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News — 05 Aug 2022

eCommerce Trends to Drive Marketing Growth

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13 Trends That Will Drive Ecommerce Marketing Growth in 2022

We’re reaching that time of year where businesses reflect on what’s gone well and predict the future ecommerce trends to watch out for as we move into the next. 

However the past year has hit you – with its various lockdowns and restrictions on brick and mortar outlets, online spending booms, and social media trends – this is an opportunity to use what you’ve learned to your advantage. 

Growth is about learning to improve from mistakes and challenges faced. With a hand from our 2022 trend predictions, you can make this year your business’s best yet. 

In this post, we’ll share our insights into the factors that will drive ecommerce sales growth in the coming year.

Retail Ecommerce
Source (statista.com)

Current Statistics and 2022 Forecast

With global ecommerce now worth around $4.9 trillion and this figure expected to rise to $5.4 trillion by 2022, it will form a significant part of any successful business plan in the next year. 

With more ways to engage with brands online, online sales are no longer limited to an ecommerce store but also integrated into business social media accounts, providing customers with omnichannel experiences. 

That being said, ecommerce sales in the majority of industries are set to slow down a little compared to the spikes in growth seen during early pandemic lockdowns in 2020. Customers are gradually returning to brick and mortar stores – we’ve recently seen a rise of 208% in online orders being picked up in stores. 

How customers engage with brands has changed, too – from discovering products through social commerce to boycotting ethically dubious online retailers. The marketing landscape has adjusted, and social proof now takes precedence- recommendations from friends, online reviewers, and influencers can increase conversion rates by up to 270%

For ecommerce marketing growth in 2022, you need to be attentive to the following trends:

13 Trends to Watch Out For

Trends come and go but, from what we’ve seen in 2021, these look set to shape marketing in 2022. If you aren’t already aware of them, do some research to integrate these into your ecommerce marketing strategy.

It’s unlikely you have the resources to focus on every single one, so pick out those that fit best with your brand image. Use your imagination and experiment with your marketing plans while keeping these ideas in mind, and you’re sure to start your year with a bang!

Revenue Growth
Source (chargify.com)

1. Winning Over One-Time Buyers

Encouraging customers to make repeat online purchases has become a massive challenge, with research showing that first-time customers make up 85% of online shoppers. With so many options to choose from, it’s easy for customers to chop and change their loyalties to suit whichever ecommerce company has the best deals or catches their eye first.

Building customer loyalty and aiming for retention is much cheaper than constantly generating new leads. A well-known study carried out by Bain suggests that as little as a 5% increase in customer retention produces more than a 25% increase in profit. 

This requires more innovation and strategizing about how to keep customers engaged with your brand and proving to these that loyalty to your business pays off.

To keep your one-time buyers around, try:

  • Building your brand’s relationship with them through partnership marketing. Find and recruit partners that your audience values and trusts to promote your products and services
  • Using personalized emails at key points in a customer’s post-purchase journey to remind them of offers that apply to their interests
  • Creating a subscription service so that customers don’t even have the opportunity to consider where they’ll source repeat products 
  • Providing discounts for further purchases

2. Mobile Shopping 

Unsurprisingly, as customers were encouraged to stay at home, fewer of their purchases were made in physical stores. Instead, they looked to m-commerce to fill the gap, with mobile sales accounting for 73% of all ecommerce sales in 2021. 

With websites and newsletters becoming more mobile-friendly, customers are more comfortable making purchases through mobile shopping, which looks set to continue.

If you haven’t already optimized your business webpage and communications for smartphones, now is the time. 

Making use of omnichannel marketing and sales channels will help you unify your campaigns and communications, integrating them into one experience across multiple platforms. So even when customers use their mobile devices to make purchases, research products, find reviews, and check in-store stock, they have the same experience as they would on any other device. This makes for a seamless customer journey.

Help out your mobile shoppers by:

  • Testing your ecommerce features across a range of devices to check your business is equally accessible regardless of the platform used
  • Optimizing your marketing emails for mobile devices to make it easier for customers to scan through the content 
  • Making hyperlinks on your web pages into buttons and keeping app design simple and clean so customers can follow your links on smaller screens
Mobile Retail Ecommerce
Source (statista.com)

3. Better Personalization

No longer do generic marketing strategies work with target markets. Personalization is the main driver of customer loyalty in 19 of 27 markets. However you reach out to customers, you need to be in tune with their individual preferences. 

You should use their responses to various parts of your website to learn what product filters they use most often, what sorts of products they view, and which they ultimately purchase. This will equip you with the intel you need to recommend other products they might like and send them offers they’ll want to take advantage of.

This data can be gathered using website metrics based on real-time customer actions. Tracking these across multiple channels can give your business a rounded idea of what different customers are looking for. 

To identify where personalized suggestions would prompt customers to spend more, keep an eye on customers’ average order value. (Here’s a quick average order value definition: the average amount each customer spends when they make an order on your website). This is a critical consumer behavior metric, so if you’re not gemmed up on it already, it’s time to read up. 

Retail businesses increasingly view AOV as one of the most important metrics because it provides critical insights that can inform their marketing and pricing strategies. 

