The Top 15 E-Commerce Trends to Look Out for in 2022

The Top 15 E-Commerce Trends to Look Out for in 2022

E-commerce will look very different in 2022. Next year’s online shopping environment will be moving in new directions because of technological advances, current economic conditions, buyer adaptations arising from COVID, and other factors. Take some time to prepare your Shopify store for this upcoming year! This article reviews 15 of the most important e-commerce trends in the areas of marketing, website design, and strategy. 

1. Headless Commerce

Headless commerce is a type of e-commerce architecture where customer interfaces are separated from a single back end. This enables e-commerce firms to maximize user experience (UX) on various shopping platforms more quickly and at a much-reduced cost — and at the same time, keep analytics, operations, and finance under one roof.

For example, headless commerce will allow you to set up a website using both Shopify’s application programming interface (API) as well as WordPress’ content API. This offers you greater versatility by giving you a wider set of tools to work with. 

You’ll be able to tackle a variety of different tasks and assignments, all under one uniform brand on the front-end. And in terms of pricing? Headless commerce technology is well within reach for small and midsize firms, making it a prime strategic option for 2022.

2. Personalization with AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) is another technology going mainstream in 2022. Email platforms and websites can incorporate AI to personalize marketing content and the website experience to build customer engagement, drive website traffic, and increase online revenue. Using AI to display recommended products on the website is perhaps the most powerful way personalization secures new customers and additional purchases from existing ones.

For a deeper dive on this subject, this article provides a breakdown of several AI applications for the Shopify store.

3. User Privacy

Although e-commerce customers appreciate personalization, they also have growing concerns about information privacy. In 2022, implementing user-friendly privacy policies and displaying them prominently on the website will be more important than ever to reassure customers that their private data will not be sold, given away, or easily hacked into when stored.

Placing simple privacy statements on checkout pages and contact forms is especially important; providing easy-to-find links to the complete privacy policy is also essential.

4. Mobile Optimization

Mobile shopping continues to grow. Optimizing UX on mobile sites is more critical than ever for e-commerce firms heading into 2022. Particularly important is building navigation that keeps browsing and searching simple, making checkout forms easy to use, avoiding large chunks of text, and maintaining a lightning-fast page loading speed. For SEO campaigns, mobile optimization will grow in importance next year, as Google continues to add emphasis to mobile website factors in its ranking algorithm.

If you are a visual and auditory learner, here is a quick video on how to optimize your Shopify store for mobile devices.

5. UX and SEO

In 2021 Google introduced Core Web Vitals (CWV), a set of UX-related metrics it uses in its algorithm. E-commerce sites with SEO campaigns should monitor Google’s expansion of CWV throughout the new year. Right now, page loading speed is especially important — often an issue for image-heavy e-commerce sites. Review how your images are formatted, stored, and served to visitors to avoid page loading issues. Here is an excellent ​​article to help you improve your Shopify store’s SEO rankings!

6. BOPIS 

BOPIS (buy online, pick up in-store) surged in popularity during COVID lockdowns and remains popular in most markets.

E-commerce operations with physical locations should be sure to offer BOPIS options and continually add efficiency and functionality to both the website and the fulfillment side of the process. 

7. Social Media Shopping

Social media is now a shopping medium, especially on Facebook and Instagram, where companies can set up storefronts with relative ease.

E-commerce companies that have used social media strictly for building brand awareness and customer engagement will have a great opportunity to use it for direct revenue production in 2022. Make sure you stay up to date with all the latest happenings in social commerce, as the current environment is constantly evolving.

Voice search goes fully mainstream in 2022, thanks to the soaring popularity of Alexa, Siri, and other digital assistants. From an e-commerce perspective, voice search will have major ramifications on SEO keyword selection in the coming year. Is your site optimized for voice terms yet? If not, make voice keyword research a priority for early 2022. 

9. Supply Chain

E-commerce customers want it all: deliveries that are fast, 100% accurate, and free. Such expectations may be particularly challenging in 2022 because of severe supply chain disruptions very few businesses will be able to avoid.

Devising better fulfillment strategies, expanding relationships with third-party logistics providers, and fully leveraging supply chain technology platforms are critical for success.

10. Online Chat

Chatbots went from being novelties to being everywhere in 2021. Next year, e-commerce companies should be sure to maximize the use of chatbots and live chat to make sure user questions are answered fully and quickly. In addition to meeting user demands for instant answers, chatbots are also useful in e-commerce for automating FAQ response, new customer setup, and other procedural tasks that formerly involved the staff. 

11. Sustainability

Care of the environment is an important issue for many Americans, particularly Millennials. E-commerce companies should communicate their efforts in sustainability on their websites, reporting on issues such as the packaging materials they use, company policies relating to environmental stewardship, carbon footprint reduction efforts, and other initiatives.

Large or small, e-commerce companies will need to expand sustainability efforts and communication in 2022. 

12. Custom Packaging

Using sustainable packaging materials is one way to please customers, but not the only way. In addition to sustainability, e-commerce customers look for packaging with a distinctive design flair (especially for upscale products), easy-to-open construction, reuse and return design, and tamper-evident features. With heightened competition, packaging design is a way to secure a competitive advantage in 2022. 

13. Subscription Sales

The subscription model has gained significant traction over the past few years, due to its convenience for buyers and sellers alike.

E-commerce companies that have not embraced subscription sales should take a serious look at the possibilities going into next year. Benefits include the ability to bundle products, increase order size, build a steady revenue stream, improve customer retention, and better manage their inventory.

14. Payment Options

Credit and debit card payments will remain popular in 2022, but offering additional payment options adds convenience, and gives customers flexibility to better manage their personal finances. Options such as eChecks, mobile payment platforms, and digital wallets, cryptocurrency, and bank transfers enable e-commerce companies to cast the widest possible net to attract new customers and build their loyalty.  

15. Drone Delivery

Drones may not be clouding the skies in 2022, but momentum for drone delivery will build next year, especially for small deliveries. Drone technology is developing rapidly, and the advantages of drone delivery to e-commerce firms include faster and more accurate delivery times, greatly reduced shipping costs, and the ability to reach remote locations.

Given today’s current high fuel prices and shortage of truck drivers, drones will become a focus of attention in fulfillment operations’ strategic planning.

This is a guest post contribution by Brad Shorr. Brad Shorr is Director of Content Strategy at Straight North, a Chicago-based Internet marketing company that specializes in SEO. With decades of marketing, sales, and management experience, Shorr has written for leading online publications including Forbes and Entrepreneur, and for the American Marketing Association.