If there is one thing you can be sure of with ecommerce, it’s that it’s constantly evolving and 2022 is set to be no different. From 2020 to 2021, we saw drastic transformation in the market, and we all learnt how important it is to be adaptable. Going into 2022, we’ve rounded up our top 10 things to keep an eye on so you can prepare for the coming year.
1. Covid is still a consumer concern
With the recent reports of new variants and cases on the rise, Covid looks like it will still be a concern for shoppers in 2022. This will continue to impact consumer behaviour massively with the drive towards at-home shopping likely to continue as more people choose to shop online in the safety of their own homes.
2. More places to sell than ever
Everyone wants a slice of the ecommerce pie, with giants such as Instagram and Spotify entering the market as they become marketplaces for potential buyers. Customers want a seamless buying experience within the apps in their daily rotation. Browsing Instagram, see a jacket, buy it – all without leaving the app. Listening to your favourite artist? Get your hand on their new tour t-shirts. To capitalize on ecommerce in 2022, sellers should look at diversifying their sales channels beyond the usual marketplaces and utilize this change in the market.
3. The rise of AI-powered tools will only speed up
In recent years, the advantages that AI brings is being channelled into powerful ecommerce tools to assist sellers. This includes everything from software tools to dynamically price your products depending on demand, to automated chatbots that can sell directly to your customers through conversation. You should look to take advantage of the latest tools, automating where possible, to stay ahead of the competition.
4. Optimise for mobile
More people than ever are ditching desktop browsing for mobile shopping, and this trend looks set to continue well into the new year. Whilst this won’t be news to many ecommerce businesses, the continued rise of mobile shoppers combined with the other trends outlined in this article, it will be vital to deliver an easy buying experience on all platforms. Keep this in mind when you are creating a product listing, formatting your images for listings or anything else. What looks good on your desktop, might not on mobile.
5. Sustainability is core to attracting younger shoppers
Younger generations are more mindful of the environment and their contributions towards climate change. If you’re trying to sell to millennials or gen-z consumers, take actions now to reduce your carbon footprint and be more sustainable where possible. If you review your products, supply chain and manufacturing processes to be more sustainable, then be sure to promote these selling points to your customers.
6. B2B ecommerce boom is coming
We’ve seen the dramatic advance of B2C ecommerce in recent years and B2B ecommerce is set to follow suit. 2022 will likely see a big increase in the volume of B2B transactions carried out compared to previous years, with some predicting that B2B ecommerce will grow by more than 70% by 2027 to $20.9 trillion.
7. Ecommerce isn’t just online, it’s IRL now too
Whilst traditionally the aim of ecommerce has been to move the selling process completely online, we’re seeing online buying platforms being used in physical locations to enhance the shopping experience. Accelerated by the pandemic, online tools or buying methods are making their way into customer trade across different sectors – think mobile ordering at restaurants or click-and-collect in retail stores. Could this present any opportunities for you and your business?
8. Flexible payment options
With Buy Now, Pay Later options becoming more and more common, shoppers are beginning to expect flexibility in the way they pay for their purchases. Whether it’s staggered payments or developments by disrupter banks such as real-time banking, bill splitting and group tab management, is there any way you can leverage these options to limit cart abandonment?
9. Marketplace seller retention
As the ecommerce market broadens, with more players entering the game, marketplaces will be doing everything they can to retain customers. However, customer loyalty is much poorer on marketplaces than through your own direct channels, it’s worth thinking about what you can do to promote brand loyalty and increase repeat purchases, such as offering existing customers discounts.
10. Invest in your digital strategy
If you are new to ecommerce, recently moving from a brick-and-mortar business to an online one, then this one’s for you. Invest in your digital strategy, tools and partners now. The tools to help online businesses succeed change at breakneck speed and established “real-world” brands can quickly lose out to seasoned online competitors. To safeguard yourself from this competition, make the relevant investments now to get ahead of the game.
Start as you mean to go on…
With all this in mind, we hope that it brings you some exciting ideas for your business in 2022. As always, if you’re worried about your international VAT obligations when selling cross-border, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team.