A lot is happening in the eCommerce industry and the eCommerce market is growing day by day. The worldwide eCommerce sales are demonstrating a noteworthy upward trajectory with an estimated contribution of $7.385 trillion to retail sales by 2025. eCommerce entrepreneurs are developing a keen sense of staying ahead in the game by following the latest trends that engage their consumers.
Online shopping has become the most favourite shopping option for customers. Retailers are trying to get a bigger slice of the pie, new innovations are being made, and a new wave of payment methods are being introduced. With the constant evolution of technology and the convenience of online shopping in the post-pandemic era, new eCommerce trends are picking pace with each passing day.
Given below are a few essential eCommerce marketing trends along with some tips and tricks that will help you build a successful brand in 2022.
Prepare for Green Consumerism
The current scenario poses large evidence of sustainable eCommerce being a trend in the foreseeable future. Adopting environment-friendly practices slowly becomes as important as making the most revenue and several businesses are eyeing green consumerism for a sustainable future. Your eCommerce business would stand a better chance against the competition next year through strategic thinking that integrates your digital expertise with eco-friendly practices.
Around the globe, consumers are 4 to 6 times more likely to buy, defend, and champion purpose-driven companies, especially the younger cohorts. One of the practices you can consider adapting to your online retail store includes letting the user buy online and pick up in-store (BOPIS). This will decrease the carbon emission and fuel consumed by the delivery vehicles.
You can also switch to sustainable and biodegradable packaging of the products. As a result, you minimise the use of non-biodegradable materials such as plastics. To make your brand more desirable, incentivize such practices amongst your target audiences as well. These practices help you do your part in reducing the burden on the environment.
Cater to Voice Search
Voice search technology has taken over the eCommerce retail market with a storm. Brands all over the globe are planning and modifying their marketing strategies to make the most of voice search. This trend is here to stay as the number of voice assistants is predicted to increase exponentially to 8.4 billion by 2024. This method is becoming prevalent as it provides an easier, quicker and hands-free alternative for the consumers.
You can keep up with this trend in 2022 by optimising your eCommerce store to understand the user’s semantics. Leading your eCommerce marketing plan with user intent-based strategies as opposed to the conventional keyword-based approach proves to be a useful tip here. Customers find it easier to use their voice instead of typing their queries as the voice has always been a favoured form of communication.
You can stay on top of the voice search trend by integrating the customer journey with site structure. This can be done via digital marketing experts who can modify your site’s navigation, schema and XML sitemaps to cater to voice search queries. This makes search marketing more time-efficient and enables smart shopping through your eCommerce platform.
Use AR to Improve Visualisation
The advancement of Augmented Reality (AR) has made it a recurring trend in the eCommerce making realm. This technology compensates for eCommerce retail’s impediment of representing their 3D product via a 2D interface. You can use AR to bridge the gap between shopping at a brick and mortar store and shopping online.
A few interesting ways to hop on this trend are:
- Virtual trial rooms help the customers visualise the items they wish to buy. They are helpful for apparel and jewellery stores on the internet. This can help reduce cart abandonment issues, return or refund requests, and strengthen the bottom line conversions as consumers have better surety of their purchases.
- AR can also help elevate the engagement through preview placement of items for consumers to get a real-time glance of the product in its designated environment. This feature has been used extensively by furniture and decor eCommerce companies to help their customers better visualise their products.
- Interactive user manuals help grab your target audience’s attention amidst all the noisy campaigns in your niche.
Over 90% of companies with annual revenues between $100 million to $1 billion are implementing some form of AR and VR technology in their marketing strategies. Though you need an elaborate setup to use this technology for your strategies, customer satisfaction and revenue more than makes up for the costs. You can start out with small steps such as social media filters dedicated to your brand and slowly build on that.
Connect Through Social Media Shops
Social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and TikTok have become an integral part of everyone’s day to day life. Recently Facebook and Instagram have launched shops that provide another channel for eCommerce retailers to connect with their audience.
Social commerce is different from social media marketing as it provides the customers with an option to checkout through these platforms. The trend has picked a quick space and will be responsible for a sizable amount of revenue in 2022. The shoppers are spending an increasing amount of time on social media platforms and this increases the exposure your eCommerce brand can achieve.
You can post shoppable images and videos with links to your products. In addition to that, the comments on the post act as reviews and social proof for the buyers. They can interact with your brand in an easier manner which eases them into making well-informed purchases.
The social media apps are heavily leaning towards the development of advanced product search by image tools and incorporate live shopping on their platforms. Livestream shopping has become a huge trend in China already. It is estimated to grow up to $60 million annually in the rest of the world as well.
