eCommerce Trends & Innovations 2022

June 19, 2022 Mihaela Lica Butler

The 2022 eCommerce trends and innovations reflect the changes triggered by crises like the global coronavirus pandemic and international armed conflicts that impact global economies. Here are the main trends we observed so far: they will shape the future of business in 2023 and beyond.

Conceptualize Moving Brand Stories

You will engage consumers only with moving brand stories that focus on compassion, mindfulness, and care for the environment and fellow man. Develop PR, marketing, and advertising strategies that adhere to these imperatives.

Consider Google's new "recycle attribute," for example. According to Google, "Recycling has become one of the most popular search topics, and supporting eco-conscious brands is top of mind for the 82% of consumers who have deemed sustainability a top priority." (“The power of recycling: Turning searches into store visits”)

Adding the recycle attribute is a smart move. Still, you should also let your customers know that you practice sustainable recycling practices by developing content - blog posts, press releases, videos, and social media updates - that promote your recycling initiatives. Do not brag; instead, encourage your followers and customers to share their recycling initiatives. Ask for their permission to reshare their stories, either on your blog or social media pages. The main idea here is that together we can all make a difference.

Engage Customers with Social Commerce

Many brands successfully use Facebook and other social media platforms to engage shoppers. Depending on what you want to sell, you could experience similar success. For example, in the USA alone, one in three users made a purchase on Facebook in 2021 - that's 32.3% of US Facebook users. That number will reach 35.5% by 2025, according to eMarketer.

TikTok is another social media platform the users enjoyed for shopping experiences in the past couple of years. Tech accessories, beauty and cosmetic products - like UV sanitizers for makeup brushes, travel mugs, and many other items became viral on TikTok in 2021. In addition, TikTok announced a partnership with Shopify in August 2021, giving merchants new ways to reach consumers and enabling them to sell straight from their TikTok accounts.

As per the previous trend, it would be helpful to use social media channels to inspire or awe shoppers. Sell them things that simplify their lives, are useful, and are desirable. But, again, the fear of mission out (FOMO) phenomenon could work to your advantage when you sell on social media: make your customers believe that your special offer is unique, and you don't plan to repeat it any time soon.

Promote Strong Brand Values

Several recent studies and surveys prove that promoting strong brand values is essential for the future of e-commerce. Here are just some of the most significant:

  • consumers are four times more likely to purchase from a company with strong brand values; (2021 Shopify eCommerce Market Credibility Study)
  • 77% of consumers care about the environmental impact of the products they buy; (2021 Shopify eCommerce Market Credibility Study)
  • 62% of customers favor companies that take a stand on current and broadly relevant issues like sustainability, transparency, or fair employment; (Accenture Strategy "To Affinity and Beyond - From Me to We: The Rise of the Purpose-led Brand" 2021 study)
  • 53% of consumers disappointed with a brand's words or actions on a social issue complain about it, 47% walk away, and 17% never return; (Accenture Strategy 2021)

e-Commerce Trends 2022

Credit to Accenture Strategy
"To Affinity and Beyond - From Me to We: The Rise of the Purpose-led Brand"

 

In the words of BlackRock Chairman and CEO Larry Fink:

"Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose. To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society," ("A Sense of Purpose" - via Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance)

In these uncertain times, it is almost a psychological response for people to scrutinize how brands respond to social issues and the environment. Price and quality are still important, but they are expected. However, suppose you want to thrive in the e-commerce ecosystem of the future. In that case, you must focus on sustainability and what is good for society: create strong brand values, and your customers will appreciate your products even more.

Live Commerce Experiences Are the Next Big Thing

Since 2020, when the coronavirus triggered lockdowns worldwide, companies and influencers have turned to video livestreaming to interact with their customers and followers. For example, during the 2020 lockdown in India, 45% percent of internet users watched influencer livestreams. In addition, some 83% of those who watched said they were likely to buy products from influencers they follow. As a result, Statista predicts that the future of commerce is live.

The Shopify 2022 Future of Commerce report revealed that the number of app installs for livestream selling grew by 61% globally between January and September 2021. Some key statistics revealed by the report:

  • 46% of consumers prefer to watch product videos before they buy;
  • 81% of companies plan to increase or maintain investment in livestream selling to drive sales over the next 12 months;
  • some brands reported conversions of up to 30% through livestream selling.

Last but not least live chat remains an essential communication channel, with 43% of consumers surveyed by Shopify saying they're likely to use it in the following years.

So, your e-commerce business must meet and exceed customer expectations, promote strong brand values, and adapt to technologies that are as entertaining as they are convenient.