Based on Statista data, with approximately USD 4.9 trillion generated worldwide in 2021 and a growth of 16% in just one year, the ecommerce sector has never been in better shape. Furthermore, although online sales represented only 14% of global retail trade in 2019, they now represent 19.6%. A great year for digital commerce and a future full of promise for companies everywhere!
It’s therefore time for us to take stock of the trends that will make up ecommerce in 2022 in order to help prepare your company to evolve in your industry and boost your brand image as much as your conversion rate.
1. Social selling: still in the lead
Among the trends of the year 2022, one of them has already been established for several years and isn’t ready to be dethroned. What is it? Social selling or social commerce!
Once reserved for large accounts, social selling has been widely democratized in recent years and now offers a multitude of possibilities for marketing large businesses’ products as well as those of smaller ones. Today, using multiple channels, such as social media, to sell your products is highly encouraged.
The beginnings of social commerce are largely inspired by cold calling. The entry on the webmarketing scene was done in a timid way with, among other things, canvassing by private message, extracts of databases, and recovery of leads that are more or less well targeted. A relatively technical practice, essentially reserved for B2B professionals and other insiders.
Today, social commerce has evolved and can be used by all sectors and all types of audiences. However, it’s especially the possibility for the consumer to purchase directly from a post on social media networks that has strongly contributed to the progress of this marketing concept, which is now essential.
Several social media networks now have this ability. Instagram Shopping, to name but one, offers, for example, a catalog for e-retailers and the ability to tag products in posts.
Instagram isn’t the only social media network to offer this type of option for businesses. However, it’s, today, the most complete, compared to TikTok, Snapchat, YouTube, or Facebook.
Instagram allows you, for example, to tag your photos with prices and product information directly in your posts. These will send your potential customers directly to the selected item’s product page and thus offer a direct link to the sales page of your product.
This allows you to attract your community, create conversation, and convert to help maximize your brand’s growth and how much you can make in ecommerce.
2. Marketplaces: make your mark on the market
Marketplaces have established themselves as sales levers that are popular with consumers: based on data from Channel Advisor in 2021, 37% of consumers discovered products by browsing marketplaces.
This strategy has been widely adopted by major retailers, such as Walmart, which has completely redesigned its online store to offer customers products from its partners, in addition to its own catalog.
Marketplaces are now an integral part of the visibility and reputation strategy of online stores. A way to give voice to one's activity, to make oneself known, but above all, to offer a viable continuity to physical commerce.
Marketplaces are a great marketing lever for your online store.
3. Hyper-personalized and responsible product delivery
Delivery is an essential part of online sales and is becoming increasingly important in shoppers’ purchasing decisions.
Whether it's fast delivery, click and collect, or pick-up at a relay point, consumers like to personalize their delivery options according to their habits. As you manage your ecommerce site for your business, consider what methods your business’s targeted shoppers will appreciate to help improve the user experience and encourage them to make a purchase.
In 2020, 73% of consumers said they preferred a store with a wide range of delivery options. However, in 2021, the trend was towards responsibility: e-shoppers preferred certain types of more responsible deliveries, such as order consolidation, delivery to a relay point, or even the circular economy and buying locally or within their national borders.
4. Click and collect: the 2020 trend persists
The term “click and collect” refers to online purchases (click) and picking up your order directly in store (collect).
This omnichannel sales concept has enabled small businesses to continue their activities despite repeated administrative closures. The strengths of click and collect for ecommerce sites are numerous. This practice is accessible to all e-traders.
It allows you to save money on deliveries, while creating, at the same time, traffic to your physical point of sale. And all this, thanks to your online store!
It’s the opportunity to make your customers discover your universe and your products.
But above all, click and collect can help you to build customer loyalty and to keep a physical link with your customers. One more string to your bow, in these very special times!
Based on data from French website Blog du modérateur, 50% of buyers prefer to purchase online rather than in store, so why not make click and collect a permanent strategy to create a meeting point in your physical store?
5. Video: the new weapon of ecommerce customer service
Video has become a major part of ecommerce practices: whether it’s a marketing tool or a tool of choice in customer care, text and/or photos have given way to video content, which is more personalized, closer, and more involved with customers.
Whether it’s to present a product on social media networks or to create a live event around your catalog or your brand’s universe, commercial practices have never been so precise and so focused on this type of content.
