How To Profit From Five Emerging Online Trends In 2009 - Part I

Derek Gehl
March 19, 2009 — 1,906 views  
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What say we kick off 2009 on a positive, hopeful note?!

Thing is, right now, we're being so heavily bombarded by facts and figures pointing out how bleak this year is expected to be, that we're overlooking the GOOD things that are projected to happen in 2009.

Case in point?

According to eMarketer reports, this year, online sales in the US alone will jump from $136.8 BILLION to $142.4 BILLION (that's an INCREASE of nearly $6 BILLION in online spending).

Or how about this statistic: Nielsen Consumer Insight reports that in 2009, consumers will spend 17% MORE time on eCommerce websites every DAY!

That's a whole lot MORE people shopping online, and spending a whole lot MORE time doing it!

So there's no doubt in my mind that there will be plenty of opportunities for you to earn a good income online during 2009, no matter whether you've already got a website up, or you're just getting started...

... but you're going to need to be pretty savvy about how you spend your time, energy, and resources.

To help you not just survive 2009, but actually THRIVE, I've rolled up my sleeves and gone to work, researching the biggest emerging trends in online business for this year.

I'll show you FIVE of the trends that I think are MOST significant for your business...

... then show you what you need to do with your website to capitalize on all five of these trends.

Emerging Trend #1: Consumers Are Increasingly Turning To The Internet As A Way To Save Money

You know all those people I just told you about who are coming online to shop? Well, according to this survey, 80% of them say they're now shopping online to save money.

And further, 95% of these people report that they're motivated to buy by offers of free shipping, and 83% are motivated to buy by special prices.

Clearly, 2009 will be the year of the deal!

So if you currently offer special discounts on your site, get them up front and center, so your visitors can find them instantly. Do NOT wait for them to dig around your site and possibly stumble across them.

And if you offer free shipping, don't hide that fact away on your order form. Shout it from the rooftops! It could well be the detail that pushes your visitors into making that crucial buying decision.


Before you put all of your eggs in the "special deal" basket, there's one other related trend you should know about...

This same survey reports that 88% of people are shopping online in order to save time, and 83% say that they do it because it's less hassle than hitting the malls.

So not only are your visitors coming to your site trying to save money, they're also looking for ease and convenience.

So make sure you're giving it to them, by offering the best customer shopping experience possible.

As we'll all soon discover, it's the websites that offer a combination of pricing and IMPECCABLE customer service that will continue to thrive this year.

Emerging Trend #2: Consumers Are Making More And More REPEAT Purchases Based On Automated Recommendations

This recent 2008 Razorfish Consumer Experience report shows that a whopping 65% of online buyers made additional purchases from a website based on automated recommendations the site gave them.

That's 6 out of 10 of your customers buying MORE, based purely on your suggestions for other products they might like.

Sounds like the perfect job for email marketing, right?!

I strongly believe that the people who thrive in 2009 will be those who spend a LOT of time using email marketing to nurture the relationships they have with their customers and subscribers.

But to be really effective in building these relationships -- and in recommending the products people will be MOST interested in -- you're going to need to be smart about your list.

Gone are the days when having a BIG list was your main goal! It's time to think "quality" rather than "quantity."

If you build a huge list filled with people who couldn't care less what you're offering them, then all your email efforts will be wasted.

It's far better to have a smaller list of highly qualified subscribers.

The other thing to pay attention to as you focus on your email efforts in 2009 is the kinds of emails you're sending out.

I'm finding that shorter, more concise promotional messages are far more effective than long, drawn-out emails that bombard the reader with information.

Finally, the savvy email marketer will spend a lot of time TESTING in 2009.

Currently only about 40% of marketers do any testing at all, which is practically criminal, because those who do test are twice as likely to get email marketing conversion rates of 3% or MORE!

So make sure you test different kinds of offers, different subject lines, different times of day and week for mailing, etc., to make sure you're really capitalizing on your email.

To Be Continued...Part II will appear in our next issue!

Derek Gehl