Privacy, content marketing, or social commerce are some of the areas coming into focus

The e-commerce boom of 2021 was not a fad. Indeed, some estimates say that by 2040 95% of all purchases will be made online. Thus, understanding the e-commerce trends will be a crucial factor in the survival of any business.     

This post will cover some of the leading e-commerce trends for 2022. Some, like content marketing or zero-party data, are already tangible, while others, like AR applications or the metaverse, are still in their first stages.    

1. Privacy is here to stay

Facebook initially complained about the zero-trackers policy implemented by Apple on iOS, but Google has also followed suit. In turn, the new guidelines set in place by Google and Apple join the already restrictive European GDPR laws for online privacy. It looks like the golden age of targeted ads seems to be over. Welcome to the age of zero-party data, i.e., users controlling the use of their data.  

Here’s an example: 96% of US users opted out of app tracking in the iOS 14.5 update. Readjusting to the new normal has been inevitably tough for many online businesses. So, if targeted ads are so passé, what are the options left to stand out from the crowd? Continue reading.

2. Content marketing and branding

E-commerce is more than storefronts and payment gateways. More than ever, in an increasingly crowded market, small and medium businesses are thinking hard about their branding and positioning. Standing out and gaining recognition is currently one of the main challenges for an online store.

Content marketing is an answer to the need to develop a brand voice and data privacy restrictions. This type of marketing also pushes brands to build a tone of voice and have clear buyer personas for their strategy. According to this study, 52 % of shoppers are more likely to purchase from companies with shared values. But don’t expect immediate returns – content marketing is about playing the long game.   

3. Own your data

Marketing automation, however, will still play a critical role. But if Apple and Google are preventing data collection, what options are there left? Well, collecting data from your customers and detecting trends and behaviors will be critical in the new zero-party data age.

Thus, using e-commerce platforms that allow collecting and owning data will be essential for an efficient online store. Another source of data will be content marketing. So make sure to leverage both.

4. Social commerce

Meta is pushing aggressively for e-commerce on Facebook and Instagram, and even on Horizon, its metaverse solution. Besides your online store, you will need to leverage social commerce.

This trend, which started taking off in 2021, provides multiple advantages. Firstly, it’s great for conversion. And secondly, it’s another way of building up your brand and story with images, video, and powerful copywriting.   

Within social commerce, TikTok is shaping up as one of the hottest trends, with ample space for organic impact.

5. AR and VR

With Apple’s rumored AR glasses and the increasing number of applications, AR looks like the next big thing in e-commerce. AR applications will be especially interesting for merchants with physical and online stores, as they will help bridge both realities, further bolstering the omnichannel paradigm. For instance, a buyer can check if other sizes are available for a pair of trousers.

Other applications will include identifying clothes in the physical world and finding them on e-commerce platforms. Or checking out how a piece of furniture fits in a living room. Virtual try-on will also lead to fewer returns and improve operational efficiency.

Beyond a tool for direct sales, AR will probably be a critical factor in the customer experience and engagement.

6. The metaverse

“Metaverse” is probably the most hyped concept right now. Blockchain-based technologies or augmented and virtual reality hardware are gaining momentum and will inevitably affect e-commerce. It’s still in its early stages, but exploring the options for your online store in the metaverse should feature prominently in your to-do list.

As you can see, the e-commerce landscape is changing rapidly. Competition is stiff, but the opportunities for online stores are also growing. Using all the software tools, apps, and plugins available will improve your chances of success.