In the first part of my article I presented trends in the e-commerce concerning the use of voice assistants, voice search and the use of voice shopping. I also mentioned the multichannel customer service with chatbots, which will be a standard in 2022.
In the next few years, e-commerce will also be taken over by extended reality that will help us during shopping. I cannot also forget about e-commerce division into several different areas: Visual commerce, ECO-mmerce (environmentally friendly e-commerce) or M-commerce.
In this article, I will focus on three other trends, which are also strong, that is:
- Personalisation in communication, marketing, and individual product customisation.
- Omnichannel and social selling, i.e., multichannel sales, with a focus on sales in applications of popular social media.
- Store optimization and convenient shopping for users.
I hope that you will find in this article tips how to prepare your store for 2022.
Personalisation in e-commerce
It seems hardly possible to fully meet customer expectations. Especially in the times when online stores offer a multitude of various categories and thousands of products. When customers can choose a personalized product, in which they can change something, they are more willing to purchase. They feel exceptional, and the personalized product is a substitute for luxury, regardless of the price bracket. Notice that according to the Deloitte report, the price is not a barrier! One in five customers who was interested in a personalized product or service are willing to pay 20% more than the price of an unpersonalised product. What is interesting, 22% of customers are willing to share their data in return for a more personalized product.
Why do customers choose personalized products?
- Personalized products can be an excellent git.
- They like what is unique.
- Standard products or services do not precisely meet the customer expectations.
- Designing something themselves is a unique experience.
- They are more willing to buy something that reflects their personality.
The above reasons should prompt you to consider the introduction of personalized products to your online store. As the above-mentioned Deloitte study shows, in some categories (clothes, shoes, furniture, home accessories, accessories and jewelry) over 50% of customers are interested in buying personalized products. In this case, the customers can even wait a little bit longer. Introduction of personalized products is also an option to increase sales, the traffic in the store, and the conversion.
Are you wondering how to introduce product personalisation into your store? Mserwis.pl can help you with it, by offering a product configurator based on your expectations and guidelines. See how we helped several of our other customers, who have been using product configurators for years, and with our help increased sales in their stores. ThePlasticExpress service, for which we created the configurator of acrylic glass panels, is an excellent example here. During several years of our cooperation, the service developed so much that today it offers configurators also in Germany, France and the Czech Republic, and plans to expand its configurator even further.
We will be glad to help you to estimate which components of a given product can be configured, and how the configurator can look like. We will develop it fully customized for you. One of the companies that recently entrusted us with creation of the product configurator is Techmark, a manufacturer of wardrobes and furniture, which now offers its customers wardrobes to custom orders.
Personalisation in marketing
When we talk about a personalisation trend, does it concern solely the product category? Marketing is an integral part of e-commerce, so we cannot overlook personalisation in this context. Which aspects are worth noting, and how can we use personalisation in marketing?
Spend some time on data analyses
Nothing can be worse than implementing your activities without a reliable analysis of available data. Dedicate time to analyzing who your customers are, what they like, how they behave, and what they buy. If you are involved in a contact with your customers through social media or a newsletter, you probably know very well what they like. Use that data to understand preferences and interests of your customers. Spending some time on data analyses is crucial for initiating personalisation in marketing.
Create customer profiles
Customers of your shop are unique and at the same time can be completely different from each other. Their interests can differ and yet they may like the same product. Use that fact and after the data analysis create profiles of various customers and adjust your communication to their character. You will not be able to personalize marketing if you do not have clearly defined customer profiles. Use the data to create exhaustive customer profiles, which will form a basis for your marketing communication. Having well defined customer profiles will be helpful in better targeting of advertisements, you will spend less time on correcting ineffective advertisements, and will increase the conversion and generate higher profit.
Offer what you customers want
After creating customer profiles, send offers that will contain what your customers expect. Offer the content that will match not only the customer profile, but also their interests. Today, customers want to feel important. In 2022, there will be no time to waste on promoting something that is not exciting for the customer. This would definitely make its imprint on your store and on your profits.
Do not forget that once analyzed data may change and the analysis is a continuous and regular process. You should dedicate a specific time in your calendar to the analysis. Unfortunately, once performed analyses of customer behaviors will not be constant. Customers change frequently, just like the trends change, so it is a good approach to spend several hours in a week or in a month to analyze obtained data.
When you send personalized offers to customers, you become more authentic. You show your customers that you care about their needs more than about your profit. This is a crucial step when talking about the increased loyalty of customers. This way you can build your personal marketing even better than ever before.
Today, customers have even less time than ever before, so they are not interested in boring messages that are not addressing them directly. Customers do not want to lose time on searching for what they need to buy. Now they want to make fast and simple decisions, and personalized marketing will help them in that. Remember that being authentic is your advantage, because then the customers spend less time on analyses, and make their decisions faster. And these decisions transform into conversion. It is your task, as a marketer or an online store owner, to shorten this decision and purchase path, and personalisation will only help you with that.
