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SME Retail Trends That Highlight The Influence of Business Experience

During the epidemic, small companies, from mom-and-pop retail shops to local services, struggled immensely to stay afloat. Many businesses failed to survive or will have to close by 2021.

According to the National Federation of Independent Businesses, around one in every five small business owners expects to close their doors in the next six months if economic conditions do not improve.

In a letter to congressional leaders, Kevin Kuhlman, NFIB vice president for federal government affairs, stated, “The economic recovery continues to be uneven for small firms, especially those still managing state and local laws and constraints.”

But it’s not all doom and gloom when it comes to small company developments. Over the past year, e-commerce has emerged as a bright spot for small enterprises.

The big pivot to e-commerce

Hundreds of thousands of small businesses were able to not only survive, but also expand, thanks to online buying.

According to eMarketer, internet buying increased overall retail sales by about 3.5 percent in 2020, to $5.6 trillion, compared to the previous year. In 2020, e-commerce alone rose by 33.6 percent.

Small businesses, in particular, reported a significant boost in online sales during the holiday season, with an average gain of 104 percent over the previous year. And, by all accounts, e-commerce will continue to be a hot topic for small businesses in the future.

Prior to March 2020, however, many brick-and-mortar small companies had little to no online presence because they didn’t need it: to stay competitive, they relied on foot traffic and walk-ins. Shutdowns and quarantines prompted establishments to close, while social distancing restrictions encouraged people to flee major shopping locations during the early days of the pandemic.

Despite the fact that many areas opened up, it became evident that consumer behavior had changed, maybe for the better, indicating that e-commerce is here to stay as an important avenue for small business growth.

Small business retail strategies

Continued e-commerce growth and consumer demand for omnichannel shopping are two retail themes to watch in 2021. What are the top retail trends to watch this year? Will customers continue to purchase online or return to physical stores? We have the answers.

E-commerce allows small businesses to stay in touch with clients who have become accustomed to the convenience of online shopping or who are wary of public places.

It also allows them to reach out to a wider market than they could before.

Small merchants with no digital experience find it difficult to transition to selling online, and huge retailers received the majority of the profits from e-commerce last year.

Last year, ten large retailers accounted for 68 percent of all e-commerce sales in the United States, with Amazon accounting for more than half of all online sales.

Thousands of tiny enterprises, however, have worked out how to offer their goods and services online.

Fortunately, small businesses can now easily build or improve their websites. Setting up an online store is straightforward and quick thanks to cloud-based e-commerce systems and e-commerce marketplaces like Etsy.

Key SME retail statistics  

The retail market is constantly expanding. Despite widespread public health emergencies, retail sales in the United States increased by 6.7 percent in 2020, according to a report from the National Retail Federation.

Furthermore, according to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, retail trade contributed $4.8 trillion to GDP in 2020.

You must be curious about the retail industry’s future if you own a retail business.

To assist you understand the current and future of the retail sector, we’ve compiled a collection of essential retail sales statistics:

In the year 2020, the total revenue from retail sales in the United States was $4.06 trillion (NRF)

COVID-19 slowed US retail sales in the first two quarters of 2020, but things began to improve in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter of 2020, US retail sales totaled $1.47 trillion (US Census Bureau)

According to a report from Statista, global retail sales are expected to touch 26.69 trillion in 2022.

If you want to manage a successful retail store, you should not only know how to create one, but also what type of store you want to open (large or little).

The retail industry is dominated by small businesses with 50 or less employees. The following statistics from SCORE research back up my point:

  • Small retailers make up 98.6% of all retail businesses in the United States.
  • Small and medium-sized businesses employ about 40% of all retail workers.
  • Small businesses have an average monthly revenue of $22,341.
  • The average gross margin for small and medium-sized stores is 51%.

According to the above small retail data, small merchants make a significant contribution to the US economy.

Small retail shop enterprises frequently include specialty stores. Unlike department stores, which sell a wide range of merchandise, specialized stores specialize in a specific expertise.

Small specialized retail stores in the United States have a market worth $33.4 billion, according to a survey.

IBISWorld’s retail statistics may help you better understand the landscape of small specialty retail establishments in the United States:

In 2021, the United States will have roughly 131,470 small specialty retail establishments.

