online shopping trends

6 online shopping trends to know in 2022

By Camille Felappi

Online shopping didn’t only disrupt the retail chain but also transformed consumers’ behavior. Nowadays customers are informed, have high standards, and their preferences can change in the wink of an eye.

 

These increasingly picky online shoppers push retailers to adapt to their requirements. As a consequence, if you want to stand out and outrank your competitors, you must constantly keep an eye on the latest trends. However, looking over trends and spending hours reading long reports certainly does not fit your busy schedule. That is why we compiled 6 major online shopping trends you should know about in 2022:

1. Online shoppers have an increasing interest in sustainable brands

2. Social commerce is taking over eCommerce

3. Online shoppers want more payments options

4. Marketplaces’ popularity remains high among online shoppers

5. Online shoppers want a personalized experienced

6. Omnichannel is more important than ever

 

1. Online shoppers have an increasing interest in sustainable brands

The adoption of a sustainable lifestyle is on the rise in many countries, and it starts to be reflected in shopping carts. Recent studies showed that customers have a growing interest in sustainable products. They have become more socially conscious, especially when purchasing clothing and footwear.

This phenomenon has been increasing for the past 5 years, as a study from Business Wire revealed. Globally, 85% of people said they shifted towards being more sustainable in the past five years. Yet, this attitude towards sustainability varies between generations and countries. According to the same study, one-third of Millennials will choose a sustainable alternative when it is possible. Older generations are however less likely to actively choose sustainable alternatives. As for countries, Austria leads the way with 42%, followed by Italy, Spain, and Germany.

As a seller, it is important to understand what customers consider a sustainable product if you want your brand to resonate. A recent study conducted by Deloitte in the UK showed interesting results. 65% of the customers interviewed said they consider a product sustainable if it is made from natural materials or a renewable resource. However, the purchase patterns are different. When it comes to making a purchase, customers value durability, meaning how long the good will last, at 53%.

If we check on the sellers’ side, the industry has aligned with this trend. 41% of merchants declared they put environmental sustainability at the top of their 2022 priorities. In addition, 30% of merchants say securing ethical supply chains is a priority. In that context, those who fail to make significant strides towards more sustainable models risk losing customers.

 

2. Social commerce is taking over eCommerce

Social media has been booming during the pandemic and is not likely to slow down. Figures show that 63% of customers hope to shop more frequently within social channels in the next 12 months. So, if you are not aware of what is social commerce, you should catch up. Social commerce is when a customer buys goods or services directly on a social media platform. It disrupts the traditional way of shopping online since the entire purchase process is done on social media. Major apps like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest developed social commerce features on their platform to make it possible. It offers vast opportunities, but to succeed, you will need knowledge, skill, and careful consideration.

The most common way for customers to find out about a product or service via social media is by seeing a targeted ad. According to a study from Sprout Social, 49% of consumers found the perfect product by seeing a targeted ad. This means that the way people interact with products is changing, which can be challenging for sellers. Nowadays customers, especially generation Z that was born with the internet, have very little tolerance for digital dysfunctions. Brands still having outdated and long buyers’ journeys will frustrate them and lose customers. Merchants start to understand that they have to invest in social commerce sooner rather than later. 50% of them think that social commerce will be one of the most important trends impacting eCommerce in 2022. Additionally, 40% are investing in improving their social commerce offering in 2022.

You should therefore optimize your social commerce experience if you don’t want to let your competitors eat your cake. With social media, eCommerce has a human face. You can bet on publishing regular content such as reels, live Q&As, and stories to showcase your products. Most important to convince the picky social shoppers, you will need to provide a seamless shopping experience.

 

3. Online shoppers want more payments options

When it comes to eCommerce, online shoppers want an effortless buying experience. From the moment they visit your website, to the moment their package is at their doorstep. To offer them such an experience, payment optimization and diversification shouldn’t be overlooked. 68% of merchants are already investing in new and improved payment technologies to support eCommerce growth.

Payment diversification strategies are thus vital if you want to convert more sales. In most cases, merchants prioritize local payment methods, Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL), and digital wallet integrations. On their side, customers plan to pay for eCommerce in 2022 by card (91%), with digital wallet (80%), and with the BNPL option (53%).

Buy Now Pay Later allows customers to make immediate purchases and spread out the cost of their payments. It is most of the time interest-free. According to statistics, 55.8% of consumers used this payment method in 2021, making it a fast-growing payment option. It is especially high for purchasing clothing. Another interesting fact is that almost 75% of Buy Now Pay Later users are Gen-Z and millennials.

A digital wallet is a system that securely stores users’ payment information for payment methods and websites. Digital wallets can be used with mobile payment systems. This allows customers to pay for purchases with their smartphones. A digital wallet can also be used to store loyalty card information and digital coupons. The most popular digital wallets are Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Amazon Pay. Lately, even crypto-friendly digital wallets saw an increasing interest. Digital currency starts to be used in digital wallets as well. A quarter of merchants say they are preparing to offer payments via digital currencies or even to sell digital assets such as NFTs.

