5 eCommerce Trends for 2022 In 2021 the amount of global online consumers reached an astonishing 2.14 billion. That’s over a quarter of the world’s population. And this rise in online shopping has occurred at a rapid rate. In fact, there were 900 million more online consumers in 2021 compared to 2020. Perhaps, this will not come as a surprise to many. With consumers and businesses alike dealing with Covid-19 and various lockdowns, eCommerce was where many were forced to turn to purchase essentials such as groceries and cosmetics. Which quickly evolved into a preference for online shopping for clothes, furniture, and technology. Consumers have had two years to build habits around online shopping. And of course, businesses must go where the consumers are. With many brands needing to pivot their offering, and expand their online presence. But Covid-19 isn’t the only challenge facing businesses today. As Gen Z grow up they are quickly becoming a core group of consumers for many brands. With this generation comes new desires. And they’re not afraid to call out brands who don’t meet their moral and ethical benchmarks. But that was 2021. What about 2022? We still live in a world of uncertainty, something which businesses have fast had to become accustomed to. New and exciting (and also challenging) trends are emerging as we write, so it’s important for businesses and marketers to regularly keep on top of what’s evolving in their industry, audience, and eCommerce in general. To get you started, here are 5 eCommerce trends that we predict are going to be big in 2022. Small businesses will boom Shopify found that 57% of consumers are open to shopping at independent retailers for the first time. But whilst the intention is there, only 29% of consumers have actually shopped at small independents since the start of the pandemic. For many consumers, they want to venture away from the big brands, but they simply aren’t aware of the alternative options available to them. 2022 will mark the year that small independents nail their marketing and start shouting about their offering. Securing all-important new business, and increasing their brand awareness. Our advice For smaller and independent businesses, the goal should be to promote their brand and to reassure customers that they are a legitimate business to be buying from. Welcome campaigns For smaller businesses, welcome campaigns are key to introducing a brand to new customers and making an impact. They should include key information such as delivery times, reviews, and popular products. Geotargeting For small businesses who still have an offline offering, they can utilise geotargeting alongside location data to communicate with potential consumers in their local area. For instance, they could invite them to instore events and sales. Gather feedback For small brands branching out to new customers, feedback is key to knowing what they are doing right. And of course, what they are doing wrong. Brands can send a thank you email post-purchase and then ask for honest feedback in the form of a survey or even a simple NPS. D2C will continue to thrive It’s safe to say that eCommerce has seen a significant shift over the past 2 years. It has increasingly grown in popularity and has evolved to meet the changing demands of consumers and the pandemic. Part of this evolution is D2C (direct to consumer) eCommerce. This concept gained in popularity over lockdowns, during which brands chose to sell directly to consumers and bypass traditional resellers and intermediaries. Our advice Key to engaging directly with consumers is building a relationship. Many will have spent years purchasing from third parties, and whilst they are excited about D2C purchases, the process may still feel alien. Welcome campaigns For D2C businesses, welcome campaigns are integral not only to introduce themselves as a brand, but also to talk the consumer through the process of purchasing directly from them. Make sure to include the benefits of direct purchasing, which could include cheaper prices and faster delivery. Personalisation Personalisation is key to building a relationship with consumers. This is particularly relevant for brands who have previously sold in high street and bricks and mortar stores, but are moving online with their D2C offering. Personalisation can come in many forms. From simply using a first name in the subject line and copy of emails. Through to recommending the products which will be of most interest to the consumer, based on their demographics or past purchase history. Social proof What better way to build trust with consumers than to show off others, just like them, who are shopping with you? Shout about your happy customers via social proof in your emails and on your website. This could be reviews and ratings, product photos from social sites, or even interviews and videos. Consumers demand sustainability from brands Consumers are growing increasingly concerned about rapid climate change, so unsurprisingly, they are also growing increasingly loyal to more sustainable brands. In fact, 65% of consumers have stated they are willing to spend up to 20% more on purchases that are sustainable. And over the past five years searches for “Sustainability” have gone through the roof. With a significant global increase of 164.5k to 724k searches. This has resulted in many brands moving away from plastics, particularly within their packaging. Whereas others are choosing to include product information that incorporates the origins of materials and how consumers can recycle them. And some brands are sharing their carbon footprint with consumers for transparency. Our advice Sustainability is often talked about in terms of the manufacturing, packing, and delivery process. However, there are things that marketers can also