E-commerce trends: how to meet new consumer expectations?

In France, the e-commerce sector (products and services) exceeded 129 billion euros in 2021, an increase of 15.1% over the year according to the Fevad (Federation of e-commerce and retail sales). distance). E-commerce now represents 14.1% of retail trade compared to 13.4% in 2020. A figure that should increase in the coming years, given the technological innovations in the sector. Customer experience, financial services, personalization, delivery… There are still many points for improvement and trends related to digital tools are becoming more and more assertive.

“The rise of digital tools powered by AI is accelerating more and more”says Anna Thibout, Field Marketing Manager at ShipStation. “These are powerful tools for e-commerce because they help sellers, in particular to stay one step ahead of the competition. We can also mention dynamics for products based on demand, automated chatbots that can sell directly to customers through a digital conversation, or automation software in sales processes (such as ShipStation). “.

But what will be the main e-commerce trends this year? How to respond to new consumer expectations? From the rise of AI-powered digital tools to second-hand commerce and FinTech tools, innovations in retail are on the rise. Overview of e-commerce trends in 2022.

The customer experience: a lever of competitiveness

Customer experience is a major issue for retailers, many of whom have had to review their strategy during the pandemic. Indeed, meeting the new expectations of consumers, in search of more authenticity, while implementing functional and ever more intuitive digital tools is a real challenge, but allows companies to stand out from the competition.

“Focusing on the customer experience allows businesses to be more competitive and customer-centric, which will drive sales and business growth”explains Anna Thibout of ShipStation, a multi-channel, multi-carrier order and delivery management platform that synchronizes and automates key e-commerce processes.

Influencer marketing is also increasingly important in brand communication strategies to reach a new category of buyers in particular. Consumers now expect brands to offer them the right product at the right time on the right channel. In this market, we find companies such as the Marseille startup Skeepers, which has multiplied acquisitions since raising 32 million euros in November 2019.

Personalization is a point of tension for e-merchants. Faced with this problem, ShipStation allows professionals to personalize each of the points of contact with their customers and to always keep the link thanks to personalization: follow-up email, labels, delivery note, etc. Customer support dedicated to the proper functioning of the activity of e-merchants is also put in place.

“It is important to listen to your customers in order to ensure the best experience for the shipping and delivery of customer orders. Not having to worry about shipping and automating this process as much as possible allows retailers to focus on what matters”adds Anna Thibout.

But the shopping experience is sometimes no longer enough to meet the expectations of consumers, who are increasingly sensitive to their impact on the environment and subject to new consumption patterns.

Sustainable development: “an undeniable selling point”

27% of consumers say they are very concerned about the environmental cost of their online purchases, according to a Metapack / Research Now survey conducted in 7 countries (including France). A rising figure that pushes the retail industry to reinvent itself. One of the examples of this revolution is the advent of the second hand, a trend that particularly affects younger generations, aware of their impact on the environment.

In 2020, 30% of French people made a purchase in second-hand fashion, according to a survey carried out by Kantar, which represents 15.1 million buyers for the second-hand textile market. If the European second-hand market is currently dominated by the Lithuanian giant Vinted, whose valuation is estimated at 3.5 billion euros, French players are showing strong resistance. We can cite Back Market, the specialist in the sale of refurbished electronic products, which reached 5.1 billion euros in January 2022, or even Vestiaire Collective, specialist in the online sale of second-hand luxury clothing, valued at more than one billion euros since March 2021.

Among the trends related to ecology, green delivery is becoming more and more popular. “Younger generations are increasingly concerned about the environment and their contributions to climate change. If the target is the millennial or Gen Z consumer, measures should be put in place to reduce the carbon footprint and be more sustainable wherever possible. »

Faced with this observation, ShipStation has decided to work with eco-responsible partners, particularly in terms of transport and packaging. ” Overhauling the supply chain and manufacturing processes to be more sustainable has become a strong selling point.”

FinTech tools help propel e-commerce acceleration

“Mobile payment is unquestionably the trend in 2022”. Among the customer acquisition levers, the fluidity of payment methods is one of the central criteria. “Some mobile payments use third-party applications such as PayPal to carry out transactions, others use a mobile wallet stored on the smartphone”explains Anna Thibout.

“The two main ways to make mobile payments are mobile money transfers and using mobile wallets. In other words, mobile payment features allow users to make payments for services and products online, instead of using credit cards or cash. »

Among the FinTech innovations at the service of retail, the “Buy now, Pay later” trend is indisputably one of the most important of the moment. Democratized in e-commerce, the BNPL already has well-established giants, like the Swedish Klarna valued at 46 billion dollars, or the Australian FinTech Afterpay, bought by Square, for 29 billion dollars last August. Global payment giants like PayPal or Stripe have also invested in split payment.

This system, which allows customers to spread out their payments without interest, has won over Asia, the United States and Europe. The value of BNPL transactions in the UK reached £6.4 billion in 2020, an increase of 60-70% on the previous year, according to a report by consultancy Bain.

A complete solution for retailers

All of these trends will enable retailers to improve the overall customer experience and increase their online revenue. In 2021, the number of e-commerce sites increased by 11% in one year. 2.1 billion transactions were also carried out on the internet last year.

“Our customers are above all looking for a solution that simplifies their daily tasks with low added value and guarantees flawless execution”explains Anna Thibout. ” The goal is to allow sellers to focus on what matters most to them: their sales. ShipStation accompanies its sellers very closely to ensure perfect shipping and delivery to their end customers. ShipStation has already been able to experience the success of the platform in its original markets in the USA, Canada and the United Kingdom and has been present on the French market since 2021”.

A propos de ShipStation

ShipStation est une plate-forme de gestion des commandes et des livraisons multicanales et multi-transporteurs qui synchronise et automatise les processus clés du e-commerce. 

Avec plus de 300 intégrations aux principales Marketplaces, plateformes e-commerce et transporteurs, tels qu’ Amazon, eBay, Cdiscount, Fnac, PrestaShop, Shopify, WooCommerce, Chronopost, Colissimo, DPD, UPS Mondial Relay, et bien plus encore, vous pouvez connecter toutes vos boutiques et expédier auprès de tous vos clients aussi bien en France qu'à l'étranger.
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