Top 5 eCommerce Predictions for 2022
It’s never too early to plan ahead. Now that it’s 2022, planning for the future now can help your eCommerce store position itself at the forefront of current and upcoming trends.
The last few years have shown just how rapidly eCommerce is growing and changing. As audiences across demographics rely more on online shopping for an increasing range of topics, stores and businesses that can predict and build for these audiences can outshine the competition for years to come.
Of course, understanding just what those trends are and will be is a bit more complex. While we’re not fortune-tellers, we at Future Holidays have a pretty good idea of where we’re headed.
So, let’s dig in! These are our top 5 eCommerce trends for 2022, coming directly from our team of developers, designers, and digital experience marketers.
1. eCommerce Moves to Subscription Models
One-time customers are both a real challenge and a significant opportunity. According to one study, 75% of online buyers for a given product will not purchase from the same store again in the future.
That makes forecasting sales immensely challenging, while also presenting a missed opportunity for the lower acquisition cost of return customers. Enter subscription models, which are rapidly growing in importance and value.
The idea: sign up for a lower price to get recurring revenue from products your customers will most likely need to buy again. It’s more convenient for customers while offering more predictable sales for sellers. McKinsey research shows that 15% of all eCommerce sales already happen through subscriptions, and that number will only continue to rise.
2. The Checkout Process Speeds Up and Simplifies
The rise of mobile commerce is not necessarily new. By the end of this year, it’s expected to make up almost three-quarters of all eCommerce transactions. Now, user experience expectations are beginning to catch up.
Mobile transactions don’t come with the benefit of a full keyboard or the patience of a desktop user. They have to be fast, simple, and convenient. That especially applies to the checkout process, where simplification opportunities abound:
- Easy account creation and login processes, leveraging third-party APIs like Google or Facebook.
- One-click ordering systems that pull saved billing and shipping information from previous transactions.
- Real-time address autofill and validation through Google Maps and similar services.
Shopify’s new Shop Pay, for instance, has significantly shortened the checkout time and increased checkout conversions, especially for mobile users. Any simplification like that will be a boon to today’s audiences, and will become increasingly necessary as more of your customers rely on their mobile devices to complete the checkout process.
3. It’s Not (Just) About Your Website Anymore
Once upon a time, eCommerce was simple: all transactions happen on your website, and all other channels (from email to social media) were simply used to drive traffic there. Today, though, the environment has become more complex as customers expect to buy your products where they spend their time, instead of just flocking to your website by default.
Take social commerce as an example. On networks from Facebook to Instagram, your audience expects to be able to buy your products right away, rather than having to navigate to your website. It’s why 44% of all audiences have purchased at least one product on social media, with the coveted 18-24 demographic leading the way at 55%.
That, in turn, leads us right into our next vital eCommerce trend for 2022: headless architecture. Put simply, it’s the concept of decoupling your back-end from your front-end, allowing you to feed anything from product information to customer reviews and more into any platform you connect to your infrastructure.
Put differently: rather than plugging product information into your website, and simply linking to it from other channels, you can now natively feed that information onto any channel from which you plan to sell. That, in turn, can lead to wide-ranging benefits, from faster loading times and more site design flexibility to meeting your customers on the channels where they want to buy from you.
4. Accessibility is No Longer Optional
Like so many other 2022 eCommerce trends on this list, accessibility is not necessarily new. In fact, we’ve written extensively about the importance of accessibility in web design and eCommerce. The key as we go into the new year becomes not just understanding it as a theoretical concept, but acting on the urgency from both a legal and a business opportunity perspective.
Let’s start with the legal side: in 2020 alone, more than 3,500 lawsuits were filed in the U.S. alone over website accessibility issues, and that number is expected to top 4,000 this year. eCommerce websites accounted for 74% of those lawsuits.
But even beyond the legal jeopardy, not making your site accessible means missing out on a market with almost $500 billion in spending power in the United States alone. Considering that 98% of the world’s top 1 million websites are not accessible, imagine the difference you could make if your website is easier to access and more accommodating than your competitors.
Can your website improve on this front? Plenty of websites help you check your accessibility rating. It’s a great start to understanding exactly what you can and should do to account for this increasingly crucial trend.
5. Online Shopping Gets Personal
Let’s end with a simple truth: the best shopping experience will always be personalized to the individual buyer. Fortunately, eCommerce is increasingly catching up and even surpassing the traditional, in-store experience in this regard.
eCommerce stores can take a number of routes to build a more personalized shopping experience:
- Segmenting email lists to send more personally relevant messages based on demographics and behaviors.
- Embracing conversational commerce to begin selling your products through live chat and chatbot options.
- Personalizing email flows to follow up and offer specific products or discounts based on user site behaviors.
- Customizing website and homepage content based on a customer’s previous purchases and behaviors.
Ultimately, your customers want to feel like VIPs from the moment they begin interacting with your brand. Through the right personalization mechanisms, you can help them embrace that feeling.
Ready to Prepare Your eCommerce Store for 2022 and Beyond?
As we prepare to enter 2022, the only constant in eCommerce remains change. To online stores willing to embrace new and coming trends, that can be a significant advantage.
If you can build your website and marketing strategy to account for current and future user expectations, you can set yourself apart from your competition and sustainably grow your business. Ready to integrate any or all of these 2022 eCommerce trends into your own strategy? Contact us today to start the conversation.