If there’s one thing modern humans love, it’s online shopping. A few simple taps on a screen and boom — a package (or three 😅) arrives the next day like magic.
And while we’re all aware of the massive 2020 uptick in online shopping, the truth is e-commerce has been on the rise for years. Looking back to 2019, retail online sales stood at $3.5 trillion — and that was well before the days of toilet paper stockouts and sky-high face mask sales.
But as the dust from the “Covid boost” starts to settle, many e-commerce entrepreneurs are wondering what’s next.
Today, we’ll take a look back at online shopping pre-Covid versus now. We’ll also dive into key post-pandemic shopping trends to help you plan for a profitable 2022 and beyond.
The scoop on post-pandemic shopping trends
- Online shopping in the pandemic era: then vs. now
- 5 e-commerce product trends to watch in 2022
- Stay ahead of the curve in an ever-changing e-commerce market
Ready to make this your best year yet? Find out how SellersFi can help you boost cash flow, stay in stock, and keep the sales coming.
Online shopping in the pandemic era: then vs. now
No two ways about it, the pandemic has changed the world of retail for good.
And while we appear to be on the tail end of it (knock on wood🤞🏾), the global health crisis has had lasting effects on the way consumers find, compare, and purchase products.
Of course, online shopping was already alive and kicking in countries like China, the US, and the UK. It was also rapidly picking up pace in regions like Latin America, which experienced a whopping 36% growth in mobile commerce sales in 2019 alone.
Prior to the pandemic, most shoppers preferred to shop on-site, citing reasons varying from product discovery, to simply preferring to touch and feel products in person.
But with lockdowns and social distancing, came a quick willingness to let these preferences go in order for shoppers to get the products they want when they want them. And from 2019 to 2020, e-commerce sales claimed a larger share of the total retail sales pie, jumping from 11% to 15% in the US alone.
What’s next for sellers in the post-pandemic era?
In 2020, it wasn’t uncommon for sellers to go to bed one evening and awake the next morning to a deluge of incoming orders as lockdowns were introduced.
As shoppers became more and more accustomed to buying online, these upward trends led to results like the US market growing by 32.4% in 2020. 💰
Demand for online shopping continued well into 2021, even causing headline-worthy supply chain problems like the 253% rise in out-of-stock notifications during the holiday sales season.
When compared to numbers like that, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking e-commerce sales are waning. And while that may be true of the initial lockdown-era sales boost, the data is clear.
Online shopping isn’t going anywhere.
In fact, recent estimates predict that e-commerce sales may reach over $7 trillion by 2025, accounting for nearly 25% of all retail sales worldwide.
For sellers, the next big question isn’t, “Will my store grow in the future?” but rather, “What is the best way to guide my growth in the future?”
The answers to that question are endless — especially when it comes to launching new product lines.
Here are a few upcoming product trends that may help steer you in the right direction.
5 e-commerce product trends to watch in 2022
Products, products, and more products. 📦
That’s how it can feel when trying to scale an e-commerce store in the post-pandemic market.
But don’t worry. With the right insights into today’s changing consumer shopping behavior, you can avoid product launch paralysis and arm your store with more top sellers.
To get a head start, check out these five product trends predicted to take 2022 by storm.
1. CBD products
From gummies to body oils, Cannabis Derived (CBD) products have gone from underground to mainstream in just a few years — and there’s still massive growth potential in the CBD space. If you’re willing to get creative with your products, invest in the appropriate licenses and testing, and find fun ways to differentiate and market your items, CBD could put your business on a high. 😉
2. Office chairs
Call it a lasting side effect of the pandemic, but shoppers are turning their attention to their office chairs as more and more companies embrace flexible and remote work schedules.
(Apparently, chair envy is a real thing even when you go remote.🪑)
You may have even had lengthy discussions with colleagues and friends about your own throne. If you’re already in the homeware, office supplies, or furniture space, and you can find a way to modernize this office staple for optimal style, comfort, and productivity at home — office chairs could be your next winner.
The toy market has been expanding rapidly since 2019 and experienced a whopping 20% growth spurt in 2020.
