eCommerce or electronic commerce is a business model which includes product and service purchasing and selling over the Internet. eCommerce trends will be covered in the following paragraphs, as well as eCommerce challenges that lie ahead. First, let us take a look at the eCommerce trends.
One of the first eCommerce trends we are going to mention is headless commerce. headless commerce is the separation of the “back-end” and “front-end” of the eCommerce application. Headless commerce is a relatively new way of brands doing eCommerce, which does differ from the traditional e-commerce business, in that it does include the separation within the application.
Headless commerce is a step forward in bettering the consumer experience. As customer demands are on the rise, the customer experience across various platforms matters more than ever. Headless commerce allows for changes to be implemented quickly, across various platforms. It is a lot more flexible than traditional eCommerce applications, and it is a lot more change adaptive.
For example, by separating the front end and back end, if changes are made to the visual shop, they will be visible immediately. On the other hand, with traditional e-commerce, it can take minutes, or even hours, for changes to be visible to consumers. Another important thing to mention is that a range of solutions can be connected by using an application programming interface (API), which allows two applications to talk to each other.
mCommerce and PWAs
mCommerce, or mobile commerce, includes digital shopping from mobile devices. Mcommerce includes everything from viewing the item on your device, to ordering it and paying for it. A lot of online shops are using this type of commerce; however, it is still important to emphasize the need for the implementation of this method. Customers want the opportunity to shop in every setting they find themselves in; whether it is on the train, in the office, or simply when they are taking a walk.
PWAs or progressive web apps
Progressive web apps include advantages of classic websites and conventional apps. Progressive web apps also work great with mobile commerce, as they can add on functions such as push notifications, home screen buttons in the app, offline settings and many more. On top of that, PWA is also related to headless commerce, in that headless commerce is usually the base for PWA, as the PWA will work as a front-end, and then other changes can be made in the back-end, without changing the front-end.
Social commerce includes linking social media channels to the online shop so that customers can also look at their products and order them via social media apps.
For example, Instagram has a built-in shop feature, and Facebook and Snapchat as well. Social media apps are also an amazing way of reaching out to consumers and expanding the brand’s target audience as well. This process can also be fully automated, thus benefiting the brand in efficiency.
Live video shopping
Live video shopping took off during the COVID-19 pandemic, due to people being in quarantine and not being able to access shops online. Live video shopping offered consumers to see how products would look in real life, and not just in a picture. One of the ways to implement such a consumer experience is you can hire a shopping consultant or an influencer, which will focus on presenting the product in a video live stream. It offers a more in-depth customer experience, and some customers also appreciate personal advice on what to look for and what would be a good fit.
On the other hand, this aids in customer contact and personal advice, which can also work as an alternative to the in-person shopping experience, and attract new customers that previously did not utilize online shopping methods. Live video shopping is especially popular in industries that concern furniture and home décor, lifestyle in general, fashion and beauty.
This enables direct customer contact and personal advice, which can largely replace the shopping experience in local retail outlets. This also gives you the chance to attract new customers who have previously avoided online shopping.
Augmented reality is used to place the product virtually into an existing environment. For example, if you are looking to purchase a chair, by using AR, you can insert the virtual chair into your home and see what it would look like at your home. Some benefits of including AR in your eCommerce shop are:
- Customers can get a good idea of how the item appears in their environment
- The product can also be interacted with
- Incorrect purchases correction
Sustainability & social corporate responsibility
Sustainability and social corporate responsibility do not only concern the eCommerce sector, rather it affects all industries. A lot of customers have claimed that social responsibility and sustainability are important to them, thus, they are choosing to purchase products only from companies and brands that have proven to be environmentally and socially aware.
Retail Dive has stated that approximately 60% of consumers want to start purchasing from sustainable eCommerce brands in the next couple of years. Most of them also agree that shopping green and online can reduce the negative side effects on the environment. Thus, brands need to prove to the consumer that they are, for example, decreasing their carbon footprint, and are actively participating in the fight against climate change.
Omnichannel eCommerce is eCommerce that focuses on providing customers with an amazing experience throughout every touchpoint, in every single channel. Customers can use more channels at the same time when shopping; for example, looking for a product on one channel, but completing the purchase in another channel.
