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10 Fashion eCommerce Trends to Watch Out for in 2022

W Lawrence
VP Sales and Business Development
fashion eCommerce trends
Tags :
5 min

Jeff Bezos often tells the story of the first product bought on Amazon in 1995 - A book called 'Fluid Concepts And Creative Analogies' written by Douglas Hofstadter and purchased by John Wainwright. The book today costs roughly $30. 

Two months since that purchase, Amazon's sales were up to $20,000/week. In 2021, 26 years later, Amazon's revenue was $469.822 billion.

The lesson every eCommerce brand needs to learn from Amazon is to adapt - adapt to market trends. Amazon knew when to pivot and expand from just an online bookstore to a marketplace for A to Z products.

In this article, we list 10 trends that are positioned to shape the world of fashion eCommerce in 2022. We also give you tips on how you can ride these trends to increase consumer engagement and, consequently, sales.

10 Fashion eCommerce Trends to Rule in 2022

Here are the top eCommerce fashion trends that will dominate retail fashion in 2022:

There will be a surge in mobile commerce

Mobile commerce has been steadily rising since early 2016. The total sales made in 2020 via mobile phones amounted to $2.66 trillion, an increase of nearly 15% since 2019. This growth came despite the pandemic, and it doesn't stop there. Global mobile commerce sales are expected to increase to $3.79 trillion in 2022, according to a projection by Retail Customer Experience.

mobile commerce

Most brands assume mobile commerce is not a new trend, and they may be right, but what will be new is the surge in mobile traffic. More people from Gen X are getting comfortable with mobile shopping (mainly because of the pandemic), and more members of Gen Z are reaching the age where they can shop independently. The result is going to be increased traffic and sales via mobile devices in 2022.

Using this trend to your advantage

A 2021 survey by PWC reported that 44% of consumers purchased a product online via a smartphone. Principal analyst at eMarketer Andrew Lipsman projects that this number will increase, and mobile commerce will drive 50% of sales in 2022.

To ride this trend, tailor your retail eCommerce store's UI and UX for mobile. Experiences like AR and VR shopping should be as seamless and enjoyable on a mobile phone as it is on a computer. Go by the general assumption that your customers would be browsing from any device and optimize your store on all platforms - desktop, tablet, and mobile.

Consumers will demand personalized experiences

A survey by Liveclicker reported that retail marketers who use advanced personalization tactics get close to a $20 return on every $1 investment.

A personalized experience is not just a marketing strategy anymore; going into 2022, it is going to be consumer demand. Personalization leads to product and content relevancy for the customer. Consequently, the amount of effort and time spent to find the products or services they need drops, and this is what consumers want.

Personalization magnifies the USPs of online commerce - convenience and ease of use. The Very Group, for example, dynamically changes campaigns for users based on their geolocation and shows different products for different weather conditions:

When browsing from a sunny place:

personalized shopping

And when browsing from a cold location:

personalized experience

It's quite clear why this is impactful. Imagine showing a sweater as the first product to someone when it is summer. They'd immediately bounce off.

Personalizing products makes them relevant to the user, and they are very likely to continue browsing and make a purchase.

Using this trend to your advantage

Implementing recommendations and dynamic content is not a difficult task today. There are solutions available that can be used right out of the box and also customized specifically for your brand, like our very own AI platform.

Through AI-based hyper-personalization, retail marketers using our platform are already experiencing an increase in conversion rates by 20 percent and a reduction in abandonment rates by 15 percent. If you would like to deliver personalized experiences for your customers and increase sales and retention, contact us.

The site search will be expected to be 'smart'

Personalized search is extremely potent for customer retention and conversion, and yet, most fashion eCommerce brands stick to the conventional search bar. This won't fly going into 2022 as consumers get more impatient and expect hyper-relevant results fast.

A personalized search bar is dynamic - it gives different results to two people searching the same query based on the user profiles created by the AI platform. 

personalized search

Here's one example of a smart search in action. When a user searches for hoodies for the first time on Forever 21's site, it presents a majority of women's products. However, when the same user searches for the term ('hoodies') after having interacted with men's products on the site, the results contain more men's products.

This clearly helps the shopper get to products of their choice faster and increases the chances of conversion.

