Before analyzing any of the top eCommerce trends projected for 2022, let’s answer another question.
“Will eCommerce sales continue growing as they have been?”
All eyes are on that question, especially considering the unprecedented events of the past two years.
While no one can see the future, the outlook is certainly bright, and both brick and mortar stores and online stores are expected to profit. By all accounts, estimates for eCommerce growth are positive, with some such as eMarketer suggesting that eCommerce sales figures will surpass $1 trillion USD in 2022. The same source projects strong growth well through 2025 – at which point their projections estimate total eCommerce sales of over $1.6 trillion.
The takeaway? Sales are going to continue growing. Get your eCommerce store ready with these top eCommerce trends for 2022, expected to make a difference in this upcoming year and well into the future.
eCommerce Trends to Keep Your Eye On
For eCommerce businesses interested in long-term growth, sustainability is a matter of keeping ahead of approaching eCommerce trends. Think proactive, not reactive, approaches.
These top 11 trends are expected to continue shaping online retail in 2022.
1. Social media’s role will continue to grow
The growing presence of social media is not new, but it is slated to play a larger than average role in eCommerce in this upcoming year.
Social media platforms like Facebook (soon to be Meta), Instagram, and Tik Tok play a large part in the lives of their users, and most of these platforms allow shoppers to buy directly through them.
Not only do these platforms allow merchants to serve relatable, valuable textual, audio, and video content, but the ability to shop through these social platforms simplifies the online shopping experience overall.
In addition, utilizing social media platforms as sales channels enables merchants to gather extremely valuable consumer insights about user behavior and interests, something which expertly handled social media management can help streamline.
2. A website optimized for UX is a make-or-break factor
Optimizing your eCommerce platform is vital to search engine optimization, but it reaches far beyond it. Load times, site security, navigation, and other interactive features all play heavily into the user experience.
Website optimization – through insight custom eCommerce web development and custom web design projects – goes beyond offering a secure, fast eCommerce site with intuitive navigation and high-quality product imagery – although those are basic, vital features. It also gives you the ability to introduce cutting-edge technology like AR and VR into your website’s user experience, both of which are expected to have a significant impact on the customer’s online shopping experience in 2022.
3. Implementing augmented reality for a superior customer experience
Shopping online has become so popular because it is convenient, cost-effective, and secure; not to mention that for many, buying online saves them money on gas or on the price of goods purchased. The global marketplace is at consumers’ fingertips online as well.
But there is one glaring deficiency, and it is that there is no actual “in-person” online shopping experience. Customers cannot “try on” clothes, sample perfume, or otherwise interact with products that catch their attention before they buy them.
At least, they couldn’t, before augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).
Augmented and virtual reality allow online shoppers to use their mobile devices, tablets, and computers to visualize purchases and interact with products before they buy them. It could be as simple as an interactive 3D module or as robust as an application that simulates the user’s home and “plants” the products in it.
These trends are going to define eCommerce in the coming years.
4. The power of voice search: a transformative eCommerce trend
Back in the day, by which we mean just a few years ago, voice search was in its infancy. Over the past few years, it’s rapidly advanced and is quickly started to eclipse traditional methods of searching – primarily typing out a query in a search bar.
Voice search functionality has revolutionized shopping for products and services and even finding local businesses. In order to remain competitive as voice search gathers in importance, it’s going to become imperative that your business’s website is optimized for voice search.
This involves making sure that your website is optimized for information that customers search for, such as location, hours, and products and services offered. It also opens additional optimization opportunities for voice search keywords and long-tail search queries.
5. Personalization takes center stage
Personalized marketing is nothing new, but it’s becoming central to both traditional and digital marketing. It’s likely that one day, all marketing will be personalized marketing. It’s only getting more central to eCommerce brand strength and continued success in digital marketing. Personalized marketing techniques enable online businesses to make personalized product recommendations based on user behavior and interaction, past purchases, or even based on purchases other customers with similar attributes have made in the past.
A well-executed personalized marketing strategy can boost customer loyalty, improve customer satisfaction, increase customer lifetime value and result in higher sales, overall. Instead of blindly pushing products, personalization enables them to tailor their marketing strategies to the precise interests of customers on an individual basis.
6. Supply chain optimization is vital
Long lead times, slow shipping, stockouts, and other supply chain quandaries can absolutely ruin the customer experience. That has real consequences for online merchants. In recent months, we’ve all noticed the supply chain issues that are wracking the nation. Unfortunately, it looks like they’re going to continue through 2022.