Between 2016 and 2021, the number of small specialty retailers decreased by 0.8 percent per year on average.

Between 2016 and 2021, yearly growth for small specialized stores was -0.8 percent.

The data suggests that tiny speciality business operators face a challenging road to success.

If you’re considering launching a store to sell niche-specific products, you should be prepared to go the extra mile.

To establish a small retail store, conduct thorough market research, implement the best retail marketing plan, and provide empathy in customer service.

Physical Stores

You may purchase from the comfort of your own home with online shopping. People still enjoy going to a store, trying out things, and shopping there.

The following figures illustrate the rise of in-store sales:

  • By 2024, global in-store sales are estimated to exceed $21.4 trillion (Statista)
  • In 2021, physical shop sales in the United States are expected to top $3.3 trillion (NRF)
  • In Q2021, non-e commerce sales accounted for 86 percent of all retail sales in the United States (US Census Bureau)

These figures demonstrate that individuals prefer to shop at physical stores. Customers prefer to shop in-store since they can try out things.

Customers prefer in-store shopping because they can see, touch, feel, and try goods, according to a Retail Dive survey.

According to the same Retail Dive survey, 49 percent of shoppers prefer to shop in physical stores because they want to buy now and quickly. However, enhancing the in-store customer experience can both thrill and drive sales.

According to Statista, the United States will have 328,208 physical stores in 2020. And convenience stores account for the majority of this total.

Here are all the important statistics about physical stores:

  • Customers say beacon-triggered content and offers increase their likelihood of purchasing things during a physical store visit by 73%. (Synchrony)
  • Putting up a retail event in a physical store can be an effective approach to attract customers. In the future, 58 percent of shoppers want to attend a retail event (SCORE)
  • Cashiers, retail salespeople, and first-line supervisors of retail salespeople make up the majority of the retail workforce. These jobs employ 6.3 percent of the total workforce in the United States (US Census Bureau)

Here are a few low-cost retail company ideas to consider if you’re considering opening your own physical store.

Many store owners were compelled to close their doors in 2020 because of the covid 19. However, when the economy improves, newer stores are expected to open.

According to IHL Group data, five merchants open stores for every retailer that closes.


From April 2020, COVID 19 began to have an impact on the retail industry. Many distribution facilities and supply chain logistics were impacted as a result of the nationwide lockdowns. Some predicted that the retail apocalypse was approaching.

In truth, retail as a whole experienced strong growth in 2020. According to the National Retail Federation, retail sales in 2020 will increase by 6.7 percent over 2019.

The e-commerce boom was spurred by the coronavirus outbreak. Consumers, on the other hand, prefer to shop in stores because they can touch, feel, and test things.

Male shopping behavior, on the other hand, differs from female buying behavior.

Younger generations, on the other hand, favor sustainable brands.

62 percent of Gen Z consumers prefer to shop from sustainable brands, according to First Insight’s State of Consumer Spending. Only 39% of baby boomers, on the other hand, wish to do the same.

Sustainable packaging is crucial for clients of all ages when it comes to packaging. According to the State of Consumer Spending, sustainable packaging is crucial to 55 percent of baby boomers and 68 percent of Gen Z shoppers.

You might also consider the following facts from the Salesforce Connected Shoppers Report:

  • Customers find and assess new products in-store 81% of the time.
  • During in-store shopping, 62% of buyers purchase more than they anticipated.
  • While returning goods, 67% of customers admit to buying something else.

According to the data above, customer experience is critical in growing a store’s sales. More sales equals a better customer experience.

Poor customer service can also cost you sales. According to the same Salesforce Connected Shoppers Report, 25% of consumers have recently shifted their business elsewhere due to a bad in-store buying experience.


Consumer behavior and trends are always evolving.

You should maintain track of changing shopper behavior as a small business owner who wishes to provide an unexpected customer experience.

We’ve compiled all of the necessary data to comprehend the most recent retail trends:

  • In-store spending accounts for 65 percent of the total shopping budget (BigCommerce)
  • Customers are willing to spend more for a customer experience that surpasses their expectations, according to 47% of customers (Accenture)
  • Consumers are more likely to shop at a local retailer that supports the community (53%). (ZypMedia)
  • Consumers are 56 percent more likely to make a purchase in a store where they are recognised by name (Accenture)

Customers can be attracted to retail events. After participating in a brand’s events and experiences, 85 percent of shoppers are more likely to buy the brand’s products. (Statista)

Do you want to know how much money customers spend when they go shopping?