Using this trend to your advantage

Implement personalized search on your eCommerce store. There are many solutions available that you can test until you find one that suits your needs. To get started with one, check out our personalized search solution built especially for fashion eCommerce stores.

Consumers will be advocates of social justice 

Inclusivity in sizing and diversity in marketing have been important topics since over a decade. Brands have to be careful about what they exclude AND what they include in their catalog and marketing content.

In 2014, Zara released a line of T-shirts with the slogan “White Is the New Black.”

social commerce

They had to take the product down from their site and issue a public apology almost immediately after an uproar by consumers on social media. What was Zara's intention? We'll never know, and it doesn't matter.

In 2022, the world is even more connected, and news travels fast. Consumers are also more conscious of inclusivity and practice it in their day-to-day lives. They also expect this of the brands they are loyal to.

Up until a few years ago, not a lot of brands sold products larger than XL because these products needed more material to be created and had to be sold at the same price as smaller products in the SKU. While this was OK back then, it isn't anymore.

Using this trend to your advantage

Be cautious about what you include and exclude. Analyze demand and if there is a need for plus-size products, make sure your store caters to it.

Vet all content that your brand publishes, whether it is blogs, advertising copy, or emails. Make sure you're being respectful of all groups.

Lastly, implement a marketing solution that tracks brand mentions, like Hootsuite or SEMrush. This will allow you to track what people are saying about your brand, and if you have inadvertently stepped into a controversy, you can take corrective measures quickly.

Voice search will dictate SEO

As smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home become basic household products, the volume of smart searches will increase and quickly overshadow text searches.

In fact, a 2018 report by PWC found that seven in ten consumers prefer to use voice search when searching a query than text search.

People don't need separate devices like Echo to perform voice searches; every smartphone is equipped with either Siri or Google Assitant. This is why voice search is prevalent among consumers - it is available at their fingertips.

voice search

How does this impact fashion eCommerce? With voice search geared to be even more popular in 2022, eCommerce stores need to tailor their SEO strategies for voice search.

Using this trend to your advantage

Every facet of SEO will have to be thought of from both text and voice searches point of view. 

Keywords being targeted, for example, are generally different for text and voice search. When a consumer searches through text, they tend to skip words like articles to make typing easier. For example, instead of typing buy a pair of black shoes when searching on Google, they will type in buy black shoes.

With voice search, however, people are comfortable speaking the entire sentence out loud and even adding words. They might search saying buy black Nike sneakers that cost less than 100 dollars.

Live commerce will boom

Live commerce has been a mainstream marketing strategy since 2016 when Alibaba launched its live commerce platform Taobao Live. During Alibaba’s Singles’ Day in 2020, Taobao Live generated close to $7.5 billion in total transaction value in just the first 30 minutes.

Live commerce is a concept that merges live streaming and eCommerce. As a host delivers content on a live stream, a product carousel is displayed below that users can browse, click and shop.

live commerce

This is Amazon's live commerce app Amazon Live that was launched in 2016 but started gaining momentum only from 2019 onward. People can watch an influencer showcase a brand's products and, if interested, buy them from the same window.

Live streaming has been gaining popularity rapidly. In fact, The live streaming industry experienced a 99% growth in just a span of one year, from April 2019 to April 2020. Since live streaming is the growing trend and one of the most popular formats of content consumed, it only makes sense for eCommerce brands to leverage the hype and market their products through live commerce apps.

Using this trend to your advantage

Use existing live commerce platforms like ShopShops, Brand Live, Google Shopping, and Amazon Live to launch your brand's live commerce channel. It's best to work with influencers when you're just starting out to boost viewers.

Sustainability will be a deciding factor

People are increasingly becoming eco-conscious as harsh side-effects of processes that are detrimental to the environment become visibly evident. A survey by McKinsey that included over 2,000 UK and German retail consumers found that 57% of the people have already made substantial changes to their lifestyles to alleviate environmental impact:

sustainability trend

In the same survey, 67% and 63% of consumers, respectively, said that the use of sustainable materials and the promotion of sustainability heavily influenced their buying decision.

People are demanding eco and social-friendly processes, and fashion brands need to deliver.

Using this trend to your advantage

There are two aspects to being eco-friendly, one is direct, through the material used, and two is indirect, by reducing energy-consuming and environment harming processes. These cannot be incorporated overnight, but fashion brands will have to plan for sustainability sooner rather than later.

