online shopping

10 Ecommerce Trends For 2022 And Beyond And How To Prepare For Them

December 2, 2021

More and more businesses are starting to realize just how powerful ecommerce is as a business development channel. Accordingly, many brick-and-mortar companies are creating ecommerce channels. A lot more businesses launch with an ecommerce channel and strategy from the beginning. 

One of the biggest challenges with ecommerce is keeping up with the changes and disruptions. Things move fast online and more so with online selling. The tools, developments, and even consumer behaviors evolve all the time, and it’s up to individual businesses to adapt. 

So, where is ecommerce going in the next few years? Here are the top ecommerce trends in 2022 and beyond to keep track of.

1. Social Commerce Coming Up

Social media still remains to be the traffic juggernaut for the most part. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube account for the most views and content consumed online. So, of course, ecommerce innovations will try to integrate selling strategies with those trends. 

Accordingly, new software systems for e-commerce stores integrate online shops into various parts of these channels. In addition, various online marketplaces now have sections within the YouTube interface. People are coming up with Facebook chat plugins that allow people to buy and check out Messenger or WhatsApp. 

It seems these are just the beginning stages, as more of these tech startups are in beta testing phases for the most part. But when they start launching, we’re going to see a massive uptick in social media spending and commerce.

2. Augmented Reality a Growing Application

The future of online shopping will include more augmented reality (AR) applications. For the most part, AR is used as a technology to fit fashion-related products virtually. For example, eyewear companies embed images of their glasses onto a shopper’s face. Clothing companies digitally fit clothes on people. 

This growing advancement answers the one issue many shoppers have with online purchases — not testing the product before buying. Of course, it’s not a 100% perfect application, but it’s a giant leap into the future. 

3. Free Deliveries and Coupons are the Best Sales Strategies

Other recent trends in online shopping have been shifting on the sales and promotion strategy aspects. For the most part, discounts and coupons were the leading sources of promo deals, but now most people get lured by free shipping options. As a result, 51.1% of online shoppers buy because of free delivery.

Other driving factors for better sales include easy return policies, loyalty points, next-day delivery, and payment terms. These tactics will only populate with time as online sellers find different ways to lure buyers. 

4. A Focus on Customer Service 

Nowadays, customer service and support have become strong drivers for online sales. While that’s nothing new under the commerce sun, not enough businesses are putting enough emphasis on it yet. Now, 58% of customers who abandon a brand do so because of poor customer service.

So if your online store doesn’t have a customer service channel yet, it’s time that you started implementing one. At the very least, an ecommerce store should have email support. Others will be more inclined to look for a chat support channel within the website itself.

5. Drip and Funnels to Extend Lifetime Value

Getting new customers is more expensive than retaining new ones. Currently, cost per acquisition now hovers at around 8.20% of total revenue for digital stores globally. That means a business spends around $8.20 per $100 earned on ads, social media content, SEO, and other content marketing and online advertising channels. 

So what ecommerce businesses have done to offset the high acquisition costs is extend the customer lifetime value. Drip and email funnels are some of the most effective ways to perform upsells, resulting in more repeat sales. Getting people to sign up for subscriptions for recurring orders is another strategy that seems to work for some industries, especially fast-moving products. 

6. Omnichannel as A Force for Conversion

Many more digital strategists are focusing on omnichannel strategies. This approach is different from a multichannel one. For example, a multichannel strategy will blast a person with messages without integration. On the other hand, an omnichannel strategy takes a more linear approach, integrating customer experience across various sales and marketing channels, including in-store, mobile apps, social media, email, and so on.

An omnichannel strategy spreads an integrated message to various channels, giving a customer a more cohesive experience versus a siloed one. A good example is how Walgreens allows customers to refill subscriptions through an app and pick it up in their store. Omnichannel is great for hybrid experiences, which should increase as the world comes into the post-COVID-19 new reality.

7. Big Data as a Driver for Better Consumer Understanding

Big data implications have started coming into the ecommerce world as online store hosting sites like Shopify beef up their analytics and tracking capabilities. One good example of this is how Shopify tracks consumer behavior like abandoned carts, site revisits, and the products they view to target ads on Facebook and Google.

The privacy implications of big data are still a gray area. However, it’s undeniable that big data plays a role in improving the digital shopping experience by allowing people to see only content and products they want to see. In a world teeming with options, this ability to focus on contextual and relevant offers helps. 

8. Chatbots and Artificial Intelligence

There has been a lot of talk about AI and its implications on the workforce, but there is no stopping this innovation. Many of today’s best value colleges in 2021 are now starting to put artificial intelligence and computer learning into their programs, even non-tech-related ones. 

For online shopping, AI is also going to be a significant driver of success. Chatbots now act as online sales agents and customer support, providing faster responses to basic customer queries. Artificial intelligence is also becoming a drive-in video experience as there are now apps like Synthesia that can give ecommerce stores AI-powered agents via video. AI will only improve with time and streamline more parts of the e-commerce journey.

9. Mobile is Still the Direction

Another of the e-commerce future trends no one can ignore is the growing shift towards mobile commerce. 79% of mobile phone users have made an online purchase in the last six months. Accordingly, ecommerce businesses should start taking a more mobile-first approach. 

For example, video course providers should ensure that their videos fit a mobile screen in the online course and learning category. Having text that’s too small could become a deterrent to long-term relationships or even drive refund requests. Improving on mobile experiences is no longer an option today. It’s an absolute must.

10. More Ways to Pay

The rise of fintech has created more ways for people to close their deals online. One of the emerging trends in ecommerce is the rise of e-wallets. People now turn to finance options like Apple Pay, Google Pay, Alibaba Pay, and so on. Some experts say that the e-wallet industry could overtake credit cards, and we see early implications of that already. 

Ecommerce stores should always support multiple payment options and have at least one e-wallet in the mix. The more options one provides, the more seamless the experience becomes for consumers. 

Convenience as the Driving Factor

In a nutshell, all these trends seem to be pushing people towards more convenient online shopping. As ecommerce companies and businesses with online stores continue finding ways to make online purchases easier, sales will continue to rise. So, make convenience the bedrock of your online customer experience.