Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
The ecommerce world is not short on change. While 2021 was a gear shift for the industry, pushing more shoppers to buy online, 2022 will see further developments and continual change.
The current state of the market allows us to single out several significant tendencies:
Direct-to-consumer competition is rising. Although retail business doors have reopened, ecommerce sales aren’t slowing, resulting in an influx of DTC brands competing for customer attention.
Advertising costs are skyrocketing across platforms. Digital advertising costs are eating up marketing budgets, putting performance marketing models in jeopardy.
Customer acquisition and retention are tougher than ever. As more businesses are online, it’s harder and harder to find new customers. Paid ads are getting really expensive.
Brand building is and will be the major way of attracting and retaining customers. Businesses can also overcome the ever-growing competition by investing in brand building.
Deriving from these trends are the important thing to keep in mind.
Positive customer experience is everything
Some trends never fade, and one of them is positive customer experience. The most successful companies have come to realize that customer service is not something that comes and goes but something that should be an inherent part of their culture. Eighty-four percent of individuals state that the experience provided by a company is just as critical to them as the product they’ve purchased from that company. If a company wants to survive and thrive, its customers should feel valued and appreciated throughout the relationship.
Related: What the Future of Ecommerce Looks Like
New commercial opportunities on social platforms
Social media paved the way for the next generation of ecommerce giants. The social era has seen a shift in the ecommerce industry — with online shopping habits pivoting around video, photography and Facebook. Ecommerce is migrating to social media platforms and relying on them for all important interactions. The graph here displays the US consumers’ usual behavior when shopping through social media.
Now, with most internet users utilizing their social media accounts, ecommerce companies should take note of the shift and prepare for seamless integration with this change. Brands should embrace experimentation: Diverse platforms and rapidly evolving features lend themselves to unique customer experiences, encouraging brands to reimagine consumer engagement.
The boom of Q-commerce
Shoppers want to buy faster and have it delivered cheaper. Q-commerce is a razor-sharp form of customer engagement using social media and other digital channels. Inspired by Amazon’s success with digital stores, Q-commerce is changing now the rules of engagement.
There’s a myriad of tools that fuel the sales ecosystem. Amazon has taken the lead as the primary facilitator of such tools, and they are changing the course of ecommerce as we know it. And Amazon brands need to be as focused on leveraging Q-commerce.
Related: Say Hello To Q-Commerce: The Era Of Hyper-Local Delivery Is Here
Interaction with your community
I’m more than sure that businesses should be more active with their community. This idea of ”always be interacting with your audience” is here to stay. Not only is social media important to earning new customers, but it’s helpful when your business is trying to create hype or is looking for feedback.
Ask your customers or subscribers about each of your products: what they like the most about them and what they don’t. Perhaps they have suggestions for you on how to improve your service. Every customer opinion matters. It’s like a free recommendation on your business, but at the same time, it’s priceless.
People like to share something exciting with their friends or relatives. Word-of-mouth marketing is greater, because it doesn’t cost you a dime, and it can happen anywhere. The only thing left for you to do is to really impress a customer so that they would want to share their experience with someone else.
According to Deloitte, the most trusted sources of information about a product or a service are family and friends. Here, you can find the usual factors affecting customers’ purchase choices.
Related: Why Word-of-Mouth Marketing Matters (Infographic)
For the past few years, we have seen a major shift in customers’ environmental awareness. They demand that brands adapt to the new sustainable economy and operate according to the concept focused on preventing climate change.
In the graph here, you can see the percentage of shoppers who are more likely to purchase from a brand with precise adherence to sustainable operation.
The sustainability of business practices in the face of the growing pressure from the public is an important part of staying up to date with major ecommerce trends. As for Amazon, users across the US have been closely watching the marketplace to see whether or not the company is operating in a sustainable manner.
TikTok is a natural fit for brands to engage with customers, promote to consumers, and teach them important facts about their products. TikTok lets brands have conversations around topics like product features, showcase its usage and engage with audiences worldwide.
You can also use it to engage with influencers. Influencers can help you in so many ways. First, they usually have a huge followers base and can introduce your product to a whole new audience.
Second, influencers usually plant seeds of trust in the minds of their viewers. Once shoppers see a famous person use your product, there are greater chances they will buy it.
The buzz of ecommerce is heating up together with constantly evolving digital marketing. With both brands and business owners looking ahead to the future, customers can expect more purchasing options. Profit Whales is also going to follow the latest industry trends closely to use them in nurturing our clients and putting them in the very spotlight of customers’ attention.