How will technology allow the e-commerce sector to spread its wings in 2022?

During the global lockdown, consumers moved completely online to buy goods, forcing e-commerce companies to invest in digital marketing and e-commerce channels. Now, with intense competition in the industry, e-commerce companies must play with emerging technologies quickly and adapt the following trends in 2022.

Technological micro-warehouses and demand for 3PL, 4PL services
Small warehouses that bring inventory closer to the customer are called micro-warehouses. Usually located in densely populated areas, these micro-warehouses provide smooth and fast last mile logistics for same-day and next-day deliveries. There are also hyperlocal deliveries, which is a blessing for local retailers as it allows them to achieve maximum results with minimum effort. The hyperlocal model offers smooth omnichannel experiences such as in-person interaction or communication through a website or app, click-to-call for home delivery, and click-to-collect in-store.

Besides micro-warehouses, demand for third-party logistics (3PL) and technology-enabled third-party logistics (4PL) will also be trending in 2022 due to the remarkable boom in e-commerce. The 3PL and 4PL have several advantages, such as being economical and guaranteeing faster deliveries. Allied Market Research reports that the global 3PL market will reach $ 1.1 trillion over the next six years.

Additionally, 3PL companies with warehouses in multiple locations will experience increased demand as this will lead to streamlined last mile logistics.

Smart supply chain optimization will be a game-changer
Ecommerce businesses face several challenges with supply chain management and needlessly lose money due to poorly scheduled deliveries. While businesses can’t control what’s going on on a larger scale and might have to succumb to delays and increased tariffs, at the enterprise level they can optimize the supply chain and reduce ETA for businesses. deliveries and improve the customer experience through intelligent optimization of supply changes.

According to Invesp, 57% of companies do not have decent visibility into supply chains. While companies cannot anticipate challenges across delivery routes and improve their shipping processes, customers have no idea of ​​the ETA of their products and sometimes have to wait for their products longer than their promised time frame. .

Therefore, in 2022, warehouse optimization, running supply chain management software, and growing business supply chains will be a necessity for every e-commerce business.

Direct approach to the consumer to tell your story
Traditionally, most MSMEs in India have had business models unable to meet the changing needs of consumers, especially after the pandemic. Studies have shown that MSMEs that have gone direct to consumer (D2C) have seen small-mediums grow by 30% with the help of 3PL and 4PL services.

Even though Amazon is a savior for most ecommerce businesses, the gigantic platform doesn’t exactly allow you to explain your story and the characteristics of your products. If you make the website your primary distribution channel, you will be able to tell stories, increase your brand visibility, and describe the value of your product.

Your passion will be reflected through your website which is the face of your business. A carefully planned marketing strategy through influencer marketing, hosting events on Facebook, and growing brand awareness through Instagram would help tell your story to a wider audience. All of these resources would have been difficult to use if you got lost in the endless maze of Amazon listings.

Omnichannel strategy to develop connections
Omnichannel retailing involves the distribution of products across various channels such as physical stores, marketplaces, and of course social media. Omnichannel strategies contribute to the visibility of products on the Internet and ensure 80% more visits to stores.

So, even if you are starting with Amazon, be sure to switch to other channels to increase your income as well. This not only helps in financial recovery but also helps increase brand awareness. According to eMarketer, “Forecasters expect multi-channel sales to account for almost 46% of all e-commerce sales by 2023, up from 40.3% in 2019. That said, non-store retailers will still dominate more 54% of the market, with sales approaching $ 687 billion “

AR will facilitate the customer experience
Amid the global foreclosure, businesses must offer their customers in-store experiences to attract new customers and retain existing customers. Augmented reality is one of the big e-commerce trends of 2022 as it pushes shoppers towards an informed purchasing decision without having to leave the comfort of their homes.

IKEA, for example, has created an AP app that allows its customers to use furniture and other interior products in their own homes. It is not enough that big brands have the ability to develop and implement custom AR solutions, it is also important to develop cost effective AR solutions for small and medium brands to create a level playing field for them in order to increase sales and improve customer experience.

Ecommerce businesses need to make sure they are using AR and help their customers preview products on their phones or tablets as if they were touching and using them. For example, if you sell shoes, you can develop an AR app to accurately measure the customer’s feet and help them make a decisive decision in their purchasing decision.

With the growing trend of online shopping, the future of the e-commerce industry looks bright. However, to remain productive and competitive, e-commerce businesses need to upgrade their services with rapidly changing technology coupled with the best logistics and supply chain services.

– Ashish Chadha, co-founder and CEO, APAC, XPDEL.