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19 January, 2022

Webinar Recap: How eCommerce Performance Marketing Will Change in 2022

Q&A Events

From privacy lockdowns to social commerce integrations, 2022 will be a whirlwind for eCommerce marketers.

Performance marketers constantly adapt to change, but the past few years have been especially complex. Cookies are dying, privacy restrictions are rising, and the entire media landscape is changing in response to COVID-19. That’s why it’s important to take a step back and consider how these trends will continue to evolve in 2022.

To that end, VentureBeat and yellowHEAD recently hosted an eCommerce marketing trends webinar to explore what may come next. Our guests included:

The Privacy Trend Is Not a Blip

Of course, there’s no way to talk about 2022 trends without discussing privacy. Even outside of Apple’s iOS changes, the industry faces new government regulations and a consumer base deeply concerned about how brands track online activity.

“Our view is that it’s certainly not a blip. It’s going to be a trend that doesn’t go away and increases and intensifies, so we should all prepare for more privacy lockdowns,” Rob says. “As a consumer, I personally hope it continues! As a marketer, it does make the landscape we’re working on complex.”

Thankfully, these privacy changes do not mean marketers lack opportunities — just that companies who deeply understand their market will have the advantage. That bodes well for direct-to-consumer eCommerce brands in the immediate future, but companies with an old-school mentality will find it much more challenging to keep up with the latest trends.

In Gal’s view, the companies that are best positioned to succeed in a privacy-centric world are diversifying budgets across platforms. He says, “If we saw more Google and Facebook in the past, now we see more diversification of budgets towards TikTok and Snap as well.” eCommerce brands are also leaning into organic marketing, understanding it as a high-value evergreen channel. “If they have an app, they invest much more in the app store optimization and, [if they’re running on] web, they invest much more in the SEO strategy…And, obviously, the creative is always at the core of everything our clients are doing. Creative has a huge investment going forward as well,” Gal explains.

COVID Is Changing Social Media Demographics

In the wake of COVID-19, social media user demographics are undergoing a seismic shift. Before the pandemic, most audiences favored one or two primary channels. When lockdowns occurred, many users branched out to follow multiple platforms. A user who started with Facebook or Instagram now has both, along with new TikTok and Snapchat profiles. As Gal notes, “It’s really interesting how COVID urged the maturity or the aging of the platforms themselves. If TikTok was considered a very young, early adopter platform, now over 70% of the users are over 18.” Across the board, social media audiences are aging as a result of this uptick in adoption.

For eCommerce brands, this trend makes it difficult to target a single social media platform and confidently reach the majority of their audience. In response, marketers are diversifying their ad spend to acquire customers across multiple channels. Most brands now have a presence across each social media platform, maintaining several possible touchpoints for consumers.

While these changes lead to new brand opportunities, marketers face unique challenges — most notably the need to produce additional creative for each channel. “You really need to be creating content as a brand that feels native to the platform,” Gretchen says. “If you show up with a traditional television ad on TikTok, it’s not going to land.”

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