We've witnessed an explosion in ecommerce growth in recent years. And that trend will continue in 2022, with global ecommerce sales estimated to reach upwards of $5.5 trillion.
Powering this growth will be the continued consumer adoption of digital commerce that we've seen unfold in the past 18 months. However, this year will also be when ecommerce brands embrace this moment of transformation to build new business models with digital payments at their core.
To understand more about the opportunities and challenges in 2022, we surveyed over 1,000 European ecommerce businesses and 8,500 consumers. Here are the five powerful trends we uncovered that are set to shape ecommerce and payments in the next 12 months.
1. Sustainability is critical for both businesses and consumers
2022 looks set to be the year that sustainable commerce becomes the norm. Our research finds that 41% of merchants have put environmental sustainability and ethical supply chains at the very top of their 2022 priority list.
This is not only to meet the demand of the increasingly climate-conscious consumer — 73% prefer to purchase from sustainable brands. It's also because businesses recognize a changing climate poses a significant risk to their bottom line. A fifth of businesses told us climate risks, such as a fire or flooding, pose a threat in 2022.
2. Unlocking new channels of commerce
Consumers are increasingly exploring new ways to engage with their favorite brands, especially through social media platforms. And, in 2022, 40% of businesses tell us they're investing in improving their social commerce offering to meet this demand.
However, despite the vast potential social commerce presents, our data finds brands must be considered in their approach. The research shows there's creeping consumer skepticism about the veracity of brands paraded on their feeds, as well as concerns around how social platforms are using their data.
3. Best-in-class payments performance
Optimized payments should be at the heart of every ecommerce strategy. Yet, historically, they've often been an afterthought. But this is changing. Our research finds 68% of businesses are actively investing in new and improved payments technologies.
Driving this investment is a growing appreciation of how an optimized payment flow captures more sales at the checkout, while also protecting the bottom line from fraud and chargebacks. Businesses also tell us they recognize payments are critical to any ambition to land and expand in new markets.
4. Combating fraud
Our survey respondents cited combating fraud and cyber risk as the top challenges for their businesses heading into 2022. Rightly so. Instances of fraud have increased rapidly since the start of the pandemic.
And the criminals are only getting more sophisticated, using a variety of new malicious tactics to target businesses and consumers. But so are the tools available to businesses to stop fraudsters in their tracks. So, in 2022, businesses will need to deploy the right tools to protect their bottom line and their customers.
5. Winning in the marketplace
The top 100 global marketplace platforms made two trillion dollars in sales in 2021. And experts predict that 50-70% of digital commerce will flow through marketplace platforms by 2025. What does this mean for ecommerce merchants?
Our research finds a mixed picture. On one hand, businesses see marketplaces as a threat — 25% cite they fear losing market share to these platforms. But on the other, over a third see an opportunity to meet new customers and grow sales and are planning to sell more of their products on third-party marketplace platforms. Understanding the marketplace threat and opportunity — and building an effective strategy — is therefore high on the agenda for many ecommerce firms in 2022.
Get set for 2022
Download our exclusive new report to learn more about the critical trends at play and how putting digital payments at the center of your business will power growth.