Last week I took a look back at the bleak and depressing year that was 2021. If you missed it and don’t want to go back it can be summed up with the following sentence; 2021 was basically just 2020 continued, because time isn’t interested in our arbitrary numbers placed on things. I do recommend reading that if you missed it, however, because I worked re
ally hard on it and as a writer I require attention and kind words about my writing in order to continue living. That being said, we’re going to take a look at potential trends for 2022, and since I’m only qualified to speculate about ecommerce and literature, and only one of those things is relevant here, we will be sticking as tightly as possible to ecommerce. Obviously these things don’t exist in a vacuum and many of the stories that made up 2021 and even 2020 will continue to have a huge impact on 2022, but we’ll sort through that as we go.
Shipping Issues Are Likely to Continue
While experts are saying that we are through the worst of the shipping issues, the massive disruption is still likely to be felt for much of 2022. A significant part of the issue is shipping containers. Usually when there’s a disruption in shipping the people shipping things can still source empty containers and keep things moving around and the delay is minor. This time nobody can find any containers so things are just sitting around. It is a nightmare for anyone in the logistics industry, and honestly one we should have seen coming even if there hadn’t been a pandemic that disrupted everything. I briefly touched on the causes of the supply chain issues in a previous blog, because it’s almost like I have carefully planned out my blog posts months in advance. (Disclaimer; I absolutely did not do that.)
Now that millennials are in their 30s and 40s, sorry to anyone I have made feel old with that statement, we are seeing a push for more sustainable commerce. It is very much the case that millennials and Gen Z place a premium on sustainable models in the things they consume because they have grown up fully aware of the need to protect our planet. Obviously this isn’t true of all millennials, there are still plenty of people that do not care, but we are discussing overall market trends, and the data tells us that the consumer is starting to want sustainability. What this means for the ecommerce sector is that we need to move to better packaging (don’t wrap things in ten layers of plastic), and better materials that our goods are created from (an example is making things out of bamboo instead of plastic if possible), as well as goods that are likely to last longer. It is necessary that we move in this direction, because this is what they meant when they said, “The customer is always right,” we need to move in the direction that the market demands, and it’s better to do so early.
Direct-to-Consumer sales are exploding because people are realizing that they prefer to buy their goods directly from the people that make them if they’re going to be shopping online anyway. There are the examples that have always been D2C that have just seen steady growth in sales over the past five or so years, such as Thursday Boots and the watch company MVMT, companies that were designed to exist online and ship products directly to their customers. However, even massive, long established brands are moving their sales in this direction. Nike, for example, no longer sells their goods on Amazon, they created their own marketplace on their website and they ship directly to the consumer. You can still get Nikes from their traditional retail partners and their sites, but the move away from Amazon is a big move for the D2C model.
Anyone that isn’t aware of cryptocurrency at this point has likely just returned from a deserted island they’ve been stuck on since 2010. The biggest crypto trading platforms saw massive rises in traffic, with the top three seeing their traffic more than triple in 2021. It is clear that crypto isn’t going anywhere and, in my opinion, that has been clear for a while now. It’s just now that everyone is starting to catch on to this fact and making appropriate moves in response. There are a lot of valid concerns and criticisms of a move to cryptocurrency, as well as many positives which I may touch on in a future blog post, but that would be a ways down the line, as it is another hugely research intense post, and I’ll likely be doing lighter posts for a bit, but keep an eye out for that if you’re interested.
I wanted to just touch on some of the biggest trends I foresee taking center stage in 2022 based on the trends I saw towards the end of 2021 that seemed to have the most momentum behind them. Predictions are tricky, however, and for all I know all of this will be entirely wrong. If it is, I encourage you to laugh at me for being an idiot, because I will be doing so as well. There is also one huge thing looming over 2022 that I didn’t really touch on, because it’s obvious and it has us all exhausted at this point, and that’s covid continuing its path of destruction on humanity. It is very likely that 2022 is going to be good for ecommerce because that genie has been let out of the bottle and it’s never going back in. We were already moving that way before companies were forced to scramble and create ways for customers to buy things without being in a physical store, covid pushed that along in a massive way that we will never return from. If nothing else, ecommerce will always be an option alongside brick and mortar, but at the moment it seems likely that ecommerce will stay the leader in shopping and isn’t going to release its market grasp.