Marketplace trends to watch.
eCommerce Intelligence

7 Online Marketplace Trends Shaping Consumer Decisions

by Sarah Mehlman , Sr. Marketing Intelligence Specialist 7 Min.
September 8, 2022

Blackberry, Toys “R” Us, Nokia, and Yahoo! – what do they have in common?

They were once the leading brands in their respective industries. But today, they’re nowhere near the top.

Why? Because they underestimated the emerging global market trends and failed to innovate.

We don’t want you to make that mistake as a marketplace seller.

This is why we’ve shortlisted the most prominent online marketplace trends shaping the future of consumer decision-making and, ultimately your business growth.

Let’s explore them in detail.

Online Marketplace Trends

Six marketplace trends.

Marketplace trend #1: Augmented reality (AR)

Augmented Reality is already reshaping the digital shopping experience. But its importance will only increase in the coming months and years. According to research, the AR market value is expected to exceed $50 billion by 2024. In addition, 61% of consumers prefer buying from brands that allow them to experience their product with AR.

What is augmented reality?

Augmented Reality (AR) is an interactive technology that enhances your real-world view through additional information and content such as sounds, images, and objects. It allows consumers to experience products real-world and makes their decision-making process much easier. 

Why is it trending?

Shoppers can not physically touch and feel products when purchasing online, which means they have to rely on a product’s specifications to make an educated guess about how it would fit into their surroundings.

AR solves this problem to a great extent by helping consumers view products in a real-world setting, simplifying their decision-making process.

How can you jump on this trend?

Amazon and a few other leading marketplaces already use Augmented Reality to allow users to view products in a real-world setting before purchasing.

For example, you can use Amazon’s mobile app to see how a product would look in your house before ordering it.

So, if you’re not already using a marketplace platform with AR, consider switching to one today. In addition, make sure your product images are high-quality because that impacts the quality of your product’s AR projection. And if you are using a marketplace that offers this feature, make sure that you make your products available for users that want to see them in their homes through AR.

Marketplace trend #2: Video content marketing

Video marketing is among the fastest-growing online marketplace trends. According to research, 86% of digital marketers use video content marketing. But consumers want more.

54% of consumers want more video content.

What is video content marketing?

In video content marketing, brands create videos covering the various problems of their target audience, answering customer queries, covering product features, and positioning their product as the best solution.

Why is it trending?

Content marketing is a popular marketing strategy for building a long-term relationship with your audience. Video content has only made it more effective because of its engaging and addictive nature. As a result, B2B, retail, and ecommerce brands use video content strategies to build customer loyalty and stand out in crowded marketplaces.

How can you jump on this trend?

Most marketplace platforms encourage sellers to share videos demonstrating their product features. You can take this further by starting a dedicated YouTube channel for your product category and creating content that answers your audience’s most frequently asked questions and positions you as an expert. As your subscriber base grows, you can turn your channel into a lead generation source by routing traffic to your marketplace product listings.

Read more: Learn how to build video marketing strategy.

Marketplace trend #3: Marketplace SEO

Marketplace platforms are using AI-powered search algorithms to create personalized customer experiences.

What is marketplace SEO?

Marketplace SEO is the process of optimizing your product listings and images for high-traffic keywords so that it shows up at the top for relevant searches. It is different from SEO for Google and other search engines because its focus is on dominating the search listings of a particular marketplace (for example, Amazon)

Read More: Amazon SEO: Your Guide to Getting it Right in 2022

Why is it trending?

Marketplace SEO has evolved over the years and now uses consumer behavior and search patterns as a factor while ranking products. This creates a more personalized user experience and shows relevant products that a consumer is likely to purchase. From a seller’s perspective, product listing optimization has become much more critical because it allows the marketplace search algorithms to match them with consumer needs.

How can you jump on this trend?

To improve your product’s chances of being recommended by a marketplace to its shoppers, you need to provide as much relevant information and content as possible. Create detailed product descriptions, share multiple high-quality images, and optimize your listings so that the marketplace can easily connect your products with the right customers. 

