The holiday season for digital retailers seems to fly by, doesn’t it? One day you’re getting ready for Black Friday, and then you blink, and Christmas has already passed. All you know is that you are exhausted and must plan for the new year.
That is where we find ourselves today. 2022 is here, and new ways to think about online selling have come. The ecommerce world never takes a rest and is constantly evolving. Multichannel sellers that want to stay ahead need to know the new, fresh ideas.
To kick the new year off, we put together a list of critical multichannel sales trends every retailer needs to be aware of in 2022.
Revenue Numbers Will Continue to Rise
Online shopping isn’t going anywhere. Over 2 billion people are shopping online at this point. That is nearly one-third of all people in the entire world. Even crazier is the fact that those numbers have risen steadily year after year. Emarketer predicts that ecommerce will make up 24% of total retail sales by 2025.
These numbers represent both pros and cons for online sellers. The pros come from the potential to reach 2 billion customers. The cons would be the extensive competition of various stores vying for those customers. Everyone wants a piece of the action, and each seller must find unique ways to stand out. The more you can do that, the more you can dip into the rising online spending numbers likely to come over the next year.
Expect More Marketplaces from Big-Box Retailers
Online marketplaces are becoming more relevant. While Amazon, eBay, and Walmart led the way, other big-box retailers have followed suit. Some of them have even made a decent splash in their market corner.
Be on the lookout for marketplaces from some of these familiar brands:
- Saks Fifth Avenue
- Bed, Bath, and Beyond
Multichannel sellers may want to get in with some of these new channels as they expand their product selection and reach. Utilizing a high-functioning multichannel aggregator can make it easier for your company to orchestrate product data, inventory, prices, and ordering operations.
Personalization is Key
One of the few downfalls of online shopping is the distance created between the brand and the customer. For all the convenience, it sacrifices the personal experience people enjoy when they walk into a store and are greeted by another individual.
But ecommerce doesn’t have to be impersonal. Brands are better off looking for creative ways to personalize their customer experiences since nearly 90% of customers say personalization influences their buying decisions.
What would this look like?
For starters, brands can use customer data to send more highly segmented and personalized communications. Imagine if every email you received from a brand had exactly what you wanted.
This personalization requires brands to know their customers, but the more you put into that, the more you earn their trust.
Rising Interest in Green Consumerism
As climate change continues to be an essential issue, customers have begun to consider how their purchases affect the environment.
Between 2019 and 2020, internet searches related to online shopping’s impact on the environment increased by 2,250%. That is not a typo. It is just a vast number. Customers care about this issue.
According to GWI, eco-conscious customers want brands to take the following steps to improve the effect they have on the environment:
- Create products with less packaging
- Create products with recycled packaging
- Offer more affordable eco-friendly products
- Use fewer chemicals in products/use more natural ingredients
- Offer ways to dispose of products responsibly
- Be more transparent about their sustainability practices/policies
- Donate to environmental groups/causes
- Partner with local environmental groups
AI Tech Will Have a Larger Impact
Artificial intelligence is no longer just part of sci-fi lore and speculation. It is a superior technology that makes online shopping even more convenient and efficient for shoppers.
Multichannel ecommerce brands may use artificial intelligence to automate specific marketing workflows, answer customer support questions, or suggest cross-selling and upselling opportunities to buyers while shopping.
These automated processes take tedious tasks away from the sellers, enabling them to focus on more important matters. It also provides benefits for the customers. One company found that 57% of online shoppers prefer chatbots because of their quick responses. The 24/7 access surely helps as well.
The AI revolution in ecommerce is just beginning, and 2022 will likely bring more innovations and changes throughout the year.
Augmented and Virtual Reality
Artificial intelligence isn’t the only new technology making a splash in the ecommerce world. Augmented and virtual reality have grown in popularity as well.
Brands may use this tech to bring an aspect of those personal, brick-and-mortar encounters to their online stores. Customers can virtually try-on apparel products and see how they look on them before making a purchase.
This has enormous potential for fashion retailers since many returns come down to products not meeting the expectations they saw on the product pages. The VR or AR technology already used by several leading brands helps reduce the amount of confusion. Hence, customers have a better understanding of what they are buying at the time of their purchase.
Mobile Commerce Won’t Slow Down
2020 marked a big year for mobile shopping, taking up 31% of all online retail purchases at $47.8 billion. Suppose it continues to go up as much as other key ecommerce trends. In that case, online retailers should prepare for many mobile customers, especially since smartphone users are expected to rise to nearly 302 million in the new year.
Sellers should be ready to optimize their stores for mobile, ensuring that their product listings and all other pages are easily scannable and that users can quickly navigate to find what they are looking for.
Seamless Experiences Across All Changes
Customer journeys aren’t just about getting the buyer to the end anymore—They’re all about moving them through the process with positive experiences.
This can get tricky, especially since customers rarely go through a clear funnel anymore. They weave in and out instead of flowing right down. An estimated 87% of customers want a consistent experience across all channels.
There is still a real opportunity to get ahead of competitors with this, too. Part of the reason customers value seamless experiences is because of how rare they are. Only 45% of customers believe that retailers offer good experiences across channels in a fast-paced manner. One of the best ways to get consistency is by having the right technology that allows you to manage multiple channels in one location.
Let Your Tech Work For You
In the early days of ecommerce tech, things were kind of messy. Every piece of software was doing what it could to adapt to the changes, and while digital sales have’t stopped evolving, you don’t need 10,000 tools that each does one thing anymore.
The technology you choose should help your operations, not make them more frustrating. If you still click through various tabs and log into multiple platforms in 2022, it is probably time to upgrade and consolidate.
StoreAutomator is a go-to for leading multichannel sellers because of its ease of use and ability to aggregate various channels. Users can manage and edit their products on different marketplaces, monitor their inventory, and gain insightful, real-time analytics that helps them make more informed decisions. All of this happens under one software with one tab that makes things simpler.
If you’d like to learn more about how our platform can help set you up for multichannel success in 2022, reach out or request a demo with our experienced team.