Where Retailers Should Make their eCommerce Tech Investments in 2022
By Austin Caldwell, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Oracle NetSuite
The growth of eCommerce has leveled the playing field allowing small direct-to-consumer brands to have comparable reach to compete with retail behemoths that have traditionally dominated the market. And eCommerce shows no signs of slowing down. Fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic, global ecommerce sales in 2020 reached $4.28 trillion, up 27.6% over 2019. Meanwhile in the U.S., sales topped $860 billion, up 44% year-over-year. Looking ahead, worldwide eCommerce sales are forecast to reach $6.5 trillion by 2023, accounting for 22% of all retail sales.
Concurrently, consumer behavior and their expectations around eCommerce continue to evolve and shape new shopping trends. It’s important to stay on top of these trends and invest in technologies that enable your business to meet the expectations of consumers and compete in today’s shifting retail landscape. Current ecommerce trends that will continue to hold sway as we move into 2022 include:
Consumer behavior and their expectations around eCommerce continue to evolve and shape new shopping trends. It’s important to stay on top of these trends and invest in technologies.
- Austin Caldwell, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Oracle NetSuite
- Multiple Payment Options: The more ways customers can digitally pay for their online purchases, the more likely they’ll hit the buy button. Credit and debit cards, third-party services such as PayPal and Apple Pay, and electronic checks are well-known forms of digital payment. Some online businesses now accept payment via Venmo, Zelle and other mobile apps typically associated with peer-to-peer transactions. For brick-and-mortar retailers, especially, contactless payment technology must be implemented. This checkout process is convenient and touch-free – two benefits consumers are looking for today.
- Multiple Fulfillment Options: The best-case scenario for order fulfillment boils down to two words: fast and free. These days, even two-day delivery seems like a long time when consumers can opt for same-day delivery. In addition, many businesses with both online and physical storefronts now offer hybrid fulfillment options: Customers can buy online and pick up their purchases in-store (BOPIS) or curbside (BOPAC), and they can also buy online and return in-store (BORIS). Similarly, some brands without a physical presence are teaming with those that do, so online shoppers can return their purchases at a brick-and-mortar location for free.
- Virtual Shopping Using Advanced Technologies: Artificial intelligence, machine learning and augmented reality are some of the technologies that continue to gain traction in ecommerce. Use cases include personalized product recommendations and interactions based on previous shopping history. Customer service chatbots, virtual product try-ons, and other forms of experiential retail are also gaining traction. Verbal ordering via a digital assistant, such as Alexa or Siri, on your phone, home smart hub, and even your TV remote control have come a long way. Voice search is growing in popularity, which directly influences search results and shopping outcomes. Ecommerce sellers must remain cognizant of changes in search so they can optimize for future sales. At minimum, make sure your ecommerce site is optimized for both mobile voice search by prioritizing the kind of information people ask for, such as website, physical address, contact number, and business hours.