Since the COVID-19 global pandemic, eCommerce is an essential strategy for every business across any industry and territory. Companies of all shapes and sizes have needed to pivot to survive and the absolute need to have a highly functioning eCommerce website has been paramount. 

The demand for eCommerce website development has exploded as organisations during the pandemic have needed to find urgent solutions to sell their products and services remotely. 

This article will share the eCommerce trends for 2022 and beyond. 

Trend 1: Composable commerce

Recently coined by analyst Gartner, composable commerce is using distributed SaaS-based systems and modular architectures rather than commerce suites. Enterprises running commerce suites have started to see that such platforms have become increasingly irrelevant to serving modern-day needs due to their monolithic internal architecture and legacy tech stacks. 

A traditional eCommerce platform comes with a set of pre-existing functionalities, bundled together as a ‘one size fits all’ package, from a single supplier. As a first step into the world of eCommerce, this is a perfect solution to a standard online experience. Most online shops are built by eCommerce developers this way. 

No single supplier can offer the best functionality for a complex, unique business and its ever-changing customer needs and behaviours. A composable commerce solution allows a business to gain more control over the functionality and performance of its application as the concept is less ‘out-of-the-box’ and has more composability and flexibility. The backend and frontend of your platform are decoupled to improve flexibility and allow marketing and development teams to make changes and innovate independently and at their own pace. 

Trend 2: Personalisation 

Research by Forrester shows that 77% of consumers choose, recommend, or pay more for a brand that provides a personalised service or experience. 

Personalisation is reliant on gathering and understanding data whether that is from previous data or live data being collected in the online buying journey. Content can be personalised based on knowledge you hold on your visitors and customers and product recommendations can be personalised to encourage purchases. Amazon was the pioneer of this approach and continues to deliver this today. 

E-commerce companies also can leverage residential proxies to increase their site speed and also greatly enhance the website security. This will in turn make people trust your site more with their transactions.

Personalisation of the eCommerce journey ensures you engage shoppers, instil trust in your brand and encourage loyalty and repeat purchases. 

Trend 3: Total experience 

The epitome of perfect brand management, total experience integrates the experiences of employees, customers, and users to ensure every stakeholder gives and receives the same experience. So, the entire eCommerce experience should live and breathe the brand as should the organisation and every single touchpoint with the customer and target audience. 

The experience users receive on a website must match that received on social channels, apps, traditional media, and communication channels. 

Trend 4: Generative AI

Artificial Intelligence is now fully established in many business strategies. AI solutions already exist in dynamic pricing, demand forecasting and customer profiling and is here to stay in eCommerce. 

Gartner predicts that Generative AI is the big eCommerce trend for 2022. Generative AI refers to programmes that can use existing content like text, audio, and images to create new similar content. Personalised content using this solution becomes even easier. 

Trend 5: Hyperautomation

This trend will see the disciplined, business-driven approach to automate as many aspects of the eCommerce processes as possible. 

This might include AI, machine learning, low code or no-code tools, and event-driven software architecture to name just a few tools and technologies. 

Ultimately, hyperautomation will maximise business efficiency and make the most of your data. 

Trend 6: Visual search commerce

Visual search and image recognition will become more popular to discover new brands and products. Fuelled by machine-learning technology, objects are identified within images and then images related to such objects are searched for. 

Fashion and home goods brands are expected to be early adopters of this technology as they redesign their websites to support visual search for a hoped for 30% increase in digital commerce revenue. This increase in performance is expected because of fostering deeper connections with their customers by making it easier for them to find the products they are looking for. 

Trend 7: Maximised omnichannel strategy

It is no longer sufficient to ensure the experience in your bricks-and mortar stores match your online shop. The trend now is to maximise your omnichannel strategy so that you offer the same shoppable experience on every channel including social media and even emails.

Peter Sheldon from Adobe predicts the increasing usage of transacting and completing a purchase directly in an email rather than needing to be redirected to the merchant’s website to complete the purchase. 

Yesterday’s trends are still valid

For most businesses, embracing these future trends and adapting their eCommerce solutions as a result is some way ahead of their planning cycle. There are still many trends that are evolving within the digital shopping arena, and, across all industries, there is plenty of catch up still to be done to satisfy savvy online shoppers. 

Some of the current trends that are still playing out in eCommerce include the following:

  • Augmented reality – enhances the reality of online shopping to persuade visitors to buy
  • Voice search – voice-enabled solutions such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home will boost consumers’ adoption of voice search
  • Big data – helps to create personalised experiences if consumers agree to share their personal data with eCommerce brands 
  • Chatbots – enable interaction with online shoppers that are becoming more intuitive
  • Mobile shopping – shoppers want convenience and the ability to pay digitally whilst on the move
  • More ways to pay – increases conversion rates and brand trust
  • Headless and API driven eCommerce – by decoupling the frontend layer and adding flexibility to the backend, there is more control over content and the customer journey 
  • Video – engages and educates visitors and keeps them in the journey
  • Subscriptions – keep customers coming back
  • Sustainability – consumers are becoming more aware of the environment and are choosing brands who match their ethics
  • B2B eCommerce growth – Millennials are the future B2B buyers and expect to buy online

eCommerce website development is a highly skilled function and with the Great Resignation, as a result of the global pandemic, tech firms are getting desperate for experienced eCommerce developers who can deliver even the most popular solutions using technologies such as Magento Adobe Commerce (Adobe).