By Chris Foster, Head of Performance, Loud Mouth Media
Ecommerce is an evolving industry, with new trends emerging every year to help your business grow and stand out from its competitors. 2022 is set to be no different, and as the pandemic slows down, many Ecommerce businesses will be using it as the year of fast growth and convenient shopping.
Highlighted in The IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Sales Index, online sales in the UK fell by 9.1% in May 2021 versus that of 2020, which is the biggest drop since the Index’s inception back in 2000. While this might seem like a significant decrease, this comparison is measured against the 61% boom driven by the early days of the pandemic.
But with the festive season and a new year upon us, this should be set to change. Our shopping habits have been altered and despite sales growth across most retail categories in the UK now flatlining, overall sales remain significantly higher than those reported back in 2019, before the landscape of the retail sector shifted. So, when looking at it from this perspective, sales for May 2021 are up by 46% compared to that of May 2019.
There are five key trends that could shape the Ecommerce industry in 2022, so in order to succeed they are definitely worth considering for your future marketing strategies.
Bolster your technology stack
With all the challenges encountered in the last two years, digital commerce has become the main route to market across most industries. However, for many years, lots of businesses have become accustomed to buying niche technologies without considering how they work.
There is likely to be more of a focus on Ecommerce P&L, which will lead to teams needing to look at their current tools to see what can be removed so there is no duplication with pre-existing technologies already in use.
If you find that your Ecommerce platform is proving difficult to maintain and stabilise, this could be down to a high level of third-party integrations and a lack of customisation ability. By replacing this with a hybrid-SaaS platform that is customisable and highly scalable, brands can manage stability effectively.
Shopping on social media
Facebook and Instagram are the most popular social media platforms used by consumers when buying online. Retailers can reach these shoppers by setting up a Facebook shop and using it to create a shoppable Instagram page. These platforms are designed with tools for listing products and creating ads that help to drive more sales. Social media now influences around 71% of consumer buying decisions, with customers now four times more likely to spend more on purchases while also shortening their shopper journey.
Visual content is more popular than ever, with marketers pushing out their products and services through pictures, videos and user-generated content. Visuals are more interactive which makes them more appealing, and one of the primary reasons why businesses choose them over traditional Ecommerce sites.
Having powerful visual components adds interest and personality to the products/services on sale and serves as an opportunity to distinguish a brand in competitive markets. And by strategically developing innovative visual content that aligns with an established brand and immerses customers in the products, hesitant buyers are supported in their purchasing decisions. Showcasing user-generated images and reviews also further elevates credibility, making products and services feel more familiar to potential customers.
Having a 360-degree view of the customer that enhances the buyer’s journey offers advantages for both large enterprises and customers. For the consumer, it’s convenient whilst for the company it establishes targeted Ecommerce which leads to higher conversion rates. Whether you’re a well-known or up and coming brand, personalisation goes beyond online sales and is about creating an experience that keeps customers coming back.
When customers visit a website and accept the Cookie Disclaimer popup, they have consented to data collection so expect brands to give them a personalised experience.
With competition in the market high, consumers may see personalised recommendations as a must-have. Because of this, the need for brands to create a personalised omnichannel experience has become vital. This means allowing the customer to order on a website and complete the process via a phone app or as a click and collect transaction.
Consumers wanting to spend money with independent businesses is becoming not only popular but on-trend, so brands need to meet customers halfway by leaning into this trend.
Another reason this way of thinking has increased is that consumers now want to buy products from more purpose-driven, ethical brands that advocate sustainability. The focus on green consumerism is now a clear indicator that brands need to prioritise environmentally friendly practices in the coming years. Independent retailers are also often able to have more control over their sustainability efforts, with lower volumes of orders and smaller processes giving them a competitive edge over their larger competitors.
These emerging trends have one thing in common, the end goal is to make a customer’s shopping experience easier and more enjoyable. By reviewing and implementing upcoming trends for early 2022, brands are taking steps towards enhancing the user experience, but before choosing a trend, they must do their research and see if the trends they want to utilise are achievable. The best way to find out if something will work for your business is to ask your customers, as after all, the mission is to maximise their satisfaction and build brand loyalty now so it will last into the future.