Those who use smartphones for calls, Google for web searches, and Facebook to stay connected are a little behind the times. Even eBay is no longer just a platform to sell all sorts of things, as Amazon is not only about books.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies were forced to move their businesses online. Life under the lockdown smashed the world into pieces. Instead of long-term planning, a situational approach now takes center stage. Companies should quickly refurbish themselves digitally and automatically as potential clients transfer to the online space. This shift in consumer demand forms new e-commerce trends. Some kept going along the traditional business route, while others took a chance to embrace their target audience.
Statista predicts the turnover of retail e-commerce will exceed $6.1 billion by 2023.
eMarketer gives the same numbers:
Experts are on the same page, and claim e-commerce will thrive. Still, a bright future goes hand in hand with risks and uncertainty, which makes potential newcomers rather skeptical. Rain checking can be good sometimes, but that is not the case here. If a brand or retailer wants to come up roses, it is better to be aware of current trends and get on board when building out a strategy.
We have made a list of the seven hottest e-commerce trends in 2022, which might give you new ideas, settle down pressing ones, and make your business even more successful over time.
During the pandemic, marketplaces became virtual substitutions for offline shopping centers. Still, shopping was not the only priority here for consumers but also a breathing moment in troubled times. The marketplace is an online version of a shopping center for many users. The trend of online purchases through trading platforms is trending up. Forrester has predicted that 17% of all transactions will be through marketplaces by 2023.
People prefer to buy everything they need in one place, filling their baskets with different products and brands. It is much easier to shop, get delivery and make returns with a broad product offering. Amazon and Walmart have the expertise and infrastructure to meet the demands of today's customers. And other niche trading platforms such as Etsy are dawning.
At first glance, marketplaces could be considered the leading platform with low entry barriers. You can take advantage of a marketplace’s strong points, such as significant traffic coverage, speed of delivery and big-business experience.
Yet, you are likely to stumble over the high competition in these spaces and the need to comply with the rules and standards of the site. The need to coordinate special offers and discounts and the inability to use marketing strategies or repeat sales techniques dramatically limit interaction with consumers.
Steady businesses should consider the marketplace as one of several channels rather than solely counting on it.
Up to 73% of shoppers use multiple channels when buying things online. However, 88% are marked with Research Online Purchase Offline (ROPO) behavior. ROPO refers to documented customer behavior where customers consult online sources such as reviews, eCommerce stores and expert opinions before purchasing in-store.
It is not enough to provide sufficient common ground between customers and a brand. Businesses must synchronize channels and preserve the unity of communications by combining different channels into one system for a continuous customer experience.
Omnichannel covers e-commerce for your customers, no matter what device or platform they side with. So, companies with robust omnichannel customer engagement strategies achieve 91% greater year-over-year customer retention rates than companies with weak omnichannel strategies.
Even though many companies tend to dodge it, omnichannel is expected to take off. Managing such sales is not easy, but it gives a competitive edge and encourages awareness and loyalty, boosting companies’ conversion and revenue.
Information overload occurs regularly and severely fractures our ability to analyze and process it. The average customer does not want to search an entire extensive catalog, study the complete list of services and goods or examine purchase conditions.
When shopping online, we leave a digital footprint, including information about our preferences. This big data comes in handy – if e-commerce players are in for analyzing this information and personalizing offers. Companies will strive to offer customers exactly the product and service they need. This, in turn, is what 50% of customers want to see when visiting any online store.
Personalization aims to create long-term relationships with customers. Studies show that 48% of customers spend more when their shopping experience is personalized. For example, Enfamil, an American infant formula brand, requests the date of birth from future mothers, inviting them to sign up for the mailing list. It enables the company to provide up-to-date information throughout pregnancy and as the child grows.
Setting search options in the pull-down menu is one way to save a consumer’s time and effort. Still, in reality, the ability to navigate consumers to a product they need before they immerse themselves in the quest for it is a true hallmark of excellence. To do this, one should scrutinize the target audience, which is time-consuming at times.
It is worth doing anyway because the results are a solid background for supply control and efficient production. You may be stunned if you picture a third of agricultural products thrown in a landfill, which is pretty much the same for other industries because the economy unleashes excessive production bringing upward adjustments to cover costs.
However, e-commerce trend players would anticipate products in demand by creating a shopping basket tackling ecological issues along the way. Good thing, right?
The human brain processes visual informatio 60,000 times faster than text – what a sledgehammer argument for visual marketing.
Online shopping lacks a natural connection; it is rather challenging to win customers’ appeal without putting visual communications into effect.
Static photos are not easy to come up with off the top of your head compared to a winning retail display idea. But seasoned entrepreneurs evolved into other types of visual elements, such as videos, animations, interactive content, reposts of customers and partner feedback, as well as the introduction of augmented reality elements.
