5 eCommerce Trends Shaping Retail Businesses in 2022
As 2020-2021 was hit by COVID-19, shopping behaviors weren’t left unchanged. All markets and sectors that were behind in the development of online shopping platforms were forced to accelerate their digital transformation. Consumers of 2021 are demanding that retail companies bring new customer experiences to maintain an accelerated pace of digital evolution.
Having an eCommerce business is no longer a luxury, it is an essential requirement that a retailer must have to bring in sales in the post-pandemic years. In this pandemic year alone, global eCommerce retail sales grew by more than 25%, emphasizing the importance of having a retail eCommerce business. In this blog, we are going to analyze some of the top eCommerce trends that will define the retail industry in 2022.
Consumer behaviors have changed drastically. Lower in-store traffic coupled with an increasing preference for powerful digital experience, customers are pivoting their demands of brands.
According to a study carried out by Statista on eCommerce platforms, this is the future of retail:
- Global eCommerce retail sales will reach $4.89 trillion in 2021. In 10 years, the volume of business would multiply by 6.
- 76% of U.S. consumers shop online, and it is predicted that eCommerce sales could nearly double by 2024.
- At the end of 2021, there will be 2.14 billion digital buyers worldwide, with 57% of online shopping orders coming from smartphones.
- China is the top eCommerce retail sales country. By 2022 China is expected to account for around a quarter of the global retail sales generated by the 60 largest markets, twice as much as the US.
- Amazon is the most popular online sales website by volume of traffic. Amazon.com had average monthly traffic of almost 3.68 billion visitors in 2020, followed by eBay.com with 1.010 billion visits on average each month.
Due to the notorious changes in the consumer shopping behaviors, top ecommerce trends have emerged and will be the ones to set the new digital standards in the upcoming year.
1. Retail Is Now Omnichannel.We all know that the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated what would have been several years of e-commerce growth into a few months, and now the line between offline and online shopping has been blurred. A consumer may start choosing their products in digital commerce and checkout in the physical store. A Harvard Business Review report disclosed that 73% of shoppers used multiple channels and eCommerce sites for research, allowing customers to discover and buy new products. Experts assure that in the coming years the physical retail store will continue to have its importance in the purchasing process for many consumers, but it must be complemented with many technological advances like augmented and virtual reality, drone delivery, new payment methods, among others that complete and improve the customer experience. A consumer survey showed that 61% of consumers rely on physical stores being open for them to purchase the goods they and their families need. Omnichannel customers spent an average of 4% more in the physical store and 10% more online than single-channel customers. This suggests that deliberate searching beforehand led customers to greater in-store purchases. For example, customers who used 4+ channels spent 9% more in the store, compared to those who used just one channel. Omnichannel is a plus for customer loyalty as well. Online shoppers attend 23% more to physical stores and are also more likely to recommend the brand to family and friends.
2. Augmented reality to improve the shopping experience.
Using augmented reality in your eCommerce store can give your business the edge over your competition. Gartner points out that in 2020, 100 million consumers used AR technology to buy online and suggests that 35% of buyers would buy more online if eCommerce had that virtual solution to test a product. Also, 71% of consumers would buy more in that store if they were allowed to experience the products through this technology.
With this technology, shoppers can better visualize the product they want to buy, providing them with more of an in-store experience. The retail industry is an example of the sectors that benefit from this technology. Zara has started to implement it through reality mannequins and a new eCommerce platform that shows life-size models wearing the brand’s latest clothes. This enables retailers to generate online sales since it is possible to buy the clothes through the app.
3. User experience will be extended to voice assistants.Voice assistants in smart devices continue to improve their technology and are becoming more and more accessible to consumers. In the US, adult ownership of smart speakers has reached 55.6% in 2020 target=”_blank”. The main focus of a smart speaker is for customers to search for stores and products, as well as writing notes, getting news, and more. According to Google, 42% of Europeans use voice search on a daily basis and voice shopping will reach $40 billion in the US by 2022. And there is a reason for that, a person can only type 40 per minute, while they can speak an average of 150 words in that same amount of time. Devices specialized in voice assistance, such as Alexa, the Amazon Dot, or Google Home, are all gaining ground. And while Amazon continues to control the market with Alexa, with 75% of the market share, personal voice assistants will be a fundamental pillar in the future of digital trends. Let’s not forget that having a voice assistant requires online store retailers to pay more attention to three fields: Content, SEO strategy, and UX, since voice assistants still crawl Google to make customer suggestions.
4. From eCommerce business to marketplace.Ecommerce companies who are looking to take the next step in the game should look in the direction of a marketplace. A marketplace is a website or app where you can find different brands and people working as sellers, sharing the same online commerce platform. The best way to understand it is with well-known examples: Amazon, Mercadolibre, Linio, among others. These types of platforms help diversify the offer of your retail eCommerce business and improve profitability: today 41% of online sales happen in a marketplace. The marketplace revolutionizing the internet is Amazon. Amazon has not only changed the way we shop but also the way we live. What began as a home delivery book distributor in 1994 called cadabra.com, has now become the second company in history to exceed a stock market value of more than a billion dollars. Amazon.com consumers are extremely loyal, which has allowed the platform to have a monthly traffic average of almost 3.68 billion visitors in 2020. Also, a 2020 survey reported that 89% of consumers were more likely to buy products from Amazon than another eCommerce company. According to Convey study, these are the three main benefits that consumers find in Amazon:
- 80% of internet users prefer Amazon for its fast, free shipping
- 69% choose Amazon because of its broad selection
- 66% of shoppers opt for Amazon because they are Prime members
5. Social commerce — Shopping on social mediaPurchases via social media are gaining popularity as well. Facebook and Instagram are the most common social media platforms consumers use for purchasing online. According to an eMarketer study, the number of social buyers in the US is expected to rise from 60.6 million in 2019 to 108 million in 2025— that’s more than a 75% increase in mobile shopping over just a few years. Social commerce is mostly driven by influencer marketing. From micro to macro, brands hire influencers to create friendly content that does not look like an ad – this is called user-generated content (UGC). UGC has been proven to be more effective in brand advertising, as 71% of US consumers said that the product recommendations from friends on social media were influential in their online purchasing decisions. Retailers can reach these online shoppers by setting up a Facebook Shop and using it to create a shoppable Instagram page. These platforms also provide many tools for listing products and creating ads to help drive more sales. According to the 2021 Shopper Experience Index from Bazaarvoice, almost 1/3 of consumers in the US rely on social media to learn about new products, and 39% of 18- to 34-year-olds have already purchased at least once through social media. These digital trends will continue to evolve, and it is most likely that such evolution will continue in the direction that omnichannel is pointing.
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