Aug 18, 2022
Hasna A. & Nadia
Top 17 eCommerce Trends You Should Know in 2022
The global eCommerce industry is constantly evolving with new developments. Online businesses need to keep up with the latest eCommerce trends and the ever-changing customer expectations to stay relevant and competitive. Falling behind means losing sales.
This article will break down 17 eCommerce trends to watch out for in 2022. We will also explore the future of eCommerce, with three predictions to keep an eye on. Let’s begin!
Top eCommerce Trends in 2022: Rundown
Let’s take a brief look at the 17 eCommerce trends for 2022:
- Omnichannel selling takes over commerce – eCommerce businesses that make marketing efforts across multiple channels experience a higher purchase rate than those that only employ a single-channel effort.
- Scale further by going multilingual – only 25.9% of internet users speak English, making multilingual support necessary for global eCommerce businesses.
- Streamline the online shopping experience with fast checkouts – customers tend to abandon their cart if the buying process is too long or complex.
- Provide flexible payment options to simplify transactions – some customers prefer traditional payment methods like bank transfers. Meanwhile, others favor novel ones like digital wallets, cryptocurrencies, or the Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) mechanism.
- Optimize for personalized experiences – 31% of consumers want their shopping experience to be more personalized. One way to do this is by offering relevant and personalized recommendations.
- Prioritize customer support – excellent customer support positively influences purchasing decisions. It cultivates loyalty, promotes a positive brand image, and boosts eCommerce sales.
- Increase conversions and productivity with marketing automation – automate routine marketing tasks to nurture leads into eCommerce sales and streamline your workflow.
- Offer a subscription model – offer subscription packages to attract loyal customers, boosting retention rates and profitability.
- Widen your reach with social media marketing – excellent for reaching your target audience and attracting them to your website.
- Leverage engagement and conversion with live shopping – create live shopping events to increase customer engagement and build trust in your products.
- Drive sales with content marketing – create helpful and engaging content to improve customer relationships and boost eCommerce sales. This may include influencer marketing.
- Offer fast and free delivery options – shipping costs impact customers’ purchasing decisions. Customers also demand faster delivery.
- Be impactful by being a purpose-driven brand – share your brand’s commitment to good causes to engage consumers and channel your company’s social responsibility.
- Implement conversion rate optimization – convert your traffic into purchasing customers or newsletter subscribers.
- Adopt artificial intelligence to enhance the shopping experience – utilize AI technology to provide a more convenient buying experience.
- Prepare for future data privacy policies with zero-party data – stay ahead of the upcoming data privacy trends by applying the zero-party data strategy.
Read the following sections for an in-depth breakdown of each of these eCommerce trends.
1. Omnichannel Selling
Omnichannel selling integrates multiple platforms and channels to provide a seamless experience. This includes online channels like websites, social media, and the offline brick-and-mortar store experience.
With a forecast showing that mobile commerce will account for 42.9% of eCommerce by 2024, it’s clear that mobile shopping is one of the main pillars of a business’s omnichannel strategy.
Mobile commerce is no longer optional – it’s necessary to stay ahead of the competition. Therefore, creating a mobile-friendly eCommerce site will ensure a great customer experience.
A PWA acts like a native app and includes app-like interactions, like one-click access and offline functionality. It is a win-win solution for those who have to choose between building a mobile app or a mobile eCommerce website.
Even if you already have a robust app or eCommerce site, you should still consider offering your products on marketplaces. With most marketplaces providing free shipping and returns, customers see them as more convenient than shopping at multiple eCommerce stores.
If your brand is still new, sell at your area’s top marketplaces to take advantage of its high traffic reach. If your brand is more established, use marketplaces to drive customers to your site. For example, offer discount codes they can use when purchasing via your website.
Data also shows that customers are starting to combine online and offline experiences. Even though people still avoid crowds, there’s significant growth for curbside pickups and the buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS) shopping methods.
In 2020, curbside pickups and BOPIS sales doubled compared to the previous year and were projected to increase to over $140 billion in 2024. Both methods provide the safety of online shopping and convenient yet speedy in-store visits.
BOPIS also fostered a new customer behavior – research online, purchase offline (ROPO). Shipping costs can be expensive, and many customers dislike waiting for items to arrive. Furthermore, 56% of shoppers prefer offline stores to see, touch, and feel the products before buying.