According to a study by First Insight, 71% of consumers spend more than $50 in stores, and 34% spend more than $100.

When customers go shopping in stores, they are more inclined to add additional things to their cart. According to the First Insight report, 78 percent of men and 89 percent of women buy additional goods while shopping in stores.

Cross-selling, on the other hand, can be a great way to increase sales in your store.

Shopping from Online to Offline

Consumer behavior has been altered by the Internet. More and more smartphone users are utilizing Google Search before making in-store purchases, thanks to low-cost data plans.

Take a look at the following statistics to see how online search affects in-store shopping:

  • Before approaching a store, 65% of customers perform internet product research (Retail Dive)
  • Every dollar spent at a store is influenced by 56 cents of digital interactions (Deloitte)

According to the statistics above, digital experience is important even when customers are shopping for products at a store.

So, regardless of their industry, marketers should ensure that their customers have a consistent online experience.

Here are some additional stats from Retail Dive to help you understand the importance of digital experience:

  • In-store, 58 percent of customers use their smartphones to study products or look up information.
  • Customers use their mobile phones to check prices and compare products in stores 54% of the time.

While many consumers prefer to shop online, retailers should not overlook the necessity of having physical stores. Why?

According to Google, 61 percent of consumers prefer to shop from brands with physical locations over those with exclusively online stores.

Gift Cards

Retailers can use gift cards to strengthen client relationships, raise brand awareness, and attract new customers.

Gift cards can assist practically any type of retail business, whether it’s a grocery store, a convenience store, or a restaurant.

The Incentive Research Foundation has some important facts about gift cards:

  • Gift cards are used by 52 percent of US businesses.
  • Open-loop cards, which can be used almost anywhere, are utilized by 68 percent of American firms.
  • Closed-loop cards, which are only used by one vendor, are used by 54 percent of US firms.

If you’re worried about the success of gift cards, you can put your fears to rest.

According to the Small Business Gift Card research, 90% of consumers who receive gift cards redeem them in stores.

To prove the usefulness of gift cards, here are some more statistics from the Small Business Gift Card study:

  • Even if the gift card is just worth $0.86, nearly 4 out of 5 customers visit a store to redeem it.
  • Gift certificates are favored by 56 percent of customers as a means to reward loyalty.
  • Plastic cards are preferred by 60% of buyers.
  • Gift cards can assist your organization in a variety of ways, but implementing a gift card strategy is typically difficult. According to the Small Business Gift Card research, one-third of small firms would consider adopting a gift card programme if it was simple to implement.

Retail Marketing

The worldwide retail industry is expanding. 

The best marketing methods, such as content marketing, social media, email marketing, SEO, and so on, are used by brands that are experiencing growth.

Email marketing, for example, is used by 81 percent of organizations, while content marketing is used by 91 percent.

Nobody can grow by simply opening a business. To flourish, jewelry stores, grocery stores, and other retailers must raise customer awareness and cultivate relationships. And marketing can help with that.

We’ve gathered all of the important retail marketing statistics here so you can see what merchants are doing to boost sales.

Social media is useful for more than just improving ecommerce sales. Many retailers are successfully utilizing various social media platforms to expand their companies.

According to a poll by eTail and Stackla, 89 percent of retailers surveyed are either using, adopting, or planning to use social commerce within the next 24 months.

Here’s some more information from the report:

  • Within the next 12 months, 75% of retailers will either grow or maintain their investment in social media marketing.
  • Social commerce, according to 62% of organizations, has helped them increase consumer communication.
  • Instagram (92 percent), Facebook (77 percent), Twitter (57 percent), and Pinterest are the most popular social commerce sites (47 percent )

To prove that, here are some statistics from Smart Insights:

  • 74% of individuals use social media to help them make purchasing decisions.
  • Social media (SM) is rated as a very effective marketing tool by 41% of independent retailers.
  • Customers who have had a positive SM experience with a company are more inclined to suggest it to others (71%).

Retail SEO

Because they don’t own e-stores, many brands may believe they don’t need to worry about SEO. It’s a misunderstanding. Every company requires SEO.

