We’re in the third year of the pandemic, and eCommerce trends are changing faster than ever before.
The year 2020 forced retailers to go online.
2021 showed that a fast and secure online store wasn’t enough for business growth. But a focus on customer buying journey and personalization did the trick to yield sales.
2022 poses new challenges for businesses that wish to stay afloat. Data privacy changes, supply chain issues, and the rise of web3 are about to shift the eCommerce landscape. And given that worldwide eCommerce sales will exceed $5 trillion this year, it seems to be worth hopping on the e Commerce future trends and getting your fair share of a pie.
At Elogic, we strive to keep our finger on the pulse of eCommerce news and trends. Having examined mountains of data from the leading eCommerce experts, analysts, and managers, we’ve decided to bring top eCommerce trends 2022 to you in this article.
Take your notepad and start writing down which eCommerce website trends will benefit your business this year to give your online customers what they want before they even know it.
#1 Omnichannel Commerce
Omnichannel retail is all about consistent, coordinated customer experience across multiple sales channels.
This ecommerce trend was emerging for quite some time but blew up in a recent year: as the stores reopen in the new normal, consumers mix online and offline shopping and bring their digital-focused preferences in-store. According to 2022 Omnichannel Leadership Report, such consumer behavior results in
- 57% of brands supporting endless aisle purchases: they shore up the sale in-store by accessing and selling inventory to customers from across their online networks;
- 44% of brands showing their inventory availability online: the customers research the product online and pick it up in-store, and brands builds trust with consumers that your products are where you say they are.
- 80% of brands offering buy online return in-store (BORIS) policy: a seamless and positive returns experience will ensure customers will come back to buy again.
Swapping between digital and offline channels should be coherent, though. Remember: omnichannel retail delivers convenience for customers, and your job as a brand is to stand out from the crowd of thousands of brands applying the same approach.
The least you can do is to stay consistent in your omnichannel marketing, especially if you’re operating in the direct-to-consumer (DTC) sector. Focus on community building and create a value proposition beyond the product itself. That implies everything from branded content to the in-store shopping experience to online community engagement.
“We use a holistic marketing approach that hits all the bells and whistles to target our consumers. The key for us is meaningful content, storytelling, and partnerships across all channels. That means speaking to our consumers the right way, meeting them where they are. For us, that’s been our best way to retain consumers.”— says Madeline Fraser, Founder, and CEO of a DTC brand Gemist
#2 Mobile Commerce
Mobile is becoming the new frontier for shopping experiences. Insider Intelligence forecasts mCommerce volume to hit $620.97 billion, or 42.9% of eCommerce, in 2024. As mobile UI is getting more sophisticated alongside payment methods, customer conversion rates are also expected to grow.
At this point, mobile eCommerce website optimization is not a necessity but a must, including speed optimization, seamless checkout experience, and product page alterations like putting 200 character product descriptions just above the fold and integrating the “back-to-top” button.
#3 Multiple Payment Options
We live in a time when money’s not an issue: cash, credit card, mobile wallets, cryptocurrency — you name it, a retailer’s got it. In 2021, 38% of merchants reported expanding their digital payment options. This number is forecasted to grow to 53% in 2022 as the momentum for multiple payment options is poised to grow at an accelerated rate.
People seek a frictionless shopping experience, so these 2022 ecommerce trends are affecting the B2B market. Their orders are repeatable and sizable which demands specific payment options, like online direct debit, net terms (in-house credit or white-labeled credit management), cards (open loop or closed loop), or PayPal.
Here’s an example of a B2B industrial automation retailer Wexon. After the integration of multiple payment solutions, the brand has observed a significant decrease in cart abandonment rate and an increase in conversions. Check out the case study for more details!
The social impact of the business means as much as the product quality now, especially when it comes to targeting Gen Z. Globally, 85 percent of consumers have shifted their purchase behavior towards sustainability in the past five years, with one-third of the respondents being Millennials.
“Companies that don’t have sustainability as part of their core value proposition need to act now to protect against future reputational impacts and loss of market share.”
says Shikha Jain, author of The Global Sustainability Study 2021 and Partner at Simon-Kucher & Partners.
The least retailers can do is to make sure they are ethically produced, recyclable, and wrapped in the least possible amount of packaging. If you want your brand to have an even bigger positive impact, you can consider supporting some environmental organization or starting a social media campaign to promote sustainability. Make sure to articulate your sustainability values on the website.