Although 43% of US shoppers are spending more online than before the pandemic, it’s also important to note that people are keen to shop in physical stores again. 70% of US consumers are no longer concerned about shopping in-store, explaining the 44% increase in in-person visits to brick-and-mortar stores.
A brick-and-mortar store can also serve as your online business’s logistics hub. 30% of eCommerce orders get returned, so a logistics hub can help process returned items.
When balancing online and offline channels, remember to offer a consistent customer experience. This effort pays off well – the order rate is 494% higher for companies employing omnichannel campaigns.
Bonobos is a company that achieved omnichannel success with guideshops.
At these guideshops, customers can try on different sizes to find out which one fits them best. Then, they can place an order for the size they want from the Bonobos site. The guideshops also act as a customer support center where clients can ask questions and return items.
For your own eCommerce business, research instances when your audience would prefer visiting a brick-and-mortar store. If the sentiment is strong, address these needs and see whether it’s worth pursuing on a larger scale.
2. Multilingual Stores
Localization is vital to achieving worldwide success. eCommerce giants like Amazon and eBay have expanded their operations beyond English-speaking countries. Smaller eCommerce stores can benefit from thinking globally as well.
Based on a study conducted by CSA Research, 76% of online shoppers prefer to shop for products with information in their language. In addition, 40% will never buy from eCommerce sites in other languages.
Take a look at the following graph for more findings from the study:
By making sure your eCommerce store is accessible in different languages, you will increase your global recognition and get more sales.
According to the Localization Industry Standards Association (LISA), every $1 spent on localization has a $25 return on investment (ROI). Therefore, targeting the international market is a worthwhile investment.
While it’s excellent to provide customer support in different locales, having a multi-language online store is a great place to start.
If you built your online store on WordPress, many plugins let you add multi-language support to your website. If you use a website builder like Zyro, you can add more languages to your store via its settings.
3. Fast Checkouts
When shopping at an online store, customers shouldn’t struggle at the checkout.
According to the Baymard Institute, long or complicated checkout processes drive 17% of customers to abandon their carts. Shortening the checkout process is one of the best ways to mitigate this risk.
Limit the checkout process to a single page and eliminate all non-essential elements. For example, you can remove the company address field if your store sells direct-to-consumer products. This simplifies the customer journey and brings in more conversions.
That being said, multi-page checkout has its advantages, such as bigger analytics scope. We recommend performing A/B testing to see if a single-page checkout performs better than a multi-page checkout for your store.
Ensure that the cart is responsive and has minimal loading time. This will complement the overall fast service and leave a good impression on the customers.
A built-in search engine lets visitors quickly find the item they want, so make sure to enable the search feature on your eCommerce site. If you use WordPress as your eCommerce platform, there are numerous search plugins to choose from.
Enable saved addresses and payment information so that returning customers don’t have to repeat the same procedure for their next purchase. Finally, apply abandoned cart recovery strategies to encourage buyers to complete their checkout.
4. Flexible Payment Options
Don’t lose potential buyers just because your site doesn’t accept their preferred payment method.
According to Worldpay, digital or mobile wallets accounted for 49% of global eCommerce transactions in 2021, becoming the most popular payment method worldwide.
Credit cards came second with a 21% market share in the same year. Meanwhile, digital wallets are expected to facilitate about 53% of all eCommerce transactions by 2025.
Although cryptocurrency isn’t expected to become a popular payment option anytime soon, more companies are starting to accept it.
We suggest providing these transaction methods for all online purchases:
- Digital wallets (including mobile payments, like Apple Pay)
- Credit cards
- Debit cards
- Bank transfers
Keep in mind that the popularity of certain payment methods varies by region. For example, most people in South Korea favor credit cards compared to other payment options. This isn’t the case in Thailand, where bank transfers are the most popular form of payment.
If you’re targeting a specific country, research the people’s most preferred payment methods.
Furthermore, providing an alternative payment scheme can add a competitive edge to your business.
BNPL plans allow customers to pay for products in installments, often interest-free. They are convenient for customers who can’t make the full payment at the time of purchase or prefer not to pay the total price upfront.
The pandemic has impacted the rise of BNPL as it allows customers to make purchases online amidst economic uncertainty.
The lower upfront commitment of BNPL makes customers more confident to make purchases. It increases sales by reducing the cart abandonment rate by 35%. Moreover, it’s a great way to build trust and increase customer loyalty.
Klarna, one of the largest BNPL providers, experienced this rapid growth in 2021. Its gross merchandise value (GMV) for the US market increased by 334% compared to 2018.