Personalize your customer experience by:

  • Gathering metrics and background information on your site users. This will enable you to customize website banners, pop-ups, offers, product recommendations
  • Suggesting additional products that are often bought together and likely to interest customers
  • Managing the data from all your marketing channels by using an application such as Affise BI. This makes it easier to spot trends across your campaigns and identify customer preferences and how people interact with different ads

4. Customized Packaging

When building a brand image or aesthetic, making your online store and its products instantly recognizable and desirable has always been vital, but packaging is now a critical consideration for businesses. 

Customization isn’t only about appearances when it comes to packaging. Recycled materials, reusability, and durability can also help consumers understand your brand values. 

When customizing your business packaging consider:

  • What brand image you want to project, and how your packaging fits in with other existing elements of your brand 
  • How your packaging encourages customers to engage further with your brand – print your social media handles on packages, prompt user-generated content with hashtags, or ask for reviews 
  • What is your packaging made of, and how that reflects your company values

 

Customized Packaging
Source (wearewild.com)

5. Omnichannel Selling

Customers are willing to use any means at their disposal to research the products and services they buy. That means if you want to attract their attention, you need to be showing up on whatever device, platform, or channel they use. Omnichannel selling can be a challenge, keeping all profiles consistent with one another, linking between them, and not letting comments or messages fall through the cracks.

An omnichannel retail strategy brings all your profiles together so that you can manage them as one, in one place. Regardless of where customers discover your business, using an omnichannel approach means they get a consistent service across platforms. 

The best omnichannel user experiences include:

  • Consistent messaging across all platforms and throughout all departments of your business
  • Quick replies to messages, not allowing the use of a less popular method of communication to result in a lack of response from your company

6. Voice Shopping 

With voice assistants becoming more and more common in customer homes, voice shopping is definitely on the rise. Predicted to be worth $40 billion in the US in 2022, it’s particularly suited to ecommerce industries where customers already know what they want and don’t want to waste time or energy slowing down their routine to make a purchase – be that groceries, home basics, or other low-cost products.

Naturally, this lacks the visual element ecommerce business often relies on, so marketing and sales strategies have to anticipate this. With the growing popularity of voice assistants in all aspects of life, how we sell and market products must adapt to allow purchases to be made based on audio descriptions, memorable advertising seen previously, and word-of-mouth recommendations.

Engage with voice shoppers by:

  • Providing read-out functions on product description pages or FAQ webpages
  • Improving the SEO on your web pages to boost your products up SERPs, so voice assistants more regularly list them to voice shoppers
Voice Shopping
Source (voicebot.ai)

7. Rise of B2B Ecommerce

B2B commerce is quickly moving online and is expected to continue growing at a compound annual rate of 18.7% between 2021 and 2028. To gain business from such clients will require the implementation of new marketing strategies. 

Buyers make around 12 searches before committing to their B2B purchase, so if your business isn’t showing up in search engines or providing the services and experience that other companies are looking for, you’re going to be missing out.

If you’re new to B2B ecommerce, the big things to focus on are providing quality customer service and a personalized experience unique to your client’s needs. 

 To bring your B2B into your ecommerce strategy, try:

  • Focusing on your customer service and making it as accessible to potential clients as possible
  • Supplying clear information through a knowledge base about the services you provide and product details that may be useful

8. Focus on Green Consumerism

73% of consumers state that they would change their shopping habits to minimize their environmental impact. For businesses, that means those with sustainability in mind are far more appealing in current markets, including those supporting environmental action, demonstrating an awareness of their consumption and waste, and supporting independent producers and retailers.

With the rise of more socially aware generations becoming key consumer groups, it’s not enough to make bold claims without backing them up in how your business runs. Being a green business requires a thorough evaluation of every step of the production process, ensuring the use of fair sources at every point, together with company policies holding the business to higher standards. 

Be more green-minded when:

  • Looking at materials used throughout production, making substitutions where possible for more environmentally friendly options
  • Considering investments for your business, ensuring there isn’t a conflict of values concerning sustainability and environmentalism
Source (byrotation.com)

9. Social Media as Sales Channel

Our world pretty much revolves around social media at this point, and that doesn’t look set to change. Currently, Tiktok is the most downloaded app, with other social media platforms dominating the top ten. These have evolved to incorporate commerce into their everyday running – including Facebook Marketplace, Instagram Shopping, and Pinterest’s Shopping List feature, to name a few.

And with the boom in social media, we’ve seen a considerable increase in the value of the voice of the “Influencer.” As such, endorsements, mentions, and ecommerce partnerships with Influencers give customers the social proof they’re looking for that the products they’re considering are worth investing in. 

Adopting Influencer marketing as part of your partnership marketing strategy can expand your reach while engaging and retaining previous customers.

To kickstart your social media marketing, try:

  • Making full use of the features unique to each different platform, creating engaging content that customers want to see
  • Collaborating with an influencer with similar interests to your business, increasing the visibility of your brand, and reaching new audiences

10. Expanded AI Use in Ecommerce

Businesses have been turning to artificial intelligence to improve processes and workflows. Integrating AI into your marketing strategy makes for better data analysis and, therefore, improved advertising campaigns. 

