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’re exhausted and need to plan for the new year.
That’s where we find ourselves today. 2022 is here, and with it comes new ways to think about online selling. The e-commerce world never takes a rest and is always 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 key multichannel sales trends every retailer needs to be aware of in 2022.
Online shopping clearly isn’t going anywhere. Over 2 billion people are shopping online at this point. That’s 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 e-commerce will make up 24% of total retail sales by 2025.
These numbers represent both pros and cons for online sellers. The pros obviously 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 will have to find unique ways to stand out. The more you can do that, the more you can dip into the rising online spending numbers that are likely to come over the next year.
Online marketplaces are becoming more relevant. While Amazon, eBay, and Walmart led the way, other big-box retailers have started following suit. Some of them have even made a pretty decent splash in their corner of the market.
Be on the lookout for marketplaces from some of these familiar brands:
Multichannel sellers may want to get in with some of these new channels as they expand their product selection and their reach. Utilizing a high-functioning multichannel aggregator can make it easier for your company to orchestrate operations related to product data, inventory, prices, and ordering.
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 e-commerce doesn’t have to be impersonal. In fact, brands are better off looking for creative ways to personalize their customer experiences, since nearly 90% of customers say that 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 kind of personalization requires brands to really know their customers, but the more you put into that, the more you earn their trust.
As climate change continues to be an important 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’s not a typo. It’s just a gigantic number. Clearly 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:
Artificial intelligence is no longer just part of sci-fi lore and speculation. It’s a prominent piece of technology that makes online shopping even more convenient and efficient for shoppers.
Multichannel e-commerce brands may use artificial intelligence to automate certain marketing workflows, provide answers to customer support questions, or even suggest cross-selling and upselling opportunities to buyers while they’re 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 e-commerce is just beginning, and 2022 will likely bring more innovations and changes throughout the year.
Artificial intelligence isn’t the only new technology making a splash in the e-commerce 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 huge potential for fashion retailers since many returns come down to products not meeting the expectations they saw in the product pages. The VR or AR technology already used by a number of leading brands helps reduce the amount of confusion so customers have a better understanding of what they are buying at the time of their purchase.
2020 marked a big year for mobile shopping when it took up 31% of all online retail purchases at $47.8 billion. If it continues to go up as much as other key e-commerce trends, online retailers should prepare for a large portion of mobile customers, especially since smartphone users are expected to rise up 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’re looking for.
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’s 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 in place that gives you the ability to manage multiple channels in one set place.
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 haven’t stopped evolving, you don’t need 10,000 tools that each do one thing anymore.
The technology you choose should help your operations, not make them more frustrating. If you find yourself still clicking through various tabs and logging into multiple platforms in 2022, it’s probably time to upgrade and consolidate.
StoreAutomator is a go-to for leading multichannel sellers because of its ease of use and its 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 help them make more informed decisions. All of this happens under one software with one tab that actually 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.
Over 15 years of experience in ecommerce in various positions, tackling with various problems of ecommerce retailers everyday, co-founded StoreAutomator as an advanced listing software for brands, retailers and agencies to solve the daily struggles of companies' listing and managing product data in multiple platforms.