The rapidly evolving eCommerce industry is impacting consumers and retailers in a way that no one ever imagined. The events of 2020, specifically the COVID-19 pandemic, caused a massive shift in business routine. Despite many ups and downs in every industry amid the pandemic, the eCommerce industry grew bigger and faster than ever before.
As more people are bound to stay at home due to preventive measures like lockdowns and travel restrictions, the shift in buying habits and inclination of consumers towards online platforms is not only causing a significant impact on businesses but also introducing a new way to do things that consumers generally hesitated to do before.
This sudden and rapid change in the psychology of consumers and the shift from mainstream business routine to eCommerce utilities demands us to dive deeper into this area. It will help us determine the contemporary trends and prepare us for future challenges as it is crucial to know the competitors to achieve success.
Also Read: How to Write a Winning eCommerce Business Plan?
The pandemic triggered the chain reaction of changes across several horizons, and that accelerated evolution is expected to continue in 2021-22 and beyond. Every ecommerce business must know the contemporary and upcoming trends influencing the industry.
In this blog post, we highlight some notable and vital growth trends to generate new ideas, overcome the barriers, and make you prepared to set up a productive eCommerce business for the years to come. Let’s discuss these trends in detail.
Worldwide eCommerce industry sales to hit $5.6 trillion by 2022
Recent studies projected that global eCommerce sales would hike to a new summit by 2021. Ecommerce businesses would experience a 265% growth rate, from $1.3 trillion in 2014 to $5.6 trillion in 2022. This reveals a continued steady uphill trend in the future with no sign of decline.
What’s more surprising is that the mainstream retail market is falling prey to global eCommerce sales. In fact, by the end of 2021, physical retail will be occupying only 17.5% of global retail sales.
eCommerce Industry: What to Expect in 2022
To capitalize on this eCommerce revolution, physical stores must welcome digital solutions to convert their businesses from offline to online.
Upheavals in the Western eCommerce Market
The online world does not obey the legitimacy of borders. For instance, the United States’ share of the total global eCommerce retail market is continuously decreasing. One of the main drivers of this change is globalization and improved technology and infrastructure as welcomed by the non-western regions.
This eCommerce shift reveals that businesses must adopt a global mindset to ensure their global availability. In this regard, enriching global access in your existing business model doesn’t mean you have to make a physical presence outside your region or country. What you can do is to look for trusted partners in a country or region where you capture a notable market.
The world is becoming a global village. With cross-border online exposure, shoppers are now looking for products outside their country or region. Cross-continent shopping is becoming a new norm. In 2020, more than 60% of online consumers had made online purchases from overseas retailers.
The average percentage breakdown of consumers who made overseas purchases by continent is:
- 64% Europe
- 58% Asia-Pacific
- 55% Africa
- 55% Latin America
- 45% North America
This growing eCommerce trend is demanding retailers for what we discussed above about global approach and availability. Apart from strengthening the global eCommerce presence, it’s crucial to invest in intelligent infrastructures and methodologies which may assist you in adapting to the unique challenges related to the engagement of overseas buyers.
According to recent statistics, poor delivery practices have triggered a crisis of confidence amongst online buyers over the past year as almost 40 percent of shoppers experienced delays to their orders. Below are some categorical statistics of Global Online Shoppers who would consider abandoning an order due to delays.
As e-commerce sales are expected to grow faster, deploying optimized delivery methodologies must be the top priority in 2022.
Those methodologies must involve two primary components.
- Enhanced Delivery Speed – to ensure the retailer competes with the rivals and the upsurge in online shopping.
- Dynamic Model – to facilitate the shifting consumers’ demands, like blended experiences.
Adapting these two components adds speed and flexibility to the delivery process, which can be achieved by automating the supply chain, from order processing to inventory and shipping, to get orders quickly.
Analytics in eCommerce
In the AI-driven tech world, data and information are the most valuable assets. Your customers are likely to buy worldwide, pressure your product pricing for different regions to maximize sales growth. Getting deep insights into what issues are needed to be addressed before getting noticed by customers is what data analytics can do for you.
These insights can help you determine the best product mix and marketing strategies and sales promotions to be deployed as an online retailer. This is how eCommerce analytics assist you in boosting your ROI.
“Punchout” is the term that denotes the e-communication between a company’s internal procurement systems and its suppliers. Using punchout, a buyer can access suppliers’ catalogs and then purchase products easily within the internal infrastructure.
