Has ecommerce ever been as fast-moving as it is right now? Digital commerce is growing steadily and, in the last two years in particular, has developed more rapidly than ever before – not least accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic. For merchants, this means not only restructuring and new challenges, but above all promising opportunities.
To guarantee your success in online business, you should always keep an eye on the latest ecommerce trends. This way you can stand out from your competitors, meet customer needs and increase your sales.
We at Shopware will help you and show you what really matters in the ecommerce of the future and which trends are important for you and your business.
These are the ecommerce trends you should keep an eye on in 2022:
- 1) Headless Commerce
- 2) Mobile Commerce and PWAs
- 3) Social Commerce
- 4) Video Live Shopping
- 5) Modern technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality
- 6) Artificial intelligence
- 7) Sustainability and social corporate responsibility
Ecommerce Trend 1: Headless Commerce
Headless commerce is increasingly becoming the focus for shop operators. And this is no surprise, because customer demands are increasing and the requirements for an excellent customer experience on all channels and end devices are growing. This is why it is helpful if the platform allows changes to be made quickly to meet the specific expectations of the target groups. Traditional shop systems stand in the way of this, as the frontend and backend are closely interlinked. This causes reduced flexibility. The decoupling of frontend and backend in headless platforms, on the other hand, makes it possible to adapt the visual shop interface quickly and individually for different devices and channels. In addition, a wide range of solutions can be connected using an API. This means that shop operators can take advantage of the best-of-breed approach, instead of sooner or later coming up against the limits of a complete system.
Clear upward trend for the term “headless commerce” in recent years.
Ecommerce Trend 2: Mobile Commerce und PWAs
Mobile commerce (also known as mcommerce) refers to digital shopping from mobile devices. Items can not only be viewed and compared on mobile devices, but also ordered and paid for. This information is not new, and is already being used by most online shops. Nevertheless, it is still important to highlight this trend, as the number of mobile shoppers is increasing daily. More and more customers want the flexibility to shop wherever they are: on the bus, train or in the office, as well as at home on their computer. Experts predict that there will be over 187 million mobile shoppers in the USA alone by 2024. 
PWAs (Progressive Web Apps) are also gaining in popularity. A PWA is a hybrid solution that combines the advantages of conventional apps and classic websites. Accordingly, a PWA is of great advantage for mobile commerce in particular and enables functions such as push notifications, offline capability and the installation of a home screen button on the end device. The following statistic shows that in 2021, as many as 28% of companies in North America and Europe are considering investing in implementing a PWA. It is foreseeable that these numbers will increase in 2022.
The following statistic shows that in 2021, no less than 28 % of companies in North America and Europe are considering investing in the implementation of a PWA.  It is foreseeable that these figures will increase in 2022.
The PWA trend is also closely intertwined with the headless commerce approach mentioned earlier because it is usually the basis for PWA technology.__ __A PWA then acts as its own frontend, so changes can be made in the backend without having to adapt the frontend.
Ecommerce trend 3: Social commerce
Experts have been predicting social commerce as a trend for some time and it is gradually gaining more and more acceptance. Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter offer promising opportunities to reach potential customers and expand your reach worldwide. It is particularly practical when shop operators connect their social media channels to their online shop in order to add products directly from their shop system, allowing them to ultimately benefit from automated processes and time savings.
This Statista forecast depicts rising global social commerce sales from 2020 to 2026 and assumes an average annual growth rate of 30.8 percent through 2026. 
In the coming years, marketing and sales via social media will become even more important. That is why this area remains one of the top trends in digital commerce – including for the year 2022.
Ecommerce trend 4: Live video shopping
During the lockdowns, it was impossible for customers to shop at local merchants. This means that the crisis has highlighted the importance of digital commerce and accelerated the success of online shops. Customers who continue to value personal advice will be delighted by the possibilities offered by live video shopping.
How can you implement this? With online video shopping, a shopping consultant or influencer can present products in a live stream, which your customers can then easily buy on your website. Product presentations for large groups as well as for individuals are possible options.
This enables direct customer contact and personal advice, which can largely replace the shopping experience in local retail outlets. This also gives you the chance to attract new customers who have previously avoided online shopping.
Good to know: this trend comes from Asia and is enormously successful there. In China, an estimated 390 billion euros in sales will be generated through live shopping this year. 
In the following sectors in particular, live video shopping will be one of the hottest trends in the coming months:
Ecommerce trend 5: Modern technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality
Augmented reality is increasingly becoming a focus for customers and online merchants. By using AR, products can be virtually integrated into the existing environment. Whether this is furniture, technical devices or decorative elements, a shot with a mobile phone camera is all it takes to realistically insert the items into the picture. Thanks to state-of-the-art technologies, augmented reality can even be implemented in live recordings. Companies like Ikea, Amazon and Mister Spex already use this technology in their online shops.
