Over the past two years, the definition of normal within the retail industry has drastically changed. Propelled by lockdowns and societal changes stemming from the pandemic, ecommerce has seen a booming 24 months. With COVID-19 continuing to impact everyday life, the popularity of online shopping is expected to be the preferred shopping method for the foreseeable future. What does 2022 have in store though? Experts in the ShipStation team have come together to offer some predictions for the next 12 months.
Focus on Sustainability
Consumers are keener than ever to purchase environmentally-friendly products from brands with a proven climate-concious track record. Governments are also more focused on renewable energy, forward-thinking sustainable strategies, and sustainable environmental thinking.
To ensure your company isn’t lost amongst the crowd, in 2022, make ESG (environmental, social, and governance) one of your business objectives, no matter what your size. Sustainable delivery methods and products sourced from sustainable sources will likely take precedence, and with consumers talking with their wallets, this will be more profitable for businesses.
Omni-channel Online Purchases
How do customers find you? If you’re advertising through social media, Google Pay-per-click (PPC) ads, or retargeting display ads, customers may not be going directly to your website to make a purchase.
Offering a seamless transition from social media apps and other channels to the point of purchase alongside multi-channel customer support will be a key feature of 2022. For example, ads within Instagram show the ‘Shop Now’ button but never leave the app to complete a purchase. We suggest integrating this type of online ecommerce strategy in your plans to provide a well-rounded customer experience.
With the rise in online shopping, some customers still crave a way to see a product in real-time. The solution to visiting a store virtually is through augmented reality. Ecommerce retailers who adopt this technology, such as apps that allow customers to see products in their home or to virtually ‘try them on’, could well be a fast favourite with online shoppers.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Analytics
To optimise your 2022 ecommerce strategy, we suggest investing in emerging technologies and using the analytics of ongoing purchases.
Using website analytics to see how customers navigate your store and their interactions with your digital ads could show you where you can gain sales opportunities, reduce bounce rates and provide a better customer experience. AI learns how customers behave and can give you results in real-time, allowing you to make fast-moving optimisations that make a tangible difference. This market is growing and expect to see more AI tech available.
Many ecommerce retailers have espoused the idea of ‘free returns’ but 2022 is still a year where the ‘free return’ dominates. Instead of forcing consumers to keep products they want, generate a new sale from the products they’ve returned.
Free Shipping provides two unique benefits: not only will this provide a more positive customer experience, but offering ‘recommerce’ goods, those that have been returned or reconditioned are considered part of sustainable shopping.
Customers want to know the availability of products before they place an online order. We foresee the visibility of stock and its warehouse location to be critical in 2022.
Adding these elements to your shopping experience will provide customers with the information they want to make educated buying decisions, improving their experience with your brand.
Set Your Business Up for Success in 2022 with ShipStation
Make your online order fulfilment and delivery process smoother and more efficient in 2022 by partnering with ShipStation. ShipStation’s software provides a wealth of benefits, including:
- Simplify order and delivery with automated processes
- Customised alerts and workflows
- Self-service tracking and returns
- Effortless omni-channel selling
- Supported on over 100 stores, carts and marketplaces
- A team of experts to help your business run beautifully