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E-commerce

5 E-Commerce Trends You Should Adopt in 2022

by Hannah Hanover

Read Time: 5 Minutes

Competing in the e-commerce sphere in 2022 may feel daunting, especially for small to medium-sized businesses with limited marketing spend. However, with US shoppers purchasing over $791 million worth of goods from online retailers in 2020 and with the number of online shoppers ballooning to 2.14 billion globallyーinvesting in e-commerce has never been more crucial to your business’ success. 

Today’s customers are expecting more from their online shopping experiences than ever before. 

So what are they looking for? 

  • Greater personalization in both advertising and offerings
  • Advanced tech solutions for both browsing and buying
  • Company values and commitments that align with their own 

These expectations can be difficult to meet for smaller businesses with fewer resources, but with thoughtful strategy and careful investment into just one or two of these trends, any sized business can successfully attract and retain more customers in the e-commerce sphere. For example, you can learn how a local fashion boutique is harnessing some of these trends to strengthen its brand and cultivate long-term, loyal shoppers on the Smart Route podcast episode From Retail to SaaS, Consumer Behavior is Changing E-commerce and Marketing.”  

The five top trends to integrate in the coming year include flexible payment options, contextual targeting, omnichannel marketing, AI software (such as chatbots), and sustainability initiatives.

Read on to learn more about these trends and how to use them in 2022 to drive consumer purchases. 

 

1. Multiple and Flexible Payment Options

Staying competitive in the e-commerce sphere now requires a new kind of flexibility: Payment options. 

Though payment flexibility is nearly unavoidable for US e-commerce stores, it is rising in demand in global e-commerce, too. This trend is particularly true of businesses selling to Gen Z and Millennials, who are using—and used to—being able to pay in multiple ways, whether in-app, via mobile or digital wallets, or through online cash payments. Google Pay, PayPal, Apple Wallet, Venmo, credit cards, and even cryptocurrency are growing more common amongst retailers (and desired by customers). Financing solutions that allow multiple, timed installments for online purchases, such as Klarna and Afterpay, are particularly attractive to online shoppers and offered by major retailers as a way to separate the process of buying and paying.

The statistics of “cart abandonment” online make that small window between a shopper reviewing a cart and selecting their payment option crucial to the sale. On mobile phones, shoppers abandon their cart at a rate of 85.65%, while 35% of online transactions end as soon as a customer is asked to registerthis rate of abandonment costs the e-commerce industry over $18 billion a year in sales

To lessen cart abandonment and make the transition from “cart review” to “complete purchase” seamless for customers, retailers should consider offering as many flexible payment options as possible. 

To lessen cart abandonment and make the transition from “cart review” to “complete purchase” seamless for customers, retailers should consider offering as many flexible payment options as possible. 

Adding multiple and flexible payment options like PayPal, Google Pay, Apple Pay, digital wallets, Klarna, and others can encourage your customers to complete transactions and improve your sales in 2022.

2. Contextual Targeting

When Google announced that they would be phasing out the use of third-party cookies, the data that marketers collect to track and target website visitors for ad campaigns, many marketers wonderedーhow would they successfully market to their audience?  Thankfully, a more sophisticated (and voluntary) form of targeting is one of the top e-commerce trends in 2021, and is projected to become even more important to marketers in a cookieless world: Contextual targeting. 

Contextual targeting blends a user’s behavioral and session data to create a picture of the user and their interests. This data is used to create personalized ad targeting and improved segmentation. Rather than posting an ad campaign on a related website, hoping to catch conversions through broad exposure, highly effective contextual targeting might combine keyword matching technology (essential to contextual targeting) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology to ensure that ad placement is relevant, effective, and matched as closely as possible to the user’s interests and buying journey.

Developing an SEO strategy (or contracting an SEO specialist) and adopting NLP software can help your business draw in more qualified leads by only marketing to interested prospects.  You’ll do away with irrelevant ad placement and focus only on the users who are actively searching for products and services like yours. 

 

3. Omnichannel Marketing 

How many platforms and devices can your customers easily find information about your product or serviceーand how straightforward is the buying process when they’re ready to purchase?

It’s no longer uncommon to advertise to customers on multiple channels and devices. Customers might see an ad on Facebook, research a product on Instagram, watch a YouTube review video, view a TikTok ad, and finally make an e-commerce purchase via a link sent to them in a text message. This kind of marketing web is called omnichannel marketing and is more and more common as brands work to sell their products and services across not only various platforms, but devices as well. Consumers are shopping on their phones more than ever, and with 73% of online shopping done on a mobile device, your e-commerce shopping experience must be competitive on more than a desktop. 

