The eCommerce industry has been growing exponentially and showing no signs of slowing down. The Covid-19 pandemic has also altered the eCommerce trends significantly.
This projection has triggered the resellers to take a step forward in their online journey, and provide one of the best shopping experiences to the customers, as well as to adapt to their changing expectations. The eCommerce industry has made a fundamental shift from just being an online store set-up with basic features, to offering the latest features and focussing on providing the best buying experiences to the customers.
A Glimpse of eCommerce in 2021
Because of the pandemic, the year 2020 became etched in history as a year of business disruption. However, the year 2021 ushered in multiple changes and transformations as a result of rapid growth in the eCommerce industry.
By the end of 2021, global eCommerce sales amounted to approximately USD 4.9 trillion. The year 2022 is expected to clock USD 5.4 trillion in eCommerce sales. Not only is there rapid growth in the eCommerce space, but also there’s the emergence of new trends. Hence, it has become necessary for brands to follow customer trends and tweak their business models accordingly so that they don’t fall behind their competitors.
On that note, let’s take a look at some of the future trends in online shopping that you should watch out for in 2022 in the next section.
eCommerce Trends to Watch in 2022
Here are the insights into the future of eCommerce, which when implemented by the organization, results in sizeable ROI:
#1 Branding is Necessary
According to the surveys conducted by Future of Commerce, marketers underestimate the power of branding. Around 70 percent of the marketers were spotted reducing their budgets on brand building to expand the resources on performance-based advertising. Although online shopping return rates are important, it is also worthwhile to note that consumers purchase products from only those brands that come to their minds instantly. Over 80 percent of the consumers conduct online research before buying the products, and the only thing that differentiates is the brand name.
A strong brand draws more organic traffic, retains more customers, and also sustains high prices, even when faced with intense competition. Hence, branding is important thereby providing significant eCommerce growth.
#2 Artificial Intelligence Drives Hyper-Personalization
In 2022, people expect hyper-personalization from eCommerce businesses while shopping online. A majority of people like to purchase products from businesses that offer personalized experiences. Further, since third-party cookies have become a thing of the past, providing personalized experiences has become challenging for the B2B eCommerce industry. Hence, the demand for AI-enabled personalized tools and technologies has gone up. These tools help the eCommerce stores to deliver personalized experiences, keeping the purchasing interests and behaviors of the customers in mind. Thankfully, AI-driven tools can modify the interface for suitable upselling through AI-based recommendations.
#3 Augmented Reality and Virtual Try-on
Augmented reality is going to be a game-changer for the eCommerce space in 2022. Due to the changing preferences of the consumers, it has become an important aspect in today’s world. With the help of augmented reality, the customers can spin and rotate the product from every angle and even try them on.
The majority of online shoppers say that the greatest problem they face is when the products that get delivered are different from what was originally ordered. With the help of virtual try-on, businesses can reduce such misgivings as much as possible, and improve the customers’ satisfaction levels.
Therefore, such technological advancements will lead to higher conversion rates, boosting customer engagement and brand loyalty.
#4 Green Consumerism will Grow in Popularity
Since customers are becoming aware of the environmental problems, sustainability has become a practice for several B2B eCommerce brands. According to Harvard Business Review, environmentally conscious consumers are showing off their purchasing power, with 65 percent of the consumers wanting to purchase from businesses that adopt sustainability.
Adopting green consumerism does not mean that you are required to alter everything in your B2B eCommerce business. However, you need to start performing your business activities that promote global ecological balance.
Some of the ways to adopt green consumerism in your online shopping business are:
- Provide products that aim to reduce the carbon footprints of the customers.
- Do not use plastic packaging.
- Bulk shipping is preferable whenever possible.
- Avoid paper invoicing to minimize wastage.
#5 Omnichannel Marketing will be the New Standard
The time has passed when businesses just focussed on a single social channel for marketing their brands. In this technology-oriented world, consumers rely on different channels, such as video, social media, email, text, and advertisements, to fulfill their online shopping needs. Further, even the traditional brick-and-mortar businesses are shifting to online mediums to expand their customer base.
Also, it is easier for customers to discover new brands when the businesses are present in multiple places. Hence, B2B businesses should start to adopt headless commerce architecture that transfers content and products to any screen and device through APIs.