By 2022, online platforms will spend about $7.3 billion on artificial intelligence, with more than 120,000 current stores using augmented reality (AR) technology. For example, 3D models are directly projected onto physical things or fused in real-time, which could become a powerful tool to increase sales in your e-commerce shop.
Artificial intelligence embodied in augmented reality format is a great option for customer support. Still, it pushes sales leads as a sales associate naturally does, giving individual recommendations and filtering goods or services. Over and above, it settles down customers' desire to get a little bit more contextual information about the product. Now, they are free to look at more tangible characteristics, such as the actual size.
Software lets customers try on and examine everything virtually without any delivery. For example, fashion stores offer smart mirror technology that enables customers to change clothes, colors and patterns effortlessly and instantly. Apple offers the option of "fitting" watches, and IKEA can embed furniture directly into the interior of your room.
Nothing can motivate more than numbers. So, it goes without saying that mobile technology is a real sales lifter. Mobile apps are approachable, making purchases from anywhere, a natural necessity for businesses worldwide. Customers seek usability and online payment solutions. Adaptive sites should be made with the user in mind. Common sense holds that people get impatient and bounce if a site doesn’t load in two seconds or less or doesn’t fit the user's device size and resolution.
If something costs you an arm and a leg, it is best to use your head at that moment. The user wants their smartphone to provide the necessary information with a large photo, a full description and characteristics. Video summary, reviews and product ratings will also be examined, including filters, payment and delivery conditions. The design is to bridge the gap between your product and the buyer. The desktop and mobile versions of the site should be equivalent in terms of convenience, informativeness and functionality, as one often selects and searches on a mobile device, then buys on a desktop.
Keep an eye on traffic distribution. Remember that if the conversion and output rate on a mobile device are significantly lower than on desktop ones, it is a wake-up call to check usability. Maybe there is something users are unhappy about.
If mobile traffic prevails, it makes sense to use the mobile-first approach, designing for the smallest screens first and then working your way up to larger screens. What it boils down to is that the smallest designs will have only the essential features, so you can pinpoint the most important UX components of the product.
Do not downplay mobile purchase particularities. Alternative payment options are always a good idea. Interface and applicability are relevant as well. Plus, society is mobile obsessed and more dependent on digital devices than ever.
Social networks proliferate quickly. Diversity of format and targeting options have brought a 25% media consumption rise over several years. If you’re a brand today, there’s a non-zero chance you’re on social media in some way, shape or form. Social media referrals to retail/e-commerce sites have grown 110% over the past two years, outpacing all other referral channels, so media presence strategies can be the fuel that takes a company to the next level. Never forget that the brand that does not have an active presence in social networks is dead and buried.
Social e-commerce involves redirecting users from social networks to the retailer’s product page and checking out directly from social platforms. Some platforms and messengers are still in testing stages (YouTube, TikTok), while others are already complete with shopping options (Facebook Shops, WhatsApp (the "Store" function)) introduced. Removing excessive steps creates a more frictionless journey for the customer and streamlines the buying process.
Emulate your audience and go into the channels they fall back on—online stores, social networks, marketplace, offline outlets, etc.
A fitted brand promotion strategy in social networks can drum up new traffic, rocket sales and make the brand noticeable and recognizable. What for? It's a no-brainer. Everyone wants to reach the right audience, converting brand novices into regular adherents and, if possible, ‘brand ambassadors.
The influencer marketing industry is constantly evolving, and it is expected to grow to $13.8 billion in 2022. Brands are already using opinion leaders to attract customers. So, brand ambassadors and influencers, booming on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and so on, sound like a nice plan to cover the content shortage that may occur in several years. Investing in this type of advertisement is a leg up to track the reach and audience. Presently, brands collaborate with influencers on Instagram (67%). With that in mind, TikTok is about to carry the day.
66% of consumers trust opinions posted online. However, be mindful; the fewer subscribers an influencer has, the more engagement its content shows. So perhaps it is worth thinking about cooperation with micro-influencers rather than with movers and shakers.
With Hypetrain advanced Search&Analytics tool you will be able to create a list of local or micro-bloggers who share your brand’s values in a few clicks. Build relationships with them by helping to expand their audience or by providing free products. Do not oversee everything. Just be supportive, not limiting.
Apply the latest features in social networks because the algorithm rewards users for it. For example, Reels on Instagram gets more organic reach than regular posts or stories. So, every time something new is available - don’t hesitate and go for it.
In these shaky times, e-commerce struggles to find balance and adjusts its trends to ongoing growth of needs and expectations. The thing all trends are engaged in is creating a better customer experience.
Yet, mainstream trends should not override customers' priorities. Different businesses benefit from different strategies. For some, automation is a great way out, while it is not successful for others. Conduct surveys, study reviews and test hypotheses. Right decisions come while working hands-on.
We hope this article has equipped you with enough knowledge and inspiration to engage in e-commerce trends.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask. We are always within your grasp.