BNPL is applicable for various products, from food to more expensive items like electronics. To add this payment solution to your checkout page, use a payment gateway that supports installment payments.
5. Personalized Experiences
A personalized experience refers to an eCommerce environment where visitors receive product suggestions and targeted email campaigns based on their previous activities.
According to a study by Segment, more than 60% of consumers are more likely to become repeat buyers if a company provides a personalized shopping experience. Customers expect businesses to be proactive and offer on-the-spot suggestions on what products they might need next.
By personally tailoring each buyer’s shopping experience, you’ll be one step ahead of your competitors as buyers won’t have to look for more products elsewhere.
Personalized experiences also make people feel appreciated and taken care of. It’s a good practice to apply in various phases of the customer journey.
Amazon does personalization right. The online marketplace giant shows a row of recommendations on its homepage and every product page.
Barilliance Research found that product recommendations account for up to 31% of eCommerce store revenues. If a business succeeds in offering a personalized experience, it can attract and retain customers without spending money on additional marketing strategies.
Other ways to implement personalization in your eCommerce website are providing localized content and targeted offers.
Localization means adapting your site content to each target market, based on their geographical location. Beyond just translating the content, localized content should appear like it was made by and for a specific local audience.
Localized content should reflect local interests and values. It should also abide by local arrangements like regulations and units of measurement.
Meanwhile, examples of targeted offers are recommending bundles of related products with a special price, or giving discounts for products that a customer has repeatedly bought.
6. Customer Support as a Priority
Customer support has been and will always be essential in every business. Minor issues can turn away potential buyers. Therefore, it’s the company’s responsibility to offer assistance when customers face problems with their products or services.
Many eCommerce sites don’t have brick-and-mortar stores that offer in-person assistance. That’s why knowing how to provide online support is vital.
95% of US and UK customers consider customer service a key factor when deciding whether to make an online purchase. Furthermore, response time is the most important factor when interacting with customer service. Only 35% of US consumers are willing to wait for up to five minutes.
Consumer demand for instant interaction is one of the reasons why live chat has become the preferred method of customer support. 41% of consumers choose live chat over other channels, such as phone and email, because it offers immediate help and requires minimal effort.
Live chat is also cheaper than phone support. Unlike phone support, one live chat customer support agent can help multiple customers simultaneously. Having a team that can assist more people quickens response time and enhances customer experience.
Despite the increasing demand for real-time customer service, many businesses now use artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots to replace a support agent in the initial stages of communication.
AI chatbots are helpful for answering basic inquiries. It helps decide whether a customer needs more advanced help from a support agent or not.
If your eCommerce brand caters to an international audience, provide multilingual chatbots to help you connect with global audiences better. It removes the language barrier to your brand’s customer support efforts.
Chatbots have improved customer satisfaction, and this trend will continue to grow. They are the primary choice for more than 60% of all end customers.
Companies use chatbots to improve customer service, provide faster and more accurate responses, and collect data to enhance customer experience.
Above all, your consumers will receive personalized and prompt service, which all eCommerce businesses should strive for.
7. Marketing Automation
Marketing automation is an eCommerce technology that enables businesses to automate routine tasks within the marketing process, such as ads, outreach, and follow-up emails.
This technology doesn’t rely on generic messages. It gathers and analyzes customer data to create personalized messages for every step of the buyer’s journey. The result is improved customer engagement and increased conversion rates.
Moreover, marketing automation helps nurture leads into sales and streamlines the workflow of your marketing and sales teams. It can also save a significant amount of time – more than six hours a week.
One of the most impactful follow-up emails is the abandoned cart email. This type of email is sent to customers when they put items in their cart but don’t complete the transaction.
There are many reasons why people abandon their carts. Hidden additional costs are the number one cause.
The average cart abandonment rate is 69.80%. Letting these potential customers go without giving them a little more push is unwise. Therefore, identifying and recovering abandoned carts is an excellent opportunity to make eCommerce sales.
You can send automated abandoned cart emails with marketing automation. Since high shipping costs are a big reason for abandoning carts, offer free shipping coupons as an additional incentive.
To utilize marketing automation in your business, use customer relationship management (CRM) software like Zoho CRM and Salesforce, or email automation tools like Mailchimp. If you use WordPress, CRM plugins like HubSpot and Jetpack are available.
8. Subscription Models
As people have become increasingly used to the convenience of shopping online, subscriptions are now one of the most practical solutions to fulfill their needs.
