Preparing Your Online Store for 2022 – Top 7 Ecommerce Trends

By Rodney Laws | Ecommerce

Jan 25

Making purchases online is gradually gaining momentum amongst all age groups now, partially due to COVID accelerating its adoption. Since last year, people have adopted the online route to buy goods as opposed to buying at retail stores only.

But somewhere this implies that retailers need to be more alert while setting up their online store. In this article, we will put light on the finer details of the most in-demand ecommerce trends for 2022.

We can say that ecommerce has been optimized over these years for better reach and consumer ease. We have witnessed some high-impact transitions from email alerts to pop-up notifications; tiring sign-ups to OTP logins; lengthy menu items to categorize products, etc.

Trends change every year and so does selling through ecommerce. In the last few years, there have been transformations through improvisations in user experience, payment methods, cloud services, etc. All of these have brought in a significant rise in overall online sales and will continue to do so.

Ecommerce trends for 2022

1. Responsive search

From the perspective of a shopper, have you ever noticed that the time taken to locate the product of your choice is greater than the time taken to make the actual purchase? Searching across vendors, products, the related comparisons, etc. is indeed quite a long process. On the contrary, think of it from a retailer’s perspective. He would eventually want the lead to travel down the funnel in order to meet his targeted sales metric.

Consumers navigating through a large e-Store is a cumbersome process. Even today, 61% of ecommerce sites have weak support for search synonyms that make navigation easy for online shoppers. With the rising intervention of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR) into eCommerce, customers are expecting their product search to find an exact match in the least possible time.

Hence, a quick and relevant search is a must-have for all shopping platforms. Customer Experience is amongst the top priorities of online businesses, adapting the search for a better fit is eventually going to fine-tune this experience. Leveraging AI for making the search more responsive is an easy way to understand your consumer better.

With the use of AI, the search box pre-populates with the customer query and minimizes the customer effort to type in the entire product. To make it more efficient, try feeding in product codes, color variants, sizes etc. into the AI model to display some of the more relevant results and eliminate broad search results. By virtue of an intelligent search, consumers will feel good about choosing your platform over others.

2. Omni-channel selling

Simply put, Omni-channel refers to selling products through both offline and online channels. This strategy is focused on making the customer’s experience seamless by virtue of comfort buying. It provides the flexibility of reviewing the product in-person while making the purchase online.

Going by a report from the National Retail Federation, online and other non-store sales have increased by 20% as compared to last year. There is no denying the fact that COVID did accelerate the online transition for both businesses and customers. However, customers are now on the lookout for an optimal mix of an offline and an online store. This allows more flexibility and gives the customer a superior buying experience.

So, if you haven’t already, activate all your channels for showcasing your products and get exposed to a wider audience. Social platforms such as Instagram, Facebook have also rapidly paced and are helping businesses promote their products through their platform. Hence, be ready with all your online storefronts while keeping your offline store intact to expand our audience as well as business revenue. It’s time for a transition!

3. Online marketplaces

With an improving ecommerce environment, shoppers are getting used to friendlier and more valuable platforms. Gone are the days of one platform, one product, being surpassed for the good by the multi-utility marketplaces. Consumers find marketplaces more time-consuming as well, for the simple reason that they get product details, price comparison, multiple vendors to choose from, etc. through a single channel.

If you study the trends, you’ll understand that getting into the business of an online marketplace is a safe bet and is only expected to grow tremendously. If you’re a seller, you can get yourself listed on any of the popular marketplace in your region. For e.g. eBay, Walmart, etc. But if you’re an entrepreneur, you can expect to maximize revenue if you create a marketplace instead of a simple online store.

Hence, we can expect marketplaces to become even more rewarding for consumers, sellers as well as entrepreneurs in the coming days.

4. Headless stores

Surrounded by a mix of reviews during the initial days of release, the headless technology is gradually gaining momentum, especially in the ecommerce industry. To decode this, in simple terms it means moving away from a centralized management system and adopting separate management of the backend and frontend of websites. Frontend is what the consumers experience while backend is for the tech related management and upgrades.

