The trends listed below are named by Gartner, the leading research and advisory company, and Magento, an Adobe company, listed as the top e-com platform vendors of 2019.
Gartner names visual commerce as the biggest trend that will impact the future of digital commerce. The visual aspect of a website is extremely important, this even resulted in visual commerce. Visual commerce enables users to interact with a brand’s products in a visual, immersive manner. Visual commerce technology spans 360-degree video, 2D and 3D configuration, visual search, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Visual commerce is also a part of the user experience. Your customers will expect a personal approach and the ultimate experience.
As said above the ultimate user experience is extremely important nowadays. That is the reason personalization is listed as trend number 2. Personalization is the process that creates a relevant, individualized interaction to optimize the experience of the user. There are many opportunities to personalize throughout the customer journey, such as landing/product page, search, product recommendation, banners, and offers. Personalization can achieve objectives like purchase, engagement, loyalty and customer satisfaction. Not only in B2C but also in B2B a personal approach is really important. A way of using personalization is by using Artificial Intelligence. See here the importance of digital customer experiences in the B2B.
The line between B2C and B2B is often a bit blurry. Lots of companies make the transition from one market to both and are having a hybrid business model. Because those companies have a lot more channels available. A new trend that arose from this shift in markets is unified commerce. With unified commerce, you will not only offer consistency across channels but also a continuous experience throughout the customer journey. This is important because customers use an increasing number of channels throughout the buying and owning stages. Ideally, it is also personalized for the customer context.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is named as a big trend in e-commerce now for several years on a row. Still, this trend is also very relevant for 2022, especially when you are still not using AI. This is because Artificial Intelligence applies advanced analysis and logic-based techniques, including machine learning, to interpret events, support and automate decisions, and to take actions. Examples of AI in digital commerce range from product recommendation, content personalization, fraud detection, price optimization such as dynamic pricing and virtual assistants to image search and categorization and customer segmentation. To start with AI, you first need to make sure your customer analytics are in order. This includes a range of analytics tools that extract insight from customer data to improve customer experience and achieve business goals. Gartner predicts that by 2021, more than 40% of all data and analytics projects will relate to an aspect of customer experience.
Marketplaces were also a trend in 2019, but for 2022 enterprise marketplaces are a new trend. This is a business model where organizations shift from selling only products they own or source to selling third-party products that are owned, managed and serviced by someone else. Early adopters such as airports, shopping malls, real estate developers and manufacturers tend to have large numbers of customers and partners. Magento also mentioned: “The disruption of e-commerce marketplaces will accelerate in 2022 as retailers who ‘platform their business’ win (about) 50% of online sales.”
Businesses are building modular platforms instead of relying on a single monolithic commerce solution to improve their flexibility and agility in supporting new customer experiences, business models and ecosystem partners. API-based commerce enables organizations to decouple the front end from the back end (headless CMS) and quickly integrate new capabilities or systems. The decoupled front end and back end are called a headless approach. Magento listed headless commerce as the most attractive solution to optimize customer experience and solve complex technology pain points, such as IT dependency, complex user interface, ongoing updates, and slow deployment times. Headless commerce will help future-proof retail organizations and play a significant part in the success and growth of retail businesses in 2022 and beyond. Lots of Content Management Systems such as Magento and Drupal are already offering headless solutions. Drupal 8 is also API first.
Progressive Web Apps are also a trend we have seen before, but PWAs will become instrumental in closing the mobile conversion gap in 2022. Magento experts seem to agree that any business implementing a new commerce experience should consider building a Progressive Web Application. PWAs will allow merchants to achieve lightning page speed, embrace a mobile-first approach, and unlock new channel-agnostic opportunities.
All the trends mentioned above will have the most impact on your business in 2022. When you want to make sure your business is keeping up with the latest trends focus on and use your data, personalization is key and make sure your e-commerce platform can handle the demands the customers nowadays have so you can create the ultimate user experience on all your channels.