay with brands using their data to provide relevant content and offers.
In the cookieless future, customers’ will expect personalized experiences and relevance. To adapt to new expectations, brands need to think about how to generate value and engagement once the personalization will not be enough to catch the audience’s attention.
To be precise, trends suggested by BCG Executive Perspectives 2022 Future show that customers today expect hyper-personalization, ultra-convenience, and augmented experiences with connections between community and sustainability. In this scenario, nurturing and developing a relationship of trust is essential to ensure better results for businesses. Moreover, eCommerce will focus primarily on strategies that foster loyalty and retention with potential customers, much more than other acquisition tactics that are increasingly expensive.
In a cookieless scenario, the best channels for traffic generation help brands and businesses build loyalty and trust with their potential customers. To learn how marketers can engage and motivate potential audiences, let’s see below how to take advantage of the proper channels by shaping better strategies.
Content marketing is key in a strategy that aims to educate and raise awareness of brand products and services. No wonder 82% of marketers actively use content marketing, says HubSpot. The decline of cookies further only increases the importance of this tactic. By providing excellent content, marketers can keep their eyes on how to improve their offers while building the relevance of a brand or company.
The main benefits of content marketing for brands include generating traffic, visibility for the site, and establishing relationships with consumers. It is common to require customers’ details to access rich materials such as eBooks, infographics, videos, guides, case studies, and short courses. Brands can ask customers to fill in information such as name, email address, and workplace. This way, they can continue learning and improving their strategies with more transparency.
Brands have increasingly used community building to strengthen relationships with their customers. There’s a reason behind this: communities boost customer retention, trust, and brand recognition.
Some brands can build a community from scratch, but according to Hootsuite, eCommerce brands succeed by being introduced to influencer communities with an established audience. A community can potentially increase consumer trust in a product. Creating a team strategy with influencers in a specific niche is another way to be introduced to your target audience and reap great results.
An influencer is any person, famous or not, who has an engaged audience that trusts their words and sees value in their content. Influencers are gaining more and more visibility within marketing strategies, while brands want to be seen by consumers who may become loyal customers.
Thus, influencers increase brand awareness and help brands establish themselves in the market within a marketing strategy. In other words, they act as a magnet to capture and direct audiences to independent platforms such as eCommerce sites or recommend products within social commerce.
When we talk about influencer marketing and eCommerce, it is worth revisiting the example of SHEIN, an eCommerce platform founded in 2008. During the pandemic period, with consumers’ attention focused on eCommerce, the brand became a leader in its segment in the US and worldwide.
Shein is present on multiple channels, such as apps and social media channels like Instagram, Tiktok, and websites. One of Shein’s main strategies was to ally with micro-influencers, which made it become #1 Tiktok among micro-influencers.
Celebrities are not the brand’s focus. Instead, Shein often teams up with micro-influencers on Instagram, Youtube, and Tiktok. In addition, the brand sends free products through its affiliate program, which motivates its partners to produce more content for it in the style of “mix-and-match videos” where they feature their favorite items.
Have you ever thought about how it would be if people worldwide could promote your products to different audiences? This is basically what affiliate marketing allows you to do. The brand pays only for desired actions, and affiliates are remunerated on a commission basis.
Brands can benefit from being promoted by partners in many ways. For instance, partners help to understand more about the audience. They allow digital marketers and business owners to observe and test different markets, channels and strategies to determine which one is the most profitable for the brand.
Thus, affiliate marketing is increasingly gaining ground among brands that want to adopt promising new strategies. By creating an affiliate program, eCommerce can attract partners to promote their products. The program can be customized and defined with any desired action you prefer.
Each time a partner delivers the desired action, they win a commission. Moreover, you can reward partners when they stand out. Consider having a strategy to keep your partners engaged, which is a significant advantage in an increasingly competitive market in a cookieless age.
Email marketing remains one of the most used methods by digital marketers. It is an efficient channel to keep your customers updated about the brand, share discounts, news, and more. Besides helping to nurture and build relationships with clients, which has a significant value, email marketing is an excellent tool to generate traffic and collect customer data without cookies.
For example, digital marketers can use the sign-up field in a newsletter to collect data about their audience. Many customers would like to receive an email from their favorite brands with valuable content. Additionally, customers that have already shared their data are probably the most likely to interact with your content, which can bring a better conversion rate to your pages.
Social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc., have become very effective customer acquisition channels that allow you to find your audience through paid and organic traffic. While paid traffic offers valuable exposure and visibility to your brand on these social networks, organic traffic helps your brand build relationships with your customers and strengthen your business image.
But that’s not all. Recently we have noticed many changes in this scenario, mainly involving social networks. The first is that the cost of advertising on social media platforms is getting higher and higher; the second point is that social networks are creating more and more features so that the purchase can be made within the platform without the customer having to go to a website. This directly affects eCommerce.
Thus, it has never been more critical to approach your brand’s social media strategically. Again here, influencers can help capture the audience you seek and once that is done, offer your product catalog for purchase within the social media platforms.
Blogging, aligned with a bulletproof SEO strategy, should continue to be on the rise between brands and companies for many reasons. The main ones are:
Blogging generates traffic, builds relationships, and has great potential to convert readers into future customers. Over 50% of marketers say keyword rankings and organic traffic are the top ways they measure the success of their SEO strategies. Thus, customers who enter the keywords present in your content into the search engines will be directed to your site. In this way, you can grow the number of visitors in the long term even in a cookieless future.
Does your eCommerce make use of referral programs? If not, start thinking about it right now. This is a way to increase your brand’s awareness potentially. By creating a rewards program, brands encourage the most engaged customers to spread the word about products and services to friends, family, or followers. Further down the line, your customers can become brand ambassadors.
This type of marketing, in the past, was known as word-of-mouth marketing and has always been very effective. The reason is that people look for product recommendations before they buy. Still, it is even better when that recommendation comes from trusted people, from a close friend, family member, or influencer happy with your product. The result is suitable for both sides: your loyal customers are rewarded, and your brand gains new interested parties.
Regardless of constantly changing technology, understanding your audience and looking for ways to connect with them effectively is essential for any eCommerce.
Before ending, let’s summarize the main tips:
Think that a cookieless future will allow your brand to explore new channels and strategies, previously unknown horizons. Just don’t wait until the last moment to start rethinking your approach. Instead, read this article as many times as you need, and start to put it into practice.
A cookieless future calls for platforms that can provide all the support marketers, and business owners need to run their campaigns effectively. Affise Reach allows all sizes of companies to try a promising and unexplored channel easily, partner marketing. By simplifying partnerships, Reach brings new ways and opportunities to draw revenue through in response to a cookieless scenario.
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