No business can afford to lose customers due to supply chain inefficiencies. Improving supply chain visibility and planning procurement further into the future can help alleviate issues of short supply or delayed shipments. Investing in software to project or automate fulfillment processes may also help online businesses scale growth or effectively allocate limited resources.
7. eCommerce trends: Customer service management and automation
There is no substitute for good, responsive, attentive customer service that doesn’t just make customers feel valued but actually addresses their concerns and rectifies issues.
However, there is a time and a place for automation. It’s likely that the vast majority of customer queries could probably be addressed with a FAQ page or an automated chatbot.
Like voice search, artificial intelligence in chatbots has come a long way and can likely address the majority of client concerns without issue. You can also configure chatbots to give the customer the opportunity to bypass them in favor of a human representative if the genuine need arises.
All in all, this type of automation will keep the bulk of customers happy and well-served, while also freeing up your limited human resources.
8. Automate B2B transactions
Business to business is an interesting animal. Unlike B2C operations, B2B often involves much, much more negotiation, sometimes even the development of stringent contracts. The process of closing a deal may be longer – but often business to business sales are repeat sales and large in scope.
There’s a very real reason that these processes should be automated wherever possible. The more difficult it is for large accounts to conduct business with your organization, the more likely they are eventually to seek greener pastures elsewhere. Supply chain managers and procurement specialists don’t have time to click buttons and type out credit card information. They have other work to do; automate the process or set up a fulfillment schedule for large clients.
Invest in software that creates a fulfillment schedule, monitors inventory levels, and auto-orders for your business-to-business clients, where possible. It will save the buyer time, money, and resources and will keep both buyer and seller happy.
9. On that note, take the effort out of online purchases
The less work customers need to do, the better. One defining eCommerce trend for 2022 is to make buying as simple as possible, from the first step.
There are features that make buying possible through social media; one-click checkouts, and plug-ins that make it possible to save customer account information for future use. Let’s put it this way. You don’t want to add steps to the customer’s decision-making process once they’ve given a purchase the mental green light.
Every single button a user has to click, every field that needs to be filled out, is literally an opportunity for a customer to change his or her mind. Save information for future use, develop one-click purchasing, and your abandoned cart figures will drop while your conversions will rise. Assuming all else remains equal, that is.
Besides, this eCommerce trend is the way of the future. The sooner implemented, the better.
10. Subscription models and eCommerce: perfect together
On the topic of automation, let’s get into subscription models for a moment. This eCommerce trend may not be new for 2022, but it’s going to start picking up speed.
Subscription models basically offer customers the ability to sign up for products to be delivered as a part of a schedule. They’re typically billed on a reliable and rolling basis and know that they can expect a package every so often. One of the reasons that they are popular for consumers is that they are convenient, often entail bundled savings, and don’t require any extra legwork. One purchase can set a delivery schedule for a year or even longer. Plus, some customers give them as gifts.
But from the perspective of the merchant, they are even more valuable. Subscription models, if managed properly, are basically guaranteed income. It requires less work from both you and your customers and effectively secures you a revenue stream for some time into the future.
11. Expand payment options
The overall, average rate of shopping cart abandonment in 2021 has been over 75%. Daunting figures, especially for merchants whose living comes from online sales.
Now the good news; there are ways to diminish shopping cart abandonment, and some of them, like creating a simpler checkout experience, we touched on in this article. There’s something else you can do: expand your payment options.
Shoppers, especially younger shoppers, are more willing to use diversified payment options and may actually prefer them. Yes, accepting credit cards is a must, but in 2022, you’re going to need to expand to in-app payments and mobile wallets. Consider supporting or accepting Google Pay, PayPal, Apple Wallet, or platforms like Bolt or Stripe to streamline payment processing.
Making Sense of Continuing eCommerce Trends
These are some of the top eCommerce trends that you can expect to transform the online marketplace in 2022. More accurately, you can expect them to continue transforming the online marketplace in 2022. It’s already underway.
Savvy entrepreneurs require savvy partners to encourage growth and help them tackle challenges. Don’t feel like you’re on your own with implementing any of these changes. Our experts draw talent from all over the world and specialize in digital marketing, eCommerce website design and development, support, migration, and strategic planning.
Whether your personal goals for 2022 are significant organic growth through eCommerce SEO, optimizing your PPC campaign through expertly handled PPC management services, or a completely new, rebranded, custom web design with all-new features and functionality, there’s only 1DigitalⓇ for that.
Give our eCommerce experts a call at 888-982-8269 or contact us by email at email@example.com. We’re ready to help you enter 2022 with confidence by staying ahead of some of these eCommerce trends.
- Michael Esposito
- November 19, 2021