take on board to support sustainability efforts too. Promote your sustainability This should be a no-brainer. But it’s surprising how sustainable efforts fly under the radar when it comes to marketing. Many brands are so focused on selling their products that they put less emphasis on promoting their sustainability. Notably, we’d recommend including this information within any nurturing or welcome campaigns that are set up. That means that brands can ensure all of their contacts, whether they have purchased or not, gain awareness of the brand’s sustainability efforts and policies. Without it having to be a manual effort. Utilise sustainable marketing channels Chances are that eCommerce brands are going to be savvy when it comes to online marketing which, due to its online nature, is highly sustainable. Even so, there are still those that branch out to less-sustainable marketing channels, such as magazines and leaflets. To cut down on unnecessary advertising waste, brands should focus on channels such as email, social media, and paid advertising. Which don’t utilise physical resources. eCommerce will get social Social commerce is already a hot topic in the world of eCommerce. And refers to sales that happen online, but with a significant social element to them. So much so, that social commerce can avoid going through an eCommerce site entirely. An increasing amount of sales are being conducted on social networks and communities. With apps such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest featuring “buy now” buttons on their ads, as well as running live streams with influencers and experts to sell products. The phenomenon is already proving incredibly successful, with the market growing through 2020, and by 2027 is expected to drive $604 billion in sales. Our advice Fortunately, with consumers engaging with online shopping more than ever, incorporating social into marketing has never been easier. Incorporate social proof 89% of purchasers won’t take action until they read reviews. Fortunately, social proof can be incorporated within a wide variety of marketing campaigns, from social media to email. Brands can use static imagery to pull through specific ratings and reviews. Or use dynamic content to automatically update emails, landing pages, and campaigns with the latest reviews and ratings, in real-time. Promote UGC (user generated content) UGC is at the heart of social media. Posts, photos, and videos created by customers and influencers are a fantastic way to promote your brand and reinforce that you have lots of happy customers. Furthermore, 64% of consumers are actively searching for UGC before making a decision on a purchase. And UGC can easily be pulled through to all marketing channels, including customers’ social posts featuring your products, their stories, and of course their own reviews and testimonials. Optimise your content As well as competing with stunning email campaigns and striking websites, eCommerce marketers are now battling with hundreds of thousands of content creators on social networks. Therefore, brands need to optimise the content imagery in their marketing campaigns and on their website. This includes mirroring the types of imagery used on social media. Keeping copy short and snappy. And incorporating video where possible. Image Source – Milled.com Delivery will continue to evolve Delivery services have witnessed a rapid evolution over the past year. Due to the pandemic, many businesses had to adapt to meet increased consumer demand and expectations for fast and convenient home delivery. But unfortunately, many brands are still trailing behind. This is a concern, as almost half (43%) of consumers will abandon their purchase if they are not happy with the delivery method and timing available. Generations such as millennials and Gen Z now demand delivery options that fit around their schedule, meaning businesses have to offer speed and flexibility. Some of the methods that brands are using to offer faster, same day, and tailored deliveries include utilising third party delivery companies, offering delivery slots, enabling delivery tracking, offering parcel lockers and click and collect, and giving customers the option to reschedule delivery times or drop off points. Our advice Key to all of the above is great communication. Ensuring the right delivery and collection information is displayed to the right individual at the right time. Delivery updates Part of offering specific and flexible delivery is also offering updates on where a customer’s delivery is, and when it will arrive. These updates can be in the form of automated email and SMS communications, and ensure that the recipient can plan their day around their delivery. Without having to worry about missing it. These updates will also keep the customer in the loop about any potential delays. Which can save customer service teams hours of answering delivery queries and complaints. Geotargeting delivery updates If you have a great delivery offering, then you should shout about it by promoting all of your options on your website and checkout pages. However, brands can go one step further by personalising these options through geotargeting and dynamic content, which identifies where a customer is located and shows them the relevant delivery information to their location. Are you struggling with your 2022 eCommerce strategy? We understand. With so much to keep up with, making sure your strategy incorporates the latest trends can be a full-time job in itself. Fortunately, we can help. Our industry experts alongside our all-in-one AI email and web marketing platform can save you time, resource, and budget so you can focus on the bigger picture. Ensuring that you are ahead of your competitors in your eCommerce marketing. Get in touch to find out more.