Top Your eCommerce Game: A Guide to Successful Online Selling In 2022
The Internet has become a part of our daily and hourly lives for just about everything, including those shopping habits cemented during lockdowns. Business owners like you can capitalize on this ever-present part of our lives. Make the most of the eCommerce golden age by priming your store with a new focus on customers, channels, and emerging trends. Here are a few of the top areas to focus on for your 2022 expansion.
Refresh with a mobile focus
Mobile devices and sales channels are dominating today’s eCommerce. Experts project the mobile share of sales to hit nearly 73% of the pie by the end of 2021, and there’s little reason to expect 2022 to stop this growth.
Build for that audience. Walkthrough your website and sales channels and ensure their foundation is mobile. You don’t want most of your audience abandoning your store because elements load incorrectly or the buy button is hidden. Improve the mobile experience, and your desktop visitors will benefit too.
A few core elements to work on include reducing the size of images and videos, so pages load quickly, adopting accelerated mobile pages (AMP), using themes with default mobile options, and testing the checkout process on mobile devices. You’ll also want to review marketing and sales tools. With Apple’s iOS 15 update, some marketing automation may need to change. Give your team time and a budget to ensure that you’re putting mobile devices first and understanding how to target this audience properly.
Embrace the payments people are using
We saw a wide range of technology adopted on a larger scale through 2020 and 2021. The hope is for this to continue in 2022. If so, your eCommerce store should be at the top of that trend. Look for the new tech that your customers are embracing and incorporate it into your activities.
One top place to start is the use of digital payment systems like Google Pay and Apple Pay. If you’re a mobile-friendly storefront, go the rest of the way and support mobile payments. Cryptocurrencies generally aren’t worth any significant investment for a single store but researching what’s popular among your users may highlight something new.
This applies to alternative sales channels, too. If your shoppers are buying more directly within social platforms, look for ways to offer this. Facebook and Instagram are the lowest-hanging fruit, but 2022 may see it expand into WhatsApp and other tools.
Give away your shipping
Shipping and order fulfillment will likely remain a challenge for eCommerce in 2022 and potentially beyond. The global supply chain is still struggling, and new days seem to keep bringing new delays. So, you’ll want to respond with sales and cost tactics that minimize the pain your customers feel.
One way to ease the pain for the majority of your orders is to offer free shipping options. And don’t worry, you can still make money while doing this. Free shipping helps you avoid a few different concerns. First, it limits cart abandonment — at least half your audience has abandoned a cart due to shipping costs. Second, your visitors are now more likely to buy from you than someone who charges. And third, people are more willing to wait when the shipping is free.
Supply chain uncertainty means shipping and order fulfillment delays. In an internal survey, shoppers told us they were willing to wait longer rather than pay for shipping. And, they know the average wait time for eCommerce orders is roughly seven days, despite the two-day shipping pushed by a certain large marketplace. Free shipping means people will accept longer wait times and not be upset that you didn’t deliver when they paid for an order to arrive faster. If you’re extra lucky, you can set a threshold at or just above your current average order value to drive future sales values just a little bit higher.
Customize your packaging
Customers are looking for ways to connect with you on a deeper level. You can reflect their desire and your company values quickly with custom packaging. Here, you can easily target your audience’s most prominent characteristics and make plenty of images and videos showing off your goods.
If your audience craves luxury, use rich and impressive materials. Younger or more excited audiences may want more layers to dig through — presented compellingly — so they can create and share an unboxing video. Eco-conscious consumers will appreciate biodegradable fillers and materials, plus boxes and inserts that can be recycled.
People will associate your brand with how you package your products. Customize or even personalize these elements to create a loyal fanbase. And if you know people are going to start combining your products or tend to order certain items, together, kit them into specific packaging to ensure the unboxing experience is controlled and fun.
Be open to trends
The good news for eCommerce companies is that there’s been a lot going on in the past few years. In 2022, much of that testing and trials will become more mainstream. This gives you a solid target and many new tools to help you tap into the latest trends. Our favorite might be live and streaming Q&A sessions and shopping.
These events took off during the pandemic and helped brands connect with customers around the world. People could tune in, ask questions, and see products in live demos. It created significant engagement and sales, and we expect to see many live videos target niches toward the end of 2021. What shopper struggling to buy something for dad wouldn’t jump in a stream showing the top gifts for fathers?
If you want a guide for how this works and what brands do, look at the significant initiatives that jumped on the trend after small shops created it. Facebook has already built out “Live Shopping Fridays,” and its success means we’ll likely see it become a feature in 2022 across the company’s many platforms. Leverage this content and add notifications for streams to site banners, social pages, and more. When you turn on smart audience features to track engagement times, you can even set your future streams to occur when your site has the most traffic.
There’s plenty of opportunities, and we can’t wait to see what 2022 brings.
Jake Rheude is the Director of Marketing for Red Stag Fulfillment, an ecommerce fulfillment warehouse that was born out of ecommerce. He has years of experience in ecommerce and business development. In his free time, Jake enjoys reading about business and sharing his own experience with others.