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Ecommerce trends to look out for in 2022

by Leon Lau, January 4, 2022

2021 has been a year fueled by digital growth. In recent times, we’ve seen businesses grappling with the slow but gradual opening up of physical spaces. This has led to an increased focus on adapting to the new era of ecommerce, which is not only just about building digital infrastructure, but is also greatly centered around personalization.

New developments in ecommerce have been directed towards providing personalized experiences to digital consumers. By adding an individualized touch to the customer’s shopping journey, companies are more likely to connect to them personally and therefore gain brand loyalty.

So what is next from here? In this article, we have a look at some of the upcoming trends in the e-commerce industry for 2022.

 

Voice shopping

In our previous article, we talked about the social commerce trend which relies greatly on live & active interaction with consumers. With voice ecommerce sales predicted to reach $19.4 billion in 2023, we are likely to see more online businesses incorporating voice shopping as a feature on their websites. 

We’ve already seen the start of this trend with voice technology like Alexa, Siri & Ok Google, and with chat apps (whether automated chatbots or Facebook Messenger for business). It seems like the next logical step is already in sight - for ecommerce businesses to enable online customers to interact via real-time voice input: to get recommendations, to make product queries, or even to make purchases.

 

Diverse payment methods including cryptocurrency

Affirm. Klarna. Aplazame. These are some of the players in the emerging buy now pay later (BNPL) trend. More than that, we are seeing more flexible and diversified options in making online purchases, outside of the bread-and-butter methods of credit card and Paypal. This applies not only for B2C ecommerce, but for B2B as well.

Customers want greater payment options to choose from during the checkout process. Online stores that diversify their payment technology are more likely to earn trust, reduce cart abandonment, and encourage shoppers to spend more. We may even see more online retailers integrating cryptocurrency payment options.

☝️☝️ Wake Skincare’s ecommerce payment options, including Coinbase Commerce integration for cryptocurrency payments.

 

Artificial intelligence and machine learning

Online stores have started integrating artificial intelligence and machine learning tools to their platforms, to provide consumers a personalized purchasing experience. Prior to this, manual recommendations were prone to errors. 

Now, with the use of automated AI and big data, companies are able to offer more relevant product recommendations based on demographic information, past purchases, search history, and other user behavior.

 

Headless commerce becoming mainstream

Customer behavior is constantly changing, so brands and retailers have to adapt their organizational and technological strategies to tackle emerging demands and take advantage of opportunities. However, not only are the online buyer profiles evolving, but new touchpoints and internet devices are emerging. 

Businesses are taking note of this fact. An increasing number of online stores are adopting headless commerce platforms, in which the customer-facing front-end is decoupled from the back-end layer. This solution gives digital marketers complete control over the UI and UX of their online stores, providing them the flexibility to build a website layout that offers a seamless experience to their specific buyer persona. 

Headless commerce options like PWA Studio with Adobe Commerce / Magento have already proven themselves as a viable solution for businesses to achieve their digital personalization objectives without making significant investments.

 

Augmented and virtual reality

No doubt we have all heard about Facebook’s (now Meta) transition to the Metaverse for its business model. With such a drastic pivot by a major company, it is no surprise that the ecommerce industry is looking in a similar direction.   

However, the adoption of VR and AR technologies in online retail is not entirely new. Luxury brand Gucci has adopted Snapchat’s AR try-on lens to allow consumers to test how sneakers look on their feet. They have also released its first virtual sneaker that can only be worn digitally, similar to how mods and skins can be purchased for video game avatars. IKEA has recently overhauled its augmented reality (AR) application with IKEA Studio, helping people plan and design rooms through the virtual placing of furnishings onto real physical spaces.

The end goal for most ecommerce brands is to deliver a more personalized, simplified, and engaging shopping experience to its customers. They see AR and VR technologies as a way to achieve that goal, by assisting consumers to see exactly what they are buying and therefore to make an informed purchase decision.

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