The advantages of augmented reality are obvious:
- Potential customers get a much better idea of the appearance and dimensions of the item
- Customers interact with the product, which can increase your conversion rate
- This also creates a reduction in your return rate, since it helps prevent incorrect purchases
So it's no wonder that augmented reality has a positive influence on purchasing decisions. This is also borne out in a study conducted by Aalen University last year. 
In addition to augmented reality, virtual reality is also a buzzword that merchants should keep in mind, as it is becoming increasingly important. Since Mark Zuckerberg presented his vision of the virtual world of metaverse, it has been foreseeable that VR goggles will eventually go mainstream. Global sales of virtual and augmented reality glasses are expected to grow rapidly over the next four years.
This statistic shows a forecast of global sales of augmented reality and virtual reality glasses up to 2024. According to this, sales of VR/AR glasses will amount to around 76.7 million units in 2024.  Although shopping is still a very small area of application for modern AR and VR glasses, it is also expected to grow in the long term. 
Ecommerce trend 6: Artificial intelligence
For some time now, artificial intelligence has no longer been a technology of the future that only appears in science fiction films. Rather, modern algorithms are able to analyse customer behaviour precisely and draw accurate conclusions. By collecting and processing all relevant data, it is possible, for example, to predict which products your customers will buy in the future. Thanks to targeted advertising, you can then increase your sales. In addition, your stock levels can be adjusted automatically, so that a high delivery capacity is guaranteed at all times. There are numerous fields of application for artificial intelligence in ecommerce, such as in the area of personalisation, for example. And there will be more and more – including in 2022 and 2023.
Ecommerce trend 7: Sustainability and social corporate responsibility
Environmental protection, CO2 emissions, Fairtrade and sustainable raw material extraction or production. All of these are terms relating to the topic of sustainability and social responsibility. Since this area is on everyone's lips, it also plays an essential role for you in digital commerce. According to a survey from December 2021, 11.88 million people aged 14 and over in Germany said they fully agreed with the statement “When buying products, it is important to me that the company acts in a socially and environmentally responsible manner”. 
But whether it's the wishes of consumers or legal requirements such as the EU Packaging Act, which was renewed this year, merchants are well advised to address the challenges of this issue in a variety of ways.
CO2-neutral shipping, products made from sustainable raw materials, or a statement about the CO2 footprint of individual items can be useful for this. Some providers also allow offsetting of CO2 emissions for a small surcharge.
Environmental protection is a long-term issue and therefore an important component of a holistic and future-oriented corporate strategy.
Conclusion: Always have your finger on the pulse with Shopware
It is essential that you pursue a number of the trends mentioned here to improve your business processes, customer satisfaction and global reach. We'll help you by exploring these and other trending topics in even more detail in the future. Check the blog regularly or sign up for our newsletter to be informed about upcoming expert contributions.
It is also worth taking a look at our further information, which we have listed below. You will see that we already have interesting solutions and helpful recommendations for the trends mentioned.
More content on the trend topics presented:
- Live video shopping: Get deeper insights and tips about live shopping or learn how you can embrace this trend with Shopware Guided Shopping.
- Social shopping: With Shopware you can effortlessly combine and seamlessly integrate different sales channels. Your products can be entered, ordered and paid for directly on the relevant platform. Want to learn how to set up social shopping channels like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest with Shopware? Check out our social shopping tutorial.
- Sustainability in ecommerce: Read more about the and get a free helpful extension for your Shopware shop.
- Progressive Web App: Learn more about the topic and which PWA solution Shopware offers
- With all the trends mentioned, the focus is always on the customer as a key factor. Read more about this in our blog on Customer Centricity.
 https://www.statista.com/topics/1185/mobile-commerce/#dossierKeyfigures (last accessed on 22.01.2022)
 https://www.statista.com/statistics/1174534/investing-pwa-ecommerce-companies-worldwide/ (last accessed on 02.02.2022)
 https://www.statista.com/statistics/1251145/social-commerce-sales-worldwide/ (last accessed on 02.02.2022)
 https://www.statista.com/statistics/1188550/china-gmv-of-ecommerce-livestreaming/ (last accessed on 23.01.2022)
 https://www.hs-aalen.de/de/news/4044 (last accessed on 23.01.2022)
 https://de.statista.com/statistik/daten/studie/539653/umfrage/prognose-zum-absatz-von-virtual-reality-hardware/ (last accessed on 02.02.2022)
 https://de.statista.com/statistik/daten/studie/1247695/umfrage/umfrage-zu-beliebten-einsatzszenarien-fuer-virtual-reality-in-deutschland/ (last accessed on 23.01.2022)
 https://de.statista.com/statistik/daten/studie/182042/umfrage/kaufkriterium-soziale-verantwortung-oekologische-verantwortung/ (last accessed on 23.01.2022)