Given ecommerce's breakneck rate of change, brands need to constantly monitor the trends shaping consumer expectations and shopping behavior. At Vaimo, we're big on tracking trends. They help ensure that each client's business objectives are aligned with their digital commerce models through technology selection, customer experience alignment, roadmap creation, and brand virtualization.
But which trends are most relevant? You can't keep track of all of them. Well, no need to worry!
We've captured the five biggest Ecommerce Trends for 2022. Some of these trends result from those "forced trials" of COVID-19, while the ever-changing consumer behavior accelerates others.
Related reading: Ecommerce Personalization – Benefits, Tactics, and Best Practices
Top 5 Retail Trends To Consider Heading Into 2022
This trend just keeps getting increasingly more interesting to follow. Whether it is digitally native Direct-to-Consumer brands making the move from online to physical, other industries taking a page out of the playbook, or large brands adopting the model as a response to wanting that "direct connection" with the consumer.
A lot has been written about the D2C companies built online that are now opening brick-and-mortar stores. Allbirds following the model of Warby Parker, following Everlane... or is it the other way around?
Regardless, these once digital-only brands are opening multiple stores and offering awesome in-store experiences that reflect the online brand brilliantly.
Establishing a D2C commerce model can be a great way to keep up with this trend, and it allows you to enter the market quickly and with a lower entry-level cost. With D2C ecommerce sales booming for select large/incumbent brands, D2C will be a solid digital commerce business model for establishing that sought-after direct connection with the consumer.
Related Reading: Digital Commerce Business Models: The Current Landscape
Livestream Ecommerce (QVC)
We are all familiar with QVC. But are you aware of the concept in the context of ecommerce? If not, it's time to learn about this exploding ecommerce strategy phenomenon. The acronym stands for Quality Value Convenience, which was initially the handle for the broadcast TV channel that offered an in-home shopping experience. The modern take on this is Livestream shopping on different social networks, such as Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and Tiktok.
Livestream shopping is already immensely popular in Asia, with hundreds of millions of people watching shopping live streams in China. Amazon has launched an in-house QVC platform, and Walmart has tested live shopping on TikTok. Livestream ecommerce is clearly taking off, and other ways to use video in retail will likely follow suit.
A video shopping session with a salesperson drives higher conversion and more interaction with the brand than regular ads. Many "personal shoppers" use simple videos to look at fit, hone style, and even see what's in your closet. Video-Assisted Shopping is a trend that is emerging but will scale quickly in 2022.
Related Reading: Livestream Ecommerce is the Future of Shopping
Amazon has been using one-click checkout since 1999, and the patent for their one-click buying process expired in 2017. One-click checkout makes buying fast and easy, reduces fraud, and creates a branded experience throughout the whole customer journey.
Shopping cart abandonment is a challenge for all retailers, and one of the most cited reasons for this is having a complex checkout process. One-click checkout mitigates this. If you want your ecommerce site to become more competitive, you should implement a simple checkout process that involves easy payment options.
And one-click offers more than just convenience. According to Bolt, allowing shoppers to breeze through the checkout experience with one click generates up to 60% higher conversions. Also, heading into the holidays and 2022, fraud will continue to be top of mind for brands. One-click checkout addresses this with a robust identity resolution approach. One-click checkout will likely be one of the most adopted trends in retail evolution going into 2022.
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A few years ago, product videos made little difference to customers. Today, it's quickly becoming a necessity, especially for pricier products or products of a "technical nature." And this is not only true for tech gadgets; it's equally true for fashion, interior design, or any product where you need to justify a high price tag.
Product demonstration videos work. One of Vaimo's clients found that products over a certain price point are 2.5 times more likely to convert if there's a product video.
An example is Nordstrom's use of low production videos by sales associates. The videos are invaluable in helping shoppers feel comfortable with their purchase while reinforcing the brand at the same time. These product snippets not only offer an overview of the product, but they also suggest when to wear it and what other products would make a great pairing.
Enhanced product interaction in the form of 3D pictures and Augmented Reality (AR) will also represent an essential part of the customer experience in 2022. Customers have come to expect the ability to interact with products, to get a detailed view from whichever angle they choose, and to use AR to make sure the product fits just right. According to our partner Threekit, conversion rates increase when you replace traditional product photography with 3D by 40% and when AR is used for product visualization it can translate to a 200% gain.
To keep up with the ever-changing customer expectations, providing more options for product interaction is crucial heading into 2022.
Related Reading: Digital Experience Optimized Through Better Creative Execution
Retail giant Target uses a store-based fulfillment model where the vast majority of orders are shipped from the store level. They say this allows its inventory to be more productive and fulfill orders more effectively. The efficiency gains of this are significant, but the enhanced customer experience is where the real advantage comes in with this trend for 2022.
Adding a Click-and-Collect option (BOPIS) also impacts sales and in-store traffic. Nearly $700 million of Target's sales increase came from their drive-up service alone, which increased 500% year-over-year from 2019, and those sales didn't negatively impact their in-store pickup. In fact, in-store pickup increased by more than 50%.
More companies will likely follow suit and implement similar strategies to keep pace with the trend in the evolution of retail. And while it is driven by logistics, it is a clear example of meeting consumer expectations for speed of delivery and options.
Related reading: Enhance your Ecommerce Strategy with Click-and-Collect
Brands need to track the trends that ensure their business objectives are aligned with their digital ecommerce models through technology selection, customer experience alignment, roadmap creation, and brand virtualization. Keep an eye on these 5 trends as the retail evolution continues and more opportunities for a refined digital commerce strategy emerge:
- Livestream ecommerce
- One-click checkout
- Product interaction
If you look closely, it becomes clear that all these emerging trends have something in common—they’re about making the customer’s shopping experience more accessible, more enjoyable, and more straightforward. In one way or another, the ecommerce trends of 2022 will all aim to enhance the buying experience.
As always, the key to getting ahead is getting started. But venturing into new digital territory can feel overwhelming, and sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin – and what actions will have the greatest impact.
Related reading: Retail Customer Experience Optimization: Quick Wins to Boost ROI
How Vaimo Can Help
At Vaimo, we're experts in digital commerce. We're a full-service omnichannel partner and can help you with every part of the process—from strategy, design, development, and managed services to brands, retailers, and manufacturers worldwide.
If you're looking for a partner to guide your digital commerce strategy and help you understand how to make the most of the new ecommerce trends, we're here for you. We're happy to help you build and finetune your ecommerce strategy, implement technical changes, and improve the digital customer experience and buying journey. Get in touch to talk to one of our experts.