There are various types of products that can come as subscriptions – from daily meal kits like Blue Apron to monthly clothing deliveries. This market is thriving, and its value is estimated to reach $478 billion by 2025.
If you’re looking for an additional revenue opportunity, subscriptions are an excellent option. They can boost customer retention rates and help with inventory forecasting.
There are three major types of subscriptions:
- Replenishment – recurring necessities, such as fresh produce, pet foods, or diapers.
- Curation – personalized selection of products, such as coffee or self-care products.
- Access – offer member-only benefits, such as lower prices or new product samples.
The main challenge for this digital business model is the churn rate or the number of people unsubscribing from the service.
To reduce churn rates, offer special perks such as free delivery, lower prices, and access to out-of-stock products. You should also maintain good communication with your customers. For instance, let them know about delayed deliveries during busy seasons.
9. Social Media Marketing
There are many ways to establish a connection with new customers and maintain a good relationship with the existing ones. Social media marketing is an eCommerce trend that online stores can use to boost engagement and brand awareness.
Social media channels let businesses proactively connect with their audiences. Facebook Messenger and Twitter’s direct messages can also serve as a convenient way for people to communicate with businesses.
By planning and executing campaigns on major social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok, you can reach a wider audience of potential customers. A solid social media presence also helps maintain your customer relations.
Before choosing a social platform, make sure that your company’s tone and content are a good fit for the platform.
For example, if your content is text-heavy and encourages engagement, Facebook is a great choice. McDonald’s, for instance, has a Facebook page with a lot of interaction. It has over 81.5 million page likes, with thousands of reactions, comments, and shares on its posts.
If your content is more visual-heavy, Instagram may be a better fit. Jungalow’s Instagram account features aesthetically pleasing product photos and has over 1.6 million followers.
Social media is also an effective sales channel, especially if you want to make the most of mobile shopping.
79% of smartphone users have made a purchase using their mobile devices. Coincidentally, mobile is where people access social media platforms the most. For instance, 122.3 million Facebook users accessed the platform exclusively from their mobile phones in 2021.
Social commerce is trending because it lets customers shop directly via a social network without leaving the platform. Built-in eCommerce platforms like Facebook Shops and shoppable ads make this possible.
Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook now have this feature, letting users directly purchase items via a brand’s ads. Shoppers no longer need to remember the product they’re interested in and then go to the brand’s eCommerce store. They can just buy it from the ad they’re viewing.
This level of convenience has driven a 35.8% growth in social commerce sales among US online retailers in 2021, which are forecasted to more than double by 2025. This shows that social commerce and mobile commerce go hand in hand.
Jane, an online retail brand that utilizes Instagram Shopping, reported that 80% of its total social sales from Q3 2020 to Q1 2021 came from the platform. This example proves that social commerce can play a significant role in your business strategy.
Lastly, keep up with new social media features or algorithm updates. For example, create Instagram Reels to get more reach.
10. Live Shopping
Live shopping is an interactive video streaming solution for eCommerce brands to discuss their products and answer audience questions in real-time. It combines entertainment and instant purchasing through a chat function or in-channel buy buttons.
This type of video marketing can be brand-specific. They can also feature influencers or celebrities as live stream hosts, demonstrating products from various brands.
In the first 30 minutes of its Singles’ Day 2020 live shopping event, Alibaba’s Taobao Live generated $7.5 billion in transaction value. Moreover, two-thirds of Chinese consumers say they have made purchases through live shopping.
Amazon has a live commerce platform called Amazon Live. Meanwhile, Walmart uses TikTok for its live shopping events. This shows growing interest in live shopping, with its sales estimated to account for 10-20% of all eCommerce by 2026.
Live shopping is a great way to engage customers directly, giving them an interactive and personal experience.
Showing your products’ actual size, shape, and material through unedited live videos builds customer trust. It’s similar to in-store visits where people can walk in by choice, without cookies or tracking involved.
To join this eCommerce trend, investigate whether your audience will likely engage with it. Fashion is the most showcased product category in live commerce, followed by beauty products. In terms of demographics, millennials and Gen Z dominate the audience.
Test the waters with occasional live streams focusing on a few products. Then, review the number of views and conversion rates. You’ll be able to measure your audiences’ interest in live commerce and take action accordingly.
For the live shopping platform, use popular social media like Instagram and TikTok or your audiences’ preferred online marketplaces.
Promote the live shopping event on your social network accounts and include information about what one can expect from the event. To increase engagement, create a sense of scarcity by offering livestream-exclusive discounts.