#6 Increase in Mobile Commerce
Also known as mCommerce, mobile commerce refers to the process of selling products and services from anywhere in the world using mobile devices. It is one of the leading future trends in online shopping as most of the online shopping in today’s world is conducted via mobile devices.
The eCommerce businesses are transitioning their focus towards mobile-first strategies due to the launch of new mobile technologies, like 5G. Also, the fact that consumers use their mobile phones once every ten minutes makes it essential for businesses to follow this trend.
With mobile commerce, you can reach and attract your customers effortlessly and encourage them to make repeat purchases through SMS marketing and push notifications. In totality, mobile commerce presents a mode to reach the customers wherever they are and offer them one of the best shopping experiences.
#7 Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) Feature
The BNPL feature is not new. However, the pandemic has made the term popular, especially among the younger audiences, when customers are looking for methods to make part payments.
The Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) feature lets the customers make the payments in regular installments instead of paying a lump sum amount. This method of payment is generally available in credit cards as these transactions are interest-free.
The B2B eCommerce resellers are adopting this future of eCommerce as it minimizes the cart abandonment rate, boosts sales, skyrockets the average order value, and makes the checkout process a lot quicker. Moreover, it creates an attractive shopping option of making flexible payments while checking out.
#8 Use of Cryptocurrencies will Shape eCommerce Payment System
Similar to the last trend in the list, cryptocurrencies have also become popular as a method of eCommerce payments that fosters trust and motivates customers to spend more. Furthermore, some countries do not accept debit cards or credit cards for making payments, hence it becomes difficult to leverage the profits of worldwide business. This is where cryptocurrency can be of great help.
Several retailers have not stepped on the bandwagon of cryptocurrency as the mode of payment yet. But, it is necessary to keep up with this trend, so that you can be prepared to implement it whenever it becomes the latest fad.
#9 Video Marketing
Although video marketing emerged long back, it has started to take the center stage in today’s digital landscape, with more than 8 billion views daily. Surprising, right?
B2B eCommerce retailers are using different forms of video in their marketing efforts, like explainer videos and testimonial videos. As customers are highly influenced by video reviews, it becomes necessary for businesses to step up on this trend.
With video marketing, you can highlight your product features. So, the customers can understand the functioning and applications of your product well. It allows the customers to choose the right product, thereby reducing the online shopping return rate.
#10 Shoppable Video Ads on Social Media
The consumption of social media is not going to end in 2022, and businesses will continue using these platforms for advertising their products. Multiple businesses have derived value from video advertising on apps like Snapchat, Instagram etc. Other eCommerce businesses will continue to jump on this bandwagon and embrace this trend to see remarkable eCommerce growth.
#11 Continued Rise in Voice Search and Vernacular Languages
As the globe hits the mass online shopping stage where billions of people have resorted to eCommerce to shop and deliver products at their doorway, the search bar has revolutionized itself in the online ordering process. To make the searching process easier for the customers, the eCommerce industry has launched a voice search feature. It makes the entire product searching process hassle-free for the customers.
Besides, given that there are different spoken languages in the world, multiple vernacular languages are being added to improve the customer experience further in the buying journey.
#12 Headless Platforms Drive Connected Commerce
There has been a revolutionary change in both content and eCommerce landscapes. Headless platforms offer the latest flexibility and connectivity level to adopt digital transformation.
With headless commerce, the B2B business can open doors for developers and system integrators to adopt new ways to look for information that would further help them in creating systems across channels. Therefore, headless commerce brings rapid development and innovation, allowing retailers to position activations spontaneously and share details with other systems.
#13 eCommerce Adopts NFT
Nowadays, NFT or non-fungible tokens are all the hype. These blockchain-based digital tokens are not available in physical forms, hence making each one of them unique to one another. It poses a great advantage on the eCommerce platforms by replenishing the product lines with digital collectibles.
Another great method for an eCommerce business to use NFT is by coupling tangible goods with it. For instance, eCommerce businesses can sell apparel with the signature of the designer in NFT. It proves that the product is highly exclusive, thereby augmenting the value and price of the product.
The practical way of using NFT in eCommerce business is by allowing it to store multiple information safely. It can be a great alternative for SKU and UPC and lets businesses track data in a better way.
The year 2022 will make the entire eCommerce landscape more sophisticated. The eCommerce business will strive harder to meet desirable customer expectations. Therefore, staying up-to-date with the trends will help you achieve your targeted goal and stay ahead of your competitors at all times.