The last couple of years, especially since the global lockdowns in the wake of COVID-19, have seen a surge of ecommerce businesses worldwide. This ecommerce revolution has made permanent dents in traditional ways of shopping as well as advertising and marketing. Customer expectations are at an all-time high, and ecommerce brands are striving to keep up with new innovations up their sleeves every day. Keeping up with ecommerce trends is hard work, but it is worth it if you want your customers to keep coming back. This blog post discusses three top ecommerce trends that will see popularity in 2022 and beyond. Read on to keep up.
That’s the figure surveys predict ecommerce sales will reach in 2022. Before the pandemic, no one forecasted this growth would happen until at least 2024. But with digital shopping growing at a breakneck speed to replace in-store experiences, this figure is not all that surprising.
It is only natural that ecommerce brands are evolving with the changing ecosystem to keep up with their digital native consumers.
Ecommerce trends and predictions for 2022
In this blog post, we are going to explore three of the most significant trends ecommerce brands should keep in mind this year to stay on top of all these changes:
- Omnichannel ecommerce marketing is not the exception; it’s the rule
- Optimizing product information and customer data will trigger hyper-personalization in ecommerce marketing
- Using AR and AI will elevate ecommerce sales
Trend 1: Omnichannel ecommerce marketing is not the exception; it’s the rule
A survey by Sprout Social showed that a customer finds the perfect product through three avenues that brands should note:
- Seeing a targeted ad
- Organic post by the brand
- Researching on social media platforms
It is crucial for marketers to show up at all of these avenues with curated content and relevant offers. This makes omnichannel marketing almost necessary if you want to cover all your bases and be in all the spots that your customers visit.
The combination of channels that makes up your omnichannel marketing depends mainly on your business model, niche, and your customer’s attributes. There are a few staple channels that you must prepare for, such as Instagram and TikTok or YouTube.
Don’t try to be on all the channels out there. You don’t want to spread yourself too thin and risk scattered and conflicting social media strategies.
You know that you cannot keep your eggs in one basket if you want to scale your business. You must constantly experiment based on marketing data, but keep consistency in mind.
That means that no matter how many channels you end up using as part of your omnichannel marketing strategy, the brand messaging on each channel should be in line with the others.
Therefore, attempt to engage in cross-channel interaction, rather than just a siloed multi-channel approach where none of the channels are connected. A single customer may be on one or all of these channels, so they need consistent messaging and experience to reinforce their interest in your brand.
Trend 2: Optimizing product information and customer data will trigger hyper-personalization in ecommerce marketing
We have extensively covered the power of customer data to deliver impactful, outcome-oriented marketing campaigns. Identity with audience data and first-party data collection can help you target your customers at each touchpoint with a high degree of personalization.
Data enrichment across the board drives higher ad revenue, so let’s add another ingredient to the mix to make your customer touchpoints go from high personalization to hyper-personalization.
We are referring to product information.
Consistently managing and enriching your product information and other digital assets so that all teams are on the same page can deliver a satisfying product experience to unlock higher sales numbers.
Your digital marketing team, product management team, merchandising department... All deal with product information in some way.
If you collect or store this data in a fragmented manner, or constant internal communication is required to present coherent information to the customers, you will hit some roadblocks, leading to an inconsistent or diluted consumer experience.
Standardizing the process, just like you would do with a customer data platform for customer data, would ensure the delivery of high-quality product information to all stakeholders. This way, they can provide enriched product experiences to the consumers.
When you put both enriched customer data and product information together, you can scour through them to know what elements of the product you can include in targeted ads and for which type of consumer to maximize the relevance.
Thus, you are engaging in two tiers of personalization, or hyper-personalization, for your consumers. This would translate into seamless and genuinely valuable ecommerce experiences, and isn’t that the end goal?
Trend 3: Using AR and AI will elevate ecommerce sales
Virtual trial options, such as visualizing furniture in your living room or getting to “try-on” sunglasses, are all part of ensuring that the customer is not missing the in-store experience.
Your shoppers no longer want to purchase products on mere guesses, and you need to help them make well-informed buying decisions.
The marketing world is embracing AR, so you can incorporate the excitement and anticipation within your advertising. This can be in the form of virtual tours. Further, most brochures now come with QR codes that customers can access with any smartphone to unlock offers, discounts, or simply additional information.
Businesses that convert product displays into AR challenges show their customers that they can pull off intricate campaigns to give them stimulating experiences.
Starbucks attempted a combination of the above for their Shanghai setup to supplement regular customer offerings and services.
However, AR is not the only tech trend to keep in mind.
Ecommerce businesses will also use artificial intelligence more than ever in the coming years at several stages. The following are a few examples:
- Tracking inventory and doing product quality reviews using AI tools that can catch defects and trigger alerts related to stock refills;
- Engaging in supply chain automation and using other data analytic tools to manage factory floor processes;
- Accumulating customer data and synthesizing them through machine learning tools to gather advanced insights on your customers and provide personalized recommendations and ads at the optimal time through an appropriate medium;
- Engaging in social listening to keep up with industry trends and scour platforms to initiate partnerships with influencers who match your brand vision and cater to your target audience
These applications of new-age technologies will streamline your business, improve customer retention, provide hyper-personalized shopping experiences, and ultimately, sustainably increase sales and customer retention.
Brace Yourselves for an Exciting 2022
An intersection of online business trends, marketing trends, and general tech trends is keeping ecommerce businesses on their toes.
If you want to take advantage of these trends and more, sign up for early access to our latest offering that will help you stay on track to achieve (and probably even transcend) your sales goals.