On 5th November, ADAMAPP and Fountain Partnership were joined by a panel of experts to discuss the retail and ecommerce technology trends for 2022.
We’ve summarised the webinar below to help you plan for 2022, put together a list of the key trends in ecommerce technology, and detailed how to incorporate them into your 2022 retail strategy.
Omnichannel shopping experiences
The top retail trend for 2022 is the merging of online and offline to create a smooth, simple and convenient shopping experience for customers.
The pandemic has sped up digital transformation in almost every industry, but especially retail. Bricks and mortar shops have brought their products online - and made digital a primary focus. We’ve also seen online shops coming into the physical world. The combination of the two is becoming seamless. An excellent example of this is Amazon Fresh, which shows just how much technology can bring together the physical and the digital to turn the offline shopping experience into actual clicks.
This is fantastic news for consumers, but it also means an increase in competition for retailers. So giving customers the best possible shopping experience should be a top priority. Google’s Marcelo Ribeiro, one of our panellists, mentioned that 75% of consumers have left a full shopping cart out of frustration. Improving the customer experience at every touchpoint can stop this from happening.
How to improve the omnichannel shopping experience for your customers
Our experts had plenty of tips for improving the online and offline experiences. Fast websites, which are easy to use and well tested were top of the list. More complicated technology can also bring the two worlds together with a seamless shopping experience. Indy Mukherjee from Zellebrate mentioned the success of the Augmented Reality fitting rooms, which allow customers to try on clothes from their screen. He also mentions finding the right partner to build the technology and tools your customers need. Finding the right tech supplier can push your business forward and help you provide the amazing new technology your customers are looking for.
Indy also mentions the importance of company structure and shared targets in creating a truly omnichannel shopping experience. It’s important to keep your physical and virtual teams together, and digital and offline targets need to be in sync. In turn, the benefits of online/offline shopping can be surprising. For example, customers returning items to a physical shop often end up spending more in-store. And without cohesive targets between the two teams, it’s difficult to pick up these sales.
With Brexit and the pandemic causing such huge changes to the UK’s economy, retailers have seen a shift in the supply chain. As Dale Hicks, from The Fashion Network, reminds us, this doesn’t just mean buying products and labour in Asia and other global economies. We’re also talking about the last mile.
It’s important for businesses to keep this last mile in mind, and use technology to ensure the supply chain can keep up with the online world and digital orders. Technology can help with supply levels, which is an especially important lesson around Black Friday and Christmas. Dale mentioned the problems around selling out stock at the low margins needed around Black Friday, and having limited stock for higher margin shopping periods around Christmas and January sales.
Third party marketplaces
There are more third party marketplaces than ever. This doesn’t just mean discounted online bargains. It also includes companies like Harvey Nichols capitalising on their brand and creating highly curated online marketplaces.
This also includes social commerce and affiliate platforms, which give brands a far greater range of places to sell from. Native purchasing on social media is an important retail technology trend to keep up with. It’s simple selling, and once you’ve created the right technology, it’s easy and requires very little input for you to continue selling to customers through a new channel.
The pandemic sped up the use of Augmented Reality and has made it a large part of the everyday retail shopping experience. Not being able to try on outfits, see furniture in real life or sample makeup has led to a rise in the use of this technology. Staying ahead of this trend is important for brands.
Before the pandemic, Augmented Reality-powered shopping experiences were mainly used by organisations like IKEA, Facebook, SnapChat and Instagram. We’re now seeing much smaller companies bring these virtual try-ons into the shopping experience. These include makeup, fashion and homeware brands. This technology is not only increasing conversion rates, it’s also leading to a decrease in returns. You can find out more about how we work with Augmented Reality for retail brands here, or read more about the technology here.
Video is another important aspect of this. It’s harder to doctor a video, and it increases consumer trust as they can see products in different lights and situations, as well as how it looks when worn. There’s an authenticity behind video, which consumers enjoy seeing.
Customers are expecting more from brands. They want every experience to be fun and unique.
Gaming is an under-utilised area of marketing for retail, which we can expect to see grow in 2022. We expect to see more avatars, which give customers the ability to try on different clothing and makeup, and can then be shared on social media. We also predict the creation of more games which bring together the online and offline worlds. There are so many possibilities when it comes to retail and gaming.
Planning your 2022 retail strategy? Get in touch with ADAMAPP and see how we can help you build the right technology for your customers.
About our panellists
Dale Hicks, co-Founder of The Fashion Network. The Fashion Network is a B2B professional networking platform for retail professionals. The network publishes professional development content, events and webinars. It also helps fashion and retail brands raise funding, scale and sell.
Indy Mukherjee, co-Founder of Zellebrate. Zellebrate is a marketplace that brings online and offline together, helping consumers find their perfect product and giving them the choice of how to buy it.
Marcelo Ribeiro, Agency Account Strategist for Google. Marcelo’s role at Google is to help agencies and clients to reach their goals using Google products.