As most other industries, the world of e-commerce is continuously evolving. New trends and tendencies show themselves each year, some with little staying power, and others aiming to reshape the industry as a whole. If you want to to keep up with changing customer demands and stay ahead of your competition, it might be wise to stay on top of these new e-commerce trends that are bound to influence the industry in 2022:
Social commerce options
Being a subset of e-commerce, social commerce is often used by Direct to Consumer businesses who want to simplify the entire shopping experience, from finding products to checking out. With this form of commerce, everything happens on social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook. Customers generally prefer this type of experience, as it allows them to see reviews or contact sellers directly before making a purchase.
However, businesses can benefit from social commerce as well. Companies that adopt this form of commerce will have the opportunity to enter the daily life of their customers, create enticing stories, arouse positive emotions, and receive valuable feedback, all of which can lead to a wider, more engaged audience.
Live and visual shopping
While influencing consumers through social media using more traditional tactics is always efficient, this solution can be taken a step further as well. By attracting consumers using a brand ambassador who engages in live streaming, live shopping proves to be quite an effective method. When the influencer demonstrates a product, its functionality, and design on a live stream, consumers can ask questions directly and be more engaged with the product, possibly raising enthusiasm and sales as well.
Visual shopping, on the other hand, takes place just after live shopping. While the ultimate goal might be similar, the method is a bit different. In visual commerce, consumers are often presented with interactive 3D models of the product, allowing them to get a better view and understanding of the product, and perhaps make a decision sooner. This option likely plays the largest role in the fashion industry, giving customers the opportunity to virtually try on clothes and accessories before purchasing them.
Infographic created by Chicago Tag & Label, a custom label manufacturer
Diverse payment methods
Customer satisfaction depends on the smaller details, and offering diverse payment methods is undoubtedly one of them. As it is the final step in the online shopping process, a lack of suitable payment methods could cause you to lose otherwise eager consumers. For that reason, allowing customers to pay however they wish and keeping the process simple is key.
Apart from offering more traditional solutions such as paying with credit and debit cards, or even bank transfers, you should also offer alternative methods like Apple Pay and Google Pay, PayPal, and electronic checks. As paying in installments is another growing trend among consumers, you might also want to consider partnering with a company that provides this option, like Klarna or Afterpay.
New financing solutions
From importing goods to exporting products, and even establishing a reliable supply chain, every e-commerce business deals in both international and domestic trade. And while this might be an essential aspect of business, it can also present a number of cash flow challenges, especially for smaller companies.
To overcome this issue, choosing efficient Trade finance solutions is a leading trend in e-commerce. This financing option provides businesses with a convenient line of credit to pay their suppliers on time, thus strengthening professional relationships, speeding up business growth, offering the flexibility to diversify, and helping to close the working capital gap.
The number of internet users is continuously on the rise, and so is the number of potential customers. However, as each individual has unique needs and preferences in terms of online purchases, old customer experience (CX) solutions might not be enough to satisfy most consumers anymore.
This is exactly where hyper-personalization comes in, allowing companies to provide the best possible CX. By gathering all relevant information about a consumer, from social media channels and other online activities to e-commerce storefronts and behaviors, an AI will be able to create an accurate customer profile, and provide the best possible shopping experience for each individual.
Google’s Local Inventory Ads
Google’s Local Inventory Ads are a novelty, but they are quickly spreading across the e-commerce industry. This is a tool that utilizes the consumer’s location in order to show relevant products and services that are nearby.
And the principle behind this is as simple as it sounds. When users search for products using Google, any relevant products that are available in-store will be highlighted, thus increasing the chances of consumers deciding on shown products.
The rise of sustainability
Over the last few years, sustainability has played an important role in many industries, and it has now reached the field of e-commerce as well. As consumers are increasingly aware of environmental issues and the negative impact of shipping and plastic packaging, they are now turning to companies that offer more sustainable production, delivery, and packaging processes.
According to local e-commerce reports for 2021, customers in all EU countries are more likely to purchase products that are made and delivered in an eco-friendly way compared to their traditional counterparts. Even when consumers have to pay extra for a greener alternative, they seem to be willing to make that decision, thus making sustainability an important factor to consider come 2022.
Evidently, the e-commerce industry is rapidly evolving to meet the changing consumer demands. Any company seeking growth and success in the near future should aim to follow these new trends as well.