Changes in consumer behavior are directly related to modifications of business strategies for eCommerce stores.
Nothing elucidates this fact more clearly than the last two years – as consumers shifted to online shopping, forced by the pandemic, brick and mortar businesses adapted to the trend.
But as we enter 2022, the eCommerce scenario is drastically different. Only 11% of traditional, offline businesses feel that their business model will remain viable in 2023 – a year from now.
With such high competition, eCommerce brands need to keep up with customer expectations.
And that’s why you must know the trends that will shape online retail in 2022!
An Infosys study shows that 90% of marketers say that personalization boosts revenues. And that’s where customer account pages can help. With a need for more personalization, having a customer account page on your Shopify store is not good to have, it’s a must.
Customer account pages are an opportunity to collect customers’ information. Plus, they help you observe customer shopping behavior. The information you collect can help you craft targeted and personalized promotional messages. Staying relevant becomes easy when you have exact data of your customers.
- 41% of consumers make impulse purchases when brands provide personalized shopping experiences on their websites.
- 71% of customers feel frustrated when their shopping experience is not personalized.
What does this data tell us about customer experience? That personalization is an emerging trend in eCommerce.
But, it has moved beyond simply knowing customers’ names and birth dates. Today, customers expect brands to offer product recommendations based on their interests and liking. They expect brands to take their feedback and address their issues.
ECommerce stores can achieve a heightened level of personalization with the help of smart apps and tools, machine learning, tracking technology, etc. And most brands are catching up with this trend.
With so many payment options available to customers on various sites, multiple payment options have now become somewhat a given. Customers prefer to have an option to pay through cash on delivery, card, wallets, EMI, etc.
Now, each method has its pros and cons. Customers might find cash on delivery and pay-full-later more beneficial to them. But for eCommerce stores, these methods could result in losses. However, these are also ways in which brands build customer loyalty and boost sales.
Enabling different payment methods makes sales easier and faster for online stores. Once customers make their purchase decisions, they can proceed to pay through their favorite payment method.
The graph below shows the different payment methods preferred by customers across the world.
We’ve all done it! Walk into a physical store to check out products, then look up the same products online for discount options. To enable those in-store shoppers to buy from your site, it’s a must to optimize your site for mobile.
Make sure your mobile site opens fast. Allows shoppers to checkout in a few clicks; as mobile is a small screen and a lengthy process can get frustrating. Many sites offer GPS-enabled mobile shopping experiences. Another key factor is to enable multiple mobile wallet payment options. These are just some smart M-commerce tools. Your Shopify store should optimize based on your needs.
Direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands have seen a rise in the last couple of years. Whether it’s mattresses, books, crockery or clothes, today, consumers can pretty much buy everything directly from the makers or producers.
Even big brands like Nike have taken a DTC route by removing their products from department stores. As we enter 2022, more brands in every category will make a shift to DTC. Moreover, tech-savvy consumers’ preference for DTC will increase.
So, are you ready, equipped and bold enough to take this route for your Shopify store?
Research reveals that emotional and sensory experiences can help eCommerce stores improve brand impact by 30%.
Now, eCommerce stores might not be able to create online sensory experiences through smell, touch or taste. But they could try sight and sound.
Think Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), video, 3D, among others. Many brands do this: Amazon lets customers visualize furniture in their homes. Sephora enables customers to upload selfies and try products virtually. How will you enable sensory experiences on your Shopify store?
According to a study by McKinsey & Company, 15% of online consumers have signed up for one or more subscription services. Now, calculate 15% of your customer base and imagine how beneficial it could be if you offered subscriptions.
This method has many benefits:
- It ensures customers keep buying from you
- It gives your store regular income with which you can predict your revenue and profits
- Works particularly well for regular products. For example, grocery, medicines, health care, and self care products.
What happens when you walk into a physical store? The salespersons try to show and recommend various products to you. But most times when you’re not even interested in those recommendations, you tend to get annoyed.
In the same way, upselling or cross-selling irrelevant products might put off online customers. Instead, use artificial intelligence (AI) and data. First, understand what your shoppers like. Then recommending products. This can bring better results for you. Hence, AI and machine learning (ML) are important for your upselling and cross-selling strategies.
New shoppers and old customers might want to contact you for different reasons. They might have different preferences for the way they contact you. Some might prefer live chatting, while others might want to talk to an actual person on the phone.
Among other channels of communication are email, social media, SMS, Messenger, etc. Make sure you enable all or most kinds of communication channels so that you can cater to all your customers.
Take a look at the illustration below:
Today, customers want top-notch services from brands. Fast deliveries, easy return processes, app-assisted processes, etc.
