With 2021 behind us, it is time to look ahead to 2022 eCommerce trends. 2020 and 2021 were odd years for eCommerce businesses. Many brands all over the globe integrated eCommerce into their business models. Online shopping exploded in popularity since the global pandemic hit.
Aside from necessity, it turns out that many consumers prefer to buy products from the comfort of their homes. This is especially true now that a trek to local retailers struggling with supply chain snags is more frustrating than ever.
In the past few years, marketplaces have created stable, trustworthy online customer experiences that have won over many reluctant online shoppers. Mobile shopping experiences have improved, making online shopping more convenient than ever.
Consumer expectations are still changing, though. Advancements in technology have helped build trust in online shopping, so 2022 is set to be another big year for eCommerce. So what 2022 eCommerce trends should small businesses start preparing for right now?
Millennials and Gen Z are today’s biggest spenders
In 2019, Millennials finally eclipsed Baby Boomers as the largest consumer group –– and Gen Z is following closely behind them. These younger consumers are entering their prime spending years, and they have different expectations for businesses than older generations.
Young people are digital natives, and they expect businesses to embrace the modern age. This is not only for the sake of convenience but for the sake of transparency. Millennials grew up in the aftermath of the Great Recession, then entered their prime near the onset of a global disaster.
As a result, they’re more price-sensitive than previous generations. Newer generations expect competitive, transparent pricing and good customer service if something goes wrong.
Sustainability and Ethics are a significant consumer focus
Several scandals arose over the past few years about the sweatshops and child labor used by major international brands. Afterward, many modern consumers ranked employment ethics as a higher priority than previous generations. Many businesses have noticed and committed to increased transparency in pricing and labor practices to attract more potential customers.
In addition to ethical concerns, modern consumers also expect greater environmental sustainability from brands. Consumers are voting with their dollars for brands that source materials from sustainable farms and mines. They’re prioritizing brands that recycle more than they waste. They’re also looking for brands committed to reducing emissions amid the perceived climate crisis. Expect sustainability and ethical business practices to be an eCommerce trend in 2022.
Consumers want more privacy
Data privacy is at the front of many consumers’ minds, especially as eCommerce grows. Marketplaces have an edge –– with larger budgets, they can invest in better cybersecurity. However, the massive revenues of eCommerce marketplaces and large online stores also make them prime targets for cyberattacks. 2021 saw more data breaches than 2020, so data security is more critical today than ever. Secure sites and multiple payment methods can help soothe consumer concerns over security.
Technological advancements are improving the online shopping experience
As more voice assistants like Alexa make their way into people’s homes, consumers are using voice search to shop online. Voice shopping for products and services is convenient and fast for consumers. Plus, since they are conducted without screens, they reduce friction and the potential for distraction leading to cart abandonment.
Augmented reality (AR) visualizers drive sales by allowing users to envision what different products will look like in their homes. As AR technology advances, it will provide an immersive shopping experience that blurs the line between in-person and online shopping.
Mobile shopping is more important than ever
As mobile devices have become more sophisticated, they’ve essentially taken over the role of computers for overlapping tasks. Consumers use mobile phones for work, play, and shopping, so it’s critical eCommerce businesses deliver a stellar mobile shopping experience.
A seamless mobile experience will build trust, reduce friction, and drive more sales. A suboptimal mobile experience will likely cause potential customers to complete their shopping elsewhere.
Consumers want more payment options
Modern consumers are looking for payment flexibility. They want the ability to transact in different currencies –– including cryptocurrencies. Also, many customers prefer to pay in installments through integrations like Afterpay. When eCommerce brands enable a wide variety of payment options, they encourage more sales and customer loyalty.
Marketplaces are too important to ignore
The last few years have seen an explosion in eCommerce marketplaces. This has been both a boon and a curse for small eCommerce businesses. Since eCommerce marketplaces attract more traffic than individual eCommerce websites, they provide a new opportunity to drive sales. Still, they also increase competition by cross-listing and comparing against competitor products.
Though getting set up on Amazon, Etsy, Walmart, NewEgg, eBay, and more can be daunting, it’s often worthwhile for eCommerce businesses. Marketplace presence increases both SEO and consumer trust, which means more sales. However, small businesses need to evaluate pricing to account for marketplace fees when preparing to sell on marketplaces.
One of the chief benefits of selling on marketplaces is cross-promotion and upselling through artificial intelligence. AI powers the large shopping platforms to provide tailored shopping experiences for each consumer. Marketplace sellers drive more sales when consumers add their products to orders from other sellers. This add-on effect isn’t as feasible on small eCommerce websites.
Social Commerce is growing
To compete with eCommerce marketplaces, several social media platforms have rolled out their own shopping experiences. Several eCommerce platforms can integrate seamlessly with Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. This allows customers to browse and purchase items without leaving the social media app.
In addition, livestream shopping is growing as a form of consumer education and entertainment. Consumers are turning to livestream shopping experiences to enjoy more immersive shopping experiences than simple product listing can provide.
DTC models are growing in popularity
DTC businesses arose as an online alternative to retail markup pricing. Many consumers switched sources for everything from printer ink to shaving razors. Food, furniture, tools, hobby supplies, and much more are available at low prices, often with fast shipping. This allows customers to skip the lines and conveniently receive their favorite items on their doorstep at a lower cost.
Subscriptions and Loyalty Programs are extending Customer LTV
Modern consumers love subscription pricing in eCommerce on consumables, software, and services. Instead of running out of goods and trekking to the store, many consumers choose consistent deliveries of oft-used items. Many eCommerce brands are pairing subscription pricing with customer loyalty programs, and consumers are sticking around longer as a result.
Get Your Funding Ready for 2022 eCommerce Growth
2022 will be a year of further growth for eCommerce, but only for brands that are ready to pounce on opportunities. That’s why efficient funding is critical for eCommerce success. Don’t let slow money hold your business back in 2022.
Payability offers accelerated funding solutions for eCommerce sellers. Instant Access provides accelerated daily payouts for marketplace sellers, and Instant Advance provides growth funding for eCommerce businesses ready to scale.
Payability’s solutions are built for speed. Skip the credit check and apply online to receive your funding in as little as one business day. Also, access your money on your schedule with Instant transfer, Same-Day ACH, or wire.
Last but not least, Payability puts money in your pocket. Get up to 2% cash back on purchases you make with the Payability seller card.