Every industry is evolving, especially with the emergence of new trends and technologies that change the way consumers shop and why they do so. For online retailers, it’s important to stay ahead of the curve, keeping up with the latest movements to remain relevant in a very competitive industry.

Looking back at 2021, there came many challenges for the eCommerce industry and online merchants, some of which we are still recovering from. At the same time, opportunities have opened up – so by knowing what’s over the horizon, you can plan your business strategy accordingly.

So let’s not beat around the bush. Below, you’ll find our up-to-date list containing some of the most important eCommerce trends to watch out for in 2022.

1. Social Commerce

Social commerce isn’t necessarily new, but its use is very likely to break all existing records again. Purchases take place within a social media platform such as TikTok or Instagram, which is why social commerce can be seen as an extension of your eCommerce activity.

Research indicates that 97% of Gen Z use social media as their number 1 source of pre-purchase inspiration, and almost 2 out of 3 millennials see it the same way. This means that two very attractive users groups for many online retailers are positively disposed toward using social commerce. And with increasing age, the average purchasing power of these users will also increase, suggesting long-term growth of social commerce.

For example, Shopify’s partnership with TikTok and the integration with Instagram simplifies the sales and payment process for online merchants and shoppers, making it increasingly easy to shop directly on social media. This also applies to Pinterest’s ‘direct sales’.


2. Mobile Usability

Smartphones are part of the daily lives of almost everyone who belongs to the target market for online retailers. You’d expect that all eCommerce websites are optimised for mobile, but this still isn’t the case. By optimising your domain in this way, you are helping your site to rank on Google, which is essential in being mobile-friendly and improving customer experience.


3. Video Content & Live Shopping

Similar to mobile and social commerce, there is an increasing importance of video content and live shopping. A 2020 survey found that 59% of UK respondents expressed interest in at least one form of shoppertainment, whether live streaming on eCommerce platforms, social media live streaming, product content by social media influencers or interactive gaming features. Here are some reasons to back this trend:

  • Live shopping promotes a human connection between brands, companies and potential customers. In the process, a brand becomes more approachable and relatable.
  • Livestream shopping is cost-effective if it isn’t carried out by well-known influencers, which you can expect to be costly. Live Streaming can save you money in the long run as people will still want to see the product in use before making a purchase. Also, at live events, not everything has to look perfect, and that’s what makes this one of the more charming eCommerce trends.


4. Green Delivery & Sustainable Packaging

The eCommerce sector is known for producing an unprecedented amount of carbon emission, with various industry giants coming under scrutiny for their role in these issues. The simple truth is that society is far more engaged, informed and conscious of the environmental impact businesses have on the planet. And that is why your intentions for becoming green shouldn’t be rooted in how it can benefit your business but in what you’re doing to fight climate change.

We can see this manifest as major brands like H&M have introduced bicycle couriers or FedEx looking for a 100% replacement of its pickup and delivery fleet with battery-powered vehicles by 2040. Through these developments, leading companies stay ahead of the curve and propel business success.


5. AR & VR

When thinking of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), it’s easy to associate this with technology purely just for gamers. But what we’re seeing today is mind-blowing – more and more retailers offer AR and VR as tools that allow users to scan familiar environments (such as your home or office) to see how products integrate and look in the real world before making a purchase. Here are some examples of brands killing it with this tech:

  • Sephora lets customers try make-up looks and take photos with the outfit they are wearing.
  • IKEA’s Studio app allows users to capture entire, fully-measured 3D room plans complete with placements of current furniture. You can even add new wall colours, storage and other decorations.
  • Zara offers customers the chance to view holograms of models wearing their purchases by hovering their phone over a package in-store.
  • Amazon’s AR View app allows customers to see products in their homes before making a purchase. Like IKEA, every product is rendered to size and scale to aid pre-purchase decisions.


5. Cookies

Originally, the end of Chrome’s third-party cookies was announced for January 2022. But now, many retailers can take a deep breath as these changes have now been postponed to the end of 2023. This is why 2022 will be a year in which the foundations for a successful transition should be mapped out.

The bond with your buyers will become even more important as marketers will have to find even more creative ways to acquire customers. The same can be said for understanding your target market – a sense of the bigger picture and a new approach to delivering a successful customer journey will be the key to success.


6. Supply Chain as a Success Factor

Order fulfilment isn’t just a cost factor, but in many cases, it’s the most important success factor for online retailers. More often than not, the direct result of unfulfilled orders is lost profits and dissatisfied customers. As was the case in 2021, many drop shippers haven’t been able to receive goods from their producers during peak season, resulting in reduced income.

Also, for traditional online retailers, the increase in the number of online shipments was almost impossible for parcel delivery companies to handle, which led to bottlenecked supply chains and longer delivery times, especially during peak seasons. That’s why at The Storage Place, we work closely with various parcel services, allowing you to switch to other couriers if necessary and, in the event of a failure, another parcel service provider.


7. We’re Always Ahead of eCommerce Trends

As you can see, 2022 is the year that is showing us many opportunities to set your brand apart from the competition so that at the end of the year, you can look back on a turbulent but successful business year using these eCommerce trends. And when it comes to getting your products to your customers, we specialise in large scale order fulfilment.

From processing to pick and pack as well as shipping, we streamline every process. So why not contact us today? Or alternatively, you can call us and a member of our friendly, professional team will be happy to help you with whatever you need.