Edgars Lasmanis, Walletto owner, benefits from extensive experience of the e-commerce industry, having built a leading electronic money institution from the ground up. This article will explore evolving trends in e-commerce throughout 2022 and their disruptive influence on the industry.
E-commerce is constantly evolving. Every year, new trends pop up, presenting an opportunity for forward-looking businesses to rise above the competition, expanding their client base and operations. 2022 has been no different. As we have emerged from the shadow of COVID-19, we have witnessed a slowdown in penetration of e-commerce compared with the previous two-year period. However, moving through 2022, many e-commerce businesses have prioritised the objective of realising high, fast growth.
According to the IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Sales Index, in the United Kingdom online sales fell by 9.1% in May 2021 compared with the same month the previous year. This represents the largest drop recorded since the inception of the Index in 2000. However, it is important to note that the recent comparison is being measured against May 2020’s staggering 61% boom in growth, which was largely driven by the first peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Currently, sales growth is flatlining across many retail categories, with some aspects such as health and beauty dropping by 29% year-on-year. The largest drop off rates in online sales were recorded by multichannel retailers at 14%, with consumers increasing returning to bricks-and-mortar stores.
However, overall online sales remained significantly higher than figures for 2019, prior to the start of the pandemic and resulting shifts in the retail sector landscape. In fact, sales volumes for May 2021 were 46% higher than those recorded for May 2019.
Moving through 2022, the following e-commerce trends have been important factors in terms of strategy planning for teams:
- Consolidating Technology Stacks: Global events have accelerated digitisation, enabling digital commerce to establish itself as the main path to market in most industries. However, many businesses have started buying several technologies offering their own niche solutions and features, without considering their full range of functionality. Often, it is better to adopt a single, more comprehensive tool, eliminating obsolete aspects to save complexity and cost and improve process efficiencies. A hybrid-SaaS platform is a more stable option than a combination of third-party integrations, offering endless customisation and high scalability.
- The Rise of Independent Businesses: Consumers are increasingly supporting local and small businesses to help out the ‘little man’ against Goliaths like Amazon. 65% of consumers say they prefer purpose-driven brands over those that advocate sustainability. Independent retailers are typically able to be more agile with sustainability efforts, giving them a competitive edge.
- Enabling Personalisation: Personalising online shopping experiences is the key to satisfied customers in 2022, with 80% of consumers agreeing that they are more likely to buy from a company that provides personalised promotions and content.
- Studying the Competition: It is important to keep a close eye on competitors to learn what creative trends they are embracing and what innovations they are making. Industry news and influencers should also be monitored. This will enable the best e-commerce businesses to adapt accordingly and thrive as a result.