Essential Game-Changing Ecommerce Trends in 2022 to Watch Out and Adapt
eCommerce has become an essential part of the global retail framework, especially in recent years. Like many other industries, eCommerce trends have changed dramatically since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Covid-19 pandemic changed everything for eCommerce companies, and the shift in customer behavior is here to stay. According to Shopify, at the height of the pandemic, 10 years of eCommerce growth happened in just 90 days. Statista reveals that over two billion people purchased goods or services online in the same year.
According to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, eCommerce accounted for more than 21.1% of all retail sales in the U.S. at its peak in Q4 of 2020, compared to 14.8% at the beginning of 2019. A similar boost has occurred around the world, and it shows no signs of slowing.
All this buzz around eCommerce has inspired well-known brick-and-mortar retailers to up their online game, and the increased competition has delivered some truly innovative trends. It’s an exciting time to be involved in online retail sales, let’s dive into future eCommerce 2022 trends and find out what e-commerce can offer online retailers in the coming days.
Evolution of eCommerce
Talking about 2021, e-commerce was a mammoth industry. But just 25 years ago, the scenario was completely different. Amazon and eBay were practically the first marketplaces to leverage the benefits of e-commerce and buy and sell goods online.
The two e-commerce giants got their start merely two and a half decades ago. During this time, consumer interest and participation in online shopping also grew massively. As per Statista, over a quarter of the world’s population (2.14 billion) became digital buyers by the end of 2021.
Top eCommerce Trends for 2022
1. Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL)
In the US, The number of BNPL users in US is likely to grow from 45.1 million in 2021 to 76.6 million by 2025.
The Buy Now, Pay Later model allows shoppers to pay for products in regular installments, over a period of time. Shoppers often prefer this method over credit card payments, since BNPL agreements are typically interest-free.
Studies find that US Adults who earn between $50,000 – $99,999/year prefer BNPL over credit cards. Some popular platforms that facilitate BNPL transactions include Klarna, PayPal, Afterpay, Affirm, and Sezzle. Mastercard is set to enter the BNPL market in 2022.
Retailers are adopting the BNPL model because it has been shown to:
• Reduces cart abandonment rate
• Boosts sales
• Speeds up the checkout process
• Increases order value size
Pro Tip: Shopify offers a BNPL plugin for its customers called Shop Pay Installments. If you use Shopify as your eCommerce platform, you won’t need to integrate a third-party BNPL provider.
2. AI and ML Will Rule
Most of the time, when we visit a brick-and-mortar store, a shopping agent gives us recommendations based on our taste and helps us navigate the store. Similarly, online shops use AI and machine learning to give consumers a more personalized shopping experience, by making smart product recommendations and using predictive search.
Broadly, AI means making technology understand repetitive human behavior. Earlier, product recommendations were manual and prone to errors. Now, they are automated and smarter, as AI can make suggestions on the basis of a customer’s search history, purchase history, gender, demography, etc.
Though there’s nothing novel about using AI and machine learning in E-commerce for enhancing user experience, as of now these technologies are only used for recommendations and product searches.
3. Is PWA the future of e-commerce?
The changing customer needs require fast content loading without trading off with shopper experience. That is the reason, numerous brands are concentrating on improving consumer experience with PWA (Progressive Web Applications).
Mobile apps are an unfailing tool to enhance the user experience and new standards in e-commerce. However, users leave their online shopping halfway due to the sudden installation popups. It is a major concern for most online retailers. Here, comes PWA as the savior.
According to a report, Flipkart experienced a growth of 70% in conversions right after making their website PWA-friendly. Social media giant Pinterest also witnessed incredible growth in the number of engagements after they went for PWA. Not just this, the social media giants like Twitter, Forbes, Smashing Magazine have also adopted PWA. AliExpress, an Alibaba website, took PWA’s assistance to build an incredible mobile experience. It empowered them to grow multiple times quicker than an eCommerce webpage.
There are several ways through which PWA outshines the mobile apps and is certainly enhancing the way we use the web. In comparison to native apps, the size of progressive web apps is much smaller. With PWA, users can have the same browsing experience as they have with apps. It effectively elevates the user’s shopping experience by ensuring an uninterrupted, responsive, and focused web experience. Actualizing PWA guarantees the ideal convenience of a website over any device and any browser.
4. Search via Voice
Voice assistants like ‘Okay Google’, Amazon’s Alexa, and Apple’s Siri are gaining traction at an increasing rate. People buying these voice assistants use them for every little thing- from checking the news to playing songs and buying products online.
In the coming times, more and more users will buy into this technology and get accustomed to purchasing products through them. Being able to order products using smart speakers will give consumers, especially multitaskers, a hands-free and effortless shopping experience they are bound to appreciate.
As of now, it will take some time to make voice assistants completely reliable and usable across the globe. A lot of development needs to go into making them understand different languages, accents, customer behaviors, etc.
But once all that is done, E-commerce merchants will definitely want to inculcate voice technology into the shopping experience they offer.
5. Sales within Metaverse and other Gaming Platforms
Facebook has rebranded its parent company with the name “Meta,” and soon it will launch Metaverse—the Virtual Reality world where users can connect and play games. This represents a powerful new marketing channel for eCommerce companies.
Facebook opened its new Horizon Worlds platform at the end of 2021. Although it’s not quite ready for advertising and in-world eCommerce sales, that’s coming soon!
Worldwide brands such as Nike, Gucci, Coca-Cola, and Vans are planning to sell virtual, branded goods to consumers. Meanwhile, other gaming systems will open up their platforms to eCommerce sales. For example, fashion brand Balenciaga recently partnered with Epic Games to launch its Fortnight clothing line. Also, Nike recently launched Nikeland on the Roblox gaming platform, where players can buy virtual Nike gear for their gaming avatars.
Benefits of eCommerce companies entering virtual words:
• Opportunity is wide open in this new, innovative space
• It offers tremendous visibility, especially for reaching younger demographics
6. E-commerce Delivery Drones
Essentially, drones are flying robots that can be programmed to fly on their own or manually controlled. In other words, drones depict the future of automation. But you may wonder how do these drones relate to eCommerce?
Well, experts predict that in the coming years, drones can easily replace delivery personnel by delivering orders to the customer’s doorstep. These drones are indubitably faster than humans. Thus, their mass adoption can lead to shortened delivery timelines. Furthermore, they will cut down the costs for companies, leading to greater profitability. So, these drones are among the leading eCommerce trends that can really alter the future of eCommerce.
Amazon was among the first ones to get hold of the concept and apply it to its business model. Consequently, the company announced Amazon Prime Air, an avant-garde delivery system to get packages delivered via drones in less than an hour. Although the concept is not yet in implementation, it is inevitable, considering Amazon’s history of innovation. Apart from Amazon, Dominos and Taobao in China are other leading brands trying to implement the concept. If successful, drones could be used for the delivery of food, medications, books, and much more. And companies using drone-based deliveries will surely get a massive competitive advantage.
These Ecommerce Trends Define the Future of Ecommerce
Retail sales are one of the oldest business models in the world, but eCommerce is forever evolving. Understanding the latest trends will help you stay ahead of the competition, integrating those that work best for your brand and business model. Keep an eye on your competitors, observe the new techniques they use to reach customers, and prioritize changes that will deliver the greatest impact on your bottom line.
2022 also has the potentials to build new e-commerce business trends and that’s where we will be watching out to update you. To stand out as a brand and to meet the ever-changing expectations, you should have knowledge of future eCommerce 2022 trends.