The top 6 trends driving growth for e-commerce apps in 2022
E-commerce apps have proven that the huge growth seen during the pandemic was not temporary. Conversely, they’ve become a robust pillar of the world’s marketplace. Business of Apps reports that in 2021, mobile e-commerce revenue hit $3.7 trillion globally, accounting for over half of total e-commerce sales. Additionally, Adjust’s Mobile app trends 2022 revealed that e-commerce app installs grew by 12% YoY in 2021, indicating steady growth. As we review the first half of 2022, we’ve noted six prominent trends among e-commerce apps that app marketers in the vertical should know and consider utilizing.
1. Audio experiences
In the 1950s, history reports a rapid switch from radio to television shows. However, audio is far from dead and has had a significant resurgence as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the global podcast market seeing a CAGR of 31.5% and audio apps like Clubhouse and Spoon making a big splash.
However, we’re also seeing well-established apps launching audio experiences as enhancements to their app. For example, dating app Hinge recently added an audio feature where users have the option to upload 30-second audio clips to their profiles. In addition, Spotify is testing in-app podcast creation tools, allowing users to create their own podcast directly within the Spotify app.
We predict audio experiences will spill into the e-commerce industry as well. Imagine customer-to-customer Q&As, client testimonials, and customer support, all occurring over audio. In an interview with PYMNTS, Global Director of omnichannel payments at ACI Worldwide, Bobby Koscheski mentioned that soon, even audio signals from users will be used to prompt personalized offers from mobile apps. The future is bright.
2. Livestream shopping
Live shopping on social media has grown exponentially since the pandemic, particularly across platforms like Instagram Live and YouTube. During livestream shopping, brands will showcase a product, and then a pin for the product will pop up, allowing viewers to tap the pin and add the item to their shopping cart.
As of 2021, conversion rates from livestreams are ten times higher than other e-commerce formats and will continue to grow as experts forecast that the live shopping sector in the U.S. will be worth $35 billion by 2024.
Recently launched, Ownit Connected Checkout offers a hack for e-commerce apps by providing them livestream shopping and point of discovery capabilities that won’t interrupt a user’s social media experience.
3. Buy-now-pay later services
Consumers increasingly expect buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) services like Klarna and Afterpay as an alternative purchase method. This payment option allows shoppers to make a purchase and then pay for the purchase over several installments. Consumers often find BNPL to be an easier and more flexible payment method than credit cards.
Tech giants are also entering the space. For instance, this year Apple announced its buy-now-pay-later service named Apple Pay Later. The feature allows U.S. consumers to divide the total cost of an Apple Pay purchase into four equivalent payments over six weeks, interest and fee-free. Since 2020, PayPal has offered its BNPL service, Pay in 4, which allows PayPal users to make a payment over four installments.
Buy-now-pay-later services are growing in popularity as they allow consumers to receive a product without paying immediately. In fact, the total BNPL payment value in 2022 has increased 77.3% from the previous year to hit $75.6 billion, revealing exponential consumer demand.
4. CTV advertising
Connected TV (CTV) advertising is a trend and evolution of the industry that many app marketers are tapping into across all verticals, e-commerce included. Since Apple’s iOS 14.5 update and launch of AppTrackingTransparency (ATT) and Google’s depreciation of third-party cookies, app marketers have been searching for other channels by which they can easily reach their target audience while adhering to data privacy rules and regulations. Enter CTV as a new performance channel.
Currently, around 40% of adults watch video via CTV every day, and this number is expected to grow. Many marketers have picked up on this surge in CTV viewing, and Adweek reports that CTV ad spend is predicted to reach $21.2 billion in 2022, up by 39% from 2021.
Streaming platform Roku announced a U.S. partnership with Walmart, which will enable shoppable e-commerce ads from Walmart directly on Roku smart TVs or CTV devices. When a user sees a shoppable ad and wishes to make a purchase, they simply need to press “Ok” on their remote to pay via Roku Pay.
Check out How mobile marketers can master CTV advertising in 2022 for helpful tips on CTV advertising. And, if you’re ready to turn CTV advertising into a performance channel for your e-commerce app, check out Adjust’s CTV AdVision, the first comprehensive CTV solution.
5. Headless commerce
Digital agility is key for e-commerce apps to remain competitive. To meet ever-shifting changes in consumer behavior, many merchants have turned to headless technology to create a seamless experience for their customers across all channels. In the last two years alone, a whopping $1.65 billion in funding has been raised for headless technologies, indicative of demand.
The headless architecture utilizes an API to send information in real-time between the digital consumer-facing storefront, or frontend, and the backend processes, tools, and systems. This, in turn, offers easy integration and management of multiple channels, removing the need for separate processes and tools.
For example, last month, Twitter announced its partnership with e-commerce software Shopify, allowing merchants to link their Twitter accounts to the social network’s platform Shopping Manager and access its tools. Merchants can then showcase their products on their Twitter profiles with the Twitter Shops or Shop Spotlight to grow brand awareness, increase product discovery, and drive purchase decisions. This comes in addition to Shopify’s integrations with platforms including TikTok, YouTube, and Meta properties Facebook and Instagram.
6. Augmented reality assistance
Augmented reality’s (AR) assistance in in-app shopping isn’t new, but it’s certainly trending this year. A report from Valuates shares that the global AR in the retail market will see a CAGR of 20% between 2022-2028. This continued growth in AR is likely due to an increase in usage of linked devices and greater smartphone penetration globally.
We’re seeing numerous e-commerce apps turn to augmented reality (AR) to let shoppers try a product in-app. In this case, AR adds a product digitally to a real-life view obtained from a smartphone.
For example, last month Amazon Fashion released its Virtual Try-on for Shoes for the Amazon shopping app. This feature uses AR to let customers view from their home how a pair of shoes will look on their feet from every angle. Similarly, Sephora’s app has a feature called Virtual Artist, which utilizes facial recognition to let shoppers try on different shades of makeup in-app.
Looking for more tips for your e-commerce app? Check out our resources section on E-commerce apps for our latest articles, e-books, and reports relevant to your vertical and take a look at our recent E-commerce App Report: Top trends in mobile shopping, with insights from Sensor Tower.