Keeping ecommerce stores headless, i.e. detached, businesses have been able to considerably improve the UI. Also, there has been a constant struggle amongst businesses to reduce the customer acquisition cost (CAC). Well, going headless has responded well and has helped in majorly lowering the CAC. Amongst the available frameworks in the market, Magento has rapidly progressed to overcome the initial challenges and believes that this technology is here to stay for the long term. With Progressive Web Apps on Magento, merchants get the choice to go headless and get better results in a short time span.

Since the technology is relatively new as compared to other innovations, constant updates keep happening to make this better. This means that you can expect it to bring even better results in the coming days. Talking about the improvisations it has already brought for merchants, loading time comes down to approx. 2 seconds with this. Which, I believe, is good enough for any online store!

5. Sustainable selling

Environmentalists have focused their strategies also around the ecommerce industry. There is no denying the fact that there is a tremendous amount of damage being caused to the environment at various stages of an online order. And hence, there is a rising concern that needs to be addressed promptly by decision-makers.

Moreover, millennials or the gen Z, being more alert and aware about the ecological aspect are also more attracted to brands that are conscious about reducing the environmental damage. Any business can do their bit by adopting methods more environmentally friendly. This can be achieved at various levels of a business model depending on the interest level in promoting the message.

For e.g DHL’s GoGreen is an attempt to reduce the CO2 emissions caused by transport, as prescribed by the Kyoto Protocol. Similarly, what entrepreneurs can do is-

  • Design products that are sustainable and not made up of raw materials that will eventually pose a threat.
  • Adopt sustainable packaging instead of relying on plastic. There are alternatives available in the market that are equivalent to plastic in terms of usability but cause no harm.
  • Avoid using multiple layers of packaging for all their products. This can be restricted to deliverables that need more care instead of a universal packaging pattern.
  • Reuse any available boards or cartons stored in their inventories or planned for disposal.

6. D2C ecommerce

The future of online selling is definitely a direct-to-consumer model. EMarketer estimates that 103.4 million consumers in the US would buy from a D2C business. This indicates that the trend is moving upwards from 2022 onwards. And why not? It bridges the gap tremendously while making the transactions easier and more direct.

This model boasts of sharing an experience and not selling a product. Since this model focuses on reducing the barriers between companies and consumers, the key lies in keeping the communication transparent. With an engagement strategy in place, the model can be leveraged to make better revenue by gaining customer trust.

A D2C business model brings in ample no. of benefits since it is cost-effective at multiple stages. Tuning it for eCommerce is what the new-age shoppers need. Millennials are dominating online sales since they are the decision-makers for their respective communities. This will not just save input cost for a business but will also help companies to create better relationships with their customers. Thus, D2C is not one of the passing trends but is here to stay for longer.

7. Social commerce

It would not be wrong to say that social media has captured our lives. There’s no denying the fact that it is ruling most of our lives and is making us rely on it more and more with each passing day. Though these started with the idea of networking channels, if we look at it today, these channels have also become search engines, marketplaces, influential platforms, and whatnot.

Channels like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok introduced their shopping a couple of years back. Brands are using these channels not to sell their products directly, but to understand the lives of their consumers and make their brand more visible and popular eventually. With social media, consumers get to make better decisions based on experience sharing within the community.

Looking at the average screen time of Gen-Z or every second person, the maximum time spent would be on either Instagram or Facebook, or any such app. Because we love scrolling! Don’t we? Hold on till we get used to the upcoming Live Search.

Concluding thoughts

Looking at all the above trends, we can say 2022 is expected to become more consumer-friendly in every possible way. It can be said that ecommerce is bound to get better by adding personalization for buyers. All these trends are an attempt to simplify the overall shopping experience, not just buying and selling.

It is time to transform ecommerce stores into more appealing and immersive storefronts. Gone are the days when ecommerce was confined to the mere selling of products. Today, there are multiple strategies that businesses need to adopt that can streamline and scale online sales. So focus more on creating better experiences that save time, sharing real-time reviews, engaging with your customers on the channels where they’re most active, offering prompt and personalized responses, and providing innovative solutions that work for your audience.

About CedCommerce

CedCommerce is making ecommerce more accessible for online businesses. It is supporting businesses across geographies to share better online experiences with their consumers. The team has solutions for Online Marketplaces – B2B & B2C, Progressive Web Applications, Magento extensions, and designs ecommerce stores on the latest Magento 2. They also have Magento certified experts that can be reached out directly as well. So reach out to them if you need any help!