Omnichannel marketing helps you stand out to your customer base because it keeps customers thinking about your brand, whether they’re sorting through their email inbox, scrolling through social media, or using a search engine to compare products and prices. 

Omnichannel marketing helps you stand out to your customer base because it keeps customers thinking about your brand, whether they’re sorting through their email inbox, scrolling through social media, or using a search engine to compare products and prices. 

The reason omnichannel marketing is so effective is that customers are always passively shopping, whether they’re watching tv, on their phone, or taking a break from working on their laptop. Being present on multiple channels helps create familiarity and trust between you and the customers as they are repeatedly exposed to your brand message and values, and trust in a brand drives purchases. Period.

You can increase trust in your brand, create a loyal following, and convert more consistently with omnichannel marketing. To do so, consider regularly posting valuable content on multiple platforms, including videos, quizzes, sales, and product info across your social media profiles and your website. Ensure your e-commerce site is mobile-friendly and easy to navigate, with a clear and simple option to make a purchase at any point.

Ready to tackle omnichannel marketing for yourself? Discover how CallTrackingMetrics’ software can help you optimize your marketing efforts by tracking which of your ads are performing well and gaining real-time insight into your customer’s journey so you, too, can enter 2022 with confidence in your e-commerce strategy.

 

4. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Another trend that is gaining great traction and bringing in higher conversion rates for companies is the use of AI in their marketing efforts, which tech decision-makers believe to be the most important advantage a business can have in the near future. 

AI and machine learning track a customer’s every click and query, instantly adjusting and presenting product recommendations based on that data. Some AI is more complex and requires programming, rules, and algorithms. Some are less complicated and rely on data collection over time to become more accurate in their recommendations.

AI tools are often used to handle FAQs, resolve complaints, and improve customers’ experiences via chatbots, an increasingly popular option for companies. It’s a global market projected to exceed $1.25 billion by 2025; when a company has a chatbot option, user satisfaction increases up to 80% more than those e-commerce sites without chatbots.  These AI options provide a hyper-personalized e-commerce experience, as each ad and recommendation is tailored to that customer’s specific browsing behavior, which can be strengthened with opt-in communication offers and omnichannel targeting. 

This kind of AI is extremely powerful as it can offer the customer new steps in their buying journey by anticipating what they want according to their mood, whether it’s a new delivery service offering comfort food, a travel package to a destination they googled, or a bespoke subscription service based on a recent purchase. Using AI can create space for exclusive sales and services, and  22% of customers are willing to share their data in exchange for a more personalized online shopping experience. 

To incorporate AI into your business’ e-commerce strategy, consider purchasing a CRM or ERP solution that comes with machine learning (a subset of AI) that can help cross-sell and upsell products and services. This way you can enjoy some of the benefits from AI (like chatbots), without complex programming (or the high price tag). As your machine learning software gathers data, it will be able to provide answers and recommendations with greater accuracy, based on its “learning” curve, which will, in turn, provide that personalized shopping experience your customers crave.

 

5. Sustainability and Ethical Consumerism

Your customers in 2022 care about the environment, which means they are purchasing at higher rates from companies that demonstrate a commitment to sustainability. In addition to environmental sustainability, consumers are trending towards companies that are clearly stating values aligned with their own and are dedicated to ethical consumerism, which includes everything from supporting charities to pursuing carbon neutrality or providing a living wage for their employees.

In addition to environmental sustainability, consumers are trending towards companies that are clearly stating values aligned with their own and are dedicated to ethical consumerism, which includes everything from supporting charities to pursuing carbon neutrality or providing a living wage for their employees.

Additionally, companies need to actively demonstrate that anything labeled “green,” “natural,” or “sustainably produced” is, in fact, green, natural, or sustainably produced. Today’s customers want more than recycled packaging; they want proof that their purchases are not harming the environment (or, at least, the company is actively offsetting possible damage). In particular, Gen Z and Millennials are demanding that brands lead the way to a sustainable future, with 75% believing that brands should take a strong stance for environmental activism, social justice, and racial equality

No matter the average age group of your customer base, taking steps to make your brand more sustainableーand marketing those effortsーis an important part of remaining an e-commerce competitor in 2022. 

To attract and retain customers in 2022, consider developing a clear and purposeful mission statement or landing page that outlines your brand’s efforts to be environmentally sustainable, ensure ethical production of materials, and support charities, while clearly communicating your brand values and mission. 

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