Discover 10 trends that can help you deliver an outstanding online experience in 2022. The eCommerce industry has really started to bloom after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019. As correctly predicted, this growth trend has not slowed down. More so, during 2021, those companies that did not adjust their sales and marketing platforms were scrambling to adjust. Many believed that most economies would convert back to the way things were pre the pandemic. To their chagrin, this did not occur, and the end of the pandemic is still unclear. Regardless, people, as well as businesses, are finding ways that are effective for them to live their lives as normally as possible. One of these changes has meant conducting their shopping online, rather than going into stores. This article will explore the top eCommerce trends for this year. The key is to ensure that the customer’s experience is as pleasant as possible, not only to sustain the momentum, but to allow these companies to outsmart their competition.
Automation is not new, neither are chatbots. These devices are part of machine-learning artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Chatbots use a string of automated triggers to assist customers during the customer journey. The benefit of this type of technology is that it is available 24/7. Thus, regardless of when the customer is shopping, there will be ‘someone’ there to help the client, if necessary. The negative aspect is that chatbots are not always perfect. In many cases such technology is great in theory; however, the execution is often problematic.
2. Voice and conversational shopping
Voice eCommerce is technology that reduces the end users’ reliance on hardware, permitting them to use voice commands to request and buy products online. By 2023, voice eCommerce sales are set to reach $19.4 billion in the United States alone. This figure does not include the Chinese economic zone or the European market. However, as this method of shopping is easy for the consumer, it is set to grow.
Conversational shopping is a novel method of eCommerce in which brands and clients converse through both human agents and AI assistants in order to deal with enquiries, make transactions, and gain services or assistance with their acquisitions. For real-time interaction with customers, conversational shopping is useful. Here chatbots can be used to ‘chat’ with consumers in real time. Examples would be a chatbot developed by a tech company that integrates into Facebook Messenger. A standalone example is Alexa, who assists Amazon clients to make purchases, and interacts with them by answering their questions, and making recommendations.
3. Various payment methods
Allowing the consumer to choose their preferred payment method is important. However, what has changed is the additional payment methods that are available and the need to make the process of paying at checkout easier for the client. Businesses that offer a variety of payment options at checkout come across as client-centric, increasing their trust with the client. More so, having different payment options reduces cart abandonment, and can assist clients to spend more. One of the popular payment options is interest-free financing solutions such as buy now and pay later. This, like other methods, allows flexibility for the customer.
4. Video marketing
With the increased internet speed and better devices, using videos for marketing is becoming increasing popular. Videos as content marketing are also a useful tool to reach new clients. These videos are used on various social media channels, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and in some cases, LinkedIn. Additionally, these videos can be hosted on the company website to increase leads. These videos do not have to be promotional videos − they can also be tutorials, user-generated content, and videos to help the client make a buying decision.
5. New technology, augmented reality, and future of ecommerce
There will still be a need for companies to invest in new technology to give them the competitive edge. These would include having 3D mapping, product builders, or product visualizers available for their customers. More so, augmented reality is making the process easier for consumers to see or virtually try out a product online. This is key to recreating the offline retail shopping experience by elevating product merchandising. Additionally, this helps customers remain engaged with the brand, and makes the buying-online process fun and easy.
6. Loyalty programs and subscriptions
As the eCommerce industry grows, and more players enter the market, so too the competition increases. Retaining existing clients is therefore key. Methods to ensure customer retention include marketing methods such as loyalty programs and subscriptions. With these marketing tools come exclusive deals, instant savings, and rewards. Moreover, these tools also help to increase brand loyalty, deepening the relationship between the brand and the consumer.
7. Omnichannel customer experience
Omnichannel is set to increase in 2022, shoppers valuing ease above everything else. More so, an omnichannel approach offers the customer convenience by generating a seamless experience. The consumer can therefore shop on their laptop, smartphone, or order products via click and collect services in a store. With an omnichannel strategy, businesses would be in a better position to increase their sales and drive customer loyalty.
8. Mobile commerce
Mobile commerce (m-commerce or m-Commerce) comprises using mobile handheld devices such as tablets or cellphones to conduct commercial transactions online. Procurement and sale of products, paying bills, and online banking are also possible. Mobile commerce sales are likely to double by 2025 in the United States alone. To remain ahead, your company should create an engaging and easy experience for mobile shoppers. A great mobile commerce experience will ensure the repeated custom of clients. Ongoing sales and growth will thus be ensured. Items such as push notifications, a mobile ecommerce app, SMSs, mobile content, and a mobile-optimized website may also be added.
9. Optimize the buyer journey
As eCommerce becomes the main customer purchase channel for many companies, it’s important that the customer experience is enhanced on an ongoing basis for your company to remain competitive. To enhance the consumer’s path, concentrate on refining the product search, producing a streamlined mobile experience, offering rich retail merchandising, and perfecting the fulfillment and return procedures.
10. Optimize the conversion rate
To flourish as a modern eCommerce company, one should be capable of capturing the courtesy of patrons from the start, eliminating any points of distraction from the conversion path. Conversion rate optimization is one path to an evergreen eCommerce trend that will assist online sellers reach both immediate and long-term outcomes.
11. Social commerce
Society has embraced social media. As such, marketers are using these channels to reach their target audience, exposing their products to these audiences. Social commerce is set to reach $79.6 billion in sales by 2025. When planning the social media budget, a social media strategy is therefore a must. This will include content and the goal of increasing followers and sales.
Sustainability is not limited to eco-friendly products and brands. However, clients are progressively purchasing from purpose-driven brands. In addition, more companies are integrating sustainable practices. These practices comprise such factors as making material changes to products, and contributing to sustainability-focused groups. To unite with today’s mindful client, you’ll want to ensure your values line up with your niche market. This configuration will drive growth and build trust which will benefit the business.
13. Marketing through marketplaces and other new channels
Customers are increasingly moving to marketplaces such as the big-box retailers Walmart or Amazon, to curated, industry-specific websites. This indicates a move in buying preferences towards the greater ease and speed offered by these large marketplaces. Therefore, instead of just being focused on a single channel, there will be businesses selling in conjunction with Amazon. The benefit is that businesses can tap into a wider reach while still benefiting from the efficiency Amazon offers. Moreover, the business can keep control of their own brand on their own website.
14. B2B eCommerce trends
In terms of B2B sales, paper catalogs and phone orders are being replaced by a digital self-service buying experience, together with a streamlined back-end process, and great customer service. This comes about as eCommerce continually updates their technology to make the most of the current developments. Such means investing in online catalogs, and offering efficient and rapid fulfillment of orders.
15. Personalized marketing and products
Research has shown that 80% of clients want more personalization from their favorite brands. To offer a more intense level of personalization companies can cater more directly to their clients based on the customer journey by the consumer. It is this individual focus that will drive the consumer down the marketing funnel and ultimately to a conversion. But for eCommerce businesses it also means listing products clients want to buy. It is therefore a recommendation to invest in a virtual technology assistant to help perfecting your format.
Leveraging the eCommerce trends to change your business
Customers want a seamless, useful, and unforgettable shopping experience more than ever before. Spending on the right eCommerce trends will permit you to become accustomed to these fast-changing wants and likes. To distinguish your company, you need to define which parts of eCommerce you are developing and what you could spend on those parts to build an enhanced online experience.
Eyeing to increase your digital presence in 2022?
Book a free 30-minute consultation with our outsourcing expert. Let us suggest which type of virtual assistant would benefit your business and drive your sales. Get the edge, and create a stellar online experience.