There are other ways of introducing eco-friendly processes quickly while also promoting sustainability. For example, Woodchuck USA, a manufacturer of custom wood gifts and products, has been running a campaign where for every product purchased, they plant a tree. Their website boasts of having planted over 2.5 million trees as of March 2022. This is incredible because a brand that makes products out of wood is still a champion of sustainability.

Omnichannel brands will win

Consumers do a lot of research online before they purchase products, especially when it comes to fashion. They want to explore pictures on Instagram, get feedback from Facebook, read reviews on the site, and so on.

As consumers bounce between platforms, they also contact the brand for different queries - pricing, availability of size, shipping info, and so on. A consumer interacting with a brand from multiple channels creates a problem - there is no continuity in the conversation, and as different agents engage from different channels, the consumer needs to start over. This is not conducive to a good customer experience.

And that's where the practice of omnichannel marketing comes in. An 'omnichannel' brand is one that has all its brand channels (website chat, social media handles, email, and so on) connected to one central platform. This gives them a unified view of every customer interaction, and one agent can nurture the same customer regardless of which channel they are reaching out from. The conversation becomes seamless and continuous, and this is what consumers want today.

omnichannel vs. multichannel

Amazon is a great example of an omnichannel brand. While they have independent web and mobile apps, they deliver a seamless experience between the two. By syncing user data across devices and platforms, Amazon allows its customers to add products to the cart on the web app and make the purchase two days later from the mobile app without any loss in continuity.

Using this trend to your advantage

Fashion brands have to implement multiple channels to maximize consumer engagement. This, however, creates conversation silos.

The solution is to create an omnichannel brand by connecting all customer channels to one location.

Subscription models will catch on

Subscriptions are big revenue generators for B2C brands that sell consumable products like eatables or perfumes. But for the fashion industry, implementing a subscription model is not an easy feat.

Consumers, however, have become habituated to the subscription model of paying, especially because of OTT platforms. Subscriptions are much cheaper and have a lower level of commitment, and this appeals to today's consumers.

Fashion brands, fortunately, have an answer to subscriptions, and that is Subscription Boxes. A subscription box is a box with an assortment of fashion goodies that are delivered to the customer every month for a recurring price.

Style Cracker, for example, is a fashion brand that sells based on subscriptions. They have boxes of 3, 4, and 5 products with the option to create a custom box with a customized number of products, all matched to suit the customer's taste.

subscrption models

These boxes aren't very expensive and give consumers the added fun of curiosity. Subscription boxes are becoming increasingly popular with fashion brands, and consumers are loving them.

Using this trend to your advantage

Create combinations of different types of products in your store and bundle them into subscription boxes. This is a great opportunity to showcase products that are slow-moving because you pick the products.

Consumers will want the in-store experience delivered at home

As consumers' dependency on smartphones increases, their interactions also become more mobile. 

Consumers first browsed and tried products in-store. The model then became hybrid, with them browsing online and trying products in-store. Today, consumers want to browse and try products through their smartphones. 

And this is very easily possible, through Virtual and Augmented Reality.

Virtual reality creates an immersive experience, allowing you to have a real-world in-store experience 'virtually' from the comfort of your home, through your smartphone.

Augmented reality 'augments', or distorts reality so you can interact with objects that are simulated. Snapchat's AR 'try-on' tool is an example of AR, and you can see how Prada uses it to promote their bags:

shopping with AR and VR

Together, VR and AR create a deep and rich experience for consumers and allow brands to deliver an in-store experience remotely.

Tech like AR is mainstream today, and platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook all use it for effects. It won't be long before AR and VR will be considered basic features on an eCommerce site.

Using this trend to your advantage

Platforms like Snapchat have ready-to-use AR and VR solutions that you can implement into your fashion eCommerce store.

Closing Thoughts

Fashion eCommerce continued to boom even through COVID, and now, with the pandemic easing and with people starting to socialize, product sales are only going to accelerate. We are already through with the first quarter of 2022, and brands should have already been active on the trends we have listed in this article.

But if you haven't, don't worry, it's not late. We have worked exclusively with fashion eCommerce brands and helped them put in place solutions that have delivered an average ROI of 1,200 percent in terms of improving conversion rate and revenue! 

Reach out to us, and we'll tell you how we can help.

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