If there’s one good thing about the pandemic, it’s how it propelled the global traffic increase for e-commerce businesses: 18% of all retail sales were made online in 2020. Yes, e-commerce has been a part of global retail for decades, but its share in the total retail sales started growing only recently. It’s been a good couple of years for e-commerce. But will the next one be as successful? We’re no psychics, but we can look at e-commerce trends for 2022.
Because consumer experience is what drives sales for retail companies and keeps the competition lively, most 2022 e-commerce trends revolve around it. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Keep reading to discover the trends that will influence the e-commerce market and customer demand in 2022.
Three out of four dollars were spent on mobile online shopping in 2021. If you’ve ever used your smartphone to buy something online easily and instantly, you understand where this statistic comes from. And as an e-commerce business owner, you should also know that m-commerce is expected to generate more than 10% of all retail sales in the US by 2025.
But if you think this doesn’t concern you since your online shop is optimized for mobile devices, here’s a truth bomb: this isn’t enough to give users a positive experience. We mean, who are you going to impress with a mobile-optimized website in 2022?
Statistics show that in 2021, consumers were more willing to use mobile e-commerce apps — their conversion rates were three times higher compared to websites. But don’t worry; you don’t need to hire mobile iOS and Android developers just yet. To give your users an app-like experience, you can start with a progressive web application (PWA) that acts like a native app but doesn’t require installation.
Variety of payment options
Offering your customers a variety of payment options at checkout is the next e-commerce trend to reduce cart abandonment and increase conversion rates. The usual payment options like a credit card, debit card, bank transfer, or PayPal might not be enough for the spoiled modern consumer.
In 2022, buyers will expect companies to accept payments through:
- Digital wallets
- Mobile payments
In addition to that, installment payments that allow people to pay in small amounts over a fixed period will keep getting popular.
Social networks will redefine online shopping by allowing users to make purchases without having to leave the app. According to the research conducted by The Harris Poll, 73% of businesses are already participating in social commerce. Which is natural since social networks have long become a place where companies showcase and advertise goods and consumers connect with their favorite brands. Statistics prove it — 60% of Gen Zers in the US use Instagram to discover new brands, products, and services.
It’s this desire to keep everything in one place that moves social commerce forward. Recent Statista research proves that the number of social commerce buyers is growing, with China and the US having the largest adoption rates (46% and 36% of internet users). The same research indicates Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest to be the leading platforms boosting social commerce growth.
McKinsey experts envision the world entering the “phygital” stage, which is a wholly connected single physical and digital world at the same time. This makes omnichannel a growing trend that focuses on providing seamless customer experience across various online or physical store shopping channels.
The State of Commerce Experience 2021 report shows that 44% of B2C and 58% of B2B buyers frequently research a product online before going to a brick-and-mortar store. Even when in-store, buyers still go online to continue their research. That means buyers expect to have easy navigation, relevant searches in online stores with the ability to refine results based on the physical stores’ availability.
So make no mistake, providing consumers with omnichannel commerce experiences boosts loyalty and increases sales and traffic.
Rise of the visuals
Apart from the traditional use of still images and videos, in 2022, consumers will also expect brands to demonstrate products in 3D. But that’s not the only trend when it comes to visuals.
Bright local research showed that 87% of customers read online reviews for local businesses in 2020. Showcasing user-generated content on your e-commerce website shows how others interact with your brand. Their pictures or video feedback can encourage newcomers to make online purchases.
Customers expect to find the information they’re looking for in just a few clicks, and AI-powered chatbots can handle that task. From giving product recommendations to helping consumers finish their purchases, chatbots can become a fun and engaging part of e-commerce customer service.
In 2022, chatbots will become more intuitive and personalized — kind of like digital personal shopping assistants that save customers time. Powered by artificial intelligence, they can track what customers value and respond with new or adjusted offerings. This helps grow customer loyalty and willingness to make a purchase.
Business Wire predicts that by 2024, global smart speaker sales will surpass $30 billion. Virtual digital assistants like Siri, Google Assistant, or Amazon Alexa will increase their popularity and directly impact consumer shopping habits. By providing a hands-free experience and allowing people to multitask, these assistants can be a great way of making purchases through voice commands.
To keep up with the trend, e-commerce sellers must optimize their websites for mobile voice search by:
- Implementing SEO techniques and using long-tail keywords to let assistants find your web store
- Incorporating voice assistant questions into your content
- Improving product descriptions: removing redundant phrases that are too difficult to process
Also, make sure information like physical address, contact number, and business hours are easy to find.
This year was rich in Magecart attacks, with hundreds of payment card records stolen and sold on the dark web. In 2022, e-commerce businesses need to redefine their security measures and do a better job at protecting their customers. One way to do that is using machine learning to detect fraud. ML algorithms can:
- Process real-time data
- Find hidden patterns
- Automate verification processes
One more option is to apply a real-time content security policy (CSP) to approach vulnerabilities in the system. CSP sets clear-defined page permissions and can protect web applications from the injection of malicious code.
The bottom line
E-commerce trends for 2022 will revolve around consumers and their convenience. This explains the prevalence of mobile and social commerce, accent on high-quality visuals, and ease of purchasing. The latter involves introducing several payment options, with mobile payments being a must. In 2022 consumers will also expect more personalized shopping experiences. AI-powered chatbots can have your back here by analyzing the consumers’ previous experiences and making personal suggestions.
To stay ahead of the curve, e-commerce businesses should focus on creating seamless consumer environments with speedy and good-looking websites that work on mobile devices without glitches. IT Delight can help you stay competitive by building or upgrading your e-commerce solution. Contact us and make your business thrive in 2022!