Omnichannel, expanding sales to social media
Social media platforms have enormous numbers of recipients, counted in billions. Just in October 2021 over 2 million users downloaded TikTok in Russia alone. There is no denying that social media platforms change only to facilitate sales through Social Commerce. Without leaving the application, users can make a purchase at any shop.
In 2020, Instagram activated the Shop tab, so users can get acquainted with products directly in the application. Facebook, on the other hand, facilitated for sellers construction of online stores in the application, and facilitated the process for adding individual products. Pinterest offers paid pins (publications) to allow promotion of its own products or services. Social media became a center of our life, and so of our customers. We spend a lot of time using our mobile devices. Over 90% of social media users use their favorite platforms on smartphones, and 54% of them search for products in social media.
2022 will be abundant in expansion of sales channels in social media: such as Instagram or TikTok, where users spend plenty of time and are interested in purchases in the application. It is worth considering whether you can be present on such platforms, or whether you already are there. Currently, many adverts are displayed on Facebook and Instagram, and a link to them is usually included in the advertised post, so the customers frequently decide to click on it. This way, they can also discover your store and make a purchase.
Omnichannel is a solution facilitating purchases for customers. Customers can buy the product online and collect it stationary. It also expands sales to social media, which at the moment are a free Marketplace space, where you can offer your products. It is worth remembering in 2022, during planning your sales strategy.
As I have already mentioned before, customers have less time than ever before, so in 2022 the convenient purchases will be of importance. Customers will use only these shops that have an intuitive interface, and where purchases can be done with a significant comfort for the user. If possible, do not complicate the purchase process. If customers encounter any problems, they will look for another store where they can do their shopping much easier. So what will influence the improvement in comfort of shopping in online stores?
Providing customers with an option for a one-click order
It means that a customer can perform a purchase with one click, without a need to provide data for transfer and order. In this scenario, the customer has all forms filled in automatically, the only thing they need to do is to click the button: Buy.
Faster transfer to the cart
Before a customer makes a purchase, usually they have to get through the cart preview and successive stages of the order. To prevent this situation, try to arrange all details in one screen. Then clicking on the cart will result in moving to it and immediate finalization of the purchase.
Use of popular payment methods
Preferably those that are popular and available locally. Various payment options result in expanding of our customer base. Customers who will not find payment methods interesting to them will simply find other stores that will offer such options to them.
Recording users’ details in their account
This way, a returning customer can shop even faster, for example, by one click.
Option for shopping directly on the product site
Customers want to have shopping options clearly identified already on the category site when they browse individual products.
Visible price, and delivery costs directly beside the product. Unfortunately, on many sites these two crucial details are still missing, and some efforts are necessary to find them.
Check if your online store has these functionalities, or if you can implement them. With these few steps it may turn out that your customers return to you more often.
Online store optimisation
Referring to the previously mentioned convenient purchases for users, I need to mention optimisation of online stores. Shops that do not use solutions convenient for their customers, cannot offer services of the highest quality on the start. It is worth taking a closer look at options for optimizing online stores, to be able to offer next year the best and the fastest working stores with many convenient solutions for customers.
Here the optimisation of online stores comes to a rescue. What do I mean by writing about optimization? Look at the list below and see what you can do to prepare your store for 2022:
Try to list all contents that are available in your service. Prepare them for search in Google. Maybe it would be good to check if these contents and key words are still up to date? Verify your contents. It is also good to go back to the first part of this article where I write about voice search, because this area also has a large potential in terms of SEO.
Website and menu layout
Make sure that your website is clear for customers and easy to navigate.
Exhaustive key words will help you to find customers. Those who will look for a product suitable for them and will be directed to your website, because of correctly selected keywords. Choose suitable product names and descriptions, and you will attract customers interested in your products or services.
Call to action ( CTA)
When you have an interesting call to action at your website or in your contents, you can convert a person who is just reading about a given product into a customer. Before they make a purchase, especially of a more expensive product, customers frequently consider it for a very long time. They also look for information on these subjects, and by using suitable contents and calls you can encourage them to buy.
Update store or website software
Very often we are contacted by customers who have online stores, but they take too long to load or some of the text is not displayed.
As you can see, many factors contribute to the correct functioning of online stores. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and check if everything works smoothly. Check if the website does not load too long, whether all elements of the store are displayed correctly in different browsers, and whether the store application is up to date. Outdated store software is one step closer to having the store taken over by third parties, so these few aspects are worth considering.
Summary – trends in e-commerce
I hope that presented tips will let you enter the year full of sales of products and services. Which of those trends did you manage to implement in your store? You must share with us what you plan to implement and what you think about currently announced trends. Look out for a new batch of trends in a year’s time!