7 eCommerce trends to watch out for in 2022
By Camille Felappi
Successful eCommerce sellers capture trends at the right time, ahead of everyone. However, when you have a business and you need to handle many activities at once, searching for eCommerce trends isn’t a priority. That is why we gathered 7 global eCommerce stats and trends you should know about, so you don’t miss the boat.
The global eCommerce market has been unprecedentedly expanding these last few years. The growing number of online shoppers from different horizons created new shopping habits and needs. Knowing what country to target and how to reach these customers is therefore essential for your growth and success. In a nutshell, online shoppers expect eCommerce sellers to offer new payment options, to use AI for improved customer service, or to sell directly on social networks. Want to be well-equipped for 2022 challenges? Check out the 7 eCommerce statistics and trends below!
- eCommerce market is growing worldwide
- China, the US, and the UK are the biggest eCommerce markets
- Social commerce is becoming a must-have
- Trending products categories are not the ones you think
- AI is your best ally to improve the shopping experience
- Online shoppers want new payment methods
- You can’t overlook omnichannel Customer Experience
1. eCommerce market is growing worldwide
The global eCommerce market is in constant expansion. In 2021, retail eCommerce sales reached around 4.9 trillion U.S. dollars worldwide. Experts forecast a growth of 50% over the next four years, meaning that global eCommerce could be worth about 7.4 trillion dollars by 2025.
This growth can be linked to the expansion of the internet in developing and underdeveloped countries. With the internet at hand, many customers switch to online shopping. According to estimations, 90 % of people living in developed countries used the internet in 2021, compared to 57% of individuals living in developing markets. Even if the gap is still important, it tends to tighten over the years. 10 years ago, only 24% of people living in developed countries had access to the internet.
Another factor that positively impacts eCommerce is the increasing smartphone usage. It is now possible to shop from a remote location with a smartphone, and the shopping experience has been improved with new technologies. You should therefore not only pay attention to your website navigability on desktop but also on mobile. It is even more needed when you think that last year, Google switched all the websites from desktop-first to mobile-first indexing. It means that Google uses the mobile version of your content to rank your online shop.
The boom of electronic commerce cannot be split up from the COVID pandemic either. Pandemic-related restrictions worldwide forced businesses to shift to eCommerce stores. It also encouraged new customer segments to buy online. Before the pandemic, mainly tech-savvy millennials visited eCommerce websites. After 2 years of pandemics and the boom of eCommerce, older generations are now more comfortable with the digitalization of shopping. They are prone to visit eCommerce sites over brick-and-mortar stores. According to Digital Commerce 360, the pandemic contributed an extra $218.53 billion to eCommerce over the past two years. This is an opportunity for you to reach new segments, but it will require new strategies to attract customers with different profiles. It is also interesting to note that the pandemic not only boosted eCommerce, but also cross-border eCommerce. According to ESW 2021 survey, 68% of shoppers made eCommerce purchases outside of their home country in 2020.
2. China, the US, and the UK are the biggest eCommerce markets
China is the biggest eCommerce market in the world, but also the fastest-growing market with an annual growth rate of 21%. In 2021, China contributed to more than half of the world’s e-commerce retail sales. China’s sales value even exceeded the combined total of Europe and the United States. The country also has the largest digital buyer population in the world with more than 780 million people.
The US stands in the second position, with a Retail e-commerce revenue of about 768 billion U.S. dollars in 2021. The US has a slower eCommerce growth than China since it is a mature market. However, it still leads the Western world in eCommerce sales, making it a hotspot for online sellers.
The UK is the third biggest eCommerce market in the world and the leading market in Europe. About 87% of UK households shopped online in 2020, and the eCommerce industry is expected to grow to 119,1 billion U.S. dollars in 2025. Despite its small size, the UK is a very prolific eCommerce market to conquer.
If you are not selling your goods in these markets yet, you should consider expanding your activities. New emerging markets are not to overlook either if you want to expand globally. In 2020, the Latin American eCommerce market performed the highest growth. It surpassed the Asia-Pacific’s growth for the first time since 2010.
Conquering new markets can be scary for small eCommerce sellers. If you do not have the resources and time to handle your cross-border trade compliance, you can automate it with Eurora’s full eCommerce solution.
3. Social commerce is becoming a must-have
Social commerce skyrocketed during the pandemic and is expected to continue growing in the coming years. You might wonder what social commerce is. 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. Social commerce is not to be neglected when you try to reach your customers online. Its market was estimated at $89.4 Billion in 2020 and should reach $604.5 Billion by 2027.
Whether you are a small online retailer or a global eCommerce, social commerce should therefore be a key part of your sales strategy. Social commerce will drive more and more conversion rates over the coming years. If you are planning to reach social media users, you will need to identify on which platform you can find your audience. Different social media outlets can indeed attract very different age groups and demographics.
