We're joined by Linn Academy 2021 speaker Iris Schiefer, Senior Strategic Partnerships Manager, EMEA for BigCommerce, to discuss what the future of commerce will look like in 2022, the importance of choosing the right technology stack to boost conversions and the growth of B2B ecommerce.
BigCommerce is the world's leading cloud ecommerce platform for established and rapidly-growing businesses. BigCommerce's mission is to help merchants sell more at every stage of growth, from small startups, to mid-market businesses, to large enterprises.
Linnworks: What Are Your Predictions For Commerce In 2022?
1. New or changing consumption and payment models: subscription models have become increasingly popular, especially post pandemic. Flexible payment models like Buy Now, Pay Later are also here to stay and are fueling significant growth for retailers.
2.Social commerce, especially for DTC companies. It's super important for these brands to build a loyal following and interact with their customers, particularly where they have a young audience. Social commerce integrations also unlock new paths to purchase, like shoppable posts.
3. The demand for headless commerce setups will continue to rise. More and more retailers are tapping into the flexibility and business agility that a decoupled front and back end architecture can give them, allowing them to launch new sites and products faster and scale more easily.
Linnworks: What are the biggest challenges right now impeding growth?
I think conversion is always going to be a hot topic within retail — despite all the changes in online technologies over the past few years, most online stores still convert less than 3% of their visitors.
Choosing the right technology stack plays a huge part in boosting that number, but those efforts are futile if your new systems cannot be seamlessly integrated to provide a complete view of the customer. IT and LOB departments must work together to find the best stack of solutions for the business as a whole, vs. serving their specific needs. Data silos are a personalization killer — data must be consolidated in order to understand who is buying your product and make decisions on how best to serve their needs.
Linnworks: How do you see physical retail and online retail working together in the future?
A hybrid physical/digital model is definitely table stakes in today's shopping world — we will continue to see massive growth in ecommerce, but the physical store and experiences expected as part of that are definitely not dead.
We're seeing a lot of appetite for models like Click and Collect — giving customers the breadth and leisure of shopping online whilst allowing them to choose a convenient time and location to receive their goods.
Retailers need to focus on turning this into an upsell opportunity — many shoppers will buy additional items when they come into the store to collect their order. It's important to get a picture of which products those shoppers are most likely to purchase and where/how to best place them for maximum accessibility and thus conversion. This comes back to my previous point about getting a better understanding of your customer and the way they want to interact with your brand.
Linnworks: What do you think are the opportunities for growth and expansion in ecommerce?
A lot of ecommerce growth is happening outside of traditional industries like retail.
We've seen a lot of growth in B2B industries like building supplies, automotive and distribution, which was anticipated, but we've also seen an unexpected uptick in industries like hospitality and real estate.
Personalizing the path to purchase and demonstrating value for digital goods or services is very different to that for physical products — I'm really interested to see how companies will start to innovate in this area.