For example, using CPAPI, Affise’s data transfer platform, will allow you to connect with advertisers and synchronize campaign data to manage and integrate your partnership program with multiple advertisers in one place. It will also free up your marketing team’s capacity to focus on more expertise-driven projects. 

Ecommerce marketing automation tools are in constant development, so there’s no knowing what their limits will be by next year. It’s certainly a trend to watch and find out how its many uses can complement your business structure. 

Harness the power of AI by:

  • Using metrics to forecast customer patterns, allowing your business to strategize and plan
  • Providing automatic responses for customers through chatbots, providing basic help and answers to common questions
  • Automating administrative and data-centric processes to free up employees’ time for more judgemental tasks
AI in Ecommerce
Source (rotaro.co.uk)

11. Visual Commerce

Did you know images aren’t the only way to engage your customers visually. Visual commerce now covers an array of visually engaging content, from augmented reality to interactive videos and user-generated content. It’s going to take more than a well-crafted product image on your ecommerce website to get customers interested in what you do. 

This also allows for increased creativity from your marketing teams. How you introduce customers to products and services can now be an immersive experience, no longer reduced to a 2D image. 

Likewise, providing Q&A videos, showing other customers using your products, and making use of interactive shopping adverts can provide customers with an insight into the personality of your brand, your employees, and other customers, building a sense of community.

Other ways to use visual commerce include:

  • Providing QR codes to product pages or how-to videos, making it easier for customers to navigate to the content they’re looking for efficiently
  • Going live on social media to demonstrate how your product works to your customers

12. Independent Businesses to Gain Popularity

After facing huge economic challenges throughout the various lockdowns and other restrictions, independent businesses have gained traction with current markets at the tail end of 2021. There is a sense of public solidarity with local stores, where supporting their business is also an act of supporting the local community. So much so that 49% of small business owners plan to increase staff, expand, or remodel their businesses.

Sustainability has played a big part in this, too, with socially conscious customers seeing independent businesses as far more transparent and able to be flexible with their environmental goals.

With fewer processes and stronger ties to local producers, independents can easily make climate-friendly decisions, affording them a better reputation with customers and helping their businesses flourish.

Engage with independent businesses by:

  • Supporting with local start-ups – through ecommerce marketing partnerships or shared events
  • Getting involved in your local community in whatever way you can, showing consideration for the area around you, the people within it, and other companies.
Independent Business
Source (businessbacker.com)

13. Boost in Online Selling

Ecommerce looks set to stick around for the foreseeable future, with online shopping only becoming more accessible, entertaining, and popular. It’s predicted that by 2023, the US ecommerce market alone will consist of 300 million online shoppers. For businesses with clear digital marketing strategies and high-quality ecommerce platforms, this is great news.

It’s never been easier to find, research, order, and pay for products. With constant improvements in online customer safety and checkout protections, there’s a lot less skepticism surrounding ecommerce. Likewise, many of those who converted to online shopping when isolated are now sticking with it, as well as businesses who adapted to online storefronts to suit virtual customers. 

Make the most of online selling by:

  • Having an easy-to-browse website, helping customers to make decisions, and ensuring their purchases are secure, whatever payment method they use (from credit card to cryptocurrency)
  • Optimizing your webpages to appear high up in search engine results pages
  • Expanding your ecommerce presence to cover more platforms, allowing customers to purchase through your own website, social media, or other retail methods.

Why Should You Care?

Following ecommerce trends leads to more effective marketing campaigns that will boost your total retail sales. As just one example, social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing, and 73% of businesses using social media marketing believe it has been effective. 

By implementing these trends and tracking key metrics like your conversion and bounce rates, your AOV, and your partner marketing statistics, you can achieve considerable increases in your revenue.

Ecommerce Trends

You may feel ecommerce marketing is secondary to other functions of your business, such as the actual delivery of services and products. But, without an effective marketing strategy, no one’s going to know these products exist, even if they are the exact solution to consumers’ problems. 

These marketing tips will increase the visibility of your business and promote it to those who will benefit from your products. These will help you capture potential customer attention, comprehensively inform them about products, and point online customers to your virtual storefront. 

Affise Reach can help you execute these trends by widening your reach to find the perfect partnerships for your brand and traffic channels, ultimately drawing in more customers.

Takeaway

Whatever your business looks like, these key trends could boost your lead generation and retail ecommerce sales. Whether curating your brand image through visual commerce and customized packaging or making your business more amenable to voice shopping and working on your social media content, there’s something for every business. 

Not everything will work, and there’s a level of trial and error you have to be open to. But trends are trends for a reason, and that’s that they’ve helped other businesses achieve their aims in recent times. Give them a try and here’s to your business success in 2022.

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Alister Esam

Written by

Alister Esam is the CEO and Founder of Process Bliss, a work management software that is reinventing how businesses execute day to day tasks. He is an expert in strategic planning, business process management, and business process optimization. With more than 15 years of experience in helping businesses run at peak efficiency, Alister has dedicated his career to make work easier, and more motivating for managers and employees alike.