Ready for expert forecasts of ecommerce trends for 2022?
Ecommerce changed significantly in 2021. As the pandemic continued, new challenges emerged with supply chain and fulfillment.
Social media and Amazon Live became more important channels for selling. Amazon, Walmart, and eBay all created new opportunities for advertising. And a whole lot more happened.
Which of these challenges will continue into 2022? What new opportunities will emerge? What new ideas will you want to implement in 2022? What are the trends to watch in the new year?
We’ve rounded up expert answers to these questions in our Analysis & Predictions video, a live webinar recording, and by asking all the experts to weigh in.
2022 Analysis & Predictions Video
Our own Cameron Yoder sat down with eight industry-leading experts to discuss what 2022 will look like in ecommerce and the seller community. Watch that full video here.
“People say so much is going on, should I even bother starting?” says Amy Wees, of Amazing at Home.
And her answer is,” Yes, absolutely, we are on the ground floor of what ecommerce is going to become and I think it’s just so cool… Imagine what that could look like and imagine all of the places that we could fit into the market from service-based businesses to applications and software. This is a great time to have some knowledge and a foothold in ecommerce.”
Below the video we share predictions from those eight experts as well as many more leaders in ecommerce whose insights you won’t want to miss.
More Predictions on 2022 Ecommerce Trends
There’s so much to discuss in ecommerce trends, we had a whole webinar on the topic. You can read a summary of highlights or watch the full replay of the Q4 Insights And Predictions for 2022 From The Experts right now.
Below we’ve also pulled out predictions from that webinar, the 2022 Analysis & Predictions video, and from other experts who didn’t get a chance to weigh in on these recordings.
1. Supply Chain
Supply chain issues will continue
The global supply chain issues that we have started to see this year, I believe it also will continue into 2022. I think we’re going to see a little more congestion at least in the first half of 2022.
Chinese New Year will slow production
A lot of people think that Chinese New Year, there’s only one week, but actually, it starts having the effect almost two weeks before and two weeks out. So you’re experiencing 3 to 5 weeks gap between the efficient, full manufacturing to full manufacturing. So that is the problem now that, I feel is coming. So if the demand is going to stay high because of the holiday season, then the supply is not going to be enough that we’re gonna see more price increase.
Sellers will establish logistics HQ globally
Merchants will begin establishing logistics HQs globally to better reinforce their supply chain
Due to supply chain issues, merchants are going to start exploring more creative ways to prep and fulfill their orders. This may include working with international facilities to process and warehouse their goods, and then ultimately fulfilling DTC and wholesale orders from those international locations (bringing their ops closer to the origins of their inventory). Keep an eye on Canada and Mexico (close to US consumers) and any countries that are popular manufacturing hubs. If DTC orders are under a certain dollar amount, merchants may even get a break on tariffs.
Sellers will source more from Central and South America
I think it’s really, really exciting what is going to be happening in Mexico and South America, because I know that there are people that are working with manufacturers in Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, there are people that are figuring out that business works a little different than it does in China. But that’s maybe not a bad thing, because maybe you have a more personal connection to the people that are manufacturing or goods.
Sellers will shift what products they source
I’m just curious to see how the entire seller structure changes over the next couple of years. As things like thin margins push people to get into other products that they maybe wouldn’t have considered before. I think that there’s a lot of stress right now in every aspect of selling. I think that stress is going to continue, but, personally, I think that it’s actually going to push for a lot of innovation on the seller side.
Sellers will enter and exit the marketplace because of supply chain
More Amazon marketplaces are growing globally. So I think we’re going to see a continual growth, but also a lot of change in terms of supply and demand. There’s going to be a lot more people entering the marketplace and also a lot of people that are in the marketplace are going to get knocked out because they either don’t have the margin to compete, or they just are having so many problems with the changes in the supply chain.
Sellers will need FBM as a backup to FBA
We can all agree that 2020 was a defining year for eCommerce, and 2021 demonstrated that same high growth. Reflecting on that, one of the most important lessons we learned is that merchants shouldn’t be completely dependent on any single fulfillment strategy. Amazon sellers will continue to need to supplement FBA with FBM for greater control and flexibility.
Diversified fulfillment strategy will be important
Diversification of fulfillment. I never would have said that eighteen months ago. I never would have said be sure you can do FBM and FBA but I’m recommending it to all of our clients now. Don’t just rely one hundred percent on FBA. Also have either your own warehouse tech capabilities or better yet, 3PLs in multiple locations so that you can deliver fast, not only for your Amazon channel, but your Walmart channel, for your Shopify channel, for your Big Commerce channel, all those others.
Brands will move from Seller Central to Vendor Central
I think Vendor Central is going to play a much bigger role. There was a little bit of a lean toward Seller Central. I think that vendors are going to have a comeback, just because of some of the benefits you have when you’re working on a Vendor Central account. I’m hopeful for 2022 and I think that you’re going to have people having a little bit of a better handle on the situation.
3. Amazon’s Rules & Laws Governing Amazon
Regulations will change
I think all the regulators in the House and the Attorney Generals Offices across the country have all realized that existing laws aren’t going to help them break up Amazon and reduce some of their power. So what are they doing? Making new laws. And I think there’s 14 laws going through Congress. I have one special request: outlaw the practice of Buy Box suppression. And if they do that, if they pass that one law, I think it would have huge repercussions and open up competition with the other marketplaces.
If Amazon has to split up there will be consequences for sellers
Is Amazon going to have to remove its private label business? Is Amazon going to have to separate FBA – their fulfillment network – as a separate business and how does that affect me? Is AWS going to be peeled off? And I think if any of those things happen, I think the one underlying thing that we can count on is that cost for sellers is going to go up.
