eCommerce trends, like any other, come and go over time, so it is not always wise to try and peer too far into the future – but, having got that neat disclaimer out of the way, what are the likely eCommerce trends on the near horizon, and what does the eCommerce market hold for us beyond 2022?
There are several suggestions – but you will notice that the overriding theme of most of them is concerned with a closer relationship with the individual – that is, the eCommerce trend developments in 2022 and beyond will focus on connection. The eCommerce market of the future will become even more personal and tailored.
This is in part because it is what consumers want, and partly because technology is finally allowing us to achieve it.
Here then, are what you need to be considering if you are going to be an eCommerce trend setter beyond 2022.
1. Brand Loyalty
OK – so brand loyalty here is not what you think it means. Brand loyalty (a customer remaining loyal to your brand) is out.
Brand Loyalty – you as a brand being loyal to your customers – is in.
The world’s purchasing habits have shifted online; according to eCommerce statistics from Statista, eCommerce penetration in the UK population will grow to almost 90% by 2025.
And what have all these new online shoppers discovered? Alternatives.
They have realised that the new world of eCommerce offers choice – more than they knew existed – and to be a success beyond 2022 means fighting harder for their attention.
To get attention, your visual content must be spot-on. Always use strong, vibrant images that are better than your competitors. And “don’t try this at home” – use a professional eCommerce photo specialist, such as Splento, and your visual content will win you business.
Brand Loyalty (in this new sense) means providing a personal service that is above and beyond – a theme of most of the rest of the eCommerce trends in this list, as you will see.
Keep this in mind as you read through the rest of this list.
2. Personalisation & Subscription
One of the key eCommerce developments in 2022, and one set to continue, is personalisation.
This is more than having a T-shirt with your name on it – this is personalised, tailored, services that are made to fit you and your lifestyle.
Food delivery companies such as HelloFresh and Gousto don’t just deliver food, they deliver tailored packages every week adapted to your choices and preferences.
Every second business, from shaving to clothes buying to book reading, is creating subscription eCommerce models. And subscriptions are just another way of selling personalisation services.
If you haven’t thought about this business model for your eCommerce services yet, then it is past time you did. Subscription models are not a fit for every business, but in this case, if the personalised cap fits – then wear it.
Hot on the heels of the personalisation of services and products comes User Generated Content. As you provide one, so you shall receive the other.
UGC is fast becoming the number one eCommerce trend for marketing online. Consumers love authenticity and trust other customers more than your marketing messages. Trustpilot and Google reviews are important – but UGC such as customer videos are always a winner.
Actively invite UGC from your customers – you can even run a competition for this – and then use it for customer reviews, unboxing videos, advice on product use, etc. (Just remember to always get appropriate consent first.)
4. Omnichannel Marketing
Always make sure your eCommerce content is suitable for mobile viewing, but also make sure it is available everywhere.
eCommerce shopping trends mean that consumers are now migrating across devices during the buying cycle – even several times in a day – so make sure that your browsing and purchasing experience is seamless across all your platforms.
A consumer should be able to browse on their phone on Facebook, then pick up that same thread later, if they wish, on a tablet or PC, on your website or other social channels.
There are plenty of eCommerce startups out there offering services to enable you to do exactly this.
This is the personalisation of the consumer experience.
5. In-app shopping
One step up from an omnichannel presence is in-app shopping. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and even WhatsApp are either offering or exploring in-app shopping services.
Your customer is scrolling through Instagram, they see something they wish to buy and they can – without leaving the app. A simple click or swipe and they land directly on the checkout page within the app. A few more clicks and the purchase is made.
What in-app purchasing does is reduce buyer friction – the number of steps it takes between deciding to buy and completing the purchase.
Many social app platforms are now exploring this as a vehicle for monetisation – and it’s a hot eCommerce trend that you need to own!
6. Easy searching
Want customers to be able to find your products are services? Make it easy for them.
Voice searching is a growing eCommerce trend – so make sure that your website and presence on other platforms are geared towards it.
Google, Alexa and almost every other service you can think of now offers voice control – and if your site is not voice-friendly, then you are going to miss out.
And the same goes for visual searching. We have already stressed the importance of high-quality visuals, and here is another reason why.
Visual search, like voice searching, is a growing development of eCommerce technology.
Consumers can often search by image, so make sure your visuals are updated so they will be matched against image searches for your products.
7. Livechat and A.I. assistance
With more people shopping online, there are more demands on customer service departments.
Automated livechat can help a lot – and the trend is for many eCommerce consumers to be happier using livechat than the telephone.
Livechat enables you to handle more enquiries simultaneously – and A.I. assisted chats help even more.
Remember – the eCommerce trend is towards better service – so make sure you are always available to your customers in one way or another.
8. Post-purchase content
This includes many subjects but covers FAQs, user forums, help, support, newsletters, blogs and more.
Post-purchase content is an important eCommerce trend that is already popular with those that understand it. It is about continuing customer engagement.
Once a customer has made their purchase – that’s not the end of the story! It is far, far easier to get them to buy again than it is to attract a new consumer. So stay connected, stay friendly, and keep the relationship going.
9. Influencer marketing
There’s no getting away from it – influencer marketing is here to stay, for a while at least.
And if you haven’t tried it yet – don’t knock it! Influencer marketing represents a growing percentage of online purchasing, so if it is a trend you have yet to explore then maybe now is the time to give it a try.
Do some research, find some influencers who are aligned to your market (and style) and give it a go. You may just surprise yourself.
We think it speaks volumes that something as important as sustainability is the last eCommerce trend on this list.
That’s not to say it isn’t important, but that there are so many other eCommerce trends which are currently getting more attention and are already – or will become – key to marketing beyond 2022.
Having said that – your green credentials will need to be impeccable in the future if they are not already so. Sustainability is the future market’s watchword, regardless of what market you are in.
In the future, if you are not green, then you won’t be seen.
eCommerce trends are more important than they used to be.
Even five years ago, many of them were nice add-ons, sometimes great, and occasionally just a bit of fun.
Now, there isn’t one of them on this list that won’t affect your bottom line in some way, meaning that all 10 of these eCommerce trends for the future are vital issues to address if you are to make the most of your eCommerce business beyond 2022.