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Ecommerce Trends To Watch In 2022


Ecommerce has experienced an unpredictable two years. We’ve seen accelerated adoption of certain industry trends (see: curbside pickup, for just one example), while progress in other areas hasn’t quite materialized as expected (problem-free supply chains, anyone?). While drastic upheaval is hopefully behind us, the way consumers shop online will continue to evolve. We’ve compiled some of the emerging ecommerce trends to keep an eye out for in the coming months. Read on to find out what 2022 holds when it comes to what shoppers are buying, how they’re searching, which devices they’re using, and much more. 

5 Ecommerce trends to look out for this year

New year, new ecommerce trends? While some industry developments are relatively new, other longstanding shopping habits are here to stay. Below are five trends to look out for in 2022. 

1. What we’re buying: fashion makes a comeback

As observed over Cyber 5 Weekend 2021 (spanning Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday), the products we’re shopping for online are changing. While 2020 was the year of cozy home furnishings and work-from-home athleisure wear, shoppers are showing signs they are ready to get back out of the house with a return to more stylish clothing and accessory purchases. Regardless of your vertical, retailers should keep this ecommerce trend in mind when planning merchandising strategies for the coming year. Make sure to review your shoppers’ recent buying patterns and search queries, and adjust your boost rules to reflect customers’ renewed interest in fresh and trending products.

2. How we’re searching: emojis replace words

Another notable ecommerce trend across Searchspring’s network of online retailers in late 2021 was the use of emojis in search bars. The pants emoji, in particular, was a popular search term over Cyber 5 Weekend, generating over 1,000 results during this period. While emoji search may be a breakout ecommerce trend, another entrenched search habit remains prevalent: shoppers’ tendency to misspell their search queries. In just one example, “Disnel” was a top search term for customers on the hunt for Disney products in the run up to the holiday season last year. If your search solution doesn’t support autocorrect and emoji search, now is the time for an upgrade. 

3. Which devices we’re using: mobile remains king

It will come as no surprise that mobile continues its reign as the most popular device for online shopping. Mobile purchases hit an all-time high in 2021, accounting for 73% of global ecommerce sales, up from 59% in 2017. This astronomical rise shows no signs of slowing, either. Projections for 2024 estimate mobile sales will double compared to 2021, passing $400 billion. While it can be argued that mobile’s popularity is now an established fact rather than an ecommerce trend, this mindset can lead retailers to overlook the importance of continued mobile optimizations. For a quick refresher, check out these best practices for your mobile shopping experience

4. How (and when) we’re paying: the more options, the better

Diversified payment options are one ecommerce trend we can expect to see more of this year. Whether it’s the variety of digital wallets now used by consumers, or the ability to purchase in a single click, retailers must accept more than credit card payments in order to meet shoppers’ heightened expectations at checkout. Buy now, pay later (BNPL) is another ecommerce payment trend we will likely see more of in 2022. If you don’t already offer the option to pay in installments, it may be worth examining, especially when you consider 44% of U.S. shoppers have now availed of BNPL when shopping online. 

5. What we expect: seamless experiences

Many ecommerce retailers undeniably benefited from early pandemic shutdowns that sent record numbers of shoppers online – some for the first time. However, the luxury of choice is now firmly back in customers’ hands. Consumers are increasingly returning to physical stores, while many have also discovered a host of new websites to buy from over the past two years. All of this means that online retailers have to work harder than ever to stand out from the competition and attract repeat visitors. From intelligent recommendations and personalization, to product discovery and user experience, now is the time to invest in site optimizations that will keep shoppers coming back. 

Prepare your online store for the latest ecommerce trends

Need some help navigating the latest ecommerce trends? Ready to revamp your online shopping experience in 2022? While certain industry trends may come and go, the ability to curate a seamless path to purchase will always remain a must-have. Searchspring’s site search, merchandising, and personalization solutions equip online retailers with the tools they need to optimize the buying journey and take control of product display. Get in touch to learn how you can kickstart your ecommerce business for the coming year!

Special thanks to our friends at Searchspring for their insights on this topic.
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