2021 has been a rough year for people as well as for businesses; and after such a year, we are anticipating some different kinds of changes and trends for eCommerce in 2022. Wavering economies, a new variant of Coronavirus and vaccine rollouts, blockchain, and the metaverse —— last year was a complete roller coaster ride. However, when it comes to online retail and e-commerce, there is only one thing that has not changed and is not expected to change in near future. And that is, more and more customers are now shopping online and the trends are progressively shifting to e-shopping.
With the constant rise in the demand for online shopping, there comes a persistent desire to improve the shopping experience. According to market experts, retailers and brands must embrace the latest technological advancements and trends in 2022 if they want to sustain and compete in the market. In this blog post, we have discussed the top 10 eCommerce trends for 2022, that are going to dominate the space.
2022 Is Going to be the ‘Year of Crypto Currency’
Cryptocurrency is not new to the world now. But yes, it has gained increased popularity now. In fact, Ethereum and Dogecoin have successfully made it to the top 10 Google News Searches for 2021. You might be thinking that why the cryptocurrency is important for e-commerce retailers. This is because people are seeing large profits in cryptocurrency and they want to be eligible to use these funds without moving them into other bank accounts. This also means that retailers must provide new ways for their customers to make purchases using crypto funds.
Accepting cryptocurrency as a payment mode to e-commerce sites will bring benefits to both customers and retailers. This will not only allow retailers to broaden their outreach to new geographic regions and demographics, but it will also offer instant payment that is not going to take days and months to process. Also, credit card processors take up to 5 – 10% off each sale. But for cryptocurrency, processing fees are much lower than regular currency. Hence, accepting cryptocurrency is a win-win for both customers and retailers.
After cryptocurrency, Metaverse and NFTs were the buzzwords for 2021. After Facebook announced its rebranding to Meta in late 2021, retailers have started to find out ways to pivot their strategies to enter the ‘Metaverse’. RTFKT – the leader in delivering collectibles has fused together both culture and gaming. The company is developing the latest NFTs and blockchain authentication and Augmented Reality to produce distinctive virtual experiences along with new products that are instilled with those experiences.
Community-Led Development & Growth
Along with upcoming trends of 2022 with Metaverse and Cryptocurrency, there is a new marketing channel that brands need to embrace i.e. communities. With the increased mass attention toward new technologies, there also comes an increased amount of confusion too. Also, users’ desire to get access to product information also translates into commerce, because the information helps people with purchasing decisions. In short, the products customers like, they want to see them like real people. This means that brands should progressively embrace their community to generate user-based content and attain community-led growth and development.
Increased Use of AI to Deliver More Personalized Experience
Campaign optimization and analytics are the two factors that we normally think of when talking about artificial intelligence. However, companies operating within the e-commerce space have taken artificial intelligence to the next level. It has become imperative to provide customers with improved personalized experience, as consumers are shopping online like never before. In other words, consumers want a personalized and fresh experience that is directly linked to their sites and search behavior. Also, they want to quickly and easily find out what they are searching for. And, in e-commerce business, AI does all that.
Augmented Reality as A More Convenient & Safer Way to Shop
Today, customers really like to see how a particular dress would look on them, or how a particular piece of furniture would look in their home space, etc. Successful implementation of augmented reality technology allows this to happen. Now customers don’t need to go in-store to check out the dimensions of the furniture, or to visualize how a dress cut/style or color would look on them. So for companies, augmented reality technology is another ongoing trend that they can adapt to stay competitive in the business.
Omni Channel & Social Commerce
You might have gotten a notification of your eligibility for a 20% discount for your first order from your Instagram when you checkout by using the app. Yes, that is right. Instagram is now offering in-app checkout without asking you to exit the app. This is actually an example of omnichannel and social commerce. Social media platforms are usually considered as omnichannel commerce. What retailers need to learn for 2022 is to offer their products on a website in collaboration with other platforms like Instagram, Google Shopping, Amazon, etc. because this will provide more visibility to the brand.
Increased Gamification for Use Stimulation
With the increasing number of pop-up ads, videos, and more, it has now become very difficult for retailers and brands to engage their target audience. However, one thing that has proven to be very engaging for users on the websites is ‘gamification’. According to experts, gamification is basically the art of applying game mechanics and game thinking to a non-gaming context in order to influence a user’s behavior’.
Quick & Easy Return Process as A Competitive Advantage
When most brands transform the return process into a headache or do not even offer any returns due to the fear of shrunken profits, a quick and hassle-free return process can actually provide a competitive edge to the brand. With more and more consumers are opting for online shopping, now brands are more compelled to embrace better return experience. This is imperative because returns provide a great opportunity to attain improved customer loyalty. As mentioned above, community-led growth is crucial for marketing channels, and it actually fosters customer loyalty.
Another thing that we have witnessed very often is that how passwords make users frustrated. Every e-commerce websites requires password and other requirements. To make the process easier, customers often save passwords to their browsers. But in actuality, it is a very unhealthy practice, because it makes them vulnerable to hacking. 2022 is expected to see the death of passwords and on-device authentications such as fingerprints and facial ID recognition would be more in trend.
Covid-19 has made the world realize how small everyday things can impact the environment. Consumers are now more aware and conscious of their surroundings and trends. Brands needs take this into consideration before serving their consumers. The majority of consumers are now looking for eco-friendly and greener brands to reduce their personal carbon prints. And if a brand is not sustainable, they are likely to be overlooked by the consumers.
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