2021 has been the year in which digital commerce began to grow again at a pre-pandemic pace (or almost), after the health emergency changed purchasing habits, making many consumers "more digital". With an annual income that should exceed 5 billion dollars by the end of the year only in the US and only as regards the B2C industry, what will the main e-commerce trends be in 2022?

1. Livestream Shopping

2022 will be the year of Livestream Shopping, the phenomenon that started in China and it’s now developing also in Europe.

Over the past 3 years, the live streaming market in China has grown by over 280% to make up 10% of total online sales and is expected to exceed 20% this year. Livestream shopping combines shopping and entertainment: for merchants it becomes possible to sell through social media, on marketplaces or directly on the e-commerce site, very often through partnerships with influencers. In Europe the phenomenon is ready to explode: 70% of consumers are already strongly interested in livestreaming and by 2024 the audience is expected to reach 160 million users. Being able to buy directly from brands and companies’ official pages on social media is nowadays possible thanks to the omnichannel approach of the sales strategy, a shopping habit very appreciated by young consumers. On average, one Millennial and one GenZer out of two have already purchased at least once on social media. In this perspective, 79% of businesses intend to invest in social commerce in the next 3 years, regardless of the size of their business and the sector in which they operate.

2. Content Commerce

One of the main trends in the coming months will be “content commerce,” as Business Insider pointed out. Clicking on the “buy” button is only the final act of a funnel in which fun, engaging and valuable contents capable of generating desire or need in the user play a fundamental role. To sell online, therefore, a good content marketing strategy will continue to be a must.

3. Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality

With a little budget available, to enrich the user experience on your e-commerce with immersive content such as images and 3D rendering of your products or usable only in AR and VR could actually be a distinctive element. Augmented reality and virtual reality, in fact, are two “critical” technologies for e-commerce in the immediate future. The recent success of voice assistants anticipates the upcoming trends of conversational commerce and voice shopping: making sure that consumers can complete their purchases simply by “talking” with Alexa, Google Home and other similar systems.

4. Direct to Consumer Sales Model

Customizing items sold online in a short time and at low cost is only possible thanks to so-called direct to consumer (DTC) sales models.

Direct sales are preferred by Millennials because the times of availability of the goods are significantly reduced. According to Forbes, the DTC could become an e-commerce trend 2022 in many more sectors than those who have so far exploited this sales model and also for brands that have so far had a more traditional distribution model. The real challenge for those who want to sell directly to final consumers will be to be able to ensure, as large retailers and marketplaces do, advantageous conditions for deliveries, payments and returns.

5. Integrated Logistics

The keywords for e-commerce in 2022 seem to be “flexibility” and “customization” also for aspects related to logistics.

The pandemic has already allowed less “savvy” digital shoppers to familiarize themselves with formulas such as in-store delivery or click and collect that could affect the choice between one merchant over another. Offering many varieties of choice will be the winning strategy, and the same goes for payment methods and solutions. As for the latter, the so-called “buy now pay later” will be increasingly popular, a sort of installment payment but without rates and interest, now available on most digital payment services (such as PayPal, for example).