The start of the year is expected to be effervescent for the e-commerce industry, kicking off predictions about how things will evolve over the next twelve months. Whether you are a fan of the industry or run an online store, here is a list of the trends that will define 2022, as well as some advice on how to prepare your online store for them.
- The omnichannel customer experience
The presence of a multi-channel business will be just as important in 2022. Today’s shoppers prioritize comfort over all else. An omnichannel approach provides them with the much-desired convenience. Customers want the most complex and diverse shopping experiences possible, whether they are shopping on the desktop, searching for items on their smartphone, or picking up items in a physical store via click-through and collect services. Companies that invest in an omnichannel strategy will benefit in terms of increasing sales and customer loyalty.
As machine learning technology becomes more sophisticated and concise, brands are also beginning to use artificial intelligence and automation to improve the customer experience. The use of chatbots is an example of this. These types of software, which can communicate via a live chat interface, provide 24/7 instant customer service, and can act as a resource to guide shoppers to the right pages and get them back to your online store.
- Video marketing
Nonetheless, video is still one of the most important and effective ways to market your products and attract potential customers. Consider creating and posting videos on social media as well as key sections of your website, such as your homepage or product pages, to boost your online store’s visibility. Unboxing videos, tutorials, explanations, and user-generated content are some of the best examples of videos that can connect with customers while also assisting them in making purchasing decisions.
- Voice shopping technologies
Companies will introduce the ability to shop by voice, as technology allows consumers to have advanced shopping experiences that allow them to benefit from and access information quickly. Conversational shopping enables you to converse with customers in real-time. If you’re wondering how you can do this for your customers, you can try using chat apps like Facebook Messenger and voice technology like Alexa and Siri to allow customers to interact with the online store, receive recommendations, and even make purchases.
- Selling on new marketplaces and distribution channels
Before purchasing the desired products, most consumers explore the market options, which range from large marketplaces such as eMAG, Cel.ro, Doraly.ro, Breslo.ro, or Credimag.ro to specific websites. This indicates a shift in customer purchasing preferences, as they seek greater convenience and faster order processing and delivery. If your online store isn’t already in a marketplace, you should think about it. This way, you can keep in touch with your customers and provide a consistent brand experience on your own website.
- Diversity of payment methods
When achieving the order completion process, customers expect to be able to select their preferred payment method. As a result, online stores that use a variety of payment methods are more likely to develop a trusting relationship with their customers, reduce dropout rates, and encourage shoppers to make additional purchases. During the pandemic, the buy now, pay later – BNPL (Buy Now, Pay Later) payment method grew rapidly, becoming favoured primarily by generation Z. These customers are increasingly looking for businesses that offer flexible and quick payment options.
- Subscriptions and loyalty programs
Consumer loyalty is critical in an increasingly competitive market for e-commerce. Many businesses prioritize customer retention, which is why they develop various loyalty programs and subscriptions. Buyers are more likely to purchase from websites that offer discounts and a personalized experience that only allows subscribers access to exclusive products.
- Smartphone shopping
Experts predict that mobile phone sales in the United States will more than double by 2025. To reach your customers, your online store’s website must provide an intuitive and captivating shopping experience for those who purchase from mobile devices. Customers will return to your site if they have a pleasant e-commerce experience on their mobile phones. So you might want to think about things like push notifications, texting, dedicated content for your mobile phone, and even an application to communicate with your customers all the time.
- Optimizing customer journey
Customers’ perceptions of their first interaction with your store influence their decision to become your customers or to go with the competition. As a result, in order to remain competitive, an online business must analyze and improve every point of contact with them. To optimize the path that buyers take on the site, it is recommended that they begin by improving the product search, followed by creating a simple and enjoyable mobile experience. It is also important to keep an up-to-date inventory of products and showcase how the ordering and return processes are carried out.
Today, the term “sustainability” refers to more than just brands and businesses that make environmentally friendly products. We will see an increase in businesses that incorporate “green” practices as customers buy more and more from companies that promote a sustainable lifestyle. The most important of these practices are the delivery method (extension of the click & collect delivery option) and the encouragement of local trade through the brands present on the market.
The pandemic context of the last two years has enabled massive developments in the e-commerce industry, altered key aspects of consumer purchasing behaviour, and accelerated technological progress. As a result, this year’s challenge for online businesses is to keep up with the latest trends while also creating a complex and memorable shopping experience for their customers. As a result, investing in the right trends will help optimize your store’s business strategy to the constantly changing needs and preferences of consumers.