Stay One Step Ahead by Observing and Preparing for Digital Trends: iocea

Endless Gain

The digital world has fast-forwarded by several years in the last 18 months. A Mapp study says around 65% of UK businesses implemented more digital and technological innovation than they had planned, due to the pandemic. (The state of digital marketing in the UK in 2021)

And this did yield positive results—45% of eCommerce brands in the country registered higher online sales in 2020.

As we’ve said before, there’s no going back now. This means eCommerce businesses—in fact, any online business—need to keep optimising and upgrading their digital presence. And the best way they can do that is to hire digital and CRO experts who make it easier and faster for them to change and adapt.

In our eighth post of the #CROInsightsSeries, the Digital Marketing Team at leading eCommerce and digital marketing solutions provider iocea—Alex Stephens (Marketing Manager), Lucy Robinson (Digital Marketing Executive), and Cameron Murison (Digital Marketing Apprentice)—tell us about the trends, challenges, and outlook for the digital optimisation landscape.


What new trends have you observed in the last year in digital optimisation?

Google Core Algorithm Updates

In the past year, there have been many updates and releases in the digital landscape, such as Google’s core algorithm update that now considers user experience as a ranking factor for effectively ranking your website in Google’s search engine results.

This highlights that there is an ever-growing need to be reactive to web updates, ensuring our client’s ranking performance isn’t affected, and we use our expertise to action any improvements such as optimisations around page speed.

Google often releases updates 1-3 times per year, sometimes with little notice, so being reactive is key to servicing our clients successfully.

Apple’s iOS 14 Release

Another 2021 release is Apple’s iOS 14 update which has massively impacted the digital landscape. This affects how we receive and process conversion events from tools such as the Facebook Pixel.

Apple’s policy will prohibit certain data collection and sharing unless people opt in to tracking on iOS 14 devices. As more people opt out of tracking on iOS 14 devices, ad personalisation and performance reporting will be limited for both app and web conversion events.

This is another example of a huge update that has affected marketers across the world, as it limits who we can target with Facebook Ads. There are and will be noticeable drops in performance for clicks, impressions, conversions, and more.

However, there are certain optimisations that can still be done successfully, such as excluding iOS 14 devices from being targeted. This would give us a more accurate method of targeting. We have also heard from various sources that Facebook themselves are working on a fix for the iOS 14 update.

What do you forecast are going to be key for eCommerce in the next 12 months when it comes to digital growth?

We expect to see the marketplace continually evolving, with technology and customer convenience once again leading the way for innovations in eCommerce. Here are a few of the growing trends that are key to getting onboard with…

Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL)

According to Finder, BNPL is the fastest growing online payment method in the UK, with a growth rate double that of bank transfers and more than triple that of digital wallets.

Did you know that 9.5 million Brits said that they avoided buying from retailers that don’t offer BNPL services? This really highlights the growing importance of offering pay later options to customers, showing how important it is to stay up to date—customers will simply shop elsewhere if their needs aren’t being met.

And, if you need another reason to convince you, then consider the fact that BNPL is proven to boost sales by up to 30%!

Voice Search

With the rise of new mobile/tablet technology and home assistants such as Google Home and Amazon Echo, more users are conducting internet searches via their microphones rather than their keyboards.

This means that in addition to traditional SEO, websites need to be optimised for search queries that are likely to be spoken, rather than written.

For example, as well as ‘nicest restaurants Lincoln’, you need to optimise for phrases such as ‘where is the nicest place for food in Lincoln?’. If you aren’t optimising for voice searches, then you could miss out on being found by customers.

Social Commerce

Last year, Instagram confused users when camera and activity shortcuts were replaced with reels and shop tab. Clearly, this move is pushing towards a more ‘shoppable’ social media, which makes it easier than ever for users to make in-app purchases.

This follows other updates, such as product tagging and the ‘swipe up from story’ feature. And, these features aren’t limited to Instagram—purchases can also be made through Facebook, TikTok, Pinterest, and inevitably more social platforms to come.

However, social media channels need to be careful in balancing customer experience and advertising, as a drop in users could decrease the platforms’ value to businesses.

It is predicted that the global Social Commerce market will increase by 34% by Q4 2021, and the total revenue generated globally through Social Commerce is expected to exceed £696 billion in 2023. So, make sure to utilise the power of social media for your business!

XR (Extended Reality)

The increasing popularity of AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) is changing the ways people shop, particularly when it comes to furniture and clothing. Extended reality can be used to allow customers to experience a product or service from wherever they are!

For example, IKEA introduced the IKEA Reality Kitchen Experience, which allows users to visualise how their kitchen would look with specific decor and furniture. It offers a level of customer convenience that hasn’t been offered before.

VR can also be used for special experiences, such as virtual museums, as well as training for staff. It can also be used in communications, allowing meetings to take place virtually.

How is iocea preparing to stay ahead of the game in the digital landscape?

Iocea are continually looking to develop products that we predict there will be a future demand for, filling a gap in the market before it’s even opened up.

As we know and has been proved more than ever in recent times, the future really is online and it is crucial for businesses to keep up with quickly changing market trends and competition. It’s our ability to do this that has kept us in business for 21 years and counting.

The advantage of being a full-solutions agency is that our team can cover all areas of eCommerce, including digital marketing, from front-end development to back-end development, software development and digital design.

Within the company, each department shares updates on trends, which allows us to collaborate changes across the team quickly. For example, in 2021 when Google updated its search ranking factors, the digital marketing team worked with development to improve our clients’ page speed, to make a positive impact on their SEO performance.

Iocea strive to go above and beyond for our customers, leading the way for the eCommerce industry. It’s our combined expertise, quick communication, and collaborative working style that allows us to offer clients a level of service unmatched by other agencies.

Check out the iocea website to learn more about their specialist eCommerce services and how they can help your business.

This is the ninth of a series of posts where we speak with leading digital experience optimisation brands on trends and the future of digital growth. Check out our previous conversations with the likes of VWO, AB Tasty, Fresh Relevance, and Nosto.

Stay tuned for the next one!