Over the past few years, especially since the onset of the pandemic, the ecommerce industry has been at the forefront of disruption, and yet is one of the few sectors that has achieved tremendous growth in a short period.
Valued at $46.2 billion in 2020, India’s ecommerce market is projected to touch a colossal $111.40 billion by 2025, primarily thanks to tectonic shifts in consumer preferences and rising internet proliferation.
A glimpse of 2021
While 2020 was the year of disruption for businesses across the globe, 2021 brought on several transformations and advancements with accelerated ecommerce progress that would have otherwise taken a few years.
Towards the end of 2021, it was estimated that there would be over 2.14 billion global online shoppers and ecommerce sales accounted for 18.1 percent of global retail sales, with 81 percent of shoppers doing online research before making a purchase.
In 2022, it’s expected that ecommerce revenue will reach $5.4 trillion by the end of the year. Statistics apart, the entire ecommerce space has evolved immensely in the past couple of years, and new, interesting trends are still emerging. On that note, here are some ecommerce trends that you simply cannot miss in 2022.
1. Voice-based search and vernacular languages
As India hits the mass online shopping stage where millions of consumers turn to ecommerce and direct-to-consumer (D2C) ecommerce platforms to have products delivered at their doorstep, there is a revolution in one of the fundamental aspects of the ecommerce order process – the search bar.
Making searching easier by taking the technology to the next level, the ecommerce industry has incorporated a voice-based search feature. These features make searching for a product a hassle-free process.
Besides, given that the English-speaking population is significantly lesser than the non-English speaking one in India, several vernacular languages are being added to enhance user experience further – a trend primarily fuelled by social media and networking apps such as ShareChat, Trell, Helo, etc.
2. Visual commerce
Another feature that has rapidly gained traction is video-enabled commerce/live commerce. In today’s world, with consumers having an abundance of choices, it’s no easy feat to capture their attention and retain it. They constantly seek new shopping features and tools that will make their experience enjoyable and immersive.
Blending instant purchasing and entertainment, live streaming commerce is quickly becoming a part of mainstream ecommerce.
With video content consumption skyrocketing, especially in Tier-II and Tier-III cities, video/live commerce will undoubtedly be a major revenue and growth driver for the ecommerce segment this year.3. Social media influence
Over the past few years, social commerce has gained an incredible amount of popularity, with internet penetration, smartphone usage, and social media usage steadily rising. Far from being a mere buzzword, social media-based commerce is now a channel adopted by several brands, especially D2C brands. Offering a frictionless, convenient experience through visually appealing and ephemeral content, social media influence in ecommerce has been one of the most preferred trends – one that is likely to be long-lasting.
In the coming months, social commerce will reach astronomical levels, with India projected to have over 228 million social commerce shoppers by the end of 2022, a 45 percent jump from the current user base.
‘India’s social commerce sector will be twice the size of the current ecommerce market within 10 years’ – 25 quotes of the week on the India opportunity
4. Product customisation and the BNPL feature
Today’s consumers are all about convenience, comfort, and the entire experience, making it imperative for brands to engage them and provide a user-friendly shopping experience. Consumers also like to have a touch of personalisation in their purchases, making product customisation a top priority for brands.
With detailed insights garnered from consumers’ product browsing history, purchasing patterns, and preferences, brands are able to customise recommendations and products for consumers, enhancing the shopping experience.
Yet another feature that is being increasingly preferred by consumers is the BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later). The epitome of convenience without having to fetch your credit/debit card or look for the UPI ID, the BNPL feature allows consumers to make their purchase at the click of a button.
Additionally, it’s also an excellent solution to cart abandonment, which is done by several customers as they get to the payment gateway. With the BNPL feature, brands can minimise cart abandonment and increase their order conversions.
5. Chatbots and omnichannel marketing
It goes without saying that technology is at the core of the ecommerce industry today, powering several innovations that elevate the shopping experience for consumers while optimising the cost and time for brands.
One of the most adopted technologies in recent times is chatbots. Driven by AI/ML, chatbots are the easier way to address consumers’ queries at any time of the day without brands deploying a human resource. In 2022, we will continue to see Chatbots dominate customer service.
The days when brands followed a single channel for marketing their products/services are long gone. In a technology-driven world, both brands and consumers rely on multiple channels, including social media, video, email, text, and advertisements, to fulfill their ecommerce needs. Especially stores that previously only had an offline presence are now shifting to online mediums to increase their reach, customer acquisition, retention, and satisfaction.
From the customers’ standpoint, omnichannel marketing makes it easier for them to discover new brands through multiple channels, thereby providing them with additional options to choose from.
Ecommerce is rapidly evolving, and several new trends and technologies are bound to emerge in the future. In 2022, the aforementioned trends cannot be overlooked as they will shape the future of the sector.
Edited by Megha Reddy
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)
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