Goods damaged in transit, late deliveries, wrong products, and a delay in action for return/exchange requests can make customers unhappy.
Hence, in the coming year, make your distribution and supply chains better. Keep roadblocks at bay. Offer customers a seamless shopping journey by optimizing your supply chain.
Here’s an infographic that shows distribution and supply chain trends for 2022.
Gone are the days when shoppers made purchases from websites and brick and mortar stores only. Today, consumers buy from various online channels. Think in-app purchases, social media buying, etc.
Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram have made it easy for shoppers to buy directly from the platforms. It saves shoppers’ time. For brands, it boosts impulse buying, and hence, revenue.
If the below figures are anything to go by, it’s a must for your online store to offer multiple online channels for shopping.
The eCommerce ecosystem has seen a new entrant – forward deploy fulfillment centers (FDFC). Earlier, warehouses and distribution centers were dominant parts of companies’ supply chains. Now, there’s FDFC.
This localized, direct-to-customer service is designed to get online orders to customers as quickly as possible. While this may seem like a mammoth task, with the help of the right online tools and platforms, it can be a breeze. The result: elevated customer experience.
A Gartner study shows that after websites and email, brands are going to put the most money in paid ads. With the number of eCommerce sites increasing, competition is bound to increase, too.
In 2022, those offline brands that were slow at digital transformation or were doubting the trend, will join this crowded space. Meaning, more competition.
In such a scenario, every brand will put in more effort and more money into marketing. SEO and paid ads – online search, social media ads, etc. will shoot up.
Here’s an illustration that throws light on marketing budget trends for 2022.
Compared to 4% in 2016, 30% of eCommerce stores used AI and ML in 2021.
Some ways in which retailers are using these technologies:
- Chatbots to help with customer service
- Data-driven product recommendations
- AI-induced price adjustments and discounts to motivate shoppers to convert, etc.
Add to these, visual search, voice search, virtual fitting rooms and smart product categorization, etc. AI and ML can help your eCommerce store stay relevant and catch up with competitors. Afterall, better insights equals better customer engagement.
Almost 60% of Americans consider themselves to be conscious consumers. From fairtrade to eco-friendly packaging to vegan to shorter supply chains – consumers are keenly reading product packages, scanning barcodes, and then making purchase decisions. This is one of the biggest eCommerce trends post Covid.
For your eCommerce brand, it’s an opportunity to show consumers what your brand stands for. With a rise in conscious consumers globally, being a purpose-driven brand will help you improve customer engagement.
A 100-millisecond slow, and you might lose 7% of conversions on your Shopify store! Customers are busy and impatient. They expect eCommerce websites to be highly efficient.
From fast loading speed to easy navigation to high-quality images to a simple checkout process – there’s no room for your site to slack.
Moreover, fonts, colors, payment options and discounts — there’s much more that goes into optimizing your eCommerce website. Have you begun the optimization process yet?
Consumer data privacy has been one of the most debated topics across the world. But until now, little was being done about it.
Now, however, an increasing number of eCommerce retailers are demonstrating ethical collection and handling of consumer data as one of the most important brand values. And consumers love such brands.
Here’s what a McKinsey & Company study found:
Customers’ attention spans and patience are decreasing. When they shop, they want online stores to be at their service. When they have a query, they seek instant responses. According to Forrester, customers expect eCommerce stores to respond within five minutes!
From fast deliveries to quick responses to easy problem-solving, customers demand all of it from brands. A lack of these could cost you your customers that you worked so hard to acquire.
That’s where smart tools, supportive apps and features such as customer account pages come into the picture. Even the smallest of features can make a big difference to online stores in the coming years.
A number of brands that offered only products have included services in their offerings as well. Why is that? Because it’s time for experience-economy!
The trend is picking up… a leather goods brand started offering repair service. Many online brands offer alteration and customization of clothing and apparel. Gourmet stores are offering cooking classes. There are many other examples of this emerging trend in eCommerce.
In 2022, an increasing number of online stores will offer experiences and extra services to enhance customer experience. What are you going to do for your Shopify store?
Whether it is curbside pickup, contactless payment options, virtual assistance or more favorable return policies, customer-centricity will remain key for eCommerce stores in 2022.
Now, customer-centricity is different for every brand, depending on the industry they serve and products/services they offer.
So, what will you do to ensure your business puts customers at the heart of it all?
Point no. 20 – customer-centricity – kind of sums up a lot of the trends. To offer what your customers want, you have to know and understand them at a deeper level. One of the best places to begin to know your customers is through the customer account page. It’s a goldmine of customer data.
And the Flits app can help you ace this area on your Shopify store. With a customer account page featuring different add-on features, it is one of the best customer account apps for eCommerce stores.