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What Trends Are Shaping E-commerce in 2022?

New trends are emerging to meet the needs of online shoppers in 2022. Does your business have an updated website to drive sales?

Things are evolving quickly in the e-commerce field. This year is no exception, with several new trends and technologies coming to light. Companies are optimizing their practices to make sure customer needs are met, no matter where they are. What strategies should businesses adopt in 2022 to remain competitive?

Today’s top trends

1. Personalizing the customer experience

We all know that if a customer is satisfied with their experience on your website, they’ll be more likely to come back and make additional purchases. A good customer experience includes:

  • Easy navigation,
  • Clear product descriptions,
  • Quality photos,
  • FAQs that clearly address customer concerns,
  • Efficient after-sales service.

But companies that want to retain customers also need to think about personalizing the user experience. Every customer wants to feel unique. They want to be addressed personally and see that you understand how their needs differ from those of other consumers.

It should be noted that when third-party cookies are eliminated in 2023, businesses won’t have access to data collected when customers browse external sites. This will reduce the potential of using retargeting ads.

As a result, companies will need to rely more heavily on their internal browsing data and other proven methods, such as loyalty programs, to connect with consumers, gain insights about their preferences and offer them the right products and services at the right time.

Using artificial intelligence in a broader and more sophisticated way can facilitate data analysis, behavioural predictions and real-time adjustments.

2. Strengthening your community

Listening to your customers and interacting with them is important. You can connect with consumers through your website’s chat function, on social media or even at your brick-and-mortar locations.

By allowing current and prospective customers to ask questions and seek advice, you strengthen their sense of belonging and expand your community.

Once consumers realize there are humans behind your company—people they can actually talk to—they’ll start seeing your brand in a different light. This leads to increased brand awareness.

3. Rethinking the supply chain

The last two years have shown us how a kink in the supply chain can have a serious effect on companies. It’s time to re-examine the way you work with production plants and suppliers.

By reassessing and adapting your manufacturing and shipping strategies, you may be able to cut costs and find ways to meet customer needs more quickly.

In addition, having a clear and transparent distribution and shipping policy can help prevent confusion and make sure customers are fully satisfied.

4. Optimizing sales and shipping processes

Online consumers aren’t just purchasing a product, they’re buying a service. It’s a good idea to make quick delivery your de facto standard, but be sure to give consumers a range of shipping options to suit all budgets. It’s also wise to provide convenient delivery options for international customers.

Why not offer free shipping with a minimum spend? Don’t underestimate the subconscious benefit this can have. After all, consumers don’t like paying extra fees. Send customers an email or text with their parcel’s tracking number. Last but not least, don’t forget to make it easy for customers to return items, if necessary.

5. Promote sustainability

Make no mistake, “renewable” and “sustainable” aren’t just buzzwords. Customers genuinely want to associate themselves with brands whose values are aligned with their own. Today this means making choices that are socially ethical, environmentally responsible and sustainable. In fact, this trend isn’t just about attracting customers.

Workers are also looking for ethical employers. Let them know about your company’s sustainability initiatives. Given the current labour shortage, this can only work in your favour.

6. Maintain customer and supplier trust

Now more than ever, companies need to protect customers’ and suppliers’ privacy and personal information. You need to have a cybersecurity policy and protocols. Your organization’s reputation with customers and suppliers depends on it.

Trends to keep an eye on

7. Adopting an omnichannel strategy

An omnichannel strategy is about enabling sales wherever your customers are ready to buy—whether it’s on your website, social media, mobile app or in stores. All of these channels need to communicate seamlessly with each other while offering a unique customer experience.

8. Offering live stream shopping

When it comes to promoting products, recorded videos don’t cut it anymore. Businesses are increasingly using live streamed experiences to entice customers to purchase products in real time. The live videos include demos, convincing tests and sometimes even exclusive discounts offered for a short window of time.

This approach allows for real human-to-human connections between companies and customers. Not only can consumers ask questions and get insights in real time, they can also share their impressions and favourites with other online shoppers, thereby strengthening your community. Live stream shopping is expected to soar and become the new standard.

9. Taking advantage of augmented reality

Augmented reality lets customers see products from different angles and assess how the items would look in their home (for example, by virtually positioning them in your space). In a sense it’s like recreating the in-store experience by letting you see and touch products before buying them, but from the comfort of your own home and with the elements of your living environment. For buyers, this is reassuring. And for merchants, it means fewer products get returned.

10. Stay on top of evolutions

Online sales will remain crucial in 2022. While e-commerce presents many challenges, it also offers numerous opportunities for brands to innovate and differentiate themselves from the competition.

It’s essential to have a strong brand identity, express your values clearly and have an accurate understanding of your target customer base.

Communicate with customers on all your platforms, and offer them a quick and painless experience. Sales are sure to follow!

This article was written with Guy-Jacques Langevin, co-founder of Buzztroop.

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