The global ecommerce industry continues to grow exponentially.
In March 2021, Adobe forecasted 2021 U.S. retail ecommerce sales to reach anywhere between $850 billion and $930 billion, up from $760 billion recorded in 2020. And it expected 2022 to be the first trillion-dollar year.
We expect the same growth from ecommerce-related innovation in the coming years.
The 2020 pandemic has been a major catalyst for this innovation. From frictionless shopping experiences to improved automation, the pandemic forced ecommerce shops to develop new technologies to meet the consumers’ demand, making way for the “new normal.”
Let’s look at the ecommerce trends we can expect in the coming year:
Future of Ecommerce
The pandemic accelerated ecommerce trends as customers relied on it during periods of lockdown. You can expect that to continue. New ecommerce trends will center around reducing friction in the buying journey, selling anywhere and everywhere, and creating rich brand experiences.
1. Reducing Friction in the Buying Journey
Many online businesses are turning to technology and automation to improve the ecommerce experience and reduce cart abandonment.
Often called the future of SEO, voice search is also considered the future of ecommerce.
Voice search has become a big part of our everyday lives. Voice assistants such as Alexa and Siri have broken into the ecommerce market. And brands continue to take advantage of voice-controlled devices to increase online sales.
While it may feel odd to order an item without seeing it or checking reviews, voice shopping finds frequent use in ordering and reordering everyday items, such as groceries. For example, Amazon remembers your brand and quantity preferences, making reordering a breeze.
Better Payment Processing
Payment processing is a part of the customer journey and plays a major role in the conversion process. Customers can decide to exit their online purchases at the last minute.
Online stores are starting to offer low- to no-interest financing alternatives to entice customers. Coupled with already available payment gateways such as credit cards, Apple Pay, Venmo, and PayPal, they encourage shoppers to purchase items online.
One popular low-interest option is buy-now, pay-later (BNPL) offered by companies like Klarna, Afterpay, and PayPal. A Statista study on select post-pandemic technologies showed that millennials are the likeliest to use BNPL.
2. Selling Anywhere and Everywhere
With so many brands competing for everyone’s attention, ecommerce businesses recognize the need to meet their customers where they hang out.
Omnichannel ecommerce is the future of ecommerce.
Modern customers interact with a brand across 20 different channels. Common channels include websites, mobile apps, voice search, and social media platforms.
Adopting an omnichannel strategy may be challenging to execute, but it pays off. It lets you create a consistent and seamless customer experience at every touchpoint of the buyer’s journey, improving customer retention and revenue.
You can take inspiration from Starbucks, a brand with a fantastic multichannel marketing strategy. Customers can preorder drinks from the mobile app and pick up their orders from the store.
Direct to Consumer (DTC)
The pandemic altered the way of business by increasing customer demand for online shopping and home delivery. The future of ecommerce will involve traditional retailers moving away from traditional business models to newer business models such as direct to consumer (DTC).
DTC refers to manufacturing and selling products directly to consumers, bypassing retailers and wholesalers. Pioneered by digital commerce natives, DTC brands usually only sell online.
By cutting out the middlemen, you reduce overhead costs, increase personalization, and have more control over customer data.
Examples of popular DTC brands include Glossier and Dollar Shave Club.
3. Creating Rich Brand Experiences
Personalization is going to be a major trend for the future of ecommerce. You will see personalized content and personalized products.
Augmented and Virtual Reality
Visiting an online store and shopping for your favorite item saves time, but it lacks the personalized experience of shopping at a physical store.
Augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) can fill this gap by showing you what the product looks like in use. Online shops that invested in AR/VR to replicate the experience of shopping at brick and mortar stores have seen sales go up by 200%.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Statista shares that 70% of ecommerce decision makers in the U.S. and Europe believe AI would help them provide personalized services.
Many ecommerce platforms have already implemented AI to improve their processes.
Prominent AI applications include:
- Chatbots: Chatbots primarily assist online shoppers with customer service inquiries. They provide product recommendations and share current sale offerings.
- Forecasting: AI is handy in logistics applications. Advancements in AI prevent supply chain shortages by using algorithms and machine learning’s predictive powers to monitor shifts in customer demand and forecast demand and transit times.
- Pricing optimization: Many companies employ a dynamic pricing strategy wherein prices depend on market demand and supply. AI helps you predict the minimum discount needed, which items to discount, and when to implement the discount to achieve maximum profitability in real time.
- Customer segmentation: AI can spot patterns between purchases and consumer behaviors, letting you provide personalized product recommendations.
Final Thoughts: Future of Ecommerce — Trends To Look Forward to in 2022
The future of ecommerce is bright.
As the digital commerce space continues to grow, expect technology advancements to grow as well.
If you’re an ecommerce store owner, pick the trends relevant to business and prepare your store for the upcoming ecommerce shift.
If you’re looking to get into ecommerce, look no further than StoreBuilder by Hostdedi to get started. It’s the fastest and easiest way to make an online store with WordPress — no coding needed.
Check out StoreBuilder today.