Since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world in early 2020, unprecedented changes have occurred in how people start and run a small ecommerce business. If you are unsure of what changes to expect this year, you are not alone.
As an ecommerce owner, the essential tool you have is information. You need to know how other websites are faring in the market and what customers need in an ecommerce website during this time of change.
Fortunately for you, here are the insights on what to expect in 2022, so you can make your small business future-proof and resilient.
1- Returns Will Be A Competitive Service Differentiator
Initially, returns were seen as tedious and unnecessary. However, in 2022, they will become hot differentiators for ecommerce websites.
According to research from Forester, returns directly influence the choices your consumers make. Three in five US shoppers prefer websites that offer free return shipping. Two out of five prefer an online shop that pays refunds via the customer’s original payment method.
Many consumers have been discouraged by poor return policies from purchasing items online. In 2022, expect that most retailers will invest in their return policies. They will streamline the process, make it free, ensure processing is done fast, and so on.
To stay resilient, start working on your refund policy. It makes sense to increase the number of days one can receive a refund after purchasing an item. Also, make returns free and streamline their processing to ensure refunds are received in less time. Do not forget to make sure your customer support team is always available to attend to such matters.
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2- Mobile Shopping Will Become A Norm
According to Statista, in 2021, e-tail sales accounted for more than 18% of all retail sales in the world. This percentage is even expected to rise this year. Mobile commerce is expected to grow at double-digit rates over the next few years.
Moreover, according to BigCommerce, a growing number of people do all their shopping on their mobile devices. Therefore, offering a good mobile ecommerce experience will be a key deciding factor for ecommerce companies.
However, mobile commerce will not just be limited to smartphones. Smartwatches and smart speakers will be able to act as an extension of your customer’s hands and ears. They’ll allow users to order items and make payments without opening their wallets or manually visiting web pages.
To prepare for this change, ensure your ecommerce site is as fast as possible. Also, make it responsive on all devices and user-friendly. If you can, go ahead and build an application for your store. Optimizing for all of these sales channels can also be easier if you opt for a “headless” commerce solution.
3- Partnerships Will Be A Key To Ecommerce Growth
The coronavirus pandemic has brought about many changes in the way we do business. We now rely more on partnerships than ever before.
In 2022, expect to see more partners coming into play with independent, small ecommerce businesses. Many big brands are partnering up with smaller ecommerce sites to increase sales. Last year we saw some significant partnerships such as Walmart and Instacart.
This trend will continue in 2022. Expect to see more ecommerce platforms collaborating to provide better services to their users. More sites will wisely partner up to continually invent themselves, appeal to new customers, and increase their business agility. The latest regulation changes in China about personal information protection mean that more brands from other countries will spend 2022 looking for partners to comply with the new law.
Find other small ecommerce websites, or giant ones, that you can partner with for more sales to stay ahead of the game. You can approach these companies via email or in their offices during official working hours. Be sure to check whether the terms and conditions of the merger or partnership will be of any help to your business.
4- Social Media Marketing Will Be A Significant Driver Of Traffic
Social media marketing (SMM) is a great way to drive traffic to your ecommerce site. It helps build brand awareness and trust among potential buyers. It’s no secret, SMM is the second-largest source of traffic, behind organic search engine optimization (SEO).
However, since social media is a crowded space, it requires effort to get noticed. By 2022, expect to see social media marketing becoming even more important for driving traffic to your ecommerce store.
This trend can be attributed to the rise of influencer marketing. Influencers are people who have a large following on social media. These individuals are often known for sharing fashion, beauty, food, travel, and many other kinds of content that are relevant to ecommerce. Online stores will be using relevant influencers to promote their products, as they can easily reach millions of followers.
If you want to grow your audience in 2022, look for influencers relevant to your niche. Then, create a campaign where they create and post content about your product. The best part? Your influencers will earn money when someone purchases through their links.
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5- Voice Search Will Become Prevalent
Years ago, voice search was used by fewer smartphone owners. However, 65% of consumers talk to various voice-enabled devices daily nowadays. Voice search is already being used in some areas like ordering pizza. Amazon Alexa is now capable of ordering groceries.
To stay afloat, you should start thinking about using voice search to improve your ecommerce website.
For example, you could add voice commands to your homepage so that visitors can quickly navigate around your site. You can also integrate voice commands into your checkout process so that customers don’t need to type anything while making a purchase.
When adding voice search or command features to your ecommerce store, make sure its code is not buggy. Also, it should never affect your site speed. There is nothing more frustrating to customers than a buggy AI feature coupled with a slow website.
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Ecommerce is one of the fastest-growing industries today. With the right strategy, you can take advantage of trends that will benefit your small business. If you capitalize on the above five expected trends in 2022, your ecommerce website will see an increase in conversions.