Ecommerce trends in 2022 show how shoppers are picking up new habits that are here to stay. The situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic changed the rules for e-commerce worldwide and US is no exception. Although everything seems to be slowly returning to normal, the reality is that businesses will continue to face new tactical, operational and economic challenges to remain relevant in their segment.
In this article we will analyse what are the main ecommerce trends for the coming year.
The good news
Especially in retail, ecommerce has been on an upward trend for many years now, and it seems that this growth has no ceiling.
According to Statista’s latest sales report on e-commerce data are showing an interesting trend:
- Sales evolution: worldwide retail e-commerce sales will reach 5.42 trillion dollars in 2022. By the end of 2024, the figure is expected to reach 7.3 trillions USD.
- Number of buyers: online shoppers increased from 1.66 billion in 2016 20 to 2.14 billion in 2021.
- Mobile usage: In 2024, about 187.5 million U.S. shoppers will have made at least one purchase via their mobile device, up from 167.8 million mobile U.S. shoppers in 2020.
- Turnover: China is the top country for retail e-commerce sales, with one billion expected users by the end of 2022.
People will shop more on social media and via digital assistants, but they will also seek more personalised products and tailored solutions for both delivery and payment, according to Shopify’s The Future of Commerce briefing. Here are the highlights of the conference.
1. Live shopping
Live shopping (or live commerce), a relatively new e-commerce format, is entering the scene with a bang.
Live shopping consists of presenting a product via live streaming while offering the viewer the possibility of buying the product instantly. For this advertisement format, influencers become a key element to generate impact on the audience.
To understand this, you have to look at what’s happening in China, the world’s fastest growing ecommerce market: in 2019, 37% of online shoppers in the Asian country made purchases via video streaming, and this number is expected to grow in the following years. The U.S. and Europe are taking note of the growth of this channel. And it is expected that by 2022 onwards all brands, both small and large, will begin to shift to this medium.
2. Voice Search and Assistants
Each year, this new form of search is gradually gaining ground. Users are increasingly using voice search from their tablets, smartphones and voice assistants. According to Google, 42% of Britons use voice search on a daily basis. This means they are using voice search to shop online, order food and organize their lives.
Providing a user-friendly shopping experience based on the user’s wants and needs may increasingly mean that people can complete their purchases simply by ‘talking’ to Alexa, Google Home and other similar systems. A virtually untapped source of revenue for many brands yet.
3. Artificial Intelligence is gaining ground
AI and machine learning enable customers to have automated and personalized shopping experiences. These technologies continuously collect data on how a customer shops, when they shop and what they are looking for in a product or service. Since shoppers want to know that brands understand them, AI can be a great ally in getting closer to our consumers in a holistic, data-driven way.
The pandemic has highlighted this as never before: efficient logistics and fulfilment are a determining factor for digital shoppers.
In fact, 76% of them mention fast shipping as the most important feature of a great shopping experience, up from 62% in 2019 according to Avionos.
With the costs and issues related to the “last mile”, logistics partners and brands are starting to embrace crowdsourcing also when it comes to deliveries. Customers connect directly with non-professional couriers who use their own means of transportation to deliver the order. On-demand and scheduled deliveries allow the customer to pick the date they prefer, without having to rearrange in case of an unsuccessful attempt.
5. Mobile shopping will continue to grow
According to Statista, 57% of online shopping orders come from smartphones. The trend will continue, with a forecasted increase in usage especially in Brazil, Russia, Argentina and Mexico in the next few years.
Considering the trend, it makes sense to focus on a mobile-first strategy, working on usability improvements, site speed and one-touch payment methods.
6. Fit Solutions for Apparel are the next big thing
Sizing has always been an issue for fashion ecommerce, generating returns, low conversion rates and extra work for both customer support and logistic departments. With the advent of the new generation of sizing solutions for apparel, even small and growing businesses can now benefit from these virtual dressing rooms, providing shoppers with the pleasure of online shopping, minus the hassle of having to return a wrongly sized item.
7. When fashion meets ethics
With sustainability being the hot topic of the new generations (and not only), no surprise that fashion had to adapt. From choosing KM-0 suppliers, to the trend of vegan fashion, many brands are introducing ecological measures in one way or another in their business operations.
The real trend in this field, however, will be to focus on an extended life cycle of products already purchased: this can be done by selling spare parts (as IKEA has begun to do for its furniture), by refurbishing older products (as Apple has been doing for a few years now) or by developing a business around the pre-loved and upcycling model (as apps such as Vinted do).
In fashion, second hand and pre-loved are going to be the keywords in 2022. And it’s not just about the prices of course, but about the boom of the circular economy and the pleasure of owning unique pieces with a story behind them.
8. From Crypto, to NFTs, to the Metaverse
Probably still a bit too early to define it as a booming trend in fashion, we are nevertheless seeing more and more ecommerce allowing alternative payments.
A research performed by Mastercard reveals that a whooping 93% of consumers are willing to consider using emerging payments in the future. To meet consumer expectations, brands will need to adapt quickly.
And with Karl Lagerfeld successfully launching his NFT figurines and the first brands slowly approaching virtual worlds, we expect fashion to be able to get closer to the younger generation of shoppers.
9. The post-cookie landscape
With GDPR limiting targeting possibilities and more and more brands entering the market, the average cost per acquisition is skyrocketing. Datareportal.com reports a +15% average increase of global CPCs in Q3 2021 versus the previous quarter, a trend that does not seem to slow down.
As a consequence, brands will need to rethink their strategies, moving budget from Performance to Branding, and switching the focus to retention initiatives.
This means, first and foremost, creating a clear brand identity to connect with the target audience.
“The brands that speak to everyone speak to no one. Whether brand differentiation means what the brand stands for, the way the product is made, or the way they engage their audience, consumers are looking for differentiated experiences and brands they can connect to.”– Morgan Brown, VP Growth Marketing, Shopify
Those are the top trends coming in the ecommerce world in 2022. Be prepared for new strategies and channels, especially in a market as innovative as fashion is.
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