Top 3 Ecommerce Trends To Look Out For in 2022
Say what you will about the last couple of years, but it’s triggered the chaos needed to drive digital transformation. BIG transformation. This transformation has been largely motivated by necessity (no further explanation required!) but also consumer demand. Consumers expect (and need) more from retailers; they’ve stepped up to the plate when it comes to adoption and have only just begun to taste the convenience this transformation can bring them.
Enter 2022 – the year it all comes together.
Our top 3 ecommerce trends to look out for in 2022 are not new. It’s time for retailers to really step up to the plate and provide the kinds of experiences consumers expect. And more. Game on 👊
Headless & Composable Commerce
Our #1 biggest trend for ecommerce in 2022 is the shift in how we use and bring together technology. Where once an ecommerce platform such as Shopify or Magento would suffice, retailers are now looking to “bolt-on” additional functionality and software. With that comes costly integration fees and lengthy set ups, all to have connected systems and visibility over your ecommerce ecosystem.
2022 is going to be the year we start hearing a lot more about Headless and Composable Commerce.
Commerce has evolved and one-size-fits-all retail systems have limitations. The recent shifts in consumer behaviour have left many businesses scrambling to capture the increased demand, but their monolithic systems and outdated processes are a challenge.
Headless and Composable Commerce is a shift towards adaptable, module-based systems and away from one-size-fits-all technology. Gartner predicts that by 2023, organisations that have adopted a composable approach will outpace competition by 80% in the speed of new feature implementation.
This new approach to technology is the way of the future and will help retailers optimise their end-to-end commerce strategy. It’s a way to put the customer back in the heart of the processes, and focus on an exceptional customer experience.
But what exactly is it? Headless Commerce is the decoupling of the frontend “presentation layer” of a website from the backend infrastructure. This architecture allows retailers to deliver compelling, high-quality content experiences in the front end, while the ecommerce solution in the backend manages all commerce functionality.
The architectural flexibility in a headless model allows for easy connection into key infrastructure points, such as ERPs, PIMs, OMS and POS.
Composable Commerce refers to a modular digital commerce approach. It is a development approach of selecting best of breed commerce components and combining (or ‘composing’) them into a custom application built for a specific requirement. Rather than relying on a one-size-fits-all offering, a composable approach comprises a selection of vendors and technologies that offer robust, comprehensive functionality for the one thing they do.
Those components are defined as Packaged Business Capabilities (PBCs), which represent well-defined business capabilities such as checkout or search. By using best of breed modular solutions, retailers gain more control over the functionality and performance of their application.
Retailers requiring highly scalable, adaptable and customisable tech stack should be considering a headless approach. It’s a trend that I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot more of in 2022.
COMPOSABLE COMMERCE SUMMIT
Comestri’s Ben Cook discusses supporting a composable world with an API led approach for Product, Inventory, Delivery and Pricing Data.
Social commerce is – you guessed it – that practice of selling products or services directly on a social platform. From product discovery and research to purchase and check out, customers can complete the entire process within the social platform.
This latest ecommerce trend is set to grow three times as fast as traditional ecommerce, more than doubling from $492 billion worldwide in 2021 to $1.2 trillion in 2025.
You might want to take notice of this one. Here’s some more fun facts:
130 million Instagrammers tap on shopping posts every month
70% of consumers search for products they need to buy on Instagram and Facebook
71% of online shoppers will recommend the brand they bought on social media
Around half of all US social media users aged 18 – 34 will make at least one social commerce purchase
Facebook is the top social commerce platform in the US, boasting 56.1 millions buyers
Making purchases directly within a social platform removes friction and keeps the customer journey moving fluidly. It allows retailers to hyper target their most valuable customers with very specific products, at the right time and in the right place.
How To Succeed In Social Commerce
Be where your customers are.
Understand your customers and which social platforms are the best for you, whether it be Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest, Instagram or TikTok (or all of the above).
Customise your data and message per channel.
Give an amazing brand experience, foster loyalty and super-charge personalisation. It all comes down to data! Connect all your data sources to your PIM for ecommerce and automate the data transformation required.
Capture user-generated content.
Incorporate social proof into your brand experience to help drive conversions and reduce returns. Blend content and commerce for a remarkable brand experience. Check out Adore Beauty – their content-first approach to ecommerce is inspiring!
Sustainability in Retail
Consumers are driving change and demanding more. Conscious consumerism is on the rise and retailers need to take note.
Which of the following environmentally sustainable or ethical practices do you value?
% of all UK consumers who have chosen brands that have environmentally sustainable or ethical practices/ values in last 12 months [ DELOITTE ]
Consumers expect more. 1 in 3 shoppers stopped purchasing certain brands or products due to ethical or sustainability related concerns, and nearly 60% of consumers say they are willing to change their shopping habits to reduce environmental impact.
Millennials are 40% more likely to research companies to find out about their contribution to green initiatives.
Green Friday & The Great Black Boycott
Check out what consumers want from retailers and why the Green Friday movement is quickly gaining momentum.
How Retailers Can Be More Sustainable
Manage Your Inventory Better
- Ensure every piece of inventory is available to be sold, no matter where they are located, with the implementation of a Distributed Order Management System. Minimise waste and distressed stock.
- Assess your options for excess stock – sending to landfill is not an option. Consider donating to charity (Good360, In Kind Direct) or selling in a different market via global marketplaces.
Understand What Customers Want When It Comes To Fulfilment
- Offer customers the option to Click & Collect their order, or ship from the closest location to the customer for the lowest environmental impact by the delivery.
- Engage organisations such as Carbon Checkout, Cloverly or Future Neutral to give customers the option to offset their carbon at checkout.
- Consider low impact packaging.
Work To Drastically Reduce Returns
- Prevent returns by helping consumers make an informed buying decision with descriptive, thorough product content. Include product descriptions, images, videos, reviews, FAQs and more.
- Offer return options that are convenient to your customer. 84% of shoppers want to be able to choose whether to return items in store or online. An instore return is definitely the most environmentally efficient option, and will also give your customer the opportunity to exchange the item.
- Return smarter: If you’re having returns shipped back to a 3PL, consider having them held and consolidated over a period of time, and shipped back to your warehouse together.
- Consider if the return is worth it – can the customer gift it or recycle it themselves, rather than shipping it back?
Why retailers need to rethink, rework and relaunch returns.