May 10, 2022

The Most Important E-Commerce Trends for 2022

By Alex Cramer

The rewards are massive, the competition is cutthroat and there’s a razor-thin margin between success and failure. 

Whether it’s Squid Games, Hunger Games or e-commerce in 2022, the state of play is one of incredible opportunity but also tremendous risk if your brand fails to adapt to important market trends.

E-Marketer predicts that US online retail sales will rise to over $1.6 trillion by 2025 and account for 23.6% of total retail sales. But just because the market is expected to see explosive growth, doesn’t mean that your brand is in the best position to capitalize on it. 

Retailers are growing smarter, savvier and more calculated in how they leverage every aspect of the online experience and how successful your business is able to adapt to those changes could make the difference between whether you’re handing out bonus checks at the end of the year or pink slips.

These are some of the most important trends for businesses to be aware of in 2022.

Sales Through Social Networks

Of course, your company is probably already leveraging social media channels to advertise, build brand awareness and connect with customers, but in 2022 social networks are increasingly becoming as much a place to sell as they are to market.

A study by Bizrate Insights shows that 30% of internet users have already made a purchase directly from a social media site, and global sales through social media channels are expected to triple to over $2 trillion by 2025. Social networks are already gearing up for increased retail sales, through the launch of features such as Facebook shops and video sites such as TikTok and YouTube adding tools for live stream shopping.

Selling through social networks can dramatically reduce the length of the sales funnel and allows customers to discover and make a purchase from your brand all at the same moment.

Optimize for Mobile

Fifteen years ago, phones were good for two things: playing Snake and making phone calls. Today we use our phones to email, text, bank, read the news, read gossip, take pictures, post pictures, look at other people’s pictures and perhaps most importantly, shop.

According to a study by eMarketer, US sales over mobile phones are expected to exceed five hundred billion dollars by 2023, which means that if your brand isn’t optimized for mobile shopping, you’re going to be buried by competitors who are.

To maximize your phone sales, you’ll need to consider everything about the mobile shopping experience, including making sure that your website is mobile responsive and that your customer’s purchase journey is short and easy to complete on a small screen.

Tell Your Story

A key way to stand apart from your competitors is to tell your story, not just of your product but of your brand as a whole. Increasingly, consumers want to see their own values reflected in the products they buy and they want to feel that brands are communicating with them in an authentic way.

A study by Accenture reveals that 52% of customers say they are more likely to buy a product from a company that they feel shares their values and one of the most important things they look for is a brand’s commitment to the environment.

66% of US consumers overall, as well as 75% of millennials, consider a company’s commitment to sustainability before making a purchase and these customers are looking for more than just a values statement that your brand cares about the environment.

Spotlight the specific ways that you reduce waste, use less water, are carbon neutral or any other environmental initiatives that you’re able to make to connect with these consumers.

Use NFTs to Add Value for the Customer

We’ve all watched with interest as digital images of sneakers, monkeys and even tweets have sold for tens of thousands of dollars. And while many have questioned if there’s really any long-term value in this market, there is a way for brands to take advantage of this trend and give customers more than a bunch of pixels that they may quickly lose their novelty value.

For example, if buying an NFT means that a customer will receive the image, as well as early access to sales, limited edition merchandise, a free consultation or other value-added experiences, then the NFT will be more than a peculiar little image sitting on their hard drive, but a pass into a superior shopping experience and a great way to build loyalty with your customers.

Money never sleeps and neither does the world of e-commerce. Twenty years ago, putting your credit card online felt insane, ten years ago, no one knew what an influencer was and today, no one can really remember a time when we didn’t put tons of personal information not just online but on public display.

The ability to adapt, change and grow as the world of e-commerce does is the key difference between brands that are able to thrive and those that will be as extinct as MySpace.

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