7 Exciting eCommerce Trends For 2022
2022 is Fast Approaching, So What Does That Mean For Irish eCommerce?
Covid-19 has impacted us all in ways we couldn’t imagine. While it has been mainly negative, there have been some silver linings, particularly in consumer behaviour towards eCommerce and the growth of digital business and digital marketing.
We have broken down We Are Ireland Online’s “.ie Tipping Point 2021 Report”, which has assessed the attitudes & responses to the pandemic from 1,000 Irish consumers and 500 retail SMEs, and found 7 Exciting eCommerce Trends For 2022.
1. The New Normal
While we have moved into the new vaccine era, post-Covid-19, a return to normal is still far away. Government restrictions seem like they are going to still be in place until the end of 2021, and even after. Adapting to the “new normal”, is now essential for Irish SME’s.
37% of consumers believe that life in 2021, will be the same as 2020, while 18% believe that there will be more restrictions, even with the vaccine. Only 10% believe that life will be back to normal, with all restrictions lifted by the end of 2021.
How does this affect consumers’ shopping behaviour?
2. The Covid Consumer
Well, 77% of consumers feel uncomfortable or have some form of reservation to shopping in-store and in person. A staggering 94% claimed to have made an online purchase in 2020, while 68% say they spent more in 2020 than 2019, an increase of 19% from the 2020 report.
From this research, it’s clear that the already growing eCommerce sector has been massively accelerated during Covid-19. This means that creating an online presence for SMEs, and investing in digital marketing strategies has gone from extremely important to extremely essential.
3. Patriotism… When It Suits!
While there was a surge in consumers supporting Irish SMEs during the pandemic, this has now evened out and more consumers are moving back to the “convenience” of international retailers.
The percentage of consumers who have done most of their shopping with Irish SMEs has gone down from 53% in 2020 to 49% this year. While 74% claim to be keen to support local, Irish businesses, International retailers are still seen as the more attractive option for consumers. The key factors that stand out are; cheaper prices, superior online storefronts, and better product ranges.
While it may be difficult to compete on price, in the short term, creating an eye-catching website that immediately captures attention can be implemented immediately.
Checking out the growing Web Design Trends of 2021 is a great way to stay ahead of the curve! Also looking at other eCommerce and digital marketing trends is essential. Implementing a good SEO campaign can be a cheap way of leapfrogging your competition and growing your online business.
4. Accelerated Investment
SMEs that have invested in a website, eCommerce, and digital marketing have reaped the rewards.
The overall view of Covid-19 having purely negative effects on Irish businesses is not necessarily correct. While many sectors have seen adverse changes to their revenue, there have been a lot of SMEs that have seen huge growth because of Covid-19.
The biggest factor in this growth was investing in an online presence. 85% of retailers claim that investing in a website has increased awareness of their business, in 2021, while 72% say they have seen an increase in generating sales growth.
More and more businesses recognize the importance of investing in their online presence. While some need to get a website online, those that already have, especially those with eCommerce functionality, are investing in SEO, PPC, and other digital strategies to get ahead of the competition.
5. Exploiting Brexit
Brexit hasn’t been ideal for anyone. Increased customs and delivery costs for UK businesses have led to increased prices for consumers. While Irish SMEs would prefer that Brexit never happened, there can be some opportunities taken from it.
Due to increased costs, Irish consumers are now seeing large increases in retail prices, as well as long delivery times. This changes the attractiveness of UK retailers to Irish consumers, as 2 of the main benefits of using International eCommerce are now not viable.
Because many Irish SMEs ship within Ireland, they can highlight the fact there are no invisible charges, such as customs. This allows them to become more competitive on price, and shipping times being drastically lower, allows them to compete on convenience.
6. eCommerce Trending Upwards
With a majority of businesses seeing a huge increase in benefits and growth due to online investment, it is no surprise that many plan to keep investing.
61% see their online presence being more important in 2021 than last year. There could be several reasons for this. The consumer behaviours and attitudes around eCommerce seem to be growing, so investment in these trends is essential to stay competitive.
Many Irish businesses that have invested in an online presence, will have done so for the first time. This may have led to many teething problems in 2020. This year, however, many will be more savvy and aware and this will lead to better productivity and less downtime.
It will also lead to greater awareness of the various eCommerce trends that can be used to increase their presence. For example, instead of relying on organic social media marketing, like on Facebook & Instagram, some may move to paid social campaigns on the same sites, as this is suited better to their vertical.
7. Future Trends
As we have discussed, consumers are spending more online now, than ever, and this seems to be only increasing. Even with the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccines, consumers are still unsure of returning to in-store shopping regularly. This has opened the door for some retailers to gain a competitive advantage by holding both an online and offline presence.
Consumers seem to be moving towards a preference for buying necessities online during the weekdays and other purchases at the weekends. Brick and mortar retailers who have invested in an online presence will have a major advantage over their offline competitors.
While attitudes to eCommerce are higher than ever, consumers needs still need to be met. Appealing in areas around price, convenience, and trust mean as much now, as they ever have. Simply having an online presence isn’t enough. Creating a top-notch online store, which is user friendly, enhances the customer experience and is a springboard to success.
This is also true when looking at the platform in which users will visit your eCommerce store. Mobile devices are by far the largest access point for the majority, and so, creating a mobile friendly website is extremely important to the customer journey and a positive experience with your brand.
Covid-19 has been a time of uncertainty in all facets of life.
The global restrictions and lockdowns have accelerated the growth and importance of eCommerce to Irish SMEs. More and more customers have been forced to shop online, with the majority continuing this trend after the vaccine rollout, and planning to continue, or even increase their online shopping in 2022.
This has led to Irish brands also accelerating their move toward eCommerce trends and digital marketing strategies. Established firms with a pre-Covid website have seen increased awareness and sales and have positioned themselves ahead of their competition. They are now looking to grow their presence using several different digital strategies, namely, SEO, PPC, social advertising.
SME’s that have moved online during Covid are now past their teething problems and looking to drive awareness. Many believe their online presence will grow significantly due to this acceleration of eCommerce.
Those that have yet to move online risk being left behind.
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