The pandemic accelerated eCommerce trends by years. Even as the pandemic wanes, these trends will be sticking around for the long haul. We found ourselves reaching for our phones more than ever to order meals, schedule a grocery delivery, and shop. Being forced to use our smartphones, tablets, and computers to do what we typically did in a brick and mortar establishment allowed consumers the opportunity to discover what they preferred in their eCommerce experience. This rapid expansion and demand from customers have forced sellers to adapt swiftly. With a failure rate of 80%, eCommerce companies need to stay on top of new industry trends and be able to pivot their operations to stay afloat.
Trend 1: Social Shopping
Social shopping is definitely having its moment. Forbes has shown that 74% of consumers rely on social networks to help with their purchasing decisions, and would prefer to shop products directly from the social media platform they’re using. US social eCommerce sales have increased by 35.8% since 2020 with a total of $36.62 billion thanks to leading social channels seeing enormous success with social shopping. Facebook Marketplace and Facebook Shops put the world’s largest social platform in the top place for selling with 56.1 million buyers, while Instagram’s introduction of Checkout on Instagram and Pinterest’s shops leave them closer behind than ever. We don’t have to forget the newcomers — both Snapchat and TikTok are finding major success with social shopping as well. According to Adweek, nearly half of all TikTok users (49%) have purchased a product from a brand after seeing it advertised within the platform.
Trend 2: Personalized Shopping
Innovative eCommerce brands are finding more ways to personalize the customer experience moving into 2022. Research done by Epsilon states that 80% of customers are more likely to purchase a product or service from a brand that provides personalized experiences. Based on the customer’s previous actions, browsing behavior, purchase history, and other personal data, you can tailor your content, product recommendations, and email marketing to help drive sales. By creating a personalized experience, businesses are seeing an average sales increase of 20%, with 77% of consumers willing to pay more for a brand that provides these customized experiences.
Trend 3: Voice Shopping
Chances are you’ve already asked Google, Alexa, or Siri a question or two today, and you’re not alone. In the United States, a third of the population and 40% of all internet users, actively use voice search daily. Though, as it stands, the most common use for voice search includes basic queries such as, “What’s the weather like in Los Angeles?,” or “Who won the Oscar for Best Actor in 2012?” the technology is advancing quickly to allow users to voice shop as seamlessly as they ask questions. Based on a report done by OC&C Strategy Consultants, voice shopping is expected to increase by 55% in 2022. The same report suggests that voice shopping demographics skew towards busy families with children, younger generations, and more affluent individuals. As one can imagine, Amazon is already asserting itself in the voice shopping-sphere by owning the top-selling smart speaker and utilizing personalized recommendations for their users. Given voice commerce’s expected growth rate, expect to see more vendors enter the space as product sellers increasingly look to position themselves for voice shopping success.
Trend 4: Sustainable Shopping
Many eCommerce brands are shifting with the times to offer more eco-friendly and sustainable practices. Both millennials and Gen Zers have shined a spotlight on demanding greener measures from their favorite businesses. Over 50% say they like to purchase products that support environmental causes. Strides can easily be made by brands doing away with unnecessary packaging, using biodegradable packaging, going paperless, or even offering customer incentives. Clothing brand Madewell asks customers to recycle their old jeans to be made into housing insulation for communities in need, and in return, receive coupons for future purchases. Showing people you’re making a conscious effort to go greener, no matter how small, will speak volumes to customers new and old.
Trend 5: Visual Shopping
Last, but not least is visual shopping. Simply put, it’s a term that covers several ways brands can utilize pictures, videos, and even VR to help consumers learn about and connect with their products and brand. The trend isn’t new, but brands have really taken their product visuals to the next level and 75% of people say they’ll buy something after being inspired by a post. Here are some of our favorite ways to use visual shopping:
- Speaking to a larger audience by using inclusive marketing to showcase the product to people with different body types, ethnicities, genders, or disabilities.
- Utilizing 360-degree imagery or videos on your website and social media.
- Repurposing user-generated content on product pages to boost conversions.
- Incorporating influencer marketing to gain new followers and customers alike.
- Employing shoppability tools, allowing shoppers to click an image or video and seamlessly be directed to a product.
- By creating a custom hashtag people can search to view more product imagery.
All of these emerging trends for 2022 have one thing in common — to make a customer’s shopping experience easier and more enjoyable. Depending on your business, not all of these trends will work for you. Analyze which ones make sense for you and know that enhancing the user experience, however that looks for you, will set your business up for success. Not sure where to begin? Our experts at The Times Media Company are here to help! Contact us today!