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How to stay ahead of the e-commerce curve this year

(Source: Supplied.)

As we approach the halfway point of 2022, a year in which worldwide e-commerce sales are expected to reach $5 trillion, staying on top of the trends and knowing which way the wind is blowing is crucial.

The findings in BigCommerce’s 2022 ANZ State of Ecommerce Report give valuable insights into what aspects of online shopping matter to consumers. The report surveyed more than 5600 online shoppers, randomly selected from Australia and New Zealand, to find out straight from the source where retailers should be focused in 2022. 

What are consumers saying about their cart experiences?

The importance of an easy checkout process and a reassuring returns process are consistent themes dating back to last year’s State of Ecommerce Report. If a checkout process were difficult, 30 per cent of consumers surveyed said they were likely or very likely to abandon their carts, while 28 per cent said the same about a poor returns process.

A growing security concern

This year, concerns over secure transactions came to the forefront. A massive 34 per cent of surveyed online shoppers said they would abandon their purchase if they did not trust the site’s security.

Retailers can combat this by putting security markers front and centre and making sure that the buyer’s journey provides reassurances of data protection from the discovery phase all the way through payment.

Make sure there are no surprises with your shipping costs 

It’s a common experience for all of us. You get through most of the checkout process for a purchase you’re excited to make and then you’re suddenly hit with sticker shock for the cost of shipping. 

If you’re like me, you close out that window pretty quickly after that. And if you’re like me, you would also be like 58 per cent of online shoppers who said that high shipping costs cause them to abandon their shopping carts. 

Similarly, 51 per cent of shoppers surveyed would abandon their carts if the shipping costs were communicated too late in the checkout process, regardless of whether they felt the cost was high. Combining high shipping cost with failing to disclose the cost early in checkout is a recipe for disaster.

Buy Now, Play Later usage and expected usage level out

By the numbers, Buy Now, Play Later (BNPL) reported usage was largely flat in 2022 compared to last year. In 2021, 35 per cent of surveyed online shoppers self-reported they had used BNPL within the last six months. That number was mostly flat at 32 per cent in 2022. Does that mean the trend is here to stay?

When asked how much they expect to use BNPL in the near future, 58 per cent said they would stay at the same level of usage in 2022 compared to 62 per cent who said the same in 2021. Only 11 per cent expect they will increase their BNPL usage in 2022 – again mostly flat compared to 14 per cent in 2021. 

What else to look out for in 2022

Checkout and BNPL are just a couple of areas that should have the attention of retailers this year. 

If you sell online, you’ll want to be building communities with your customers and facilitating engagement. You’ll want to reward your repeat customers with loyalty programs and reassure prospective customers with positive product reviews and social proof. 

For more in-depth insights about these topics, read the rest of BigCommerce’s 2022 ANZ State of Ecommerce Report.