Even if your business website was developed solely to deliver information to your audience, SEO is required for it to be found on Google.

Here are two Think with Google statistics to assist you understand current retail trends:

  • Google is used by 48% of shoppers to help them decide what to buy.
  • Customers have contacted businesses directly utilizing search results in 60% of cases.

The real amount of retailers who consider SEO to be effective may surprise you.

According to research, SEO and paid marketing were the most efficient strategies for finding/acquiring clients for 85 percent of retail store owners.

Local communities are often served by retailers, and Google My Business (GMB) is a free but efficient tool for reaching out to them.

  • According to Bright Local, 5% of GMB listing views result in requests for directions, phone calls, or website visits.
  • According to the Local Marketing Institute, 56 percent of local merchants have yet to claim their Google My Business profile.

To reach a local audience, claim your GMB listing and increase local SEO.

You may learn more about how to better appeal to your local audience by using our local SEO checklist.


Regardless of their industry, retailers use advertising to inform, convince, and remind their customers.

If you’re not sure where to begin with paid advertising for your business, the following statistics will help:

  • In 2021, the US retail industry is estimated to spend $35.48 billion on digital advertising (eMarketer)
  • By 2023, the outdoor advertising industry in the United States is expected to reach $3.84 billion (SBT)
  • By 2021, US print advertising spending is estimated to reach $24.01 billion (Statista)

Online Reviews

Customers can be swayed by reviews on sites like Yelp, Facebook, Google My Business, and the Better Business Bureau.

The following figures from Bright Local demonstrate this:

  • Positive evaluations motivate 94 percent of customers to do business with a company.
  • Negative reviews make shoppers less likely to buy from a brand, according to 92 percent of buyers.
  • Consumers trust internet evaluations as much as personal recommendations from family and friends, according to 79 percent of respondents.
  • Despite the fact that reviews are important for brand development, not all businesses actively check them. In fact, the average marketer spends only 17% of their time managing their internet reputation.

Here are some additional review data from Womply to consider:

  • 75% of firms do not respond to customer reviews.
  • Businesses who take use of their free listings on at least four review sites generate 58 percent more sales.
  • Businesses who do not respond to reviews generate 9% less income than the average.
  • Brands with less than 82 total reviews make 15% less money than the average.
  • Here are 26 company review sites where clients can rate you if you’re serious about managing your retail store’s online reputation. 

Loyalty and Rewards

Companies have been using loyalty and incentive points to establish a loyal consumer base for years.

Why should they not? Loyal consumers become business builders over time, purchasing more and suggesting new clients.

Two major statistics on loyalty and reward points are as follows:

  • Currently, 74% of shoppers are members of a free loyalty programme, while 58% are members of a paid loyalty programme (Loyalty 360)
  • A loyalty programme is used by 60% of merchants to track customer behavior across the omnichannel buying experience (Retail Touch Points)

Look at the following Bond statistics to learn more about the influence of loyalty programmes:

  • 70% of loyalty programme participants are more likely to recommend brands with strong loyalty programmes.
  • 63 percent of members change their shopping habits in order to earn more loyalty points.
  • Furthermore, according to eMarketer, roughly 60% of customers feel that accumulating reward/loyalty points is one of the most valued parts of buying.

A successful loyalty programme, on the other hand, is a certain way to increase in-store and internet sales. And this fast advice on how to launch a loyalty programme might help you get started right now.

The ecommerce market is always changing; with each new year, new trends arise to assist ecommerce businesses in increasing online sales, improving user experience, and driving more revenue; 2022 will be no exception.

As we all know, the worldwide pandemic and Brexit have had a significant impact on ecommerce in recent years.

Over the last five years, digital evolution has accelerated, affecting aspects such as supply concerns, transportation prices, and deliveries, forcing businesses around the world to quickly embrace ecommerce trends in order to survive and meet the expectations of their customers.

We may expect online shopping behavior to evolve again as the new year approaches, and expectations to continue to climb. According to predictions, worldwide retail sales will increase by 16.3 percent this year compared to previous year.

To the rescue – BX in SME retail

As the retail business prepares for a post-pandemic future, omnichannel is critical. 

Small businesses also increased their marketing efforts. They switched from email to online order forms, contactless payments, direct messaging, smartphone apps, and social media marketing on Facebook, Instagram, and even TikTok.

