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Must-haves for 2022: Which trends are influencing e-commerce in 2022

Sebastian Ehrke
07.02.2022 | 4 min

Subscription commerce

Subscriptions create recurring revenue

We know this trend well from previous years – and it will continue to accompany us in 2022. After all, it helps both investors and stock exchanges assess a business model as particularly promising. We are talking about subscription commerce. Offering subscriptions allows customers to purchase products or services on a regular basis, while merchants benefit from predictable revenues and returns. The subscription model also strengthens customer loyalty – turning a single purchase decision into a recurring stream of revenue.

 

But how can we get even more out of this? Use a solution for recurring payments. This way, you can keep processing efforts to a minimum. Also consider introducing cheaper payment methods than credit cards. Monthly invoicing is particularly worthwhile when it comes to large numbers of micropayments. It also works as a secure option via a corresponding payment service provider. With a factoring solution for completed subscriptions and the resulting regular amounts of receivables, you can even increase liquidity and hence the financial scope available to your business.

Quick Commerce

The trend expands from food to other categories

In major cities in Germany, the UK and the Netherlands like Hamburg, London or Amsterdam, it’s now possible to get products delivered in 10 minutes. This speed not only fuels the trend, but also gives quick commerce or flash delivery its name. From the food category – with providers such as Gorillas, Zapp, Flink and Getir – quick commerce has now spread to other categories including pharmaceuticals and beauty. In particular, it will be interesting to see how discounters like Lidl or Aldi will position themselves in this area. Offering a wide range of low-cost products with their extensive infrastructure, they could completely shake up the market.

And what should merchants keep in mind if they want to position themselves in this market segment? A wide product range, a smart warehouse, logistics and delivery concept, and seamless financial processes – these are the key success factors in quick commerce. An order-to-cash system provides support in the background, growing with the retailers thanks to automated process steps. It’s also a good idea to offer a monthly invoice option for the small order amounts that accrue. This solution for micropayments is not only customer-friendly, it also saves merchants fees compared to credit cards, for instance. 

Live Shopping

Live Shopping enable digital impulse purchases

With almost 40 million followers on Alibaba’s live-stream sales platform, Taobao Live, China shows just what impact live shopping will have on the future of e-commerce. Because the PoS experience is shifted to the digital space, live shopping is a trend that will dominate 2022. While many people are becoming accustomed to online shopping during the pandemic, they still miss advice in store. This is where live shopping comes in. It combines social media platforms with relaxed window shopping and impulse buying. Visual shopping is also new. Direct-to-consumer brands, manufacturers as well as companies from the hotel and catering industry can post short videos on the jooli video shopping app, for example.

Online merchants who want to grow and be part of the game should really think through the concept of impulse buying. What does this mean? It’s important to ensure a seamless technical infrastructure and offer a well-thought-out shopping experience. The live presentation and setup should match the product range, with a frictionless transition to the checkout. This is best designed as a quick checkout – with the option of ordering as a guest without registering.

 

Voice Commerce

Convenience improves the shopping experience

Voice commerce is not a new concept, but a hot trend that is here to stay in 2022. Voice is becoming a household standard, with quite a lot of people starting their purchase search with the phrase: “Ok Google” or “Hey Alexa.” By now, 38 percent of UK adults own a smart speaker and in Germany one in four has such a device – at least one in five of those aged over 55 and one in three in the age group up to 34. Consumers can use this technology to voice and place an order quick and easy. Consumers are using voice features to find products and reviews before buying, as well as track their orders afterwards. Since the process saves time and effort, the trend is likely to attract the 55+ age group in particular.

For online merchants, voice is a channel suitable for addressing additional customer groups. Voice recognition technology makes it possible to improve the range of sales channels available. Implementing new trends and innovations is a simple way to achieve an outstanding level of customer experience. 

Customizable products

Personalization on the rise

The high-potential trends in 2022 also include adaptable and customizable products. Personalization has been around for some time. We have all come across buttons such as “You might also like this” displayed under products, offering product suggestions tailored to user history. More and more e-commerce merchants are focusing on personalization. From individualized product descriptions and personalized ads and content to customizable products. Since product personalization also offers advantages for online merchants, such as higher profit margins, fewer returns and more satisfied customers, we are now seeing it more and more often.

Customizable products require even more seamless financial processes. For merchants, the consumer demands for the payment methods offered are increasing. It’s important to use secure payments and make it clear that returns with refunds for personalized products are not quite as straightforward.

Let’s take a step further into the trend of personalization. Tailoring the financial needs of your customer is becoming increasingly popular. We see this in the demand for, and use of “buy now, pay later” products at checkouts. The green line in the graph below depicts the average share of “buy now, pay later” solutions used over time in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Norway. In December 2021, the share of BNPL was 22 percent. The BNPL method consistently ranks in the top two shares of online shoppers by payment provider and is not losing any ground.

Graphic: AfterPay Insights.

Picture BNPL Afterpay Payment.PNG

In 2022, we are absolutely monitoring the must-haves in the e-commerce sector and taking a closer look at one or two developments. These are exciting times – so, stay tuned!

Let's talk!
Sebastian Ehrke
Director Ecosystem Growth

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