Shoppers are now not only more familiar with online shopping, but they are also comfortable with it. They are so comfortable that a return to former ways of shopping in person for all things is looking less attractive to most people. On the whole, shoppers have indicated that they are most likely to adopt a dual model of online and in-store shopping.

The adoption of online shopping by greater numbers of people also attracts innovation. Some of the trends set to shape online shopping in 2022 have been in development for many years and are reaching their natural evolution, while others are flashes of inspiration that are capturing people’s attention and driving sales.

Automated B2B transactions

B2B transactions are increasingly automated to expedite services, especially for repeat orders. Businesses that have automated accounts payable accounts receivable, reordering and fulfillment, have overall more satisfied customers. Automation removes the margins for human error and increases the speed at which regular orders are processed.

AI-assisted upselling and cross-selling

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are used to predict a person’s shopping habits based on their browsing and shopping history. AI and machine learning are useful tools that allow you to provide website traffic with intuitive solutions. Some ERP and CRM systems include machine learning features to assist in cross-selling and upselling.

Augmented reality to visualize purchases

Augmented reality (AR) is becoming an increasingly desired tool. Consumers want to try before they buy, they want to see how a suit will look if a couch will fit their lounge area, or what the latest lipstick color will look like on their skin. It is a tool still in development. Some big brands using the tech are improving the quality of AG, but it is still a little slow and difficult to use. If your business cannot afford a massive investment to buy the technology or work with another brand, it is best to wait until this technology is better adapted before adding it to your list of customer services.

Increased prevalence of voice search

Optimizing your website for voice assist and voice search is crucial. People are increasingly using devices to shop, such as their phones or smart speakers. To have your business ranked in search results, your SEO needs to be modern and responsive to the applicable current algorithms.

Additional payment options

Secure payment services are essential. The more payment options your eCommerce is able to provide customers, the more likely they are to sign up for your products or services. You also need to assure customers that they can trust your services. Minimum 2FA, branded payment gateways and auto send receipts of payment are essential to ensuring that your website is secure for payments.

Growth in subscription models

Subscription models are still trending among customers, especially for apps that include exercise. The monthly, quarterly or annual subscription model attracts particularly younger people who are budgeting, and others who want to ‘try’ a service for a period of time. Many customers are attracted to paying an annual fee because of the ‘discount’, so making the price points attractive with a between 5-10% savings gap between points is an important way to secure the higher-end sales.

Smarter mobile shopping tools

If you are both a brick-and-mortar retailer and online retailer, it is essential that you align your website services to answer the needs of customers. Offering GPS-enabled mobile shopping experiences that help customers buy in-store is a way to engage people. You can offer interactive store maps, QR-code activated long product descriptions and even expedited check-out services.

Multichannel customer support

Customer support is critical to the success of any business. The shape of contact has fast evolved. People want to use chatbots, read FAQs and send emails, more than they want to call a person directly. However, you do need to have human contact options. Without offering services that allow people to engage and get the help they need, you will only frustrate and drive away your customers. One of the biggest apps on the market does not provide any customer service and takes many weeks to respond to its paying customers. It is a bone of contention for many of the app’s users. Sadly, this company has a monopoly, but when a new and better service is offered – and it will be – it is likely to lose many millions of its customers.

Seamless online purchases

Customers want to find you on their work computer, add your product to their cart on their phone and make a purchase using their laptop. Seamless transitioning between devices is essential, and it now includes social media. You need to have smooth purchasing options on Instagram and Facebook that link with your website sales. Customers want things to be fast, easy and flexible across channels.

More personalization

Personalization is one of the most desired ‘products’ your brand can invent to get the attention of your audience. Sending birthday emails, automating responses to include customer names and details if they are a registered site user, and using intuitive suggestions for upselling are all personalization techniques that customers expect.

Highly optimized websites

A-B testing your website informs your marketing team of what works best, meaning that you can continually optimize your website. Even minor changes can have an impact on how users respond to your site. Colors, button locations, font and images should all be tested and considered carefully for their appeal and engagement rates.