Navigating the ins and outs of e-commerce, including hosting providers, social media tactics, SEO, digital advertising, and email marketing, may be challenging as well as costly for shops who haven’t paid much attention to digital.

Those that dive into the promise of e-commerce, however, will find that the rewards are big enough to encourage them to step outside of their comfort zones.

According to a Main Street America poll, small businesses’ use of e-commerce is growing, with 18 percent stating that at least a quarter of their revenue came from online sales in January, up from just 7% in April 2020.

Small companies will need to use e-commerce and understand exactly what customers want in order to stand out in a congested local retail market that will be more competitive than ever even after the pandemic has passed and pedestrians return to Main Street.

Small companies have one major advantage coming into Small Business Saturday this year: consumers are voting with their wallets, with 58 percent planning to shop at independent retailers this Christmas season, according to Accenture data.

From the emergence of TikTok commerce to the boom in purchase now, pay later purchasing options, the hyper-local movement is one of numerous pandemic-fueled trends redefining how we shop this holiday season and beyond.

During eMarketer’s holiday outlook webinar this month, Rory Mitchell, executive managing director, Americas, for online advertising platform Criteo, said, “Because of COVID, shoppers have formed new habits,” and marketers are paying attention.

When planning their Small Business Saturday initiatives, independent retailers should consider the following five themes impacting the retail landscape and customer spending.

During the epidemic, the buy-local movement exploded, with homebound shoppers rallying to support their local businesses.

Now it appears that hyper-local trade is here to stay: According to Accenture’s findings on post-COVID purchasing behaviors that are likely to remain, 56 percent of customers are frequent local retailers or buying locally produced items now. 86 percent of consumers plan to continue working from home, according to Accenture, implying that they will continue to visit local firms.

A variety of growing business platforms meant to assist small enterprises prosper reflect the hyper-local trend. Local tech startups like Cultivate and Nearby, for example, assist local businesses in getting their products in front of consumers while also assisting consumers in finding local businesses.

Buy now, pay later (BNPL) services, which are effectively digital layaway, have become a popular tool for merchants and brands to promote sales, particularly among younger customers.

A rising number of retailers, ranging from Macy’s and Sephora to small and mid-sized businesses, are using internet platforms like Afterpay, Klarna, and Affirm to entice credit-conscious millennials, who grew up during the Great Recession and are now the country’s largest buying cohort.

According to payments industry data firm, 16 percent of millennials have used BNPL at least once in the last year, compared to only 5% of baby boomers. According to surveys, BNPL shoppers spend more.

BNPL players such as Klarna and Afterpay are now promoting their platforms as a new way for small businesses to reach customers with customized advertisements and incentives.

For example, David Sykes, the platform’s CEO of North America, told CO— this month that Klarna aims to “replicate” its success with huge retailers “for smaller brands.”

The rise of first-party, company-led data collection and use is a trend that will undoubtedly boost business growth in all industries.

While huge brands like Kohl’s are using TikTok to boost sales over the Christmas season, tiny businesses are using the video-sharing app to promote their authenticity, build brand communities, and generate cash. They’re using the site’s features to engage with their audience, such as video editing and marketing tools like in-feed adverts.

While the app is associated with Gen Z (it now has more users than Instagram), it has expanded in popularity across demographics as internet activity increased during the pandemic. TikTok is expected to surpass 1.2 billion active users in 2021, according to App Annie, a social media analytics firm.

TikTok, for example, is credited by Artesana Soaps with helping the brand succeed during the pandemic. The brand’s behind-the-scenes footage not only increased sales, but it also helped the company reach out to a new generation of customers. The younger generations that make up a large portion of the TikTok community demand a lot of connection.

Consumers reward purpose-led business strategies in the ‘values economy’

Consumers are increasingly paying firms that share their ideas and value systems, a trend that has been termed “the values economy” and has only grown post-COVID.

Of course, conscientious capitalism is not new, nor is buying products from minority-owned enterprises and supporting companies that implement environmentally responsible practises.

Purpose-driven corporate efforts have gradually moved from the fringes to the mainstream in the face of global instability and the emphasis on racial inequality magnified by pandemic-exposed inequities, as well as increased environmental concerns.

