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All insights about The Latest E-commerce Trends for 2022 [GWI report]

Post-crisis, consumers are feeling the urge to save more, but also to indulge. They plan to keep shopping online more than they did pre-pandemic, and “buy now, pay later” services have reached a new level of maturity. 

Are you familiar with any of these sentences? Are you aware of the most important insights in the world of commerce? Or how economic confidence and spending habits are changing? If not just check out our latest report about commerce trends for 2022.

All figures in this report are drawn from GWI’s online research among internet users aged 16-64.

Spending habits of the customers

In 2022, spending will depend on consumer confidence. When confidence is high, shoppers will make more purchases, and vice versa. Thanks to recovery efforts, it’s almost back to its pre-pandemic level. Despite taking more financial hits during the pandemic, younger consumers are generally more optimistic about their financials. 

During this pandemic, people have continuously been reminded that life is short; but they should also cover their backs in case the worst happens. Both of these voices have been competing. Younger consumers have the greatest gap between savings and spending, so financial providers need to address this group’s unique needs in their saving-focused marketing and tools. 

source: Commerce, a GWI’s report

Additionally, women are 1.3x more likely than men to prioritize treating themselves, and globally, just over half prefer to spend money on experiences rather than products. While all people are saving money for the future, they are also treating themselves better.

That’s why companies should think about ways to upsell, cross-sell, or add value during B2C interactions, especially those that happen less frequently. 

Online and offline channels

58% of consumers prefer to shop online globally. Additionally, over a third of internet users had shopped online more in the past year. According to a fifth of those polled, the younger generation is also expected to do even more in the future. 

source: Commerce, a GWI’s report

Among those who shop or browse for products every week, 31% use their mobile devices. In May, around a fifth of consumers still felt uncomfortable shopping in-store because of closed stores and safety concerns over the past year. But after using it for a long time, many have grown accustomed to the level of convenience and intend to continue using it. 

Shoppers want contactless service when shopping in stores. It could be due to concerns about safety or convenience – or both. The most popular option for elevating the in-store experience was self-checkout, followed by a curbside pickup.

When it comes to online shopping, customers expect a seamless experience – they want a website with no bugs and clear product images and descriptions so they know what they’re purchasing. 

source: Commerce, a GWI’s report

In addition to virtual shopping, several products have reached new heights and maintained their top rankings. Home-related purchases like garden furniture and pet insurance also spiked as societies began to look for ways to improve their homes.

A totally new ways

The behaviors of many consumer groups are very diverse, which varies the way they search, creating exciting new marketing opportunities. In fast-growing markets, such as Latin America and the Asia Pacific, internet users’ habits and expectations aren’t as entrenched as in mature markets. Therefore, they tend to be more open to engaging with digitally-progressive trends like image recognition tools and social commerce.

source: Commerce, a GWI’s report

In general, adding voice search and image recognition to traditional SEO strategies – based on the audience in question, where they’re located, and how they use it – will ensure that brands don’t miss out on a chance to gain more traffic.

Thanks to the success of its Taobao Live platform, Alibaba has long been the global leader in livestream marketing. The number of weekly livestreamers varies by region and generation but does not drop below 1 in 5 in either case. However, while livestream shopping draws a large crowd, it takes off slower in the West. This is because livestream viewers are less likely to say they tend to buy brands they’ve seen advertised, as well as to trust what online reviews have to say about products and services.

source: Commerce, a GWI’s report

The business world has seen a surge in demand for buy now, pay later (BNPL) services like Klarna, Afterpay, and Affirm. This type of headline is pretty common right now, with this payment method even earning spotlights in the B2B arena. 

source: Commerce, a GWI’s report

Digital goods & subscriptions

Digital content purchases vary by region, and the number of people paying for streaming services jumped in Q2 2020 due to lockdowns across the globe. Since then, streaming has remained steady, as has the number of people paying for a TV subscription service. 

source: Commerce, a GWI’s report

Almost two-thirds of streaming service users cited price as their top consideration. It was closely followed by having a lot of content and adding new content regularly.

We consume media in different ways today. Since 2011, the number of people paying for a movie or television streaming service has increased by 145%, and the same story holds true for music streaming services. Within the same decade, news services have grown by only 3%. However, younger consumers believe that paying for good news is worth it.

source: Commerce, a GWI’s report

Some brands have still not tested podcasting waters, but consumers enjoy listening to ad-free or sponsored podcasts. It’s good news for brands looking to invest in podcasting because 75% of podcast listeners in the U.S. engage with supported versions or both, which means a lot of opportunities for brand discovery. 

Spotify, for example, has seen a 13% increase in engagement since 2020, and 3 in 5 users have an ad-supported account.

Nevertheless, one of the biggest challenges for brands is converting online visitors into actual buyers. Online purchases haven’t changed much over time, but there are some differences in demographics and audiences to consider. 

Green times

It is now more important to Americans that companies are socially responsible and reduce their environmental impact than enhancing their status and making them feel valued. And half of the boomers would endorse a brand if it offered high-quality products.

source: Commerce, a GWI’s report

Right now, 58% are willing to pay more for sustainable fashion items. Furthermore, there’s no generational preference in the things consumers want fashion brands to do – top of the list is reducing negative environmental impact (53%), above other elements. So, in short, the greener, the better.

To sum up

Quality products, rewards, and good customer service are the top reasons for brand advocacy. However, companies need to tweak what they prioritize next based on the age of their target audience and some trends that are here to stay. Especially when customers believe being eco-friendly is an essential quality a brand can have.