The real revolution of 2021 has been the extension of this practice to customer service. In order to respond to all of the public's issues, customer service is turning and recording itself for greater efficiency. And you, have you started shooting video content to guide your customers to your website?
If not, and if you find that your online store is not selling like you’d hoped, take a look at how you might be able to start incorporating videos into your marketing strategy for social media and beyond to help bring your ecommerce business more growth.
6. Recommerce: committed purchases are booming
This awareness and the need to give meaning to one's purchases has led to the emergence of a new form of commerce: recommerce. Recommerce means “second-hand commerce”; “re” for “recycle” and “commerce,” quite simply.
After years of over-consumption and “fast commerce,” Generation Z advocates awareness with more ethical consumption patterns. Smart, useful, and infinitely (or almost) reusable purchases, the second-hand market is on a roll!
Nearly 75% of 18–30 year olds now prefer to buy from sustainable brands. In addition, 45% of e-buyers have already bought a product from the circular economy in 2020, with an upward trend.
Online sales giants are also investing in the sector: brands are starting to sell products from their old collections themselves in a “second-hand” way directly in their stores. Sustainable levers for the future!
7. The importance of consuming locally and/or nationally
In this desire to consume better, purchasing local and “Made in [buyer’s own country] products are sustainable, timeless trends that are increasingly part of the purchasing habits of people around the world.
Many people say they prefer products from the circular economy, first of all for environmental reasons, but also for the quality of their purchases and to support local companies that have suffered from the various successive crises.
8. Augmented reality, decompartmentalizing shopping
Following the coronavirus crisis and thanks to technological advances, brands have invested in augmented and virtual reality to allow consumers to try, consume, and purchase despite the impossibility of going to the store.
Still reserved for large retailers, augmented reality has allowed consumers to project themselves during confinements and merchants to invest in the environment of their customers. The gap between digital and physical is becoming increasingly blurred, and these presentation models are now popular and appreciated by shoppers, especially in mobile commerce.
9. Live shopping is making a comeback
Does the ability to buy a product directly during its online presentation sound familiar? Live Shopping is born again from its ashes.
In 2019, it was NBC who tried it with an application allowing viewers to “shop” their products seen on TV directly on their smartphone.
In 2020, Live Shopping went viral in China thanks to Taobao Live, the dedicated app from AliExpress. Since then, the wave of live streaming shopping is spreading to the four corners of the world. Instagram is developing it on its platform, and TikTok should also get involved. Live shopping has a bright future ahead of it for a whole new ecommerce customer experience!
10. Voice commerce and voice search
Voice assistants are an integral part of our daily lives. Statista notes that in 2020, there were approximately 4.2 billion digital voice assistants being used in devices worldwide, with many of them being used to search for a product.
Whether they’re in the form of connected speakers or integrated into smartphones, the place of these voice assistants is increasingly important with a real challenge for brands to be recognized as the “best choice” in order to have the chance to be proposed to consumers.
The challenge of 2022 will be to give confidence to users who are still reluctant to place orders on voice platforms, with the fear of not being able to secure their data.
11. The artificial intelligence of reverse image search
Some consumers have a very specific idea of the product they are looking for. In order to get the best deal possible, some consumers have taken to using Google Image Reverse Search.
By inserting an image in Google, it’s possible to find similar or even identical products, and thus, find the stores that offer an offer closest to their project. In fact, 62% of people under 35 years old want to do this type of research to make their purchase. Modules and extensions now make it possible to search for product references from an image found on the internet. The future of ecommerce will be visual!
Between 2019 and 2021, what were the major e-business trends?
In recent years, ecommerce has been marked by COVID-19. Some trends have emerged and are now sustainable, such as the following:
- Marketplaces have grown.
- Dropshipping exploded before slowing down.
- Augmented reality has invaded sales sites and social networks.
- Payment in installments has become a must in ecommerce.
- Recommerce has attracted millions of users.
- Click and collect has kept the link between ecommerce and retail during the crisis.
The fabulous resilience of the ecommerce sector has brought a new wind to the business, whether it’s physical or electronic.
Thinking of starting a new online retail business? As you build your ecommerce website from scratch, consider the aforementioned trends. Make sure that your chosen platform will help you to accommodate these trends and create high-quality content while providing an excellent experience for users visiting your online store.
From new marketing levers, more personalized, more efficient to the possibility of adapting the market to the constraints imposed by the health crisis, everything seems possible to boost the impact of ecommerce on the consumer. And your ecommerce business just needs to rely on the trends.