11. Content Marketing
While it’s not exactly a new eCommerce trend, content marketing is worth your time. It’s a marketing strategy that uses creative content such as articles, videos, and social network posts to engage, educate, and solve customers’ problems.
With content, companies can build closer relationships with their audiences. It is also an excellent way to attract more traffic to the website and increase conversions.
Although they may overlap, content and social media marketing are different. The former is about creating content to build customers’ trust, while the latter is about promoting content to attract and engage with potential and existing customers.
Content marketing is also a cost-effective way to reach out to your audience. Compared to other marketing methods, it costs 62% less yet generates three times as many leads.
Content can serve as a long-term investment for your company. If customers can find the solution to their problems in your content, they’ll spend more time on your website. By extension, your business’s credibility will increase.
The key to content marketing success is unique, quality content. Always aim to create genuine, relatable content for your target audience and speak their language.
For instance, if you’re planning to start an online clothing store, you should take the example of one of the leading online retailers, Net-A-Porter. It publishes articles featuring influencers, celebrities, and key industry people about fashion and lifestyle.
Net-A-Porter lets readers read and shop at the same time. There are Shop the Look links under photographs of the interviewed subjects.
These articles tap into audiences’ unconscious emotions. Since 95% of purchasing decisions are made subconsciously, articles like this are effective. It lets the brand showcase its products without overselling them.
Another way to attract a targeted audience is by creating content in collaboration with influencers.
60% of marketers found that influencer-generated content drives more engagement and performs better than branded posts. On top of that, 80% of consumers have purchased products based on influencer recommendations.
You don’t have to collaborate with macro-influencers right away. In fact, micro-influencers – those who have 10,000 to 50,000 followers – are more effective these days.
Followers are reportedly more engaged and more willing to make a purchase based on the recommendations of their favorite micro-influencers.
Whether you’re working with smaller or bigger influencers, make sure to work with those who suit your niche and represent your brand values.
Moreover, user-generated content (UGC) is an effective tool to build customers’ trust. It’s a form of content created by individual customers published to an online platform.
Examples of UGC include product reviews and self-published images that feature specific products.
iCanvas, an art printing company, invited its customers to share photos of purchased products using the #iCanvas hashtag. The best photos get a chance to be featured on the company’s homepage.
72% of consumers believe that customer reviews are more credible than a brand’s in-house promotion. Happy customers are influential brand ambassadors – their recommendations resonate more with other customers.
Featuring UGC on your website or social media can also boost customer engagement and impressions. Content showcasing real customers and their experiences leads to more interaction with other customers.
Additionally, UGC gives you insights into your audience – how they interact with your products, perceive your brand, and provide valuable feedback. This can increase customer lifetime value and help your brand stay relevant.
12. Fast and Free Delivery Options
Many customers expect their online purchases to arrive as soon as possible. In fact, only 15% of consumers are satisfied with eCommerce product delivery speeds.
As a result, more eCommerce stores are offering faster delivery times to fulfill customer expectations. For example, Amazon achieved a faster supply chain by distributing its inventory in warehouses all across the globe.
In addition to speed, free or affordable shipping is another eCommerce trend businesses should look out for.
Based on the Jungle Scout Consumer Report, 72% of US online shoppers are looking for products with the lowest shipping prices. In other words, many are more influenced by shipping prices than the actual product prices.
Both shipping speed and price will continue to influence the future of eCommerce. If you can’t offer fast deliveries or advanced warehousing, discounted or free shipping is an incentive worth pursuing.
13. Sustainable Online Shopping
52% of consumers worldwide admitted that the pandemic has made them value sustainability issues more than before. As such, the environmental impacts of eCommerce are becoming a more significant concern.
A major area of concern is how orders are packaged and delivered. Shipping accounts for 11% of total CO2 emissions in the transportation sector worldwide, making it the third-largest source of pollution in the sector.
Businesses need to adapt to this large-scale shift in consumer behavior and eCommerce preferences. 65% of customers try to buy sustainably packaged products, and 29% regularly avoid plastic packaging.
Furthermore, Statista has found that 52% of US and UK consumers demand eCommerce brands to create products with less packaging. In addition, 31% of US consumers are willing to pay an extra charge for eco-friendly delivery. These statistics show that consumers want a greener shopping experience than what businesses offer now.
