Needless to say, ecommerce is an industry of endless change.
With COVID-19 accelerating pre-pandemic trends such as mobile commerce and social shopping, it’s clear that this tailwind of digital transformation is still going strong.
As an ecommerce business owner, capitalizing on these trends early and quickly is key to standing out, getting noticed and setting yourself up for success.
We asked a few of our Agency and Tech Partners what they believe are the most underhyped (and overhyped) ecommerce trends of 2022, and how merchants can make the most of them.
Follow their expert insights and you’ll be sure to get a step ahead of the competition.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of Email Marketing
“We think the most underhyped element right now is email marketing. We see many companies focusing purely on sales and ROI-focused campaigns that generate cash flow up front. However, a strong email marketing initiative is a proven, evergreen method to continually generate sales. Even if it takes time to nurture and grow a list, it can have a much higher ROI, and we are seeing it’s not being as focused on right now by many ecommerce companies.”
— Christian Little, PayHelm
Bring the In-Store Customer Experience Online
“Companies who have focused on bringing their in-store experience online through custom, highly personalized interactions have an advantage over those who don’t. Who purchases a couch for their house online? A lot more than you think! A custom feature like “View in My Room” allows the customer to take a photo or upload a photo of a room and add the couch to their room to visualize how it will look. These custom experiences aren’t going away any time soon.”
— Ashley Ambati, Brand Labs
“Following the recent data privacy changes, marketers need to start thinking about how they can create more thoughtful and intentional customer experiences. The most impactful and underutilized strategy you can employ in order to achieve this is simply talking to your customers. This means frequently getting on the phone with actual customers and sourcing information about how they experience and how they want to experience your brand. You have to find out what’s working, what you should increase investment in and what requires improvement.”
— Alex McPeak, Content Strategist, Klaviyo
Utilize Personalization for Tailored Shopping Experiences
“Right now, I believe there is a great deal of continued overhype on the impact of AI on product search and recommendations. I believe the fundamentals of segmentation and personalization via personas continues to be underhyped as companies don’t want to put in the work required to build and manage.”
— Vince Vachio, VSG Commerce
Show Off Your Brand Identity Through UX Design
“Fonts are making a bigger difference in UX identity and site branding than ever before. Expanding the way we use fonts by creating new styles and using unique formats, we’re able to craft unique and engaging experiences while further expanding the brand and identity.
“Color and contrast is setting the bar. Dark backgrounds, solid colors and the use of contrast in UX design is allowing us more freedom to create bold and impactful designs that have more feeling in the experience compared to the popular white and bright look.”
— Tara Verkerke, DigitalHaus
Give the Gift of Free Shipping and Fast Delivery
“We believe that free shipping and fast delivery is very underhyped. We live in a world where consumers want things at their fingertips the moment after they’ve placed the order. With Amazon same-day delivery, we expect more of this demand from consumers.”
— Spencer Flaherty, Groove Commerce
Measure the Value of Your Platform Features
“The most underhyped trend is measuring the value and ROI of feature sets and requirements as retailers build out their ecommerce platform. Many are hesitant to adapt to a simpler structure for fear of losing features without truly knowing the ROI or true customer value of those features.
“The biggest trend we’re seeing is around platform evaluation and migration. As more modern feature sets and technologies are released by ecommerce platform solutions, retailers and manufacturers are more willing to explore options to transition their technology to a more marketing-driven solution versus an IT-driven solution.”
— Scott Robertson, CQL
Build Customer Loyalty Post-Purchase
“I think the post-purchase is the most neglected space in ecommerce. You’ve got somebody that’s really excited who just bought something from you. They’ve committed to giving you money. Post-purchase merchandising is very easy to do and I highly recommend that.
“Also, I think the other thing missing in a lot of post-purchase is to invite [customers] to loyalty. ‘Okay, you bought this. We were really glad about that. We’ll credit your loyalty account with this and a bonus $5 off your next purchase if you want to sign up today.’”
— Ryan Garrow, Logical Position
“Carefully crafting a customer experience with valuable post-purchase touchpoints is vastly underhyped, but we’re seeing a lot of our own merchants getting it right. With offerings like product and shipping protection, loyalty programs, frictionless returns and exchanges — there’s a lot of opportunity to create a dialogue with your customers post-purchase where your customers are.
“Much of those post-purchase opportunities were only available to large retailers with economies of scale, but tech-forward solutions are making these available now to merchants of all sizes.”
— Frenchie Audette, Head of Partnerships, Extend
The Final Word
In the end, the most impactful ecommerce trends are the ones that will truly provide value for your customers and, in turn, your business.
As an ecommerce business owner, change is inevitable — and often good. While you shouldn’t force every trend to work for your business, don’t be afraid to break the mold sometimes and try something new.
Who knows? It might be just the right step you need to take your business to the next level.