Over the last two years, digital e-commerce and direct-to-consumer (D2C) have been at the forefront of brand innovation. The impact of the global pandemic prioritised digital growth in 2020 and 2021, and now is a key time for brands to future-proof their digital commerce capabilities.
Digital e-commerce is continuously evolving, with new trends, technologies, and user behaviours changing the digital landscape. Brands need to stay competitive, therefore, we have explored essential trends for you to watch out for and engage in this year.
Changes in user data
Over the last 12 months, the issue of data privacy has been more prescient than ever. We have seen Apple enact restrictive privacy updates including the iOS 14.5 update in early 2021, that restrict the sharing of unique personal data with Apps, and as a result, Facebook (as well as other social platforms) has lost access to user insight.
This update has had a huge knock-on effect for digital advertisers and smaller businesses, reducing ad effectiveness (not only on Facebook but alternative advertising platforms too). Due to these major updates in relation to user privacy, Common thread as a reported on average Facebook ROAS has seen a % change of –38%.
The result of these recent privacy updates has prioritised first-party data collection, on-site data capture, email marketing, and Google advertisement.
Virtual reality and tech innovation
According to Statista, the virtual reality market is forecasted to grow to £200billion by 2022. Shopping has gone virtual, and consumers are more immersed in digital than ever before, and these digital natives (particularly Gen Z) are expecting seamless digital shopping experiences, which had been heightened and prioritised during the pandemic.
Brands are expected to continue to experiment with new technologies, ‘fancy trying items on before you buy?’. New virtual and augmented reality shopping features enable consumers to see what items look like before buying them.
Social Commerce: What is it?
Social Commerce is the process of brands selling and creating a seamless buying journey promoted and sold through in-app social media channels.
We have seen sizeable growth in social commerce over the last 12 months, with the rise in popularity of Pinterest and the launch of buyable pins, in-app shopping features such as Facebook Shops and Instagram checkout, and the growth of TikTok and WeChat.
Influencer marketing remains an unstoppable force when it comes to social commerce, brand, and product promotion (generating authentic content and awareness to both retain and generate new consumers).
As social commerce is a new concept for many brands (and consumers alike) low ticket items will continue performing well across social media platforms, whilst those larger ticket items may appear slightly riskier to those who are new to the medium of social commerce.
Influencer marketing driving ecommerce
Influencer-influencer and influencer-brand collaboration will continue to flourish, especially when it comes to content creation, product launches, and product collaborations. Influencers will not only continue partnering with brands, but we will see more and more influencers launching their own brands and D2C models with a focus on social commerce.
We have also seen influencer AI and reporting capabilities skyrocket over the last 12 months with trackable reporting on the back of posted social content, on-platform metrics, and lookalike audiences.