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Businesses Move Deeper into Data Mining, E-Commerce

U.S. consumers have moved to an e-commerce paradigm: While they may still shop in bricks-and-mortar stores, any business that doesn’t have e-commerce capability runs the risk of losing out.

That means that businesses are increasingly concerned with marketing their e-commerce presence. In fact, 76% of marketers surveyed are hiking the investments they make in e-commerce during 2019, seeing a forecast $3.5 trillion possibility there, according to industry publication Marketing Dive.

The number of categories utilizing e-commerce is also likely to rise, according to Marketing Dive, ensuring they are competitive with Amazon and its Chinese counterpart-and-more Alibaba. Case in point? Consumer products Procter & Gamble, whose business leadership has designated a fabric care e-commerce line; Tide’s Eco-Box will be the first out of the chute.

P&G is looking partly at the direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands as well as online retailers. Mattress company Casper and eyeglass retailer Warby Parker are just two retailers that have successfully built businesses primarily by selling DTC via an e-commerce channel. Consumers view them as offering high quality and cost savings by cutting out the middleman.

Data mining will continue to be a marketing trend, with an increased focus on privacy and security.

…as Will Data Mining and Protection

In 2018, marketing firms continued to mine consumer data and look at technology news solutions to let them mine more of it, more fully. Firms based in the U.S. spent over $19 billion, a 17% climb from 2017 levels.

At the same time, though, data capture and mining fell under widespread scrutiny. In the European Union, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) became law, safeguarding privacy and giving consumers new protections. Marketing Dive points out that the GDPR is likely to spur more investment in cybersecurity and ensuring transparency.

In the U.S., the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which tightens data privacy standards within the state of California, is slated for 2020. Marketers are also anticipating the possibility of more state laws – or Federal action on data privacy.

In fact, many marketers and business leadership see a welter of state laws as a potential nightmare, as they would have the potential to be inconsistent and contradictory about what can and can’t be done. Many industry leaders, such as Apple’s Tim Cook, have called for regulation of data privacy at the Federal level.

So, while data capture and monitoring are likely to continue to be important to marketers in 2019, a related marketing trend is coming into view. It’s communicating business concern about data and privacy violations, and building a transparent framework about what is shared and how. The businesses that successful capitalize on consumer concern are likely to be marketing winners in the long run.