e-Commerce around the world has grown significantly in recent years, with lockdown and the rise in working from home leading to what appear to be lasting shifts in consumer behaviour. Recent statistics have shown that E-Commerce revenue in the UK hit £693 billion and trends indicate the industry is expected to grow annually by over 5% until 2025. With the UK currently ranking third in the global retail market based on e-Commerce revenue, many businesses will be racing to join this digital revolution and reap the rewards of this growing industry.
In order to better prepare for a digital future, brands and retailers are constantly on the lookout for ways to drive their e-Commerce brand forward. We look at some of the emerging trends that will help elevate your business and boost your sales in the digital economy.
The rise of Social Commerce
With brands such as Instagram, Snapchat, and the rise of Tiktok, social commerce – a way of buying and selling goods via social and online media – has shown rapid growth in 2021 and is predicted to grow further as we enter the new year. Since 2020, the social commerce industry has generated £374.8 billion with the impact of COVID-19 playing a significant role in its rise. In the last year alone, the UK has seen a 95% growth in social commerce sales.
One of the main factors behind the surge of social commerce is Gen Z users with 47% of consumers using social media platforms in order to inform new purchases. With businesses looking to tap into this thriving audience and advertise their products to a younger demographic, social commerce will continue to play an important role and will be a key tool for brands as we begin 2022.
AI will be a key contributor
There is a strong need to interact with a product before committing to a purchase, and where once high-quality images and videos were enough, today’s consumers are asking for more ways to see and feel a product before clicking buy. With the surge in e-commerce, consumers will be looking for a personal touch in their shopping experience. Developments such as AI-powered chatbots delivering customer service as well as virtual fitting rooms are two trends that will characterise e-Commerce in 2022.
AI will be able to track consumer behaviour and align this with shopping trends which will provide companies with insights that can inform their marketing and sales strategies. Companies such as Nike are examples of major corporations who observed the surge in e-Commerce needs prior to the pandemic which led to them taking a more focused approach in this direction.
Delivery is Key
As e-Commerce continues to grow in 2022, one major trend will be the need to provide consumers with a higher level of insight than ever when it comes to the status of their deliveries. Recent statistics have shown that 57% of UK customers now expect to receive parcel tracking at the very minimum.
With consumers becoming more environmentally conscious, there will also be a greater need for businesses to offer carbon-neutral shipping with 40% of online shoppers willing to pay more for this option. Businesses will now need to consider how to address these consumer needs as currently, only 1% of businesses offer this option.
2022 will be targeted towards consumer convenience, with real threats facing businesses that are not adapting to the changing delivery market. Developments such as drop-shipment whereby the business will sell the product and leave delivery to a third-party company are expected to rise as a result of this trend.
Are you an e-commerce brand looking to gain exposure via UK media? Get in touch today.