According to a survey by retail intelligence firm PSFK on reinvigorating brand loyalty, “the epidemic has made obvious that customers desire real change rather than a return to the status quo.” “Consumers are looking to brands for solutions and assistance as their primary values — health, family, economics, and social reasons — have been redefined.”

According to data from cause marketing consultancy ShoppingGives, most (72 percent) U.S. consumers now believe it is “more important than ever” to purchase from companies that reflect their values, with millennials going even further, saying they will pay more for a product or service if they know some of the profits will go to a charity.

Retailers and brands are aware of this, which is why CVS, for example, allows customers to donate to Feeding America at their mobile checkout kiosks, and Sephora allowed Beauty Insider members to donate to the National Black Justice Coalition with their rewards points last year, allowing customers to put their money toward a good cause.

During a National Retail Federation webinar attended by CO— this year, Vivek Sankaran, president and CEO of supermarket retailer Albertsons Companies, remarked, “One of the big lessons we’ve learned during this pandemic is that we are actually stewards of the communities we operate in.” “Our clients are going to expect us to operate that way going forward,” he said.

Small firms now have access to more affordable customer data harvesting technology.

As data collecting prices fall, small firms can now obtain valuable and usable first-party customer data, such as shopper purchase trends.

As a result, small firms are increasingly able to provide tailored marketing, products, and services to their customers in the same way that major brands do.

“The emergence of first-party, business-led data collection and usage is a trend that will undoubtedly accelerate organizations’ growth across all industries,” said Owen Frivold, co-founder of customer experience consultancy Hero Digital, which has clients such as Sephora and Salesforce.

Small and medium-sized firms have traditionally had higher obstacles to entry in constructing and building in-depth client profiles due to the cost and complexity of obtaining data from third-party vendors, he explained.

“As the cost and ease of use of these technologies has decreased over time, firms can now set up their own data gathering and storage techniques.” There will be additional opportunities for tweaking offers and communications to improve consumer loyalty as more organizations join the data and personalization game.”

Customers will be highly picky in who they provide their data to moving forward, so firms should keep a tight eye on data protection, privacy threats, and using the gathered data “judiciously,” Frivold added.

“It’s critical that retailers and company owners pay close attention to and act on their first-party customer data this Small Business Saturday,” he said. “Retail is on the mend.”

Omnichannel approach 

We live in the era of “anytime, anyplace.” One of the biggest challenges for internet retailers is meeting their consumers’ requirements wherever they are and whenever they want it.

The term “omnichannel approach” refers to a strategy that blends seamless user experiences independent of the purchasing channel. Businesses can, for example, generate material and sell it both online and in person. They can also use various channels to reach different audiences, such as apps, social media, printed material, podcasts, and so on.

Integrating and optimizing different shopping channels allows ecommerce companies to fulfill customer demand both offline and online – wherever they are – hence improving ecommerce sales opportunities.

“To capitalize on the ecommerce growth and overcome strong competition, you must optimize commerce across channels including online marketplaces, social media, retail, and wholesale,” according to Shopify.

“Building—or buying—a technology foundation that frees your team to create engaging, unified experiences wherever your customers are,” they continue. The business benefit is resilience, which allows your company to move efforts and resources from offline to online and back again in response to client demand.”

Mobile commerce 

Mobile business is on the increase. Technology has advanced to the point where internet shoppers can now do almost everything on their mobile devices, including online shopping. I know from personal experience that I conduct the majority of my shopping on my phone these days.

They’re highly convenient, and with online retailers creating apps left and right, they’re a speedier method to shop.

According to recent estimates, mobile shopping’s proportion of ecommerce sales climbed from 70.4 percent in 2020 to 72.9 percent in 2021, indicating that it will account for about 6% of all retail sales in 2021.

This 3.5 percent gain is significant. Businesses must make mobile responsiveness a top priority for their online stores. This is necessary to ensure that no sales opportunities are lost.

Enhancing user experience is not a new concept, but it should be at the top of every company’s New Year’s resolution list as they confront the most intense online competition yet.

Social commerce 

Not only can businesses use social media to market their products, but modern innovations have also allowed third-party shops to sell directly to customers. As you may assume, the social media platform audience is in the billions, therefore businesses have a big opportunity to expand their reach and gain more customers.