Note: don’t use a cause without believing in it – people can feel when it’s fake. Sustainability has a lot of aspects, so pick a topic that most resonates with your brand values.
#5 B2B Ecommerce Future Trends
B2B marketing will be picking up a lot of peculiarities of B2C, which has all the chances to make the eCommerce trends 2025 list. About 80% of B2B sales interactions will be digital by 2025, so B2B website functionality matters more than ever.
One of the most interesting shifts in B2B eCommerce is that brands would switch from lead to demand generation:
- Lead generation is about a strategic content marketing approach focused on converting brand-aware prospects into paying customers
- Demand generation is used to create awareness and interest around your brand by showing its value without actively pushing prospects to become paying customers
To generate demand for their product and showcase its value, B2B companies need to leverage their network which includes social media pages and communities around the brand. They also can consider publishing articles in mainstream media to increase awareness about them.
Chris Walker, CEO of Refine Labs and a guru of B2B marketing, says that you want to think about how to attract a customer by meaningfulness and expertise of your brand. Capture demand where your potential buyers are demonstrating intent to buy: in Google search (paid & organic), on review sites (like G2, TrustRadius, etc.), with affiliates & aggregators (like Software Advice, Affiliate blogs, etc.). This way, it will be much easier to design a delightful, efficient buying experience for B2B executives/buying groups that have declared clear intent to buy from you.
Check out more B2B ecommerce industry trends in his LinkedIn post.
When a consumer walks into the store, a shop assistant might ask if they’re looking for anything specific or start with small talk. This rapport is quite tricky online, but not with a chat feature.
Being one of the fastest-growing eCommerce industry trends, chatbots will engage your shoppers in the discovery phase and gauge their buying intent. They will also alleviate the pain of operation processing: handling numerous clients at once, they can easily deal with 68,9% of the inquiries from start to finish.
Chatbots also work 24/7 without mistakes, which presents a great cost reduction opportunity for those businesses who have to deal with night shifts in customer service or an influx of tickets in the morning.
#7 Augmented Reality / eCommerce Metaverse
AR and metaverse do not seem like some crazy sci-fi novel trope but a part of reality in 2022. With businesses starting to use blockchain, NFTs, and cryptocurrency, it becomes pretty evident.
NFTs, in particular, is one of the most recent trends in eCommerce. The number of NFT art sales hit $25 billion in 2021. Nike has already bought an NFT-making shoe company, Clinique ran an NFT contest, and Taco Bell made a taco GIF NFT and donated the money for educational purposes. There are a lot of use cases for almost any brand, and you should definitely become a part of a metaverse before it’s too late.
With all the data available at marketers’ hands, it’s the era of personalization. Around 80% of customers are more likely to buy from a business that provides a great personalized experience, and 47% will go to Amazon if they do not receive personalized product recommendations.
In order to deliver the best-personalized experience, you will need to invest in tech personalization tools. For instance, thanks to Magento Mailchimp integration, Helvetiq can now send personalized emails based on the user product search history as well as automated campaigns for product announcements.
Your personalization strategy may go way beyond emails: now it’s also about the personalized product and content suggestions, chatbot messages with relevant deals, and unique recommendations when it comes to wellness, for example.
#9 Subscriptions and Loyalty Programs
Subscriptions and loyalty programs have been around for a while, but they’re trending again blockchain gave a second life for financial literacy. Customer loyalty programs are ubiquitous, accounting for more than 3.3 billion memberships in the United States alone.
After the concept of NFT in eCommerce was introduced, businesses saw them as a way of loyalty and community building as well. You can create an exclusive club of NFT owners and offer them the following benefits:
- Community chats and events. Holders of the brand’s NFTs can get access to private chats and events where they can communicate with like-minded people and find exclusive information about the brand’s deals.
- Private sales. Businesses can offer private product sales to the NFT holders. Customers get a lower price during the private sale and can resell the product afterward in order to make some profit.
- Exclusive drops. Brands can send out their NFTs or tokens to the customers’ wallets during holidays or as rewards for customers who’ve been loyal to the company over a certain period of time.
#10 Social Commerce
Social commerce is turning into a classic, and this year it does not leave the eCommerce business trends as well.
In 2022, selling directly via social media channels, like Instagram and Pinterest, goes way beyond sharing pictures and quoting prices. Businesses can raise awareness about their products, encourage user-generated content, and invite influencers to collaborate. Social networks also play a vital role in product discovery: 60% of users discover new products through Instagram, and 130 million users click on shoppable posts every month.
