The eCommerce industry is characterized by rapid change. With technologies and trends that constantly evolve, it can be hard to find your footing in all the chaos. As we head into 2022, there are some trends that you should be aware of so that you’ll have the power to use them to your advantage.
Just a little preparation can go a long way in growing your eCommerce business. Keep reading to learn how to capitalize on the latest industry trends to be successful in 2022.
6 eCommerce Trends to Leverage in 2022
1. Marketing and product personalization
Offering personalization in eCommerce marketing strategies and products is the key to success. According to studies referenced by PieSync from HubSpot, 31% of customers say they wish their shopping experience was more personalized. If you’re able to provide unique, individualized offerings, consumers are more likely to remain loyal to your brand.
The U.K. eCommerce Association says, “Consumers want help to find the products that they need, and they value a more personalized experience.” Think about it as if your website is the associate in the store that helps customers throughout their shopping journey.
Marketing and product personalization uses machine learning and online tracking technologies to improve your website. It requires a lot of data tracking to provide the best personalization experience possible. Of course, this begs the big question: Is this considered an invasion of privacy to some? Consumers have grown weary over sharing their personal data over the last several years. However, according to a 2021 study by Inmar Intelligence, 65% are willing to share their data in return for a personalized experience.
When it comes to marketing, personalization doesn’t stop with your website. Marketing personalization can be as simple as sending a thank you email, which has a 352% higher open rate and 329% higher click-through-rate compared to regular email campaigns.
Marketing and product personalization isn’t easy, but it’s an effective step to take when growing your eCommerce business.
2. Supply chain optimization
The supply chain issues eCommerce brands continue to deal with thanks to COVID haven’t been easy, and industry experts suspect supply chain issues could last another two years. It’s a reality that’s not going away anytime soon, so putting your focus on this optimization is key.
One way to avoid supply chain issues and get faster shipping is by localizing your inventory (remember, 90% of consumers see 2- to 3-day shipping as a baseline!). With localized inventory, your products will have less distance to travel. It can be much more simple to achieve overnight shipping and impress your customers.
Beyond localizing your inventory, forecasting your inbound and outbound needs is beneficial to optimize the supply chain. With forecasting, you can plan and prepare to succeed for the upcoming seasons.
Businesses that optimize the global supply chain and warehouse operations are going to have more happy customers that buy from them again. With so many other businesses struggling, having fast shipping will set you apart from your competition.
3. Chatbots and live video chats
Even though eCommerce transactions take place online, consumers still value excellent customer service. Successful customer service provides benefits including:
- Higher sales
- Increased client retention
- Feelings of loyalty and trust
- Better recognition and brand awareness
- Fewer returns, complaints, and negative online reviews
But how do you provide excellent customer service online? One emerging trend in the eCommerce industry is chatbots. Chatbots are examples of artificial intelligence (AI). They can answer common questions automatically, which helps resolve customers’ issues in a much more timely manner.
Another way to provide customer service in the eCommerce industry is by offering video chats. Due to the pandemic, many retailers use video chats to replace in-person interactions. This approach helps humanize the experience and ensures customers get the help they need.
Whether you choose automatic chatbots or video chats to improve your customer service, it will take your eCommerce business to the next level. 78% of consumers say the quality of service is essential to earning their repeat business.
4. Livestream selling
Livestream selling has become a popular method to increase sales in the eCommerce industry. Coined as the modern day QVC, eCommerce businesses are using livestream selling across social media and other digital channels to create a sense of urgency with flash sales that can only be taken advantage of within a certain timeframe.
When using livestream shopping experiences, your business can provide an experience where shoppers can:
- Watch and participate from anywhere in the world
- Interact and engage through comments in real-time
- Get answers to questions about your products
- Make purchases directly
Livestream selling has replaced the experience of in-person shopping which has lessened in popularity since the COVID-19 pandemic began. You can now offer shoppers a similar experience from the comfort of their home using Instagram Stories or Facebook Live, for example.
You can improve the quality of your livestream shopping experiences by providing:
- A product professional to answer questions
- Discounts for participating in the livestream
- First access to a new product
- Limited-edition items
Naturally, this is a huge topic and what many in the space are considering the future of eCommerce. You can learn more about Livestream selling here.
Consumers vote with their dollars. In other words, they spend money on products that align with their values. A recent study shows that 78% of people are more likely to purchase a product that is clearly labeled as environmentally friendly.
To effectively communicate your brand’s commitment to sustainability, make it an essential element to your brand. Infuse your content marketing with an emphasis on sustainability, using either an emotional or logical appeal. Take the brand Everlane for example. As you can see in the screenshot below, the company discusses how much water was used to create their garments versus the industry standard (hint: it’s by using sustainable materials, being transparent about sustainability goals, and prioritizing reducing their carbon footprint).
Prioritizing sustainability is not only about increasing your sales, but also making the planet a better place to live and creating a positive customer experience!
6. Buy Now, Pay Later
This trend is only expected to grow in the upcoming year, and for good reason. Particularly for big-ticket items, brands are finding that a “buy now, pay later” option will help the company identify those who are serious about purchasing, which can allow their sales teams to nurture that very hot lead. On the flip side, this gives the consumer a sense of comfort knowing that they can make a decision and worry about the funds later – because of the nature of COVID, many people wanted the opportunity to hold onto their money, just in case, so this gives them that peace of mind. In addition, oftentimes the “buy now” will offer a discount, creating a sense of urgency.
Look Forward to a Successful 2022
Now that you are aware of the biggest trends in the eCommerce industry heading into 2022, you can leverage them to increase conversions and sales. With careful planning and consideration of which trends are leading the way, you can stand out from your competitors and become a pioneer in the industry.