Grow Through Live Shopping
As mentioned above, live shopping has become a trend you absolutely cannot miss out on. According to this trend, you can host live streaming events on your websites or social media channels. During these events, a host (preferably a well-known influencer) shares the details about some products which the viewer can shop for from your website.
The live event can be based on different themes. It can revolve around the launch of new products where you share the detailed features of the new products. You can also plan to keep it interactive by taking in questions from the views and solving their queries live. This provides two-pronged benefits. It increases the engagement on your social media platforms as well as boosts the conversion rate on your website.
This tip is used majorly by the apparel industry, followed by the beauty community. Famous name brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Walmart have taken to this method to promote their products in Europe and North America, after observing the success of this trend in the Chinese markets. Consumers’ demand for live shopping is constantly increasing and brands should get on board with this trend to engage the millennials and Gen-Z successfully.
Collaborate with Micro-Influencers
Social media influencers have transformed the advertising arena for brands targeting millennials and the Gen Z population. 2022 is all set to witness the impact of micro-influencers. These creators curate content specific to their niche and have a moderate following on social media platforms.
These influences have extremely high engagement rates and a loyal and tight-knit community. eCommerce brands can use this to their advantage in the upcoming year by partnering with influencers who resonate with their brand’s values. It is important to choose relevant influencers as it will enhance the credibility of their advocacy of your brand.
Investing in this trend will help you express your brand’s story in an authentic manner with the help of creative micro-influencers. The long-term connections help build trustworthiness with their audiences and their loyalty rubs off on your eCommerce brand as well. You can use varying partnership methods like providing affiliate shipping links for the creators, having a special coupon code for their followers, or conducting a giveaway or contest through their social media profiles.
Try Omnichannel Personalization
Though not a recent trend, omnichannel personalization is a beneficial data-driven approach for any eCommerce business. You can enhance the customer experience with personalization on a given channel, in accordance with the data gathered from the users’ behaviour on other channels.
This can be advantageous while providing consistent and seamless personalization. You can observe and analyse the data gathered from multiple channels like your website, social media and other points of sale and curate marketing strategies according to their preferences. This will make for a holistic customer journey and delight your customer at every touchpoint.
This included tailoring emails, modifying remarketing campaigns, offering international shipping, recommending personalised items with the help of Artificial Intelligence. Providing tailored experiences etches a remarkable impression and keeps them coming back to your store.
You can personalise the post-purchase interactions as well, by sending a specific survey or review form and rewarding them with loyalty points. This tip will aid in increasing your customer’s lifetime value and building a loyal customer base.
Offer Multiple Payment Options
In an effort to make the checkout process easier and more convenient, eCommerce businesses will witness the popularity of offering multiple payment options. This trend is likely to establish a footing in brick and mortar stores as well, with the dire need for various contactless payment options.
The use of digital wallets increased by 23.7% from 2019 and they are predicted to make up 51.7% of eCommerce purchases by 2024. Most stores already offer payment options through credit cards and net banking processes. Another new option that is becoming quite popular is “buy now, pay later”. Several eCommerce stores have accommodated this mode and are sought after even more than purchases through credit cards.
Alongside digital wallets, we also see a rise in payments through cryptocurrencies. You can set up a personal crypto wallet or collaborate with a payment processor that will make accepting crypto payments easier. This one is becoming a favourable option, especially with Gen Z. Your eCommerce store can gain an edge over your competition by offering these alternatives for easier transactions.
Streamline Last-Mile Deliveries
Clicking on the checkout button does not mark the end of a customer’s journey with your eCommerce company. Last-mile deliveries turn out to be a very important milestone for online stores. Artificial Intelligence has enabled automation in the order fulfilment and delivery arena. It is slowly becoming dominant with an expected $84.2 billion market size that grows at a CAGR of 24.4% by the year 2030.
At present, the eCommerce industry is streamlining its delivery process through curbside deliveries. However, the trend of drone-enabled deliveries has several eCommerce brands as well as customers. Several eCommerce giants like Amazon are in the process of developing autonomous delivery systems. This includes incorporating robotic processes and effective drone deliveries to the customer’s doorstep.
The role of eCommerce in the retail sales industry and it can get tiresome to keep up with the ever-evolving trends. You can prepare for the growth of your online store by tapping into the above-mentioned trends in the upcoming year. A few tips on this list have been around in the eCommerce arena for a long time but are recently gaining a lot of traction.
That makes 2022 the right time to adopt and implement them for maximum growth and a strong bottom line. Using the trends is a guaranteed way to bring together the brand and its consumers and makes both sides more vocal and expressive.
Author bio: Virginia Andrus is an independent Digital Marketing Consultant with 6+ years of marketing experience. Virginia is a chef by heart. In her free time, she is either writing marketing copies for brands and agencies or experimenting with new recipes at her home. Connect with her on Twitter: @andrus_virginia.