It’s a trend that everyone can take part in:
- Small businesses can get started really easily, they do not even need a website. A local brand or beginning entrepreneur can easily test online selling channels through social media with little monetary investment.
- Mid-sized brands can see it as an additional sales channel, with shoppable images or videos on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.
- Enterprises may enjoy the awareness-raising and very close engagement with the audience.
TikTok has really blown up the trend. Brands leverage this entertainment platform to add a more personal touch to their interactions with customers. It’s important to understand that TikTok is in the early stage of its development, and more and more people who influence the purchasing decisions inside big B2B groups are moving there. In the long run, a strong presence on this platform will benefit not only B2C but also B2B companies.
#11 Video Marketing
People are visual and they always choose a good video over text: at least 72% of consumers agree to that. Images are a good start too, but they’re still accompanied by text or do not show and explain the product as well as the video does.
There is a lot to video marketing: it’s about social media shoppable video posts and stories, TikTok short videos, live video streaming, and interactive videos. Your opportunities are endless. Just make sure that your videos grab attention from the first three-second and they do not last longer than a minute (in the case of social media – lives can be much longer).
#12 Conversion Rate Optimization
As consumer behavior dictates the new trends in eCommerce, retailers should take a more disruptive approach towards conversion rate optimization (CRO). It is about constantly testing various elements on your store in order to increase the number of visitors who successfully complete the desired action.
Currently, the average conversion rate for eCommerce stores is 2.86%. But you can boost this percentage by improving the quality of product images, refining the CTAs, simplifying the checkout process, offering free shipping and discounts, adding more customer reviews, providing multiple secure payment options, etc.
Amazon is a perfect case in point. Just check out the results of their CRO-related personalization efforts: users who click on recommendations convert 5.5 times better than users who don’t.
#13 Livestream and Conversational Shopping
Livestreams are trendy again – and retailers can sell online, launch sales, or give immediate discounts. In the digital world, where there are mostly chatbots and checkouts with options “do not call me back”, it’s nice to see a human face behind the sales.
Live eCommerce is one of the latest eCommerce trends in China – it’s expected to reach $423 billion in sales by 2022. Alibaba was one of the companies to use the wave of popularity and their live for the Single’s Day presale generated $7,5 billion in just 30 minutes.
#14 Headless Commerce
Headless commerce is about the architecture of your eCommerce platform – the back-end and front-end are detached and communicate through APIs. It makes the system faster and more flexible, allowing you to add new storefronts, scale up and down, or perform A/B testing in no time. And the beauty of development on such headless eCommerce platforms is minimum downtimes.
Adobe Commerce development, for example, opens new horizons for headless commerce. Thanks to the flexible back-end (and support of the dedicated team, if you choose to partner with Elogic), you can build, maintain, and change your online store faster to react to the outside trends and changes.
#15 Voice Search
After Google Assistant and Alexa launched, the search function has changed forever causing new eCommerce buying trends. As of now, 41% of adults use voice search at least once a day, and this trend offers multiple benefits for people of all ages:
- Gen Z and young people can satisfy their need for receiving instant replies to their questions
- The older generation that may suffer from visual or motor impairment use voice search as an easier alternative to the regular one
Voice search also improves web operability for users with some form of disability. Read more on what is web accessibility in a related article.
It comes with certain novelties in SEO: you’ll have to use long-tail keywords (with more than three words), incorporate possible voice assistant questions in pages, and write way simpler and shorter texts for your descriptions since they will be heard, not read.
If you’ve made it until here and your head goes round from the amount of info on top ecommerce trends 2022, take a deep breath and count to three:
- Consider your business: invest in the trend that aligns with your priorities, not out of competition with others. While omnichannel retail might be a great move for all retailers to expand your sales channels, voice commerce may not be the right fit if you operate in B2B.
- Gather insights about your target audience: some of them use voice assistants and some hate it, one prefers to skim through the text rather than watch a 15-minute YouTube video, others block all the cookies because they love their privacy more than personalized recommendations.
- Think of your resources: you might be tempted to tap into ecommerce metaverse, but there’s no point in introducing NFTs if your business isn’t digitally mature.
The answer to these questions will bring you to the perfect trend. And rest assured: we’ll be here waiting for any choice you make.