Jan 22, 2024
Matt Rubinstein weighs in on how eCommerce merchants can win in 2024.
As we pick up steam in 2024, the eCommerce landscape looks increasingly competitive with more products across categories and consumers thinking-twice before buying. We collaborated with industry thought leader Matt Rubinstein on this blog, to find out how he thinks merchants can get the edge they need this year to stay ahead of the game.
Matt is a leading eCommerce consultant who collaborates with executives so they can keep growing cost-effectively. He has worked with dozens of popular brands like White Mountain Puzzles and Wallplanks. Feel free to connect with him on LinkedIn for marketing tips and questions about working together.
1. Top 3 trends to watch for in 2024
AI to boost customer engagement not replace it
The one I have the highest confidence in is AI, for content, video, emails, chatbots, you name it.
The key difference between brands that are successful with it, and those who aren’t, will be whether they use it as a substitute for understanding their customers or not.
AI is a reach and volume play. It’s like an old-school radio, where the tuning is the relevance of your messaging, and AI is the volume.
If you’re not dialed in on what your customers want and why they like your products, AI is only going to increase the noise, not the message that resonates with new buyers.
Interest-based communities gain popularity
We’re moving from a model of direct response to more community or interest-based. Yes, people are still searching for products on Google but more and more, they’re finding brands via word of mouth and social media platforms like Skool.
Your reputation precedes you and in corners of the internet where you can’t necessarily measure your marketing ROI.
Good news? More ways to diversify customer acquisition, if you can accept you won’t be able to account for ROI with as much certainty as more-established channels.
Interest-based social media platforms are a huge opportunity for brands that see the value before their competitors do.
Keep the conversation going
Smaller feedback loops between customers and brands. Advertising used to be seen as a one-way channel: the brand tells customers what the brand has to say, and people listen.
But social media isn’t a one-way channel. It’s a feedback machine that brands should use to understand what matters to their customers, beyond the traditional demographic metrics.
Respond to comments. Ask your followers questions. Build an ongoing conversation that has value beyond the specific products you sell.
Buyers will reward brands that do this with more sales and word of mouth marketing (essentially, growth at lower CAC).
2. One area merchants commonly neglect when planning for the year?
Every brand owner talks about getting more customers. And yes, it’ll always be important.
At the same time, there are 3 ways to increase revenue: more customers, more frequent purchases, and higher order values.
What are you doing to ensure buyers move from the first purchase to the second? How do you know if a customer is at risk of churning and what do you do about it?
You can automate a lot of this and it’ll pay dividends, both on your existing customers and new.
3. Top advice to keep acquisition cost down and encourage spending given rising inflation and weak economic growth?
Who are the 20% buyers that make up 80% of your revenue? For every executive reading this: I guarantee there’s a small percentage of your customers who make up a giant portion of your direct revenue.
Who are they? How can you get more customers like them?
Knock down any walls that exist between marketing and your customers. There’s no substitute for actual conversations.
Marketing will learn first-hand what matters to customers, which will make their content and ads better, and customers will love you for taking the effort to understand their needs better. Win-win.
4. The next big thing in digital marketing is…
I would double down on community platforms like Skool. One, it’s growing insanely fast. Second, Alex Hormozi just invested in it, which brings it even more attention.
If you can earn your way into interest-based platforms like this, you’ve locked in a percentage of buyers’ attention. You have to do that before they can hear anything your marketing has to say.
If you’re looking for more eCommerce advice or want to scale your eCommerce brand with ads in 60 days, connect with Matt and find out how he can help you scale your Shopify store in 2024 and beyond!
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