E-Commerce Trends 2022
What are the ultimate highlights in e-commerce?
The internet knows no limits, no opening times, and, most importantly, no lockdown. Owing the circumstances of the corona crisis, the stationary retail sector has suffered immensely in terms of sales as of late – a development which has, in turn, translated into a turbo boost for online retail. Accordingly, it’s a natural consequence that more and more retailers go digital, upgrade their online platforms, and invest more and more into e-commerce solutions. The numbers speak a clear language: The e-commerce industry is growing and sales in online retail are skyrocketing without limits. Even though the limitations imposed because of the corona pandemic have become more relaxed, the e-commerce growth is still stronger than ever. To take Germany as an example, this has been proven by studies conducted by the German Federal Association for E-Commerce and Retail (German acronym “bevh”): In the first half of 2021, a growth of 23.2% in comparison to 2020 has been achieved in German-based e-commerce – i.e. sales have increased from 38.7 € billion in the first half of 2020 to 45.2 € billion in the first half of 2021. Based on calculated predictions by bevh, German-based e-commerce may be able to crack the 100 € billion limit this year.
However, one thing is for sure: The e-commerce market is booming, the competition is getting tougher, and you’re required to differentiate yourself from your fellow competitors in order to be successful. To get a good grasp on when and where you and your company can make the first move, we’ve scanned the e-commerce landscape and summarized the ultimate online retail trends for the upcoming year of 2022 in this blog post.
Business As Usual: B2B and B2C
One e-commerce trend which has slowly but surely manifested itself is the fusion of B2C and B2B. Even in the context of business customers, clients will usually start off by conducting online research to inform themselves prior to contacting a company for first negotiations. The classic customer acquisition process falls flat. The client takes the initiative. The quality of information gathered about your product is becoming more and more decisive for purchasing decisions. Intuitive usability and a design to match, which customers from the B2C sector are already well familiar with, is not only expected by today’s B2B clients when it comes to your offer and product, but a requirement which makes or breaks the deal. That is to say, in the future, we’ll need to provide a similar type of online customer experience in the B2C sector as it is the case for B2B.
The Future is Mobile
Mobile Commerce, in short m-commerce, is one of the most important markets of the future in online retail with a strong growth rate. According to predictions by Global Web Index, m-commerce has a 40% stronger growth rate than e-commerce. Why? Every second German user from Generation Z or the Millennials prefers using her smartphone for shopping. Worldwide, a clear trend has manifested itself: In the first three months of the year 2021, 57% of the world’s online orders has been carried out from a mobile device (source: fact-finder). This trend becomes even clearer when we remind ourselves just how fast the popularity of smartphones has been increasing – not only among digital natives. In Germany, a total of 97.8% of people in the age group from 30 to 39 own a smartphone. Even among older age groups, the smartphone is enjoying great popularity, with 82% of people in the age group from 60 to 69, and 52% of people in the age group above 70 (source: Statista). Which is why this trend will grow even further as time goes on. Companies offering their products online shouldn’t forget to also optimize their Customer Experience for mobile devices. Typing out an URL in your web browser to get to a web shop? That’s snows of yesteryear. Today, people have gotten used to shop via apps or social media platforms – mobile, digital, any time at any place. If you don’t have an app for your online shop, you may want to place your bet on Progressive Web Apps (PWA). As one of the most recent phenomena, they are especially trendy.
💡 Info: A Progressive Web App (in short PWA) is a website which comes with many features which could previously only be provided by native desktop applications a few years ago.
Sounds Good: Voice Commerce
For an optimal Customer Experience, following the trend of voice search is inevitable. More and more users do mobile purchases and make frequent use of voice-based searches. It’s a technology which many would consider indispensable by now, yet there’s still plenty of growth potential. “Alexa, how’s the weather?,” “Ok Google, what’s the fastest way to work from here?” We all use voice search here and there, from time to time – especially when it comes to online retail, you should keep an eye on on-going developments. If your company’s offer is the go-to offer favored by search engines with voice support, you can profit from voice-based features as early as today.
What measure can you and your company take in order to boost your e-commerce strategy with voice commerce? The magic word is Voice Search Optimization, an essential trend in the SEO field. This concerns measures in the field of Online Marketing which are about adjusting websites to match voice search functions.
Content is King – and will Continue to Reign in the Future
Content Marketing: Not really new, yet sadly still commonly underestimated – the benefits of Content Marketing. With the growing number of competitors, it has become more important than ever to win and sustain customers with interesting content. Part of this trend that is that the focus is shifting towards video content, in particular in marketing. Videos can simply visualize and convey more information, providing companies with the option to present their products and brands in a better light.
The topic of personalization and personalized content still remains at the top of trends in the year of 2022. To address customers in an even more targeted manner, their desires and demands must be put into focus. Here, the name of the game is to analyze and determine individual demands. This will enable you to boot a much more refined and specific marketing. In order to get to know your customers and their needs, we recommend the practical method of Buyer Persona for maximum impact. Companies must meet their customers on their own ground – not merely with products but with experience. The key to success is deeply rooted in your provided product data.
Trends Go Where Happy Customers are Found
The satisfaction of customers is and will remain to be the alpha and omega – concerning both e-commerce trends and marketing. To this end, you should strengthen every aspect which will contribute to customers unboxing your product with an even bigger smile on their faces. The focus is on the Care Phase of the Customer Journey. In short, if you want to prove yourself in online retail, you’ll have to put your customers at the center, and never lose track of how their needs and requirements change over time. Not least because of social distancing and the corona pandemic, the proximity to your customers has grown much more important and gained in relevance. This, in turn, is where Social Commerce kicks in. After all, what would be a better place to stay up to date with your customers and position your brand more efficiently other than on social networks? Here, the trends lean toward built-in shops (as it is the case on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok) and ways of interactively integrating your users into the product development process. Besides proximity to customers, a smooth purchasing experience also contributes to a high customer satisfaction rate and, consequently, to faster growth and higher sales on your own online channels.
The big, wide world of the internet offers online shop operators and e-commerce companies an exciting treasure chest full of creative solutions and technologies which make for an inspiring purchase experience. Be it augmented reality, virtual reality, or the implementation of artificial intelligence, e.g. in the form of chat bots. Such technologies are no longer limited to the global players on the markets. They have become easily affordable solutions even among small and medium-sized enterprises long ago.
The basis of all this is data, data, and data. If your data is in top form, you’re just a few steps away from designing fantastic Product Experience and optimal Customer Experience – even when it comes to unintuitive products and use cases.
Without good data as your backbone, neither the hottest trend nor the newest technology or best e-commerce strategy can guarantee the growth of your company. Quite to the contrary: Inconsistent data spells danger for the positive development of any company. To bring the good news: getting your data in shape is no rocket science. We’re always happy to demonstrate to you in person how to successfully accomplish this – for free and without any binding obligations on your end. Request a demo tour here.