4. Trending products categories are not the ones you think
According to Shopify, some of the best products to sell online in 2022 are books, Vinyl LPs and CDs, dinnerware, and computers.
Print books and eBooks saw impressive growth at the end of 2021, especially in the US. Print books had a global order growth of about 21%, while eBooks saw an increase of 335%. Despite impressive growth in eBooks sales, print books still dominate the eCommerce market.
With a global order growth of around 25%, vinyl LPs were also among the best performing products in the second half of 2021. Sales are mainly conducted in the US and the UK, and the global size of the market is $1.3 billion.
Dinnerware sets are on their side becoming an evergreen product to sell online. Dinnerware sales are expected to reach a $55 billion market value by 2027, and do not show any sign of slowing down. Most customers buying dinnerware online come from the Netherlands.
Computers are also among the most popular products to sell online in 2022. This market is expected to be valued at $505.45 billion by 2025.
If you plan to sell new trending products in 2022, you will need to make sure that you can allocate them the correct HS code. It is also essential to make sure they are not part of restricted item lists in the market you want to target. If you don’t know how to comply with these requirements, Eurora’s automated solution can help you.
5. AI is your best ally to improve the shopping experience
Artificial Intelligence has had a big impact on eCommerce over the last few years. AI is not just a trending technology but a revolution in the eCommerce world. It plays a key role in improving companies’ performance. With AI, you can significantly enhance product recommendations, product search, customer segmentation, or customer support. You can for example implement an advanced virtual assistant on your website to personalize your solutions and create effective sales messages. It is also beneficial for customer experience since a chatbot can help users 24/7.
AI is therefore a real game-changer in eCommerce industry, and you shouldn’t miss the boat. According to statistics, The global AI market is predicted to snowball in the next few years, reaching a $190.61 billion market value in 2025. Most companies already spotted this phenomenon. 80% of retail executives expect their retail companies to adopt AI-powered machine learning by 2027.
Eurora also uses AI to automate cross-border compliance processes and was among the first to do so. In a field with no space for approximations and human errors, AI is our best ally to offer reliable trade compliance solutions to eCommerce sellers.
6. Online shoppers want new payment methods
Wherever they come from, online shoppers search for an easy and effortless eCommerce buying experience. From the moment they visit your website, to the moment their package is at their doorstep. To stay competitive, you need to be aware of the latest eCommerce payments innovations and trends.
One of the most important emerging payment methods is called Buy Now Pay Later. 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. If younger generations are your target audience, you should offer this payment method on your website. If you want to add this payment method to your website, you will need to choose a provider.
Another payment method that has become more popular than ever is frictionless payment. This payment process uses data from apps, devices, or websites to simplify the purchasing process. It is a win-win payment method because it also improves your conversion rate. In practice, it provides a faster checkout with fewer steps needed and it minimizes or eliminates the waiting time. Frictionless payment technology was worth $3.9 trillion globally in 2020 according to Statista and should grow to $8 trillion by 2024. If you want to implement frictionless payments, you can offer mobile wallets, contactless cards, or mobile applications.
7. You can’t overlook omnichannel Customer Experience
Omnichannel customer experience by now a must-have for any eCommerce business that wants to effectively reach customers. With no surprise, it will continue to expand in 2022. Omnichannel customer experience is when a customer can interact with your business across multiple channels as part of one seamless customer journey. Connecting all these touchpoints to create an omnichannel customer experience can improve customer’s relationship with your business and increase your sales.
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.
Nowadays customers are digital natives. They engage with your brand across different channels. You need to be prepared to offer them the best possible experience if you do not want to lose them along the buying journey. You should therefore work on developing as many channels as possible and find ways to make them work together as a whole.
Deep-rooted trends like the expansion of the internet worldwide but also unexpected events like the pandemic are running the eCommerce industry. This thriving market with an increasing demand pushes new players to enter the game, making it more and more competitive. In this context, eCommerce sellers must stand out to survive to demanding customers and resourceful competitors.
To stand out, there is no secret formula. You need to constantly adapt your offer to the fluctuating trends, and the sooner you do so, the more successful you will be. Adapting payment methods or shopping experiences to new requirements can be challenging, but it is worth the effort. To stack the odds in your favor, Eurora can take care of your cross-border trade compliance. This way, you will have more time to focus on offers and options adapted to new customers’ requirements. 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 offer.
We provide IOSS service, UK VAT agent services, automated Custom Clearance, Duty&Tax Calculation, HS code Allocation, and even Restriction Screening. Do you want to know how we can help you grow your business worldwide? Get in touch with us!