A great example of a sustainable eCommerce business is the online grocery membership store Thrive Market. Its ethically-sourced products are sent to customers in recyclable or compostable packaging. Plus, it uses carbon-neutral packaging, and its warehouses are zero-waste.
The best way to join this eCommerce trend is to shift towards more eco-friendly packaging options. Paper and cardboard are the most recyclable options available. If you still need plastic, use biodegradable plastics or plant-based bioplastics instead.
14. Purpose-Driven Brands
Consumers nowadays don’t only shop for the sake of shopping. A study found that they’re four times more likely to shop from brands with a strong purpose.
The kind of purpose we’re referring to is a brand’s commitment to a good cause. For example, when brands are environmentally friendly, promote diversity and inclusivity, or support local communities.
TOAST is a fashion brand that communicates its purpose very well. It published a Social Conscience report detailing its progress, challenges, and future strategies to nurture ethical craftsmanship, create long-lasting products from sustainable materials, and keep waste to a minimum.
Besides publishing a detailed report, TOAST also tells its brand story on its About Us page. It complements TOAST’s business history with discussions about its approach to craftsmanship, timeless design, and creative communities. Like-minded customers will relate to the brand’s business vision.
Customers want to know if they’re contributing to a positive change. So once your company commits to a particular cause, communicate it throughout all your marketing channels. It’s also a great way to foster an organic community around your brand.
Amplify word-of-mouth marketing around your purpose-driven brand. Consumers are 4.5 times more likely to recommend products from purpose-driven brands to people they know.
Many methods of achieving social responsibility in business require a lot of commitment and resources. For smaller eCommerce brands, they are hardly feasible. Fortunately, you can join this trend using existing resources through reCommerce.
reCommerce is the practice of reselling second-hand goods. It encourages customers to sell products they no longer use, giving them a second life instead of sending them straight to landfills.
Businesses can employ reCommerce to strengthen their sustainable purpose. TOAST sets an example by reselling non-faulty returned items.
reCommerce is particularly beneficial during this financially unstable period. Buying secondhand goods lets people save money. No wonder this trend is projected to reach $77 billion in the next five years.
15. Conversion Rate Optimization
One of the most important tasks in running an eCommerce website is to convert your traffic into purchasing customers. Applying conversion rate optimization (CRO) pushes site visitors to buy your products or sign up for your newsletter.
Note that conversions aren’t just sales and signups. They may also include customers adding products to their wishlist or cart.
Here are several methods to optimize your site’s conversion rate.
- Simplify your homepage. It only takes 50 milliseconds for site visitors to decide whether they like your site or not. To form a great first impression, don’t overwhelm visitors with excessive information and images. Instead, focus on the most important brand message by writing a straightforward copy and a clear CTA.
- Build trust with visual cues. People often feel uneasy when sharing their payment information on eCommerce sites’ checkout pages. Trust badges like a padlock icon and a reassuring microcopy give customers the confidence to make a purchase.
- Show product reviews or testimonials. Nearly nine out of ten people seek and read reviews before purchasing. Showcasing positive reviews will increase the credibility of your products.
- Use attractive product photos. Attractive product photos are a key factor in a purchasing decision. They give customers an idea of what your product will look like.
- Optimize your site for mobile users. Mobile commerce users are on the rise. Make your eCommerce site mobile-friendly so that people can easily navigate it while on the go.
Perform A/B testing when experimenting with conversion rate optimization methods. Create two different versions of a webpage and see which one generates more conversions.
For example, many resources suggest using eye-catching colors for your CTA buttons. But if your site has a softer color scheme, a contrasting color that still matches the overall palette might suffice. Use A/B testing to check if this option performs effectively.
16. Artificial Intelligence Adoption
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a technology that mimics human intelligence. It can learn and adapt consumer behavior to produce more accurate and valuable results. By adopting AI technologies, businesses can offer their customers a richer buying experience.
There are many aspects of eCommerce that can utilize AI technology. According to Statista, the top areas where businesses implement AI are personalization (70%), site search (54%), forecasting (52%), and marketing (43%).
Let’s take one example from the most common implementation – personalization. Companies can collect and process data that results in personalized recommendations for customers.
This identification of customer behavior and segmentation is generally based on customers’ browsing history. For example, the online bookstore Book Depository creates a list of recommended books based on the items a user has viewed.
Another example is AI-powered site search. It uses machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) to determine the intent behind a search query and offer the most relevant results.
Another popular search-related AI implementation is visual search. It’s a technology that lets shoppers conduct searches using images instead of entering keywords.
