2022 is starting off defined by the effects of Covid19. Among others, there has been a growth in online sales. It is estimated that, as in 2020 and 2021, users continue to prioritise e-commerce purchases from different devices, with the mobile phone being one of the leading sales channels. In addition to these predictions are other trends that can affect e-retailer growth. We explain them below so you can tailor your e-commerce business and pricing strategy to market needs.
To start with, you should consider changes in consumer mentality. Consumers are now more aware of looking after the environment and the sustainability of businesses. In turn, although it may seem contradictory, there has been a change in consumer habits, which leads them to prioritise companies that are promptest in the management and shipping of products. These two personality traits of today’s consumers will affect their final purchase decision and influence the expected trends for 2022.
1.- Hyperpersonalising the shopping experience
E-commerce is expected to continue to make progress with personalising the users’ shopping experience. Cross-selling, personalised emails and continuous interaction ensure the fulfilment of each customer’s real needs at any moment. It is essential to have detailed information about consumers’ characteristics, purchasing habits, and online behaviours. It is also vital to design new and original ways to reach them and attract their attention, over and above the multiple impacts they receive each day.
2.- Reinforcing the brand image and retailer’s values
In relation to the previous point, to make the users’ shopping experience as successful as possible, and help improve their engagement with brands, companies are committed to strengthening their corporate image with values and ideals that they share with their target customers. This responds to many current consumers need to connect with retailers and brands. In the coming year, retailers will continue to establish strategic policies and plans that will allow them to implement sustainable models, and support social causes in their community. An example of this is the collection of used clothing in all H&M group stores to promote fabric recycling. Online, we also see e-commerce businesses that have activated the donation of a symbolic amount to NGOs during checkout, to offset the carbon footprint.
3.- Enhancing the supply chain
As mentioned earlier, consumers are increasingly rewarding the immediacy of online shopping. Retailers must improve their supply chain for their satisfaction and benefit. In order to maintain a competitive position against other e-commerce businesses, it is key to improve all processes, including a review of delivery periods and order traceability, checking stock availability, and enhanced control of demand forecast, etc.
Within the supply chain, one model expected gain greater momentum in 2022 is the delivery of orders to a collection point. Postal services or marketplaces, such as Amazon or AliExpress, are installing more and more of these lockers. They meet the needs of two types of users, those who are not at home to receive the order, and those who prefer to avoid queues at physical stores or shopping centres.
4.- Increase in available payment options
The availability of different payment methods is one of the features that will be most attractive to consumers. Currently, payments by instalment, and the Buy Now Pay Later system are the fastest-growing streams within e-commerce, given the facilities they offer users. They are expected to continue to grow throughout 2022. Even cryptocurrencies could begin to play a more significant role in online commerce.
5.-Pursuit of greater operational efficiency
Finally, given the momentum that the pandemic has given to retailers’ digital transformation, the forthcoming period is also expected to be defined by companies incorporating new technologies and automation systems, to improve productivity and promote sales optimisation. These new technologies are aimed at streamlining processes and the supply chain, ending with price adaptation, a key factor.
In this sense, more and more e-commerce businesses have digital tools to define and adapt their pricing strategy to the needs of the market, to achieve the best results. An example of this is competitor monitoring software, which provides detailed information on other companies’ prices, stock and products. Another example is dynamic pricing tools with self-learning capabilities, which recommend the most competitive prices to attract users’ attention.