by Dom Mernock, Digital Agency Manager get engaged
Success in e-commerce can give brands a lot of opportunities to make a big profit and attract new customers. But with mega companies like Amazon winning the space, small and medium businesses need to think outside the box.
With global e-commerce to exceed £3.4 trillion in 20211Effective strategy and planning have never been more important to succeed online and increase revenue and market share. Goliaths like Amazon continue to invest heavily to keep customers within their conversion funnels and on their platforms, so the competition is now fiercer than ever. If brands want to succeed, they need to think through the entire journey across multiple touchpoints, and really get to know customers’ needs, wants, and feelings.
Understanding and being aware of the upcoming trends will also ensure that brands can triumph in such a competitive market.
Revival of the “brand”
Like many marketing trends, the “performance only” approach to e-commerce is nearing the end of its life. Performance marketing is more important than ever, but it is no longer sufficient to rely solely on performance strategy to drive profitable growth.
Building a brand is the missing piece and it’s a huge topic in and of itself, but in 2022 we’ll see brands start to act traditionally in their marketing and communications strategies. This will likely include building loyalty and awareness through more digital channels.
Collect more first-party data
We’re not yet in a completely cookie-free world, but we’re starting to see stricter rules around signage thanks to the GDPR, which has significantly reduced the ability to improve performance and track consumer behavior.
Finding new ways to leverage and grow first-party data will be more focused than ever, and brands must ensure this is seen as part of their broader ecommerce strategy moving into 2022.
Shifting towards headless platforms
It’s no longer about sprawling e-commerce sites. 2022 will see a greater focus on how quickly and easily businesses can sell their customers across a myriad of platforms.
From local shopping using third-party applications, for example social media platforms, to headless e-commerce sites that make the transition quick and easy across any platform, there are multiple opportunities for brands.
Wherever possible, brands will continue to look for direct-to-consumer selling opportunities, thus reducing margins involved in traditional channels. The more a brand moves to a headless solution, the greater the possibilities for integration across an evolving list of new sales opportunities.
We’ll see a constant diversity of brands as they look to build loyalty and ultimately deliver “more” to consumers when they come right in. Brands need to take advantage of what drives consumer behavior and offer more than that.
This can appear as anything from unique products and wider ranges to collaborations with “wheelhouse” brands.
Domains need to increase and brands need to increase the “want” and “need” of what they are selling online, or else consumers will have no reason to buy.
With advances in technology combined with social media and the ability to shop from the comfort of home, direct shopping is one of the mobile commerce trends that is likely to see an increase in 2022. Combining entertainment, product discovery, and purchasing with a real-time feedback loop, consumers can read reviews Get recommendations and ask questions 24/7.
With both Instagram and Facebook having their own live streaming features that enable brands to link directly to the products they are talking about, this trend is only set to grow as brands look to cater to both the shopper and the retailer.
Brands for a purpose
The rise of B-Corps, independent core businesses, and major events like COP26 have turned consumers away from global brands like Amazon. This started with Generation Z where 65% of individuals will spend 48% more on average on products than a purpose-oriented business2, but over the next few years, we’ll see older generations start to think about more ethical brands. This will ultimately shape consumer behavior and the e-commerce world.
AR/VR and metaverse
We have seen significant developments here over the past 12 months, with forced technological advances and adoption due to Covid-19.
Companies and brands are finding ways for consumers to experience and understand their products ‘virtually’, which will eventually pass on to augmented reality (AR) outfitters.
Although it is early days, we will see that the metaverse becomes a commercial platform. Facebook is currently driving the fees, but there are already metavers out there, from purchasing “packages” on Xbox as base versions of NFTs. Digital assets have value and if brands can adapt and prepare for the changes in this emerging technology, there will be great opportunities to unlock more digital sales avenues.
Dom Mernock, director of digital agency Engage, discusses the trends he sees in the world of e-commerce in 2022 and what we might need to expect.