Ecommerce 2022: What happens next?
The last two years have been a rollercoaster ride. From COVID-19 lockdowns and the reopening of the High Street to rising inflation and the cost-of-living crisis, many retailers have needed to adapt to scenarios not seen before in our lifetimes. Whilst COVID-19 measures are fading into the past, the impact from those lockdowns is still a genuine concern for businesses.
No-one can predict what will happen in the coming months however the latter half of 2022 will be influenced by several drivers:
The effects of numerous lockdowns, supply chain disruption and Brexit continue to impact worldwide economies. As inflation rises across the globe, higher interest rates are making consumers consider twice about spending and there are whispers of a prolonged recession. Keeping customers happy has never been more important.
What does this mean for ecommerce?
First, we must recognise that no retailer, whether established powerhouse or aspirational challenger, is unaffected by the changes being seen across online retail, and the state of the economy isn’t only impacting eCommerce.
Traditional stores are also fighting fewer sales and finding strategies to reach customers when and where it’s convenient for them. In the second half of 2022, we expect the popularity (and necessity) of omni-channel retailing to continue to steadily grow as businesses expand to new platforms to protect market share and provide seamless experiences across every channel to ensure repeat buyers return again and again.
Summer products trends
Expect to see growth in two main product categories over the warmer months: outdoor-related products and DIY. No surprise there, however it’ll be less big-ticket garden furniture and more likely outdoor pastimes that make the pennies stretch further.
Consumers spent two summers cooped up in their houses, unable to participate in their favourite outdoor activities and events. We expect products for cycling, camping and other family-friendly low-cost outdoor activities to be popular as we move through 2022’s summer months.
Outdoor activities and products will be doubly popular as families seek to do more for less – and spending time in nature is free, or relatively inexpensive, ideal in this uncertain economy.
DIY has always been a high-gross market, but with the summers of 2020 and 2021, the growth of this market soared. Whilst families can now spend time with friends and family again, DIY projects are still on the rise, and we expect this to continue to be a buoyant market.
Events and Mini Peaks in the Second Half of 2022
Keeping in mind that lacklustre economic growth is expected to last at least until early 2023, now more than ever is the time for eCommerce and traditional retailers to make the most of each shopping event and mini peak throughout the year.
Capitalising on events such as music festivals, school summer holidays, back to school and Halloween will not only see you build long-term relationships with customers and increase profitability but also prepare you for peak. These events are the ideal times to trial new marketing techniques, implement automation into order processing and delivery fulfilment and focus on customer retention through exceptional experiences.
Also, wedding season is back with a vengeance in 2022 as a huge backlog unleashes latent wedding related spending across many categories.
Winter World Cup
The World Cup began in 1930, and this is the first time in its history that the tournament will take place outside of the summer season. In fact, the event falls right in the middle of peak season.
It’s important to consider how the World Cup will impact consumer shopping around this anticipated event. Typically, retailers see an increase in party supplies, food, décor and garden-related items, but with the change in weather, we may see a dip in outdoor products related to this event.
It’s also essential to consider the extenuating circumstances of the economy and the event’s timing. Will consumers be more budget-conscious and decide to spend their extra pounds on gifts for family and friends as the holidays approach? Only time will tell.
Peak Season 2022
The last two years have been a whirlwind for retailers. From the unsustainable demand of 2020 to the reopening of the High Street at the end of 2021, it’s been a challenge for retailers to forecast for upcoming shopping events.
This peak season will be no different. We expect, and of course, hope, eCommerce retailers will see similar order volumes as 2021’s peak. This primarily stems from the continued return of in-store shopping combined with the continued rise in inflation.
Whilst we don’t expect a return of the sky-high online demand of 2020, customers looking to be savvier with their money may turn to eCommerce ‘window shopping’ to make the most of their spending power. That and there’s no petrol or diesel cost to shopping from home.
Shopping around for the best deal or finding deals online will command attention. Whether you’re running a local brick and mortar establishment, operating online or doing both, ShipStation’s automated software can help you prepare for this year’s peak season and all those that come after.
Save time, facilitate effortless order fulfilment and delivery and ensure a seamless customer experience with ShipStation. Contact our team today to learn how we can help you prepare for peak.
What does H2 2022 look like for ecommerce retailers? In our latest blog, we provide our latest eCommerce predictions. Read the blog…