Research shows that 62% of millennials and Gen Z would love to use visual search, but only about 8% of eCommerce brands offer this functionality. This is an untapped opportunity your business can utilize.
One of the most popular online retailers, ASOS, employs visual search through its Style Match feature.
With Style Match, customers can upload a photo of an item they want to purchase online. Then, they will receive a list of products most similar to the uploaded image. This feature helps customers who aren’t sure what keywords to use when searching for an item.
Since the feature is only available on ASOS’s mobile app, AI implementation can also optimize the experience of mobile users.
Business owners can immediately join this trend by using high-quality product photos. This can amplify your store’s discoverability on platforms with a visual search feature, like Google and Pinterest.
Furthermore, AI tools can scale businesses’ content production. Jarvis helps teams write marketing copy, Designs.ai generates logos and social media graphics, while Synthesia creates videos for training, corporate communications, or product explainers.
Fortunately, not all AI-powered eCommerce technology requires a significant budget. The subscription fees for the AI content production tools above are quite reasonable. Moreover, there are many free plugins that let you install an AI chatbot on your site.
17. Zero-Party Data
A survey by Cisco found that 86% of consumers care about data privacy – they demand transparency and control over how businesses use their data. 47% of the respondents have also switched companies due to poor data policies and practices.
Apple answered this concern by incorporating the App Tracking Transparency feature in 2021’s iOS 14.5. This feature lets users opt out of data tracking, causing many eCommerce brands relying on Facebook advertising to experience a significant decrease in their ads’ effectiveness.
Most importantly, Google Chrome will end its support for third-party cookies in 2023. To survive future data policy changes, we recommend collecting zero-party data instead. This method refers to collecting data directly from customers.
There are many ways to collect zero-party data. Some examples include quizzes, polls, and registration. Zero-party data lets you get relevant customer insights with consent.
However, avoid asking for too much information at once. This may overwhelm customers and make them refrain from sharing valuable insights.
It’s also important to keep an eye on the newest technical updates related to web development, especially when it impacts your site’s performance on search engines.
For example, a recent Google algorithm update considers page experience, one of the core web vitals, as a ranking factor.
Upcoming eCommerce Trends to Keep an Eye On
By knowing what eCommerce trends to anticipate in the future, you can plan your business strategy accordingly and stay ahead of the competition.
Let’s explore three predictions about the future of the eCommerce market.
1. Augmented and Virtual Reality
Augmented reality (AR) digitally enhances the real, physical world with computer-generated visuals, sound, or other stimuli.
Meanwhile, virtual reality (VR) is a simulated experience that puts the user inside a seemingly real computer-generated environment using a special VR headset.
Numerous eCommerce brands are adopting AR and VR technologies to offer a more immersive shopping experience.
Consumers are reacting positively to these technologies. 71% would shop more if a business used AR. Meanwhile, companies that utilize VR have been found to have increased their conversion rates by 17%.
However, VR and AR in eCommerce are still in their early days. In 2021, only 1% of online retailers used AR. Adopting AR and VR during their infancy can get an eCommerce business ahead of the technological curve.
IKEA is one of the companies paving the way for augmented reality. The IKEA Place mobile app uses Apple’s ARKit platform to let customers view digitally-reproduced 3D images of products in their homes. It helps users examine whether a piece of furniture can nicely fit in a room using only their mobile device.
Other than adding an augmented reality feature to the mobile app of your eCommerce business, you can also develop a virtual reality experience that lets customers interact with products in an immersive way.
2. Headless Commerce
Headless commerce is an eCommerce solution that decouples the front-end and the back-end of a website or application. By using application programming interfaces (APIs), content can be delivered to any front-end framework, expanding the list of devices consumers can buy from.
With headless commerce, eCommerce shopping is not only limited to desktops, laptops, and mobile devices. Consumers can also browse and purchase through the Internet of Things (IoT) devices, such as smart speakers and smart fitness devices.
As a result, headless commerce unifies all shopping experiences, increases flexibility, and opens up sales possibilities. It can also streamline omnichannel selling since headless businesses can quickly incorporate new eCommerce sales channels.
Due to its advantages, the adoption of headless eCommerce has increased in recent years. 64% of enterprises in 2021 use the headless approach – a dramatic 25% increase from 2019 – corporate giants like Amazon, Toyota, and McDonald’s are reaping the benefits.
Consider using or migrating to a headless content management system (CMS) such as Sanity.io and Strapi, or a headless eCommerce platform like Shopify and BigCommerce.
