More and more businesses are shifting the focus of their activities to digital dynamics. Whereas in the past it was the prerogative of a select few to enter the world of online sales, today it is more difficult to find a pure-B&M-retail. But moving onto the web doesn’t automatically mean “being an e-commerce”; an MBK study, carried out on market trends over the last few years, has attempted to foreshadow what the 2022 trends for virtual commerce will be.
Behind every successful e-commerce strategy there is meticulous planning; in addition to the necessary economic and administrative architecture, it must be accompanied by an appropriate marketing strategy design.
A careful analysis of trends allows the marketers of every company, in fact, to remain perfectly aligned with what users want and look for. Data, the fuel of any marketing planning, are a valuable and complex asset to be analysed and represented; this is why every year the demand for professionals trained in this area grows.
However, cyclically (and not necessarily on an annual basis) the trends related to e-commerce, marketing and not only, change. Here is MBK‘s research conducted on the trends of recent years; we have examined the main ones that, in 2022, could be the turning point for those who enter, or want to grow, in this sector.
A change in means, even for the e-commerce
Until a few years ago, e-commerce was synonymous with ONE site, on which you sold a product, a brand, or several products and brands from other suppliers. Today, this definition would be obsolete even without considering the product side; just the concept of a single site (or even of a ‘website”) is reductive.
If we take, for example, one of the most popular trends in the wake of the last year, we find social commerce. The implementation of commerce technologies in all the most popular social platforms (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat) has meant that many users have begun to prefer shopping that is closer to their web habits, direct and smart.
Of course, none of this would have been possible without the evolution of a trend that will be at the heart of many marketing implementations in 2022: m-Commerce (mobile commerce). Forecasts speak of a preference of smartphones and the like for 75% of total online purchases. It is obvious that this does not just require technical progress in this direction; the growth in interest in Livestream Shopping (a machine that grinds out up to 30% conversion rates), and the importance of influencer marketing are central to those who must invest in this sector.
All of this without being able to ignore technological innovation, of course. Among the inherited and still growing trends from 2021, we have augmented reality; it is stabilizing strongly, and the optimization of all AI-related processes, both in sales, administration and marketing. An interesting plus to watch out for this year is certainly the development in the creation of more “shoppable” Ads, in the midst of a content and operational revolution.
In light of this technological development, it is clear that investing in omnichannel tactics is the first step in keeping in line with demand. Given the need to develop one’s own content on different platforms, for different targets, to be reached at different times, working carefully on each individual channel, material and expressive, is a trend that all current major players should follow from this year (if they had not already adapted previously).
Big and Small Data are certainly an interesting source to start from for one’s own analysis; if the former have been a must for all machine-driven dynamics for years now, the latter are becoming increasingly popular in all those analyses that require a focus on the emotional side. This makes it easier to keep more and more parameters under control, also from a human and emotional point of view; we are talking about portions of data that are easy to consult: individual information, relating to the actions and emotions of the individual, focal points for the personal contribution to each strategy and campaign.
All this, of course, if in line with a specific branding strategy.
Creating one’s own identity, the power of one’s own brand, becomes increasingly complex in the face of an audience of potential customers who increasingly demand from brands; not just products but experiences, not just content but stories, not just mission but activism. So set up your image, language and operations to identify with what the user wants, to the point of making them want what you have become.
Pay attention to the user!
UX has become an undisputed and basic mantra for every business; it is impossible to do without UX experts (writers, architects, designers, managers) if you want to offer a service and products that meet demand (and competitors).
The watchword for 2022 is simplification. Creation and design (but especially implementation) of simple, functional and fast processes and interfaces, which aim at emotional shopping; they should move the customer not because he has to think about it, but because he wants to jump into your experience.
Adapting your catalogue to the customer is also a prelude to the second keyword of the year: customization. Not only in terms of product personalization; also marketing (with ad personam strategies and campaigns), payment methods (fast, simplified, and possibly with BNPL – buy now pay later, i.e. in instalments), communication (conversational marketing, but not only: implementation of chatbots and voice assistance, also on mobile).
By working on CX Optimization, the Conversion Rate is optimized; it goes without saying that this is the key parameter that, by the end of 2022, e-commerce will be looking at when analysing their strategies.
It is not enough to have a list of trends (which are constantly evolving).
Ideally, each business should be able to set its entire annual workflow around the realisation of these trends, with a constant eye on new entries.
In fact, nothing has shown us more than the last two years of the pandemic how significant a single variable can be in terms of changing direction.
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