This is where Similarweb’s Shopper Intelligence comes in handy as it allows you to find relevant high-traffic keywords and product category insights to optimize your listing more effectively. 

Similarweb Shopper Intelligence

Marketplace trend #4: Voice search 

Optimizing your product listings for voice search queries is another emerging marketplace trend that will impact your online sales in the coming years. According to research, 35% of US consumers own smart speakers, and the number of smart speaker owners using voice search for online shopping is expected to reach 34 million by the end of 2022.

Importance and popularity of smart speakers.

What is voice search?

Voice search allows users to use search engines with voice commands instead of having to type what they are searching for. 

Why is it trending?

Amazon, Google, Apple, and many other leading tech companies are investing in home assistance products seeing how consumers are using voice search for regular searches. With smart devices everywhere, voice search is much more convenient than typing out long search queries. 

How can you jump on this trend:

To rank for voice searches, you need to optimize your product listings for conversational keywords. Use the terminologies your ideal customer uses to describe your products and create detailed product-related FAQ content that speaks directly to your customers. 

Pro tip: Make your life easier with Similarweb’s Shopper Intelligence and easily identify the keywords your audience is using for ecommerce searches.

Marketplace trend #5: Influencer marketing

Influencer marketing has been among the hottest marketplace trends for several years and it’s only becoming stronger with time. 61% of consumers trust influencer recommendations over branded content. 

What is influencer marketing?

In influencer marketing, brands collaborate with the most popular and influential social media accounts in their industries to promote their products. Studies show that the overall investment in influencer marketing will exceed $16 billion by 2023.

Why is it trending?

In the age of fake news and propaganda, consumers have started turning to trusted influencers for product recommendations. As a result, brands are now increasingly diverting their marketing budgets from traditional advertising to influencer marketing.

How can you jump on this trend?

Identify the most prominent influencers in your target industry and see if their content aligns with your brand values and long-term business goals. If you find the right match, collaborate with them to create unique content around your products and route traffic to your marketplace listings.

Read More: 10 Tips to Create a Profitable Influencer Marketing Campaign

Marketplace trend #6: Sustainability

Preferring sustainable and environmentally friendly products is among the most significant consumer trends over the last few years. Nielsen found, 73% of consumers are prepared to change their buying habits if it impacts the environment.

What is sustainability?

Sustainability in ecommerce refers to environmentally, socially, and economically friendly practices in product manufacturing, marketing, and supply chain. 

Why is it trending? 

With the rise in awareness about global warming, environmental and economic effects have become key factors driving consumer decisions. People now actively look for sustainable products when shopping on different marketplace sites and prefer buying from brands that openly champion sustainability-related causes.

How can you jump on this trend?

If your products are environment friendly, highlight their benefits in your product descriptions and images. Describe your manufacturing process in detail and show your consumers how sustainability is a key consideration in all your business activities.

Marketplace trend #7: Handwritten thank you notes

Marketplace sellers are using handwritten thank you notes and different personalization techniques to build customer loyalty, drive repeat sales, and generate positive reviews.

What are thank you notes?

Marketplace sellers add handwritten thank you notes to their product packaging to show how much they appreciate the customer for their purchase and also encourage them to connect with the brand on social media and leave a positive review on the marketplace.

Why is it trending?

In a crowded marketplace, handwritten thank you notes allow sellers to stand out by building a personal connection with their customers. They add that ‘WOW’ effect to the customer’s experience and make it more memorable. 

How can you jump on this trend?

Write a standard thank you note for your customers, including links to your brand assets (website, social media accounts, marketplace profile), and a soft request for a positive review. Make copies of the handwritten note and put it on top of your product so that it’s the first thing your customer sees when they open their package.

Track trends with confidence 

Never fall behind on the latest trends. Similarweb Shopper Intelligence provides insights based on real user behavior that allows you to craft a data-driven strategy to better your bottom line, like:

Which digital marketplace trends are you following?

The digital marketplace trends we’ve discussed in this article are already reshaping online consumer experiences and impacting the way brands market their products. So, if you haven’t already used them to your advantage, see which ones align with your brand’s long-term goals and jump on them before your competitors do.

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