If you already use WordPress as your eCommerce platform, you can use it as a headless CMS as well.
3. Voice Search
Voice search enables people to multitask. It helps people save time and avoid the hassle of typing a query into a search bar.
A survey by CouponFollow shows that around 47% of shoppers have used the voice command to make an online purchase. 58% of them are satisfied with their voice shopping experiences.
The ability of voice technology to capture shopping habits drove 61% of the respondents to use the reminder feature to repurchase saved orders. This explains why the most frequently purchased items via voice shopping are daily necessities, like groceries (48%).
However, voice shopping also has several drawbacks. 40% of shoppers found it challenging to browse products using voice shopping. Moreover, voice search results can be inaccurate.
31% of users also expressed concern about their privacy, with 27% worrying about their financial data.
Many companies have gone the extra mile to convince customers that voice shopping is safe. But since it’s still a relatively new way to shop online, it might take some more time until many people are comfortable with it.
To optimize your eCommerce store for voice search, aim for the top position on Google. Google will read top-ranking content to voice searchers.
Furthermore, execute a proper keyword strategy. People tend to ask complete questions instead of phrases when using voice search.
For example, to find the nearest store that sells masks, someone may say, “Ok Google, where to buy masks near me?”. Meanwhile, they’re more likely to type “buy masks near me” when performing a web search.
In this article, we have explored 17 of the biggest eCommerce trends of 2022. We have also broken down three emerging eCommerce trends to keep an eye on.
Following the latest eCommerce trends doesn’t mean copying someone else’s business strategies or implementing any new eCommerce technology without sufficient planning.
Instead, it should be about keeping up with the times and the evolving customer expectations. This lets you provide a richer shopping experience for your customers while maintaining a healthy business.
Since many of these industry trends only apply to specific business models, it’s important to understand your customers first. Conduct customer research to get a better grasp of the customer journey and their shopping habits.
Let’s take a quick look at the top eCommerce trends once again:
- Omnichannel selling takes over commerce – combining multiple channels – both online and offline – will improve customer service and increase retention rates.
- Scale further by going multilingual – localizing the site will help reach more potential customers.
- Streamline the online shopping experience with fast checkouts – eliminate unnecessary steps to provide a faster service.
- Provide flexible payment options to simplify transactions – provide customers with the freedom to choose from different payment methods.
- Optimize for personalized experiences – create a unique shopping environment for each visitor.
- Prioritize customer support – businesses with good customer service show customers that they’re ready to help at any time.
- Increase conversions and productivity with marketing automation – automation tools can help save time and effort while being effective at increasing conversions.
- Offer the subscription model – provide subscription packages to fulfill the demand of recurring needs, which can also benefit your retention rate and reduce uncertainty around inventory management.
- Widen your reach with social media marketing – connect with customers through social media channels to build better relationships and make the most of social commerce.
- Leverage engagement and conversion with live shopping – this form of video marketing is an effective way to directly engage customers and build their trust in your eCommerce business.
- Drive sales with content marketing – invest in creative content ideas that are informative and helpful for customers. Also, implement influencer marketing to attract more audiences.
- Offer fast and free delivery options – fast delivery and free shipping heavily affect purchasing decisions.
- The rise of sustainable online shopping – moving towards sustainable eCommerce can attract environmentally conscious consumers.
- Be impactful by being a purpose-driven brand – people prefer to purchase products from purpose-driven brands because they want to contribute to a good cause.
- Implement conversion rate optimization – applying CRO to your eCommerce site can help customers feel more confident and secure when buying products.
- Adopt artificial intelligence to enhance shopping experience – AI processes customer data to offer a personalized and smooth shopping experience. For example, through recommendations, visual search, and chatbots.
- Prepare for future data privacy policies with zero-party data – prepare for future data policy trends by utilizing zero-party data.
Finally, let’s review the predictions for the future of eCommerce:
- Augmented and virtual reality fully immerses audiences – AR and VR technologies help customers examine products closely and boost buyer confidence.
- More businesses are going headless – decoupling the front-end and back-end of your eCommerce site offers more flexibility and the ability to reach customers on any device. Use a headless CMS or eCommerce platform to join this trend.
- The growing usage of voice search – more people are using voice search to shop online – optimize your eCommerce store for this search technology.
We hope this article has helped you keep up with current eCommerce trends and grow your online business. Feel free to ask questions and share your thoughts in the comments section.