Omnichannel eCommerce integrates other parts of brands, such as inventory, customer service, managers of different sections of the company, all the way to the store owners.
According to Shopify, “51% of consumers said the ability to check out online and return items to a brick-and-mortar store had a significant influence on their buying decision. Accordingly, 44% of brands said they planned on prioritizing this in 2022.”.
The BOPIS (buy online and pick up in store) system has been increasingly popular, therefore a lot of shops plan on implementing it throughout the future. This type of omnichannel eCommerce can help a company reach a new customer base. By combining multiple channels, you are also interconnecting their customer bases, thus increasing the total target audience.
After introducing some of the eCommerce trends of 2022, it is time to also introduce some of the eCommerce challenges.
Competitiveness within the eCommerce industry
According to Statista, eCommerce is projected to account for approximately 20% of global retail sales by the end of 2022. Five years ago, this number was merely 10%. It is clear that the eCommerce sector is growing quickly.
According to a recent industry report, e-commerce will account for 20.4% of global retail sales by the end of 2022, up from only 10% five years ago. In other words, the e-commerce space is becoming more crowded, with the constant increase in competition. One of the reasons for such a surge can be attributed to the COVID-1- pandemic. Many have switched to the eCommerce business in order to catch up with the constant increase and change in consumer demand and behaviour.
Increase in costs of advertising & less effective campaigns
Considering there are numerous eCommerce businesses, it is understandable that every one of them is fighting to get the attention of as many consumers as possible. The increase in competition has led to an increase in the costs of advertising, while the ROAS (return on ad spend) has decreased.
Foreign business expansion
Many eCommerce businesses are deciding to expand globally, however, this in itself has numerous challenges. Some of the challenges include:
- Entering a foreign market means putting forward a lot of money, with the increased risk of getting no return on the investment
- New countries mean new and different cultures. Inability to adjust to the culture can reflect poorly on the business
- Competition in an unfamiliar market can be a challenge and a problem for the new business
- Import and export of products and services can also be severely affected, depending on which country or region the company is opening up
Before expanding into a foreign market, a company should always see if the product development is well adjusted for the new market, in order to achieve favourable market penetration. Other questions, such as how much investment is necessary, and how to overcome new foreign competition, should always be discussed in detail before the international growth.
New financial methods
Many companies are changing the way they are financing their businesses. One of the first ways of abandoning conventional financing methods includes reasons such as that bank loans, for example, are bothersome to apply for, and extremely time-consuming. Loan repayments every month, in fixed instalments, can put a great amount of pressure and stress on the company.
Therefore, throughout the years, numerous different financial instruments appeared, in order to attract new businesses. Some of these alternative financial instruments include cash injection, such as RBF (revenue-based financing) or inventory financing. RBF uses an approach of having a fixed percentage of revenue as a repayment method (until the total sum is repaid) and not a fixed monthly instalment. This decreases the pressure on companies; for example, if a company makes 50% less revenue this month, a fixed % will only be deducted, and not a fixed amount, which makes a huge difference for companies in the long run, due to the benefits of such flexibility.
Even though alternative financial instruments are extremely attractive, companies should not completely abandon the idea of conventional financing methods. Sometimes, conventional methods can be a safer way to go for the company, but if it does not fit the company entirely, they can be combined with alternative financing methods. In the end, it is up to the company to decide what type of financial instrument and method is best suited for the business to successfully grow.
Create your own brand with Wonnda and join the world of eCommerce
After we have covered in depth the challenges and trends of the eCommerce industry, it is time for the next step.
If you are interested in starting your own brand and entering the eCommerce industry but are not sure how to get your production up and running, you are at the right place.
Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur with an innovative product idea or an already existing retailer that is aiming to diversify the assortment of your own products, launching your own brand through a private label or contract manufacturing could be just the step you need to take your business to the next level.
At Wonnda, we are working with top European producers for private labelling and contract manufacturing. The first step in getting your desired product to the market is probably the most crucial – finding the right production partner and manufacturer for your product and project. The great advantage of Wonnda is that you can simply let us do the tedious work, and all you need to do is let us know what you need. Just tell us quickly about your project or product idea, and we will then approach the most suitable manufacturers for your project and connect you with them.
Sounds like something that is of interest to you? Then just fill out the form or send us an email with your desired product, and our team will get back to you!