eCommerce has become an essential part of the global retail framework, especially in recent years. Like many other industries, the eCommerce trends have changed dramatically since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Shopify, at the height of the pandemic, 10 years of eCommerce growth happened in just 90 days. Statista reveals that over two billion people purchased goods or services online in the same year.
Therefore, the competition between online retailers has never been this heated. In this ever-changing eCommerce environment, brands should keep up with the latest trends and updates in their respective areas and implement them into their business models in order not to fall behind.
In this blog post, we’ll dive deep into the top 6 eCommerce trends of 2022, and what awaits us in terms of online shopping habits this year.
“While a post-COVID-19 world is expected to recover more slowly than it did after the 2008–2009 global financial crisis, eCommerce is the economic sweet spot as brands and consumers rush online. ” –Shopify
1. Businesses Embrace Sustainability & Transparency
At this point where we can experience the effects of climate change every single day, it is a must that eCommerce companies promise more than a good shopping experience. Customers are now paying attention to the fact that brands have an enormous ecological footprint, and they must be accountable for that. Brands that adopt the circular economy model at every stage of their product life cycle; such as production, packaging, and marketing, are considered to be more preferable.
Today’s shopper expects not only free and fast shipping but also a shipping method that is environmentally friendly. According to IBM, 72% of global consumers want brands to use sustainable packaging. Your packaging can have a big impact on a purchasing decision. It can encourage customers to promote your eco-friendly products through social media, which leads to word-of-mouth marketing and higher customer retention.
2. AI Enhances The Way of Shopping With Personalization
Everybody wants to feel special. We like to have someone take special care of us when we enter any store, right? AI will be a loyal sales assistant for your customers at every stage of the online shopping process your business offers.
Analyzing personal data like purchasing habits and behaviors with machine learning and providing customers with a personalized shopping experience makes AI a successful supporter of eCommerce. Unlike any other traditional data analytics software, AI is able to predict customer behavior by continuously learning from the data and improving the results which enable businesses to deliver highly relevant content, boost sales leads, and improve the overall customer experience.
What’s more, an algorithm that constantly learns and develops with data will allow customers to make pinpoint choices, which will significantly reduce the return rate of your business. According to the Snap Consumer AR Report, returns create a 550 billion problem in the industry.
How AI is helping shops and retailers learn more about their customers in different ways:
- Providing product recommendations increases conversion rate by 915% and average order value by 3%.
- Implementing chatbots can provide a better customer experience.
- Increasing demand forecasts, as well as making pricing decisions, and further optimizing product placement boost efficiency.
“Artificial intelligence would be the ultimate version of Google. The ultimate search engine that would understand everything on the web. It would understand exactly what you wanted, and it would give you the right thing. We’re nowhere near doing that now. However, we can get incrementally closer to that, and that is basically what we work on.”-Larry Page
3. Customer Feedback Is King
It’s the era of hyper-personalization. Apart from the personalized emails and notifications, you need to tailor the purchasing experience based on each unique customer’s personal preferences across different channels and touchpoints.
Chatbots are one of the rising trends of the eCommerce world to increase customer engagement. Although customer representatives provide customized service, chatbots that provide instant answers to frequently asked questions provide customers with a more lively shopping experience. Customers who prefer your brand will want to stay in contact with you as much as possible during the online shopping process. Give them what they want. Maybe a customer who puts their finger on a point you never realized can play a big role in your future strategies.
Furthermore, exit intent pop-ups, discounts, abandoned cart notifications, and other methods can be utilized for a memorable customer experience.
“The consumer wants solutions, not brands, they are searching by categories, reviews and benefits.”-Shopify
4. The Rise of Mobile Shopping
The rise of mobile commerce has been particularly significant and the increased use of mobile devices has contributed to this advancement. Nowadays, customers are utilizing their mobile devices to explore and do some research on the products and services before making a purchase decision.
In addition to Gen Z, the X and Y generations’ increasing confidence in online payment methods makes the mobile shopping experience widespread. Instead of going to the store, the opportunity to shop regardless of time and place is a much more preferable method in the age of convenience. Whether you’re buying a vacuum cleaner or a new jacket, the internet is at our fingertips!
At the same time, technologies such as AR become much more accessible through mobile devices, making it easier for customers to make more accurate decisions during the shopping process.
“I can’t overstate how mobile is changing how we interact with our consumers, we have to embrace these changes.”
-Joel Anderson, CEO of Walmart
5. Harness the Power of Innovative Payment Methods
A new payment method is being added almost every day. Incorporating innovative payment methods in your business will be a move that boosts your eCommerce activities. The cash on delivery option, which is used for security reasons, is still one of the most preferred payment methods. Keeping up with the innovations of the digital world, including mobile payment methods such as Google Wallet and Paypal as well as the credit card option is best for your business targeting a wider customer base.
Besides all these relatively traditional methods, a completely different economic order awaits us in the future. The rise of cryptocurrencies and the gradual transition of countries to their own cryptocurrencies can create a new concept of “money”. These new currencies and payment methods may be valid not only in the physical world but also in any area where we can talk about the metaverse in the future. The possibilities provided by Blockchain technology seem to shape our payment methods both in areas such as the in-game economy and in a future where the metaverse will create its own economy.
6. Augmented Reality & Virtual Try-On Will Boost Your Brand
Augmented reality (AR) is perhaps one of the most crucial and game-changing technology for online shopping in 2022. Visuality plays an important role as a result of today’s easy consumption preferences. With the help of AR solutions, consumers can customize, spin, and rotate a product from any angle. Even try them on!
Almost 50% of people say that the biggest problem with online shopping is that products come out different from what is depicted.
“I didn’t realize this table was this wide.”
“These shoes made my feet look rougher than I expected.”
“The color of my new jacket came out darker than I expected, probably due to the ambient light of its picture. I’m returning it as it doesn’t look good with my boots.”
Virtual-try-on, which has become a rising trend with AR technology, is preferred by brands to reduce all these misfortunes as much as possible. After all, no one can deny that the 3D solutions offered by AR work better in our 3D world.
Here are some of the other major advantages of using AR for your business:
- Users can virtually touch, spin, move, and see a product from all perspectives which can lead to a 94% higher conversion rate.
- AR boosts customer engagement and brand loyalty.
- 41% of brands stated that customers are more likely to buy a product if they are offered an AR experience.
- According to the latest Snapchat report, consumers who prefer 3D and AR shopping experiences are increasing rapidly and this number expected to go up in the following years as well.
“Augmented reality is the ‘boy who cried wolf’ of the post-Internet world—it’s long been promised but has rarely been delivered in a satisfying way.”
How ART Labs Can Help
New year, new opportunities, new steps. It may be too late for 2021, but reaping the benefits of 3D imaging with AR may be your best move in 2022. Contact our professional team today for AR solutions that will make your existing customers even more connected to your brand and get noticed by new ones.