 

4. Marketplaces’ popularity remains high among online shoppers

Marketplaces are dominating the retail industry, and many sellers are not able to compete with mastodons like Amazon or eBay. Experts predict that 50-70% of digital commerce will be conducted on marketplace platforms by 2025. Yet, this trend is nothing new. Before the pandemic, marketplaces already represented half of the global online sales. We can also observe that every kind of marketplace from luxury to discount has seen a rise in its sales and popularity.

If we look at more figures, 65% of customers ranked marketplace platforms as number one for non-essential items. In addition, $2 trillion of sales were made by the top 100 global marketplace platforms in 2021.

As an eCommerce merchant, you might feel threatened, and you are not alone. 25% of eCommerce merchants surveyed said they feared losing market shares to these platforms. But what if you were looking at marketplaces the wrong way? The popularity and diversity of marketplaces are a great opportunity for you to diversify your selling channels. Over a third (35%) of brands are planning to sell more of their products on marketplace platforms in 2022. In fact, many retailers have found that it is best not to rely on one platform alone. Brands are now looking to be present across multiple platforms to maximize their reach.

 

5. Online shoppers want a personalized experienced

Nowadays online buyers are daily interacting with brands on social media and see dozens of ads on the internet. This impacts their buying behavior, meaning they need more than just seeing your brand to buy your products. They are searching for personalized experiences. Personalization is more than a way to try to attract customers. It builds brand loyalty, boosts customer satisfaction, and makes people remember your business. The positive impact of personalization has been confirmed by several studies. According to a recent report, 75% of consumers said they are keen on buying from brands offering personalized digital experiences. Another study showed that 57% of online shoppers are fine with providing personal information as long as it is for their benefit. Personalization is also proved to be a loyalty builder, as 56% of online shoppers are more likely to return to a site that recommends products.

On the online sellers’ side, 74% have a website personalization program in place according to a recent report. If you don’t want to be left behind, you should make sure you have a strong personalization strategy in place. There are many ways to build an efficient personalization strategy. You can implement it not only on your website, but also in email marketing, loyalty programs, or mobile apps. Yet, the most popular option for driving website personalization is real-time behavioral data. It is used in over 75% of cases, so it should be a pillar of your personalization strategy. This method simply consists in recommending products to a customer based on the data you can collect from him. The best personalization platforms are driven by artificial intelligence and machine learning. It tracks on-site and customer data points in real-time and then delivers a unique personalized experience to each site visitor.

 

6. Omnichannel is more important than ever

The advent of eCommerce pushed towards a more and more customer-centric culture, as omnichannel can tell. Omnichannel experience is when a customer can interact with your business across multiple channels as part of one seamless customer journey. Connecting all these touchpoints improves your customers’ relationship and increases your sales. To have an efficient omnichannel strategy in place, you need to make sure that separate channels work together. It will provide a seamless experience for the shoppers.

Let’s use an example to visualize better omnichannel experience. A user is on Facebook and sees an ad for a jacket you are selling. He clicks on the ad and ends up on your store’s Facebook page where he finds more information about your brand. Then, he clicks on your store’s website to order the jacket. Unfortunately, the size he wants is not in stock, so he clicks on the live virtual agent chat and asks if the size he wants is available anywhere. The agent informs him that his size is available in another store and reserves the jacket for him. The customer can pick it up the next day. In this example, the customer had 5 touchpoints with your business that were all intertwined to offer him a seamless experience. This is what we call an efficient omnichannel customer experience.

According to a study from Harvard Business Review, 73% of consumers prefer shopping through multiple channels. Additionally, according to a study made by Google, omnichannel strategies drive an 80% higher rate of store visits. Most retailers already understood the importance of omnichannel strategy. 90% of retail leaders agree that a seamless omnichannel strategy is critical to business success. According to Shopify’s Future of Commerce report, 53% of retailers are adopting tools to help them sell in various channels. Shopify’s survey also found that the biggest challenge for brands is to breaking down organizational silos between digital and physical stores (49%). Another 47% say that integrating online and retail store data and operations are proved to be difficult.

 

Key takeaways

Nowadays online shoppers are in the driving seat. They drive the trends, and retailers need to follow them closely if they want to build trust, attract new customers, and gain loyal clients. To do so, you need to have a flexible business model allowing you to implement new features or options. This is a long haul that requires time, knowledge, and resources.

To focus on your offer and delight your consumers, you should therefore spend less time on activities that are not at the core of your business. What about your cross-border trade compliance? Handling cross-border trade compliance matters is time-consuming, especially when you do not have resources in-house. Eurora’s full eCommerce solution can provide you with all the necessary services and automate your trade compliance.

Our eCommerce solution is all in one and allows you to unlock the largest eCommerce markets. You can choose the services adapted to your particular needs among our flexible offers. We provide IOSS service, UK VAT agent services, automated Custom Clearance, Duty&Tax Calculation, HS code Allocation, and even Restrictions Screening.

 

Do you want to focus on your core activities and reach more online shoppers worldwide in full compliance? Check out our eCommerce solution or Get in touch with us!