Sellers won’t be able to just focus on the fire in front of them
In the old days brands would just try to survive Q4. There’s so much going on, so much selling. Some of them would have a listing suspended and they would have to appeal it and they’d be troubleshooting but they wouldn’t be planning. They’d just be trying to get through Q4 because that’s their peak of the year, not for seasonal items but for all other brands. You can’t think that way anymore. You have to think, as much as it’s possible, a year ahead.
4. Amazon Live & Social Media
Live video will be huge
I think one of the things that’s going to radically change and it’s a focus of ours on Amazon and off is live video and really taking a page from what’s going on in Asia with Taoboa, Tmall, and all this other stuff. I think the majority of my competitors now are not embracing that, and it’s coming.
Social selling will be more important
It’s no secret that Amazon is making brands a little bit more social. You can follow brands, They encourage brands to put out raw organic content. I think there’s a lot more coming and from the people that I speak to at Amazon they’re looking to make the brands, the social aspect at Amazon. The social aspect of any platform right now is complementing Amazon, TikTok, and Instagram, and all social is responsible for traffic in the end of the day. Amazon itself is already rolling tools out like we know to make it more social, and I think that 2022, at the very least, is going to be more social on many levels.
Sellers will have to use Amazon’s social media
Specifically Amazon, it’s social media. They’re building their own social media and if you don’t think that that’s going to happen or you’re not talking to your agency about it or your agency’s not talking to you about the changes that Amazon’s doing, you’re behind the game already.
Amazon Posts will see an increase in use
Amazon Posts will become increasingly popular as a way for brand registered sellers and vendors to increase brand loyalty and conversions on Amazon. I think Amazon will continue to enhance this feature and encourage customers to engage with brands on the marketplace.
5. Amazon PPC & Advertising
Volatility of popular keywords will decrease
I think the biggest thing is what you saw especially in the last year, early in the pandemic, April, May, June 2020 was there was a huge volatility in terms of the keywords that were popular. From month to month those were changing pretty considerably and what we’ve seen is typically you look in years past it remained relatively constant – obviously there’s change. You’re seeing this year that start to push back. Now those popular terms are staying popular a little bit longer. because of that lack of volatility, what that means for you as a seller is you need to understand what those terms are, you need to capitalize on them, and then where there is volatility can you take advantage, can you find where those opportunities are.
Social audience on Amazon will become ads audience
Two things on Amazon, these are going to be the top two things, I think that are going to change on Amazon and we’re seeing the beginnings of it now. Again, one of them is Amazon Live video. I do not understand why people are not doing that. We’ve seen massive growth with this. In short, you get to go live and show up on your competitor’s listing and piggyback on their traffic for free. Free for now, maybe this time next year I don’t know. The other one that’s been popping up is that follow button and being able to build an audience. I don’t think you should build all of your audience on Amazon at all, but being able to build that audience, I suspect – and this is total suspecting on my part – Amazon’s biggest driver is ads and if you can have an audience built perhaps you can have ads that can be run to your audience or people that follow your brand.
Ad costs will demand effective ad strategies
When I talk to clients I’m talking about these things: Diversification of ads, more ad types, effective bidding strategies, because the cost of ads are going up.
6. The Future of Video
Brands will be able to create more video
I’ve seen a lot of more successful video lengths, in particular deeper portfolios of video, across a single brand rather than just doing one premium video and then two or three supplemental videos. If you think about a chessboard, it used to be that you could have your king super highly produced and then some smaller pieces. And I think that there are services out there that are letting you proliferate a little bit more and even automate that in a way that you beef up your total amount of content. And the cost of being able to do that is going down.
7. The Seller Community
Chinese manufacturers will be sellers
It used to be a few years ago I would go to China, do a factory tour, and I would ask the question are you selling online? Are you selling your own products online? And the answer was they were always confused about my question. And now they have entire ecommerce divisions. Shopping malls in China are filled with Amazon sellers with pallets of goods using them as storage. So the whole landscape has completely changed.
Brands and services will be aggregated
I’m excited about two big trends. I think one trend from an opportunity perspective is seeing all these brand aggregators out there so we’re seeing some consolidation happening in that space. I’m looking forward to seeing who’s going to be the winner of that space. There’s so many out there. The challenges that some of the brand aggregators are going to have is who’s the best operator of them. The other thing that I think is going to happen is there’s going to be consolidation on the seller’s services side. So it’s not just the aggregators are consolidating brands, but the seller services market.
Sellers serving an international consumer base will see the rewards
Merchants who begin serving an international customer base will reap big rewards thanks to global eCommerce acceleration
It’s no longer enough to just focus on the US consumer market. eCommerce is exploding around the world, and the pandemic has accelerated the learning curve even for countries with lagging eCommerce adoption. To ignore other countries’ consumers means to ignore potential profits, a vast customer base, and ultimately, opportunity.
Sellers will have access to reputable educators
There’s educators in the space that host these events like Seller Velocity that educate sellers, that you know are reputable. You also have communities in the space now whether it’s on social media or something like my Meetup group in Miami, Florida. So, you have a lot of stuff where you can not be one hundred percent reliant on guessing or Amazon YouTube University. Don’t get discouraged by what I think are going to be continued skyrocket, stratospheric prices on shipping. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
We’ll be rooting for you!
I would encourage any Amazon seller out there. I know it’s tough, it’s challenging out there. Execute every day with passion. Go in there with the energy that you probably did when you started off this business. Everything will be fine.