B2B companies, especially mid-sized to giants ones, likely use or plan to use punchout. Around 50 percent of B2B businesses use an e-procurement system, and 30 percent plan to implement one. If your B2B customers enrich an e-procurement methodology, you can interact with the punchout facility with them. More giant B2B suppliers like Staples, CDW, Amazon Business, and Grainger involve the state of art punchout system.
Cloud Computing and eCommerce
It has been expected that cloud-based systems can encourage eCommerce retailers, and growing numbers of eCommerce industries are adopting cloud technology. In eCommerce industry, businesses deal with a large amount of data, including client details, product details, inventory details, stakeholders, etc.
In these circumstances where the information handling is crucial, cloud systems become a critical factor as it provides 24/7 server maintenance. Cloud is a promising technology for the future. The revolutionizing application of the cloud is set to transform the eCommerce industry in a highly optimized manner.
Chatbots in eCommerce
Customers expect to be able to find what they’re looking for in a single click of a button and the blink of an eye. Chatbots are tiny programs that automatically simulate interactions with consumers based on predetermined statements and replies.
eCommerce platforms with chatbots for consumer-facing are proliferating. Statistically, over 60% of millennials and 65% of X-Gens in the US have interacted with chatbots. According to a Facebook survey, more than 50% of customers say they’re more likely to shop with a business they can connect with via chat.
According to Gartner, by 2020, 85% of online engagement with businesses will be carried out without interacting with another human due to the assistance of chatbots.
Similarly, Oracle conducted a survey that reveals that 80% of eCommerce businesses disclosed they are currently using or planning to use chatbots.
Ecommerce automation is a primary growing element for online businesses, from marketing automation to warehousing and beyond. Almost every business department or function has an element that can be automated to some extent, if not entirely.
This strategy effectively saves human resources and cuts costs as it sets free human attention and other valuable resources for more core business areas. eCommerce businesses can quickly implement automation to manage repetitive tasks. Supply chain management can be simplified and made efficient by automation software that can schedule inventory alerts for reordering when the stock falls below a certain margin.
Experts and Futurists have claimed for quite some time that robots and AI will be performing more tasks than humans as advancements in technology continue with exponential growth. In few years, we will be living in a world fully automated and controlled by machines. eCommerce businesses are the ones experiencing this revolution right now.
Effectiveness of Content Marketing
Content ensures brand awareness, improved demand, and more revenue when done in the right direction. Content marketing is expected to capture the audience’s attention more effectively, with almost 80 percent of buyers claiming that relevant content increases their purchase cravings.
Getting content out there will be more different in 2022 as social distancing is becoming the new normal, and businesses are still coping with the post-COVID content creation process.
The instant and only solution to this problem is content atomization. Content atomization means that you take one vast and detailed piece of content and break it down into several other smaller pieces of content. As businesses find ways to ensure that their content is more engaging and worthy for their audience, working on one piece of content and breaking it down into smaller chunks will enable them to extract more benefits.
The Connection between Green Economy and eCommerce
Many countries’ economic and social priorities amid climate change have shifted the focus towards making environment-friendly products.
eCommerce giants such as Amazon have taken the pledge towards sustainability. Other eCommerce brands are likely to follow the steps as humans struggle to find better ways to curb the active and passive impacts of the existing industrial model on our climate. It involves finding ways to reduce waste and carbon footprint to preserve the earth for our future generations.
With more debate about climate change and the Green Economy in all regions, consumers are willing to play their role as much as possible. Research by Harvard Business Review found that 65% of buyers wanted to buy from brands that practice or aim for sustainability.
The crisis triggers the transition of ownership from outdated ones to updated ones. The same is the case with the COVID-19 driven socio-economic turmoil. New technologies and approaches always emerge during the crisis, making it an opportunity rather than a hurdle. With the trends mentioned above in the eCommerce sector, 2021-22 will experience a lot of evolution.
Is Virtual Reality and face recognition going to affect the way online consumers use to buy? Will people start saving money or start consuming even more once the pandemic is over? Which company is going to be a Top eCommerce giant in the near or far future? These are the questions that come to every curious mind that no one certainly knows, but there will surely be a solution.
What are you expecting from the eCommerce industry in 2022? Let us know in the comments below.