As an online marketing manager one of the biggest challenges being faced today is how to differentiate oneself from the competition on the existing digital marketing channels and maximising the opportunities to drive quality site traffic. The fragmentation of online media channels means that the landscape is becoming ever more complex and knowing where to prioritise marketing spend and company resources is increasingly difficult.

The customer is moving to new platforms and researching products in places that did not exist until very recently. Over recent months my role in e-commerce has bought me into contact with many forwarding  thinking retailers who have been amongst the early adopters of three new online marketing channels:

  • Snapchat Discover
  • Shop the Look by Google

Even though it is early days these channels, based on quality of traffic and conversation rates, are offering a new, and currently less competitive space, in the battle for quality leads. For getting the Best out of your Organic Visibility

Cost: Free

In development for over 4 years (PS) went live in 2016 and already has over 86m products listed globally. A recently completed 7 figure funding round is propelling their game changing new search engine onto the radar of brands, retailers and re-sellers alike. PriceSearcher’s mission is to provide access to the world’s prices across any vertical, product, good or service and with zero barriers to entry.

Similar to Skyscanner for travel, YouTube for video or Indeed for Jobs – they are a super-aggregator handing all the relevant information to the customer at the vital point of purchase consideration. Traffic then flows directly to your website with no CPC or CPA cost – its completely free.

For users, PriceSearcher offers a simple and unbiased search solution where products can be impartially researched and  reviewed using the historical pricing data, customer reviews, buying guides and buying options in a simple, easy way. For sellers this offers an opportunity to connect with a global audience at no cost. In time PriceSearcher will develop an Ad-words model to monitize the site and fund future development but listing will always be free.

An early adopter of the site, a top 5 seller on Amazon UK selling 25k+ products daily, quickly discovered that PriceSearcher traffic was out-performing Google traffic and has listed the entire 2.7m+ product base. For the month of September 2016, PriceSeacher’s organic out performed Google organic lead for lead with an actual sales conversion rate of 2.41% compared to 1.16% on Google.

Integration is straight forward as PriceSearcher take whatever feed in whatever format a seller already uses with no development required-definitely one to plug into for next year.

Snapchat Discover: Allowing your Customers to Discover your Products via their favorite App

Cost: A CPC model

The over-arching concept is for users to see images and headlines which serve as a preview of the content inside. This will mean Snapchat Discover channels and Live stories on the Stories page, instead of just logos for the publishers or events they capture. The Discover page now features a Pinterest-style mason grid of tiles, while the Stories page now combines the two rows of static Discover channels and Live Stories into one scrollable row of non-friend content.

The user advantage here is that instead of having to dig through your favourite Discover channels out of the whole list it is now simply a tap-and-hold process to subscribe to them so they always appear amongst the Recent Stories from accounts you’ve added. This gives publishers an extra call to action on their Discover channels and within their marketing strategy.

The Discover redesign will make building the channels more lucrative for publishers. The dynamic previews are considerably more enticing than the old  channel buttons.  The result is that it will drive click-throughs and eyeballs on the combination of videos, text articles, images, and ads featured within Discover channels.

“Shop The Look” on Google: The Digital Marketing Channel for being Everywhere

Cost: A CPC model

The idea of shopping the look has been around for a number of years with Google “Buy on Google” or “checkout” bottoms on ad search results. This was aimed to help retailers boost engagement and sales through mobile devices. Now, however Google are introducing a specific “Shop the Look” feature program for mobile, which is aiming to put a price tag on the clothes and furnishings you see in your search results.

Once a user sees a photo of the product they like, they can tap on the picture, and Google will show them that item or one similar to it. Once the ad had been clicked on, the consumers are taken to a retailer-branded product page hosted by Google. The checkout process could then be completed with saved payment information on a Google Account.

Although ”Shop the Look” is only being tested on mobile devices in the U.S., the idea is for a Q1 launch next year in the UK and take-up is expected to grow quickly.

While these channels aren’t the only ones to focus on, they are definitely the top three to watch for the next year. Any industry that is implicated in the digital sphere will be constantly changing and evolving- which is very much the case with e-commerce. E-commerce professionals must be able to adapt to these new channels and those who will attack new marketing channels early on will be the ones who will gain the most territory with consumers.

In your opinion, what’s the biggest channel to watch for next year? Tell us below or Tweet us!