As a digital industry, the landscape of ecommerce is constantly evolving. This means new trends and best practices emerge frequently, and embracing them quickly is often key to staying ahead of your online competition.
Online sales accounted for 30.1% of all retail purchases in November - that’s compared to just 21.6% in 2019 (pre-pandemic).
This, combined with the fact that the UK is outgrowing the US in ecommerce by almost 2 to 1, means it’s never been more important to ensure your online business is at the forefront of its industry.
That’s why we’ve compiled the top 5 trends set to take ecommerce by storm in 2022, from what’s popular with developers to what’s hot with consumers.
No-code platforms will surge in popularity
As ecommerce continues to thrive and evolve, we’re seeing more and more demand for no-code platforms as an efficient and effective solution to developing websites and applications.
If this is the first time you’re hearing about no-code development, don’t sweat it - but rest assured, it won’t be the last time.
No-code is set to be a big trend in the world of ecommerce in 2022. It started out as an answer to bridge the gap between increasing demand for creating websites and applications amidst a coding skill shortage.
Now, no-code development is fast becoming a popular choice with businesses across the globe when it comes to simplifying app and website build workflows and automating business tasks.
The no-code concept uses a simple drag-and-drop visual interface with pre-coded blocks. For non-coders, these blocks can provide the basic functionality needed to create a user-friendly interface.
But that’s not all.
With the right coding knowledge, these blocks can be fully customised to deliver bespoke functionality for users at a fraction of the cost and time required with traditional development.
Providing all of the basic functionality and usability online retailers need, with the ability to customise to suit your unique business requirements, no-code and ecommerce are a match made in heaven set to be realised in 2022.
Social media will become a prominent sales channel
It’ll come as no surprise to learn that social media isn’t going anywhere - far from it.
Boasting annualised growth of 9.9%, 13 new users still sign up for social media every single second.
But the number of social media users isn’t the only thing booming - so too is the amount of money they’re spending.
This rise in consumer spending via social media is the reason so many platforms are evolving to facilitate sales and the ability to purchase third-party products without even leaving the relevant app.
Last year, Instagram added their own shopping feature, which is now used by over 130 million people monthly. TikTok alone already drives users to spend £37 million a year.
Consider the rise in popularity of mobile ecommerce trends, such as live shopping, with both Facebook and Instagram introducing a smart livestream feature that benefits consumers and retailers.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that ecommerce businesses should consider social media as more than just an effective marketing tool in 2022.
With the right application, it could be a dominant sales channel for your brand, too.
Independent and ethical businesses will get a whole lotta love.
Unsurprisingly, the turbulence of the past couple of years had a big impact on the consumer market.
This spells good news for the wave of independent businesses that adapted to ecommerce throughout the pandemic.
We don’t want to make you feel old, but Gen Z has now overtaken millennials and boomers as the largest consumer group, accounting for roughly 40% of global consumers.
This is also set to have a huge impact on ecommerce buying trends.
Why? Well, firstly, this demographic is inherently digital - a mammoth 54% believe they’ll shop entirely online within the next decade.
Secondly, Gen Z’s purchasing decisions tend to be driven by connection and ethical responsibility - 76% have already bought a product to support issues that brands support.
This all amounts to independent and ethical businesses being shown a whole lotta love online in 2022 and beyond.
So, if you fall into this category, don’t be afraid to shout about it - it’s likely to help bolster your conversions.
A subscription-based economy will emerge
Subscription models are on the rise. Whatever the product, whatever the service, you can probably purchase a subscription for it.
We’re predicting this trend to take over ecommerce in 2022 (and beyond) - and with good reason!
Businesses using a subscription model often fulfil consumer and business needs within two highly desirable areas:
The first argument is simple: by dividing the cost into recurring no-strings payments as opposed to an up-front fee, you’re overcoming buyer hesitations around commitment and financial accessibility.
This likely means more conversions, and doesn’t mean less profit. On the contrary, as long as you’re consistently providing value to your customer, a subscription model will likely amount to a greater long-term customer spend.
Speaking of value, the cost of subscription models also delivers benefits to the customer, too.
Subscriptions often mean a lower barrier to entry, empowering consumers to assess the value of a product and determine whether it meets their needs.
This financially accessible way of testing multiple options ensures customers get the utmost bang for their buck.
Subscription models allow customers to try out a multitude of options as opposed to committing outright to one product, service or brand.
This affords the customer maximum convenience when it comes to finding the ideal solution for them. Not only that - finding this solution is typically quick and easy, too.
That’s because subscription models champion a customer-first approach to selling products. Businesses must provide as much value as possible to the customer in order to earn their subscription - then they must keep providing value to retain that subscription.
This does boast perks for the subscription-based business, too. First, subscriptions are a convenient way of measuring real-time customer satisfaction and sentiment. This, in turn, motivates better research and development as you strive to maintain and increase subscription numbers.
On top of that, if they keep providing value, companies using a subscription model can capture a recurring and predictable revenue stream.
In short, it’s a win-win for both customer and business.
For these reasons, we’re predicting the emergence of a subscription-based economy in
2022 and beyond. Many businesses will make the shift towards a recurring-billing business model in an effort to better monetise ongoing customer relationships.
Visual commerce will make its mark
Static visuals are quickly becoming old news.
Visual commerce looks set to make an impactful arrival into the ecommerce mainstream in 2022.
Visual commerce takes boring old product photos to the next level, incorporating a whole range of other visual content types. This could be anything from user-generated imagery to interactive content and videos.
Just like AI is becoming increasingly common in content production, next-gen technologies will innovate visual commerce, too. Augmented reality will play a major role here, breaking down the barrier and blending online and real-world shopping experiences.
Utilising visual commerce on your ecommerce store doesn’t require too much in the way of wizardry, though. Here are some quick and easy ways you can leverage visual commerce on your site today:
Switch your default products from JPG or PNG to a WebP format to boost quality and loading speeds
Design 360-degree images or videos of your top-selling products
Allow customers to image search by investing in addition tools/plugins
Repurpose user-generated content on your product pages
Run visual shopping ads on Pinterest
Utilise QR tagging in physical content production
These trends are sure to optimise the user experience for years to come, while expanding the capabilities of the marketers and developers behind them.
Make sure you’re keeping one finger on the pulse to guarantee your online store offers an industry-leading ecommerce experience that pulls customers in and keeps them coming back for more.
Need a helping hand? Get in touch with Land Digital today to learn how our digital developers, designers and marketers can provide a first-class ecommerce experience for your customers.