eCommerce Expert Predictions for 2022

eCommerce Expert Predictions for 2022
eCommerce Expert Predictions for 2022
eCommerce is shifting. So what's next in 2022? Let’s get started with expert predictions for 2022.

As we near the end of 2021, we’ve gathered the world’s greatest group of eCommerce professionals and leaders to offer their predictions for 2022. While it is hard to forecast what the coming year will bring, we believe that with this level of industry knowledge, any eCommerce business will be able to take something away and execute in the New Year.

In comparison to 2020, 2021 has seemed more like business as usual. When it comes to Black Friday and Cyber Monday related sales, the extended sales season through November has resulted in another record-breaking year for many.

eCommerce is shifting. So what’s next in 2022? Let’s begin with expert predictions for 2022:

Brands viewing data as a value exchange

Apple’s decision to improve privacy protections has resulted in less targeted ads, data sharing, and reporting options for app users.

Marketers throughout the sector have raised worry about the increased acquisition costs that have resulted. More than 55% of digital marketers believe the changes would result in less customized customer experiences, and 50% feel privacy problems will linger even after cookies are removed. As a result, over 29% of businesses have reduced their social media advertising budgets.

Data will be seen a value exchange by eCommerce companies in 2022.

Brands will aim to deliver excellent experiences beyond their product offering in exchange for first- and zero-party data through initiatives such as improved customer service, loyalty programs, tailored recommendations, enhanced access, and more.

Integration of online & offline experiences

Consumers are active both online and offline; they frequently shop on a retailer’s website while waiting in line in-store, or they explore online before going into the store to make a purchase. Brands will need to bridge the commerce gap between online and physical channels in 2022 and beyond in order to offer consistent — and highly engaging — consumer experiences at every touchpoint. As customer expectations continue to increase, a seamless experience between in-store buying and internet browsing will be required. In 2022, brands will attempt to create these experiences by combining online and offline tactics to integrate in-store and online interactions while also offering the tailored experiences that customers need via cross-channel first-party data collection.

Moreover, loyalty programs are an invaluable method for bridging the gap between online and offline channels. In this context, companies could consider utilizing new channels, such as SMS marketing, to increase participation in their online-offline loyalty program.

Generating higher ROI on creator-led commerce

Influencers are currently the third most trustworthy source of information for marketers, and creator-led commerce will continue to rise in 2022. According to Marketing Dive, marketers’ rising faith in influencers may be mirrored in a greater willingness to relinquish control over some aspects of their brand messaging. In the next year, businesses will strive to allow their consumers do more of the talking, resulting in enhanced authenticity and consumer trust. With over $1.3 billion in financing in 2021 alone, the creator economy — that of online content production and commercialization — has undergone a global surge. To keep up with this growth, social platforms are adding capabilities that allow companies to create connections with creators and drive sales. Features like TikTok Shopping show that the platform is emphasizing sales and not merely virality.

Subscriptions will look more like memberships

Subscriptions become popular in the year 2021. To set themselves apart from their competition in 2022, businesses will focus on providing a great subscriber experience. According to Mary Pilecki, VP and Chief Analyst at Forrester, subscriptions are just another extension of rewards schemes. Subscriptions are modifying in the coming year to emphasize a more emotive strategy: membership. Subscriptions might help add some predictability to your life. More businesses will use memberships to take subscriptions to the next level in 2022. eCommerce businesses capture more essential first-party data by offering customers greater choice over their subscriptions. As a consequence, customers will maintain their memberships for longer periods of time, so boosting their customer lifetime value.

Here are predictions from experts from 3 major businesses: 

Bradford Shellhammer, VP of Buyer Experience, eBay

“Three of the most important elements to win in social shopping are convenience, enthusiasm, and community. Convenience has been increasingly growing over the years as more and more consumers are expecting brands to meet them where they already are. Enthusiasm because you need buyers to be excited about what they’re buying so they continue to come back and enjoy the journey of finding those coveted items that oftentimes have an emotional component tied to them. And finally, community, which is all about the buyer-to-seller relationship. Buyers today want to have real-time, authentic connections to the brands and sellers they’re purchasing from and this will only continue to grow in the coming year.

Social shopping will start to incorporate more elements of charity giving and other for-good measures. We already know that buyers today are wanting goods that are more sustainable and meaningful. However, there’s a shift happening – especially with young consumers – who want to make sure their dollars are put to good use. We’ll continue to see buyers make purchase decisions and spend money towards sellers who share their same values or support the same charities and organizations they do.

The pandemic reignited the desire for collectibles and the emotional tie between these goods and consumers is stronger than ever. COVID-19 forced us to go back to things we’re familiar with because we all wanted to find things to make us smile. This has evolved the way people are viewing the entire meaning of a collectible good, as we’re now seeing things like sneakers and trading cards emerge as the hot, new collectible items that haven’t traditionally been sought after in this way. Collecting today is more than just putting items in a cabinet somewhere – this is the new normal for collectibles.”

Yulie Kwon Kim, Vice President, Product Management, Meta

“Our research shows that more than three-quarters of global consumers (78 percent) say that the shopping experience a company provides is as important as its products and services. Understanding this, we believe 2022 will be the year where community and commerce come together like never before. After brands initially tested Live Shopping in 2021 we expect the format to break through and become more mainstream. 

Live Shopping will also continue to unlock new ways for businesses to leverage creators to help tell their brand story and provide the social, interactive shopping experience that has been lacking from eCommerce. By tapping into shopping events like Live Shopping, leveraging trusted creators, and engaging communities on platforms; sellers of all sizes have an opportunity to create more personalized shopping experiences while building stronger relationships with their customers.”

Mike Jacobs, VP, Performance Marketing, Etsy

“Data-driven marketers will be more challenged than ever in 2022. The data systems we rely on will only get more opaque, and our time-tested tactics will simply lose effectiveness. It will simply be harder to see what is working and what isn’t, and we’ll all need to adapt.

The winners will be those who can best navigate digital privacy.  The trends are unmistakable – continued shifts toward mobile and apps for both content and commerce, and less data for tracking and targeting (thank you Apple). Platforms will push for more onsite checkout for themselves, and less data for marketers.

But in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. Those who use every ounce of what is available, mixed in with some creativity, will prevail in media auctions. The new crop of winners will embrace a creative combination of data, testing, modeling, and critical thinking. We’ll have to find new ways to measure the work we do, across not only media optimization but with critical work on brand messaging and content.  Our work is cut out for us, but aren’t we up for a challenge?”

Wrapping Up

eCommerce in 2022 will have an equal amount of possibilities and challenges. Whether it’s because obtaining solid analytics data is becoming more difficult, or because the prospects for social and interactive eCommerce are expanding. Individual businesses’ capacity to navigate, manage, and operate efficiently over the following months will be the actual challenge for 2022 eCommerce.

ALSO READ: 7 Ways to Win With Virtual Events

About the author

Smriti Rajan

Smriti Rajan comes from a political science and literature background, having an immense passion for writing across varied topics. She has written several articles and blogs for diverse audiences worldwide. She has produced several research publications, policy frameworks, and opinion pieces for think tanks, government institutions and corporates. Alongside this, she writes for a large Fortune 500 clientele and is a key contributing writer for Wikistrat on their EMEA desk. Currently, she resides in India.

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