2022 eCommerce Trends

Global eCommerce sales are likely to exceed $5 trillion for the first time this year. And there is more good news for online retailers. Industry experts predict that the market will grow by another 50% by 2025. But that doesn’t mean every business will succeed and continue to expand in line with those trends. 

As the market has grown in size, it has also become more crowded. The reason is simple: more players are trying to take advantage of online sales. At the same time, as the pandemic is receding, in-store shopping is once again growing in popularity.

So, how do you create an irresistible eCommerce experience?

We take a look at the trends that can help you stand out from the crowd in 2022.

1. Respect Customer Privacy with Zero-Data

It’s almost impossible to visit any eCommerce website without being greeted by privacy notices.

Customers are becoming savvier when it comes to protecting their information, but there is one thing that really changed the playing field in 2021. When Apple allowed users to opt-out of data tracking on platforms like Facebook, ad targeting became more expensive and less accurate. 

This year, the trend continues with Google Chrome planning to stop supporting third-party cookies.

As an eCommerce retailer, you will no longer benefit from access to third-party data. With data being harder to access and share, its value will increase even more. 

Businesses relying on insights into customer behaviour need to collect data directly from their customers and gain their permission to use it for future communications and any other purpose. This is known as zero-data, and it’s likely to become the foundation of data-driven eCommerce. 

2. Personalisation Wins

Speaking of customer communications, personalisation is another major eCommerce trend. Consider this scenario: several decades ago, you would have walked into a corner store on a Sunday morning, and the person behind the counter would already know that you want two pints of milk. 

Using your zero-data wisely allows you to customise the online shopping experience for each customer. Personalised online shopping starts by addressing return customers by name and greeting them. 

Your sales data will give you insights into their purchase habits. For example, if you have a customer ordering pet food every quarter, you could remind them close to the time to make the next purchase. What’s more, perhaps your data also shows you that this customer always chooses pet food to help with kidney disease. Now you can suggest pet food supplements your customer might also be interested in. 

Losing access to third-party data may seem somewhat scary, but it’s highly likely that you’re not yet using your existing customer data to its full potential. Rethinking personalisation can be the gateway to much higher sales. 

3. Recreate In-store Experiences

Despite the convenience of online shopping, most consumers will admit that they miss in-store shopping. Browsing shelves, holding the item in our hands, and asking for advice are some of the things we love about shopping in person. 

The most successful eCommerce retailers recreate the in-store experience online. How do you do this? One of the most straightforward approaches is to offer an option for eCommerce live chat. It’s a fantastic way to deal with any confusion about product features. Plus, your sales team has another chance to highlight the product’s most significant benefits. 

If you’re offering high-value products, consider taking the experience one step further. Remember personal shoppers who take you to a private section of the store? An online shopping assistant can recreate the same bespoke experience for your clients. Think of online shopping assistants as brand ambassadors. They are your top salespeople with deep product and brand knowledge and the uncanny ability to make a connection with your customers. 

4. Offer Live Demonstrations

Posting a demo video is an excellent way of showing customers how a product works. There is no doubt about the effectiveness of videos when it comes to selling almost any product. 

But one thing a static video can’t do is answer customer questions as they arise. Enter a live product demonstration. Powered by video technology, this interactive session gives your team a chance to show your products to customers whilst customers ask questions right then and there. In eCommerce settings, there is no better way of bringing a product to life.

Plus, interactive, live demonstrations are a great way of building a personal relationship between your brand and your client. 

5. Embrace Technology

As an eCommerce retailer, you’re already familiar with using eCommerce software, payment processing technology, and more. Consider using artificial intelligence (AI) technology to gain an advantage in a crowded marketplace. 

AI is no longer just the stuff movies are made of. It is essentially software that can take data you already have and analyse it faster and more thoroughly than humans can. AI allows you to find shopping patterns that may not have been obvious before. 

This technology can also provide windows into the future. If you are wondering how best to approach your customers about new products, AI can calculate scenarios based on different approaches for you. All you need to do is compare the results and choose which solution looks most promising. The idea is to understand your customers well enough to build the online store they’ve always dreamed of.  

Final Thoughts

eCommerce will continue to grow for years to come, creating opportunities for retailers along the way. As more businesses enter the marketplace, competition will naturally increase. To stand out from the crowd, you need to create a memorable customer experience. 

Handling data responsibly is one cornerstone of running a successful online business. Creating a personalised experience is equally important. Personalisation no longer ends with simple suggestions for other purchases. 

Offering an online sales assistant or a bespoke video demonstration are excellent ways of building customer relationships and converting sales. If you think these approaches could help you create the best shopping experience for your customers, get in touch and our team would be happy to help.

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