As the world enters the new year of 2022, numerous e-commerce business trends are expected to be seen. While some are a mere continuation of trends that prevailed last year, some entirely new business trends are expected to be seen in the e-commerce industry in 2022. COVID-19 induced lockdowns and restrictions imposed in trade have impacted the world in the last two years and are expected to continue to have an impact in the new year as well.
The pandemic has been a boon for the e-commerce industry. While it forced people to stay indoors, reducing chances of getting out of the home to brick-and-mortar stores, it forced traditional businesses to either shut shop permanently with no customers coming in or reach out to customers in their homes through e-commerce selling routes by setting up online portals. While it allowed customers to shop for their desired products from the comfort of their homes, it enabled businesses to reach out to customers beyond their geographical reach.
E-commerce Business Trends in 2022 that online businesses need to watch out for are:
1. Acceleration in Online Marketplaces
Online marketplaces, such as Alibaba, Etsy, Amazon, and eBay, have dominated the retail B2C industry, clocking over 50% of global online sales in the past five years. In 2022, e-commerce selling websites and online marketplaces are expected to register accelerated growth. Procurement spending of B2B e-commerce websites is expected to grow by 75% in the next five years.
2. Fast Order Fulfillment
The E-commerce industry is expected to grow more in 2022 as more and more e-commerce companies jump into the digital bandwagon. A significant e-commerce business trend of 2022 is developing faster and more efficient fulfillment processes. COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns and restrictions meant that B2B companies need to explore e-commerce solutions to provide quick shipping options at par with B2C companies like Amazon, with 1 in 2 e-commerce buyers expecting a same-day delivery. Not to mention the growing need for hyperlocal fulfillment. Moreover, e-commerce businesses like yours can use cloud-based e-commerce solutions to automate warehousing processes to cut down on human error and time taken to store, sort, and pick products to ensure faster and more efficient order fulfillment.
3. Seamless Omnichannel Experience
E-commerce businesses in 2022 can boost their omnichannel selling experience by building a solid physical and digital brand presence. This will allow present and future customers to use web stores, social media platforms, or brick-and-mortar stores to do shopping while enjoying the same kind of experience everywhere. These companies can implement omnichannel initiatives to engage customers with a fully integrated shopping experience.
However, businesses need to realize which channel is being used by customers more and which can deliver the best result and value. To achieve this seamless omnichannel selling experience, companies need to make sure that the e-commerce SaaS solutions they use are integrated with ERP.
4. Customer Personalisation
The e-commerce businesses like yours are constantly trying to create an enhanced customer experience in 2022 by offering personalized services. Some of the personalized services you must provide to customers include:
- Customize product catalog to improve the navigation experience and checkout process
- Recommend products based on historical searches and purchases made
- Follow-up emails and personalized newsletters based on customer behavior reverse. Make sure to use a DMARC generator to ensure proper email authentication.
5. Logistics will be Important
E-commerce selling inevitably results in returns. In 2021, 30% of items sold online were returned. Earlier, when buyers purchased items from brick-and-mortar stores, it was easier to return them. But in the e-commerce industry, it’s not easy. It is important for online sellers to optimize reverse logistics as more and more items are returned. B2C companies must be able to handle returned goods. Therefore, it is a must that businesses should invest in reverse logistics or else the cost of the shipping charges would be greater than the cost of the return products. And that would incur a huge loss in the long run.
Returns, delivery failures where goods are increasingly being bought via e-commerce, and optimizing reverse logistics, can be challenging for any supply chain management company. In 2022, B2C businesses must predict which items are more likely to be returned and where they will be returned. It’s also important for the retailers to ensure that returned goods don’t get lost along the way.
6. Rise of D2C Fulfilment Model
In 2022, a visible shift towards manufacturers marketing and selling their products directly to customers is expected to be seen. D2C fulfillment model gives direct access to their online customer. This gives them greater control over reputation, branding, and customer service. However, success in a D2C business strategy requires businesses to scale up and down quickly. As such, in 2022, more and more D2C businesses are expected to partner 3PLs as they reach out to more customers.
Moreover, when pandemic subsides, physical retail will make a comeback, but the Direct-to-Customer sales approach will stay, allowing more customers to connect online with brands.
7. Multi-Channel Creates More Lead Generation
In 2022, intermittent shutdowns with rising COVID-19 cases may change customer behavior. It can result in an undecided customer’s journey starting from Amazon and end-up in a physical store. But e-commerce business trends suggest that e-commerce retailers can use a multi-channel model to generate more leads for sales as it is a purchase-centric approach.
8. Increasing Demand for Real-Time Inventory
Certainly, online customers will increasingly demand real-time updates on their orders. Online businesses can leverage cloud-based e-commerce solutions and ERP systems to generate leads and provide real-time updates. Once a customer places an order, on-demand, real-time data must be made available to customers with the help of ERP. In 2022 as uncertainties prevail, customers will need more accurate inventory information before placing orders and stay updated on its status in real-time.
The E-commerce industry is customer-driven, and the players who want to succeed need to evolve themselves to meet the demands and preferences of the customers in 2022. The key to survival is to adapt to the ever-changing industry and use the right technology to ensure consistent growth. E-commerce businesses can boost sales and profitability in 2022 by streamlining how online shoppers buy products on their platforms by offering personalized services, real-time updates, multi-channel sales, smooth goods returned/exchanged. In 2022 it is all about making life easy for online customers.
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