The landscape of eCommerce business is vast, dynamic and highly evolving. The eCommerce business market was expected to hit US$16.6 trillion in 2022, as per IMARC. The projection is for US$70.9 trillion, which can grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27.43 percent between 2023 and 2028.
Driving success in such a competitive eCommerce market requires building brand awareness, pushing traffic to the website, and increasing sales. For all these, your eCommerce business needs to take concrete marketing steps to push the brand forward.
And therefore, efficient eCommerce marketing communications should always include public relations. The global public relations market size will grow from $100.39 billion in 2022 to $107.05 billion in 2023 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.6 percent. Having a focused PR approach for an eCommerce business is a great way to boost business amidst the growing competition.
PR practices aim to manage a business reputation in the eyes of the public via interactions with the media.
PR for eCommerce
ECommerce PR strategies aim to build trust and credibility with potential customers. They are now a part of cohesive eCommerce marketing that help create a positive relationship with those who influence the target audience. PR policies can integrate with your marketing department to manage your eCommerce brand.
A PR strategy for an eCommerce business can help manage negative publicity and customer feedback, ensuring your business is seen positively. PR campaigns help promote special offers, events, and campaigns, further driving traffic and sales to your website.
As we enter 2023, eCommerce businesses can leverage successful PR strategies essential for boosting the business. One of the most crucial components of operating an eCommerce company in 2023 is awareness of the public relations trends that will contribute to development and success.
Let’s discuss some of these.
#1. AR/VR are making good ground in eCommerce PR
According to industry forecasts, the global VR and AR technologies market will grow to $142.4 billion by 2023 from $13.4 billion in 2018. To be sure, that’s not everything. Emerging trends, such as the growing convergence of wearable devices and augmented reality, are projected to fuel the demand for AR/VR in communication.
Consider how PR changed when print publications went digital and social media. The year 2023 is set to witness more technology integration on the PR front, including virtual events in real-world venues or virtual VR experiences tailored for specific audiences. Check out these examples of augmented reality brand experiences that can fuel innovation.
For eCommerce PR, businesses can adopt VR to help interested customers visit the store or experience the product with active participation. For instance, promoting the launch of a product or running a celebrity tie-up PR campaign through hologram marketing.
Consider an example of National Geographic that takes a tiny step for humanity and a giant stride for augmented reality. They use immersive storytelling and augmented reality to climb the world’s tallest peak.
Check out this YouTube video:
AR/VR technology may be used in several ways by PR professionals. For instance, virtual reality may generate a 3D tour of a product or event location, providing prospective buyers with a more immersive experience.
One of the major trends in eCommerce PR is interactive content. 2023 will see many eCommerce businesses crafting dynamic and interactive content for their target audience to simulate active engagement.
The key innovation areas will redefine eCommerce companies’ PR campaigns.
#2. Getting to Metaverse
Between 2022 and 2027, the market for using the Metaverse in eCommerce is expected to expand at a CAGR of 39.65 percent—a rise of $85,885.22 million in market size is anticipated. Increased demand for augmented reality technology, online shopping, and the ability to customize purchases all play a role in expanding this sector.
PR professionals are set to enhance their digital game to maintain users’ attention in 2023. Social media marketing and influencer collaborations will soon be a thing of the past as an eCommerce PR plan for an all-encompassing strategy, including Metaverse.
New AR/VR technologies, such as Meta’s AR Glasses, demonstrate that consumers have come to anticipate multimodal experiences. And this will include interactivity and immersion in their media consumption, from social media to video viewings.
For instance, Balenciaga pioneered presenting a fashion house’s autumn collection as a video game. This marked the company’s first foray into the Metaverse. Balenciaga’s Afterworld game used the Metaverse’s interaction by letting customers virtually try on their products in a wholly convincing environment.
#3. PR automation
In eCommerce, PR pros may optimize their procedures and save time using automation software. It starts with monitoring KPIs, producing insights, expanding a company’s customer base, and spreading content. The following automation trends may take center stage for PR experts in eCommerce.
Robotic process automation (RPA) has a lot of potential in the corporate sphere. For instance, employees might be relieved of routine administrative tasks. More important endeavors, like writing and media creation, might benefit from freeing up time and effort.
Compared to marketing automation, the market for RPA solutions for corporate communications is currently small. There may be a wide variety of applications.
Instances where robotic process automation (RPA) can prove useful to PR professionals include —
- Database administration fundamentals, like cutting, pasting, and shifting (image databases, information databases for media, etc.).
- Reading and understanding what one reads (e.g. posts, emails, media clippings).
- Calculating values and running “if” and “then” clauses (information management, workflows, editing processes, etc.).
- Lastly, content publishing can be automated (newsletters, web posts, social media posts, releases, etc.).
- Compiling and updating press contacts (e.g. updating data and supplementing information).
One of the most popular automation tools for public relations in the eCommerce industry is email. PR teams can leverage automated email campaigns for eCommerce businesses that help send promotional emails to their prospects and customers.
This helps to keep customers informed about new products and services, discounts, and other news from the company. Moreover, email automation can also be used to track and analyze customer data, allowing PR professionals to understand their customer base better and tailor their strategies to meet customer needs.
#4. Adopting more PR tools
PR strategists can use dedicated tools to automate acquiring journalists’ email addresses, particularly those associated with major news publications. For instance, a comprehensive journalist database can help PR professionals as it contains a vast database of journalists from various newspapers.
Other capabilities include creating email templates and sending up to 10,000 emails each month from your email address. PR professionals can use tools that help streamline their tasks of creating, managing, and gauging the success of their campaigns. This includes PR tools for media monitoring, analyzing press releases, distributing press releases, social media management, analytics, etc.
Some key PR tools for eCommerce include the ones that help blend customer and product data derived from public sources such as Census. These tools improve your reach to the target audience and search influencers, bloggers, podcasters, and journalists who can join the bandwagon for your eCommerce PR.
There are simple ways to integrate immersive experiences like video, AR filters and gaming into your existing collateral to make it more interactive. Now is the time to get ahead of the race and try something bold.
The future of eCommerce PR trends in 2023 will rely on continued innovation, adaptation, and expansion. As businesses embrace digital transformation and the power of technology, they can create more targeted and effective PR campaigns.
In 2023, new social media, video, and augmented reality channels will become more crucial for eCommerce companies. With more people willing to buy things online, companies must provide a fun and interactive shopping experience.
In the end, it’s up to companies to anticipate shifts in the public relations field and adapt accordingly. Businesses can better meet the needs of their expanding customer bases if they adopt the transformative potential of digital tools.