How To Profit From Five Emerging Online Trends In 2009
By Derek Gehl
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
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.
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
Emerging Trend #2: Consumers Are Making More And More REPEAT Purchases Based On Automated Recommendations
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 tothink "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
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.
Emerging Trend #3: Shoppers Are Making More Purchases Based on Recommendations Received Through Social Media Sites
a surprising statistic: 49% of Web users now make a purchase based on a recommendation they received through a social media site (like Facebook, MySpace, and so on).
Okay, maybe that's not so surprising, but you know what is
? Apparently only 25% of online retailers created a Facebook page this year!
Despite its clear success rate, marketers have generally been slow to make the leap to social networking.
So if you haven't tested the social media waters, NOW is the time to get started!
Social networking is the perfect way to develop your online presence, and continue to cultivate lasting relationships with your potential customers. It's also, as the statistics show, a great way to start generating extra income
I recently wrote an article that explains the basics of getting started with social networking. You can read it here
But before you run off and start building your social networking profiles and pages, you should know that other
forms of social media sites will also be crucial tools for your business in 2009.
Take the social bookmarking sites, for instance (like Digg, Delicious, and StumbleUpon).
Currently, 52% of people are using these sites as they search for information online, and a full 81% of users read the links marked as "most popular" or "most emailed."
So what does this mean for you? Another key strategy for you in 2009 will be to create lots of content
, and get it to appear on these sites.
You're going to want to write articles that are relevant
... and that your readers will want to pass along to their friends, family, and colleagues, and recommend on the social bookmarking sites.
In doing so, you'll continue to raise your online profile, establish yourself as an expert in your field, and build those all-important relationships with your potential customers.
Emerging Trend #4: A Typical Internet User Is Spending 20% MORE Time Each Day Reading Blogs
Nielsen Consumer Insight reported in
that people are now spending20% more time EACH DAY reading blogs
Do YOU have a blog yet? Do you add new posts to it on a regular basis?
If you haven't started a blog yet -- or if you haven't been giving yours the attention that it deserves -- TODAY is the day you should start!
As with social media, blogging is GREAT for establishing your reputation online, for building relationships with your market, for creating new content for your site, and can even help you get a TOP ranking in the search engines
(which in turn can generate up to 7 TIMES more sales).
And you don't need to be a "natural-born writer" to create your own blog, nor do you need to be a technical wizard!
There are plenty of places where you can even get FREE blogs to get yourself started...
... and as for the actual writing, a blog is all about showing YOUR personality, and sharing your opinions and ideas. So don't sweat it if you're not a word nerd. Just write from the heart, and your readers will love it!
For tips and ideas for starting your blog, check out this article
Emerging Trend #5: Web Surfers Are Spending 46% MORE Time Watching Online Videos
Finally, a trend that will continue to have a HUGE impact on Internet marketers everywhere -- and really change the way we sell online -- is the growing popularity of online video.
Check this out: 94% of Internet users now watch online video with some level of frequency, and people now spend a whopping 46% MORE time each DAY watching videos, compared to last year!
So if you haven't dipped your toe into the online video world, you'd better get cracking!
Video, like blogging, has multiple benefits for your business:
You can use video in your salescopy in order to more effectively sell your product... you can use it for SEO purposes and traffic generation (Google LOVES video!)... to create informative or educational videos for your niche... and to spread the word about your business.
And you don't need to have a lot of complicated equipment or technical expertise to produce your own quality videos.
If you'd like to learn how to create your own simple videos, and get them up on sites like YouTube, check out this brief "how-to" article I wrote a while ago. It explains all of the basics for you, and gives you a few other resources to give you extra help.
There's no denying that 2009 is going to present some challenges for ALL of us, but you don't have to hide your head in the sand and wait for the recession to blow over!
You can still make serious money online despite the economic downturn, just as long as you focus your efforts on a few key areas, like those I've described.
To give you even MORE help, I've identified a number of other important online trends for 2009, and made some predictions about how to take advantage of them, and put it all into a free two-hour video presentation for you to watch.
And when you watch the video, you'll also discover why 2009 is actually a GOOD time to START a new Internet business, and I'll explain -- in detail -- how you can do it in just FIVE DAYS!
You can watch the video here.
To your success,
Derek Gehl and The Internet Marketing Center Team
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Internet marketing expert Derek Gehl specializes in teaching real people how to successfully start, build, and grow their own profitable online businesses on small budgets. To get instant access to the step-by-step strategies, tools, and resources he's used to grow just $25 into over $60 Million in online sales, visit: Marketingtips.com