8 Top E-Commerce Trends To Watch In 2022

It’s safe to say that the eCommerce trends in 2021 were marked by a dramatic shift away from traditional retail outlets to eCommerce stores. As lockdowns forced people online, eCommerce stores received a boost to their traffic - many exceeding their sales predictions in a matter of months. As we look towards 2022, eCommerce retailers should be implementing the lessons learnt over the last two years. If we’ve learnt anything it should be that businesses must be able to adapt to new eCommerce trends and practices in a short time frame with ease. In 2022, there are new eCommerce trends emerging - this article will highlight the top 8 trends to watch out for coming into the new year.

What is e-commerce?

It’s hard to find a person in the developed world who hasn’t had some sort of interaction with an eCommerce site. Capturing eCommerce in a snapshot is the method of selling products/services and processing payment through an online platform rather than a traditional brick- and- mortar store. Many traditional retailers also have an eCommerce offering to complement their physical locations - while some retailers are entirely online!

Understanding the e-commerce landscape

The eCommerce landscape has changed dramatically since the creation of the internet. Big companies like Amazon and eBay revolutionized the eCommerce space in the early days of the internet. The new eCommerce landscape is dominated by SMEs who are transitioning away from traditional physical locations. Many businesses had plans to do this over the next few years - however, the pandemic has expedited this process.

The rise of new technology and software is propelling forward the eCommerce landscape into 2022. Pricing models such as the subscription model are increasing in popularity more than ever as is the push to increase the personalised approach to eCommerce shopping. As online shopping trends shift, it is each eCommerce business’s role to observe the changes and implement them into their offering. Here are some of the top trends to watch if you operate an eCommerce business in 2022.

1. The continued rise of omnichannel

The pandemic has supercharged the growth of Omnichannel operations in eCommerce stores worldwide. In a survey conducted by Square and Atlantic Brand Partners, it was found that 45% of respondents said they added new channels to their businesses during the pandemic. The multiple contact points that businesses now have with their customers is here to stay - as the true success of the omnichannel approach is realised more every quarter, we are expecting to see more businesses adopt different channels to engage with their customers.

As Artificial Intelligence (AI) improves the trend of voice shopping only increases. Major companies like Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft have all adopted some form of voice shopping - a channel they deem to be the future of eCommerce. A report by OC&C Strategy Consultants predicts that voice spending will grow to over $40 billion in 2022!

Hold up! Are you asking what voice shopping is?

Voice shopping is the act by which a consumer orders a product through a virtual assistant such as the Amazon Alexa or Apple Homepod service. These artificial intelligence devices will hear what the consumer says and subsequently order the desired product to be delivered promptly.

3. Increase in subscription models

Subscription models aren’t new. They have been around since the birth of the internet - however, the rise in their popularity has been exponential. Services like Netflix have brought the pricing model into the mainstream and normalised its adoption as common place. Subscription models lessen the burden on the consumer to pay a large amount upfront - by paying in timely instalments, the consumer is placed under less financial stress and is more likely to feel comfortable with the purchase. A Subscription model may increase traffic to your website as consumers seek new players in the industry who are offering an old product/service in the new model.

4. Heavier reliance on AI

As artificial intelligence (AI) demonstrates its efficiency in business operations, companies will aim to implement greater AI-augmented automation in their operations. In a survey conducted by Appen on how businesses use AI, over 49% of them used AI to develop new products, 45% used AI to reduce business costs, and 48% used AI to support general business operations. Implementing AI into your eCommerce business may help you streamline your operations, with an emphasis placed on efficiency.

5. Chatbots offer more personalised shopping experiences

Providing great customer service is critical for all businesses - ensuring that your customers feel respected and understood is paramount. Offering a personalised experience can be as little as farewelling or thanking the customer by name. Or by reaching out to get feedback on their order. Chatbots can help businesses offer a more personalised approach to their customers shopping experience - available on most sites as a plugin, chatbots allow automatic support messages and customer outreach services to website viewers. Whether it is providing customer support or reaching out to provide a discount, chatbots are a method by which eCommerce can be made increasingly personal.

6. Corporate sustainability becomes a bigger priority

As activists increase consumer awareness on issues of social injustice and sustainability - consumers are calling on businesses to provide active strategies to play their part. Whether this is offsetting business operations with carbon credits or inviting consumers to round up their purchases for charity - buyers worldwide are looking to businesses with strong corporate sustainability. If you are unsure of how your business can participate - reach out to your customers, discover what causes are important to them and act!

7. More ways to pay

The transition away from paying the full amount at checkout to Buy Now, Pay Later options has been remarkable. Players like Afterpay and Zip to name a few have revolutionized the way in which consumers pay for their goods and services online. Consumers are now more likely to purchase from a site if it offers a Buy Now, Pay Later option as they can buy more at a reduced cost in the short term. Across Australia and New Zealand, Afterpay has approximately 3.6 million active customers - this massive database of consumers is always looking for the next place to purchase their goods/services. Can your business benefit from the eCommerce payment trends by implementing Buy Now, Pay Later options?

Smartphones as we know them have been around since 2007 - ever since their release, the transition to mobile commerce has been rapidly increasing. As the pandemic hit and users sat on their couches scrolling through product pages, there was an unprecedented rise in mobile purchasing. 45% of eCommerce purchases in the US are made through mobile sites. This rise in demand for mobile-optimised eCommerce sites is expected to continue into 2022. Not all eCommerce sites are easily accessible on mobile devices, to ensure you are staying up to date with the trends, consult an expert to see how you can optimise for eCommerce web design trends.

Square has a wealth of resources to help businesses navigate emerging eCommerce trends. Filter content by topic, business type, and content type to ensure you are getting accurate information for your industry. Gain an insight into current trends, understand what other businesses are doing, and learn techniques that are revolutionising your industry. Visit Townsquare to learn more today!

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