According to research, comments on campaigns (45 percent), paid commercials (44 percent), and good customer reviews are among the social media activities that influence online retail behavior (27 percent ).

“Social media has ultimately become crucial to our lives, and our dependence on mobile devices drives the addiction,” the IMRG recently observed. Over 90% of social media users utilize a mobile device to access their favorite networks, and 54% use social media to conduct product research.”

With the addition of the “purchase” button to Facebook and Instagram Checkout, the social media commerce trend was established.

Since then, social networking sites like Pinterest have evolved to promote social commerce, allowing users to purchase things without ever leaving the app.

The pandemic gave birth to TikTok, a new social media platform. The Chinese video-sharing website, which launched in 2016, has recently become a global hit among the younger generation and ecommerce entrepreneurs. It is the most downloaded app on Apple’s App Store, generating £37 million in annual revenue.

The capacity to consume content in short bursts of videos is a significant draw for TikTok. Through influencer marketing, emarketers have grasped the chance to push consumers to spend more. Building brand visibility and trust by targeting their audiences through people they already admire and respect.

And ecommerce marketing via influencer marketing through tactics like live streaming and video commerce is a huge trend in 2021 that will undoubtedly continue into 2022.

“Live shopping is one mobile commerce trend we expect to see a surge in in 2022,” the IMRG continues, “since platforms like Instagram and Facebook have their own live streaming features.” Each platform allows companies to link directly to the things they’re talking about, catering to both shoppers and retailers.”

Payment methods and delivery options that are quick, alternative, and flexible.We live in an instant gratification culture. People desire things now, and we can thank Amazon, the ecommerce gods, for that.

They provide a quick checkout option, which, when combined with Amazon Prime, means the purchases can be delivered the next day. Who doesn’t appreciate how convenient and accessible everything is?

This is exactly what today’s customers want. While a one-day turnaround isn’t possible for every business, free delivery criteria and flexible pickup options are.

Furthermore, when other payment alternatives are accessible, online consumers are more likely to convert, according to the same survey. Apple Pay and PayPal are popular payment alternatives that do not require entering credit card information.

Ecommerce companies are also employing ‘buy now, pay later’ strategies. Customers can now buy things and pay for them in installments or at a later date using this updated method of payment. Afterpay, Zippay, ClearPay, and Klarna are all popular brands.

Many customers prefer this method of payment since it gives them more choice when purchasing more expensive things and builds brand confidence.

Augmented reality 

AR (augmented reality) is a cutting-edge technology that simulates a real-world purchasing experience. 

Customers can view a product by superimposing it on themselves or in their houses using augmented reality.

It bridges the gap between an online and in-store shopping experience by giving customers a better notion of product size, shape, and detail. Many furniture companies, including IKEA, were early adopters of the ecommerce trend and are reaping the rewards.

“Augmented reality for larger commodities, especially household goods, becomes increasingly relevant in the future,” says Jordan Knapp, Shopify’s head of emerging markets. “Retailers need to get inventive to decrease returns because refunds can destroy a business,” Jordan continues.

AR, despite having a high wow effect, can be costly. To compete, many brands are increasingly exploring alternatives. Customers can obtain a 360-degree perspective of their products using 3D modeling or 3D photographs.

Conversational commerce 

Conversational commerce is an excellent technique to include digital ‘human interaction.’ It enhances the customer experience by allowing customers and companies to communicate, thereby strengthening the relationship and increasing customer loyalty.

Many firms are already employing this strategy via social media sites like Facebook Messenger, LinkedIn, and Whatsapp.

Customers can engage directly with an employee or receive automated responses by installing software that allows you to incorporate live chat and chatbots on your website.

Live chats and chatbots are useful for making product recommendations, communicating with customers, and tracking previous customer interactions. They enable you to respond to any questions your visitors may have, and they could mean the difference between a visitor bouncing or converting.

To expand on this, voice shopping is a new method of ecommerce communication. Voice commerce, according to the Digital Marketing Community, is “a non-visual shopping experience” in which customers can choose their desired product by providing a verbal description and/or instruction of the service or product they want.

Isn’t everyone familiar with Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri? Voice shopping is becoming more popular. Despite the fact that this technology is still in its early phases of development, many consumers (88%) are excited about the prospect of using voice search and voice assistants to shop.

