By James Urbati, GM of Commerce at Pivotree
Coming on the heels of two highly unpredictable years and the 2021 holiday season, 2022 holds unique opportunities for companies to adapt to the significant changes taking place in the commerce landscape. With supply chain disruptions being an issue at the forefront for many, retailers are looking at different ways to improve their customer experience and get a better handle on the channels involved in their business.
When it comes to eCommerce, the truth is no matter what you’re selling, the game has forever changed – and the pressure is on to adapt. The good news is that 2022 offers the opportunity to take the lessons learned during the pandemic and accelerate your digital transformation journey. Looking ahead, everything from assortment and selection to payments and processing will play important roles in providing unique and frictionless experiences to customers.
With 2022 predicted to be the first trillion-dollar year for U.S. online sales, it’s critical to understand the shift in diversification taking place. Consumers are moving away from marketplace giants, towards a more curated, specialty approach. One of the perceived advantages of marketplace behemoths was that they offer nearly any type of product. The endless options have become a double edged sword however, and now some shoppers are beginning to feel the strain of assortment bloat, are overwhelmed by off-brand SKUs, and are feeling uncertainty about the quality and origin of goods. This can create friction in a customer’s journey instead of helping build their confidence in the brand and the product. This is one of the reasons why boutique retail websites made up a significant portion of digital channel sales, increasing by 40 per cent between 2019 and 2021, according to a recent Salesforce report.
Perhaps the most significant aspect driving digital diversification is consumer confidence in payment and processing. In the early days of ecommerce, Amazon was one of the only sites where consumers felt safe sharing their credit card information. Now, third-party payment providers like PayPal give customers the confidence to shop across online sites – even with smaller retailers they’ve never heard of before. Similarly, flexible fulfillment is another area where boutique sites can regain share. For a long time, no one could beat two-day shipping. But the rise of purchasing options like Buy Online, Pick Up In Store (BOPIS) and same-day delivery will make specialty retailers a more appealing choice for buyers who want control over their shopping experience.
Diversification will happen for B2B retailers too. Driving much of the B2B eCommerce success will be more micro-sites specific to customers. We can expect B2B to drive eCommerce growth by listing specific SKUs at contracted prices with effortless checkout (and no need to pick up the phone to the sales desk).
Although many uncertainties remain, 2022 looks promising for online retailers providing a frictionless commerce experience, prioritizing their data, SKU assortment and payments and processing.
To help retailers and brand manufacturers navigate the year ahead, Pivotree’s top leaders are coming together to share their insights on 2022 trends across the three critical areas of Supply Chain, eCommerce, and Customer Experience. In an exclusive live webinar, please join Vinny Maurici, VP of Strategy & Solutions at Codifyd; James Brochu, VP Operations at Bridge Solutions Group; and myself as we discuss when and how supply chain woes could ease up, what’s driving the shift away from ‘one-stop-shop’ marketplaces and the B2C and B2B eCommerce trends that are expected to accelerate this year. To save your seat, click here.
James Urbati, is GM of Commerce at Pivotree, a leader in frictionless commerce with expertise in eCommerce, MDM, Cloud, Cybersecurity, and Supply Chain solutions.