A new year brings a whole host of new strategies for eCommerce retailers. Whether it’s technological developments, changes to the customer buying journey or new marketplaces to consider, the eCommerce world is constantly evolving.
During the pandemic, shoppers changed how they purchased goods, with more than 150 million people making their first online purchase in 2020. Since then, the number of online shoppers has continued to rise, and eCommerce retailers have had to adapt and evolve to ensure they’re investing in the best possible eCommerce channels and marketing.
eCommerce Trends for 2022
In 2022, the focus will still be on offering online consumers the best possible shopping experience, but what other trends do retailers need to prepare for?
1. Social Media Commerce
It’s predicted that by 2024, 187.5 million shoppers in America will have made a purchase using a mobile app on their phone (Statista). While mobile shopping is far from a new trend, the emergence of dedicated in-app shopping from social media channels is something to watch out for.
A recent Facebook study showed that around 63% of its users primarily use the app for shopping activities. Social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok now give shoppers the ability to purchase items directly from the app, without users having to leave to visit a web store.
With social media playing such a huge part in our everyday lives, eCommerce businesses will need to collaborate with these platforms to offer customers a seamless social shopping experience.
To learn more, take a look at this in-depth study from Facebook on Understanding the shopping journey of the connected consumer.
2. Omnichannel Retail
It comes as no surprise that the more marketplaces you sell through, the more clients you will attract. Omnichannel retail simply means selling your goods across multiple channels, whether it’s marketplaces such as Amazon, Etsy, eBay or Wish, social media channels, or physical and online stores.
By ensuring your products are available across multiple channels, you are increasing the overall visibility of your brand on the web, and according to Google, an omnichannel strategy can drive 80% more incremental store visits.
In a post-pandemic world, having an eCommerce store is a necessity, not a luxury, and retailers must look to synchronise their digital platforms to offer shoppers a multi-channel experience that is second to none. Once you have established an omnichannel retail strategy, the next step is to ensure accurate visibility across all of your different channels.
Expandly provides a unified dashboard that gives you your multi-channel sales data in real-time, saving you time and money as you provide your customers with seamless interaction across all sales channels.
Find out more about Expandy’s multi-channel integration software.
3. Augmented Reality
Whether you’re a global name or a local business, in 2022, augmented reality will likely be discussed as a way to enhance the user experience. Augmented reality uses a phone or video viewer to project virtual images or characters into the physical world. In eCommerce, augmented reality has already been adopted as a strategy by big-name brands through interactive virtual changing rooms or viewing products in your own home. One of the first adopters of this technology was Ikea, who launched their Ikea Place app to give customers the chance to experience their product catalogue like never before. The app allows users to virtually place true-to-scale 3D models in their home, using the latest augmented reality technology to help users find the perfect products for their space.
It’s expected that more eCommerce retailers will adopt some version of augmented reality technology over the next few years. This could be through updating product imagery to 360-degree photographs and videos or developing a visual search tool that makes it easy for customers to search for what they need.
This Shopify deep dive into augmented reality in eCommerce is a great way to learn more about this ever-evolving technology.
4. Subscription-Based Shopping
The rise in subscription base shopping models in eCommerce is relatively new, but it highlights the need for brands to get creative when it comes to customer retention. In the highly competitive eCommerce industry, it’s likely that customers won’t return after making their first purchase. Whether they’ve found a lower price, faster delivery, better communication or have simply forgotten where they first shopped, there are always competitors ready to swoop in!
Subscription-based shopping is a great way to combat this and ensure that your customers stick with your brand for longer. There are various ways to launch a subscription-based shopping model to your eCommerce store, allowing retailers to create a bespoke ‘package’ that best serves their customers. Fashion retailers such as ASOS and Boohoo are great examples of this, launching a ‘Premier’ subscription model that offers benefits such as free shipping, exclusive discounts, birthday voucher codes and early access to sales and new product lines. Another example of the subscription model at work is Amazon’s ‘Subscribe and Save’. This programme allows shoppers to create a replenishment subscription for groceries and household goods, removing the need to search for the items on other platforms when it comes to making an order.
By signing up for a set term, usually 6-12 months, shoppers start to become familiar with the benefits offered and often place more orders to ensure an ROI on their subscription. With benefits for both eCommerce businesses and shoppers, this is set to be a quickly adopted eCommerce trend in 2022.
Want to find out more? Take a look at Expert Market’s 5 Best Ecommerce Platforms for Subscriptions.
5. Sustainable Shopping Initiatives
The 2021 European eCommerce report highlighted that customers are more likely to purchase products that have been made and delivered sustainably. As environmental concerns escalate across the globe, retailers of all sizes must consider their impact and adapt their business models to become more sustainable. For eCommerce businesses, this means looking at processes, packaging and other commitments they can make to promote a greener future.
Many global brands have already upped their pledge to run a sustainable business; Lego has reduced packaging and increased recycling rates while Apple uses 100% renewable energy in its production facilities.
Regardless of the size of your business, there are steps that you can take to make your business sustainable.
- Reduce the amount of packaging used when shipping
- Switch to recycled packaging materials and compostable plastic
- Source packaging materials locally to reduce transportation emission
In 2022, it is expected that sustainability will play an integral part in the buying journey, with customers paying more for products from brands that commit to sustainability. To find out more about how you can switch, take a look at Five Ecommerce Brands With Sustainable Business Models.
Adapt, evolve & grow your business
Technology has always played a huge part in transforming eCommerce customers’ needs and shopping behaviours. In order to maintain customer satisfaction and to retain a competitive edge in the market, businesses have to adapt and evolve to meet these changing needs. As eCommerce business owners, it’s vital that you stay up to date with the latest trends as well as ensure that you adapt and evolve your strategies quickly to avoid falling behind.
The Expandly platform is a great way to ensure you can stay ahead of the fast-paced eCommerce world, letting our innovative platform take care of multichannel sales while you focus on growing your business. To find out more about how we can help take the stress out of sales, why not book your Expandly demo today?