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Thought Leadership

2021 Review and 2022 E-Commerce Trends and Insights

Hey everyone, Dan here, BBG Business Development Lead and Strategy Consultant. 2021 was certainly a year for the books, and I have spent the past month really looking at some trends BBG saw develop this past year and, most importantly, how that will translate to 2022 e-commerce trends.

Dan Schwartz, Director of Business Development

E-Commerce is Up, Way Up

The first major point is the growth of U.S. Retail e-commerce. While e-commerce netted an increase of 30 billion in sales in 2021 vs 2020, the important thing to note is the trend of permanence. For so many, the bias of buying exclusively online isn’t going anywhere, so catching attention online is more important than ever.

Throwing a wrench in the works, supply chain issues are expected to continue well into 2022, so it will be critical that companies use targeted marketing to sell products they know they have (or will have) in stock, while drawing customers’ eyes away from products that may be held up.

Partnerships are Huge, A Combination of Audiences and Reach is a Big Win

Secondly, social media is proving more and more valuable. Not only are companies continuing the buy advertisements across social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Twitch, etc., but they are also using these platforms to actually connect with and engage their customers.

Sour Patch Kids partnered with the legendary Twitch streamer TIMTHETATMAN to create and sell a limited-edition Sour Patch Kids mix customized for Tim’s preference, blue raspberry, strawberry, and lime.

“It was an immense performance for the business,” said Jennifer Brain-Mennes, Global Director of Media Strategy and Planning. “It really not only connected with our consumers from an equity perspective, but it drove actual commerce and net revenue.

Using Big Data to Get Personal

Coming up third is the importance and investment in big data and analytics. More and more, companies began investing heavily in big data over 2021, and we don’t see this changing anytime soon. This push is driven by the need to connect with consumers in a highly personal way, with companies even deploying to AI to predict individual user behavior.

Simply put, finding, converting, and keeping customers engaged is critical, and the more personalized, the better.

Not sure? Dig in to big data and analytics.

Going Solo

A small but important trend in 2021 was the rise of entrepreneurship. So many people either quit, resigned, or were laid off in 2021, and they took that opportunity to pursue their dream of opening their own business. Connecting to, supporting, and partnering with these upstarts presents huge opportunity in 2022.

Being an entrepreneur and getting the word out can be expensive. Spending budget in the right place and the right time is helpful to not only assist with creating an introduction, but also creating brand advocates and fans.

Nostalgia is Comforting

Nostalgia came back big in 2021, as it often does in times of global crisis, with companies investing big in marketing towards this trend. As millennials take over the spending pool, brands like Pokémon saw immense success in 2021. Capturing nostalgia will be an important way for companies to connect and engage with their consumers in 2022.

Saving Time (and Money) with Aggregators

Marketing across diverse platforms has never been easier but certainly not cheap! There are so many markets out there, with varieties of ads targeting varieties of consumers in different ways. As a result, we are seeing a lot of companies hire ad consolidators or aggregators, allowing companies to advertise across, for example, hundreds of podcasts, rather than targeting one of the 2 million+ podcasts piecemeal, since they nearly all operate independently from each other.

Everyone is a Micro-Influencer, Yes You!

Lastly, we are seeing a big rise in “micro.” As personalization gets more and more important, companies are turning to micro-influencers to really connect with customers on a grassroots level.

Personalization is proving key in 2022 and finding new ways to connect with and grow consumers is proving important for even the largest of companies.

Via Forbes, according to a Morning Consult study, which surveyed 2,000 Americans ages 18-38, 54% of young Americans said they would become an influencer if given the opportunity.

Let’s Connect!

Obviously, 2021 brought all sorts of unique challenges, opportunities and created new channels to connect that didn’t even exist pre-pandemic. As Omicron spreads and subsides, we are all watching to see if users resort to previous behaviors, or have fallen into new habits.

If you have seen these similar metrics and trends, we would love to connect with you and help get your word out. If you haven’t seen these similar metrics and trends, please connect as well, we would love to unpack with you, especially if you are focused on online e-commerce and saw a drop in 2021, which could mean a larger issue connecting with the proper audience.

Email me → Dan Schwartz