“Customers frequently use it as a sales channel, meaning they use it when they’ve already selected what to purchase,” the Digital Marketing Community explains. Voice search purchases are typically low-cost items like food, housewares, and technological devices.”

According to research, voice commerce will account for 30% of total ecommerce revenues by 2030. In 2022, the number of voice shoppers is expected to rise by 55 percent. So expect to see a lot more of this new manner of purchasing in the coming year.


Ecommerce businesses should think about changing their values to fit the values of their ideal customers.

People are becoming increasingly mindful of global warming and want to make a concerted effort to help. Green consumption is becoming increasingly popular, indicating that in 2022, ecommerce enterprises that prioritize environmentally friendly operations would dominate the market.

It has been demonstrated that whether or not a company makes an effort to be environmentally friendly has an impact on online sales. Sustainable products are preferred by 53 percent of worldwide consumers. Ecommerce businesses that choose to embrace green consumerism will enjoy the rewards.

Businesses can achieve this by using disposable packaging, procuring products from fair-trade organizations, supporting eco-friendly charities, and using sustainable delivery solutions to create a better online selling environment.

Ecommerce personalization 

In 2022, online consumer expectations are unlikely to fall.

Ecommerce personalization is a method of enhancing a company’s customer experience. It enables e-commerce firms to connect with their customers on a more personal level by offering them with material that is tailored to their specific interests, needs, and preferences.

When you browse a store, you will very certainly encounter personalization in the form of product recommendations on the homepage, product pages, and the basket page. Personalization can also take the form of a dynamic banner, an email campaign, and so on.

“What’s evident is that consumers are increasingly recognising organizations that humanize the buying journey,” according to Shopify. As a result, brands are prioritizing individualized experiences that aren’t available on marketplaces.”

“Offering customized experiences with a human touch is the antidote to marketplaces,” they add, “from dynamic website content powered by real-time behavioral data to letting individuals modify their purchasing process.”

Artificial intelligence powers great ecommerce personalization solutions, which means they employ machine learning to precisely forecast and develop content that is more likely to convert potential buyers. Marketers will have one less thing to worry about thanks to content automation. The client data is then saved in the analytics section of the software to aid in campaign optimization.

According to our early 2021 industry study, several online retailers recognise the value of personalization in their ecommerce strategy:

“Personalization is one of our key priorities. We need to focus on better engaging with our clients in an already saturated market. Understanding individual client behavior and then acting on that data is one approach to do this.”

Business of Experience in SME Retail

Faced with the challenge of delighting consumers and, at the same time, achieving sustainable growth, companies in the U.S are needed to go beyond the Customer Experience (CX) philosophy.

This means that, more than delivering an exceptional experience, they focus on the continuous search to identify new needs of their customers. It’s what experts call Business of Experience (BX).

Organizations use CX to track customer touchpoints and serve them accordingly to get more benefits. No doubt CX has become beneficial for business, but it still has some challenges, such as rapidly changing customer expectations.

CX works only on touchpoints ( for eg. company websites, product catalog, pages and packing, kiosks, brick and mortar store,  point of sales ). But, customers bring a purpose, problem, need, or question—along with expectations for how quickly or easily that outcome will be realized while interacting with the brand.

Therefore there is a need to move beyond the belief that touchpoints are where experiences start and end.

Now, there is a need to move beyond CX. The customers need more than just products and services; they demand more innovation and engaging experiences for immediate benefits. 

Experience innovation is about solving problems in fundamentally new ways. And that requires rethinking your starting point for innovation as anchored to human needs. 

Business of Experience (BX) as a renaissance is driving companies to push beyond the traditional CX philosophy and orient the whole business around the delivery of exceptional experiences.

These experiences must respond to customers’ new, often unmet, and frequently changing needs.

BX builds on CX’s foundations to offer organizations a more holistic approach to become customer obsessed and reignite growth. 

Changing the mindset from CX to BX means thinking beyond the traditional methods of enhancing customer experiences to a holistic view including business and operating models, products and services, employee experiences, delivery models, purpose and value, and innovation.

Uncovering unmet SME retail gaps and business needs means thinking about how you make your customers happier and more loyal, identifying what they need.

Need a disruptive change to the human experience for your business or organization? Let’s talk

Jonas Bocarro
Jonas Bocarro

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