The toy market’s upward trend looks set to continue and is expected to reach $230.64 billion by 2028. The great news is, you aren’t restricted to kids’ toys either. Adults like to play too.
From puzzles for family time to arts and crafts for team building, there are many niches you can break into to help people of all ages have some fun.
4. Meal prep 🍳
Time-saving, healthier eating options, and variety are just a few reasons meal prep services have thrived throughout the pandemic.
And they’re still gaining ground today.
With so many cuisines and dietary requirements to cater to, it’ll be hard to run out of people to serve. For sellers in the food and beverage or wellness niches, this could be a fairly easy market to tap into, especially with a little help from influencer marketing.
5. Power tools
During the lockdowns, people decided to put their time indoors to good use. And thus, the home improvement craze was born.
From building feature walls to becoming plant parents, consumers took their newfound hobby super seriously. And although the pandemic may be dying down, the love for DIY isn’t.
If you sell home or garden items and want a simple way to boost sales, creating a dedicated power tools or home equipment line might be a great natural way to boost sales.
Stay ahead of the curve in an ever-changing e-commerce market
If we’ve learned anything from the pandemic era, it’s that businesses and economies can change fast.
For sellers and brand owners determined to outpace their competitors, you’ve got to move with the times. Here are some key trends to keep an eye on for potential big wins on the road ahead.
Stay in tune with what your customers want
This one has always mattered. But today, it’s more crucial than ever.
Because while trends are important, it’s easy to get carried away and forget who you’re serving. Before jumping into any new idea or product trend, always check in with your customer base to make sure their wants and needs are your first priority.
For example, if you sell hair conditioners but notice your customers are complaining about flyaways you could add leave-in conditioners, waxes, gels, or serums to your line for a simple, low-hanging revenue win. 💁🏽♀️
By now, it’s clear. Consumer behavior is changing by the minute.
And today’s shoppers have come to expect an omnichannel experience when shopping online.
“Our business transformed from being a brick and mortar retailer to a predominantly digital business nearly overnight,” says Selim Baraz, Cath Kidston’s Chief Financial Officer.
The UK high street brand took its business from classic brick and mortar to omnichannel in a matter of months and closed 2020 with a whopping 85% global sales.
So consider investing in an omnichannel experience for your store. You can start by unifying your messaging and brand voice across sales channels so shoppers get the same experience no matter where they begin and end their purchasing journey.
Consider creating offline experiences
Who says you’ve always got to be online?
Sometimes taking your store to high streets and malls can be a profitable move, especially as the world reopens.
To start, look for events and pop-ups to help build deeper connections with customers and expand your reach in particular areas.
Need some inspiration?
Look to previously pure-play ecommerce brands like Kylie Cosmetics. This cosmetics titan hosts pop-ups for key launches to create excitement and help its fans connect more deeply with the brand via a physical experience.
Get flexible funding
Whether your goal is to launch new products, stock up on inventory, or future-proof your store through a whole new omnichannel strategy, the right kind of e-commerce funding can help.
Reinforce your available capital with flexible solutions like a working capital credit limit. With a low-fee line of credit, you can execute your biggest projects with ease and grow your store on your terms.
The path to bigger wins in 2022 and beyond
The pandemic has been a wild ride for virtually every type of seller.
Through the thrilling highs and sob-inducing lows, you’ve made it to the other side (almost!). So, kudos to you. 👏🏽
Now, the work to rebuild even better begins.
To succeed in the years ahead, you’ll need to keep a watchful eye on product and market trends while maintaining a commitment to keeping customers front and center in all you do.
Commit to continuous improvement of your offers and brand experience, adjusting along the way based on real insights from your customers. And when it’s time to invest back into the business, don’t be afraid to reach out for help.
At SellersFi, we’ve created a complete financial platform tailored for e-commerce to help merchants to grow and scale their business on their terms. Whether you need to secure additional inventory, negotiate better deals with suppliers, or invest in new products, markets, and sales channels, we’re here to help make it happen.
Looking for smarter ways to grow? Find success with SellersFi.