As 2021 winds down and the pandemic continues to affect shoppers, retail/eCommerce brands continue to innovate to create best practices. Online shopping is bigger than ever and businesses of all sizes are increasing their online presence. Utilizing data analytics to personalize event tracking and customization can help retailers hone in on trends unique to their clientele, and improve their website experience overall, thus increasing revenue. At InfoTrust, we create personalized experiences for our clients by identifying trends in the data and retail/eCommerce industries. Below are a few trends our team has seen at the forefront in the retail/eCommerce space as we head into 2022 and beyond.
Virtual Try Ons and See-in-My-Space Technology
New technologies for eCommerce create experiences that mimic the perks of shopping in store from the comfort of a shopper’s home. Virtual try-on and see-in-my-space experiences give shoppers the chance to try on new glasses, makeup, clothing, and even test a new piece of furniture in their space before committing to purchasing. This provides a better experience for shoppers who do not want to go in store or may be unable to. Implementing virtual try-on technology helps increase events and sessions on a site, while also preventing returns thereby increasing revenue due to the high cost of return shopping for businesses. While these virtual experiences have been around for several years, the technology continues to grow more sophisticated and accurate as software and technology evolves.
InfoTrust can implement event tracking for these new website elements and identify trends and changes based on use by consumers. Do more people return to the site after testing a new lamp virtually in their living room? Are customers more inclined to complete a larger purchase after “trying on” a pair of glasses? Our event tracking and customized reporting can help businesses utilize this technology effectively, growing visits to the site while driving revenue.
Out of Stock – Direct Here for Similar Products
We’ve all been there—you see an ad for a new item you’ve been eyeing and click to check it out. Once on the website, you see it’s out of stock in your preferred color and size. With supply chain issues affecting virtually every market, it can be difficult to keep consumers interested when the original products are unavailable. This negatively affects conversion rates on a site, which essentially results in fewer purchases and revenue loss on these products. Linking a similar product on these pages or utilizing an “others also bought” section can prevent bounces and exits by directing customers to other things they may be interested in.
InfoTrust strategizes with a business’ team by implementing tracking on the pages to provide insight into customer clicks, purchases based on these internal ads, adds to wishlists, and more. Our goal here is to increase conversion rates and keep customers on the site to discover new products that also align with their interest and are in stock.
Ensure Proper Tracking of Gift Card Sales
When gift shopping, customers may opt for a gift card instead of waiting for an out-of-stock item or purchasing something else. Tracking of gift card purchases provides insight into popularity of gift card sales and identifies important trends. Are more gift cards bought as popular items are out of stock? How are businesses tracking this revenue? Are e-gift cards easily accessible on item pages?
Our eCommerce team at InfoTrust has noticed trends in the tracking of many gift card purchases and redemptions. If conversion tracking is not implemented properly, Google Analytics (GA) can double-count this revenue—once when the gift card is purchased, and once again when it is redeemed. Our team works hard to put gift card sales into the proper context so that brands have access to accurate data in GA and can continue to strategize with our team regarding revenue and increasing conversions.
The Effect of Covid
Another element that will remain a highly discussed topic heading into 2022 is the effect of the pandemic on retail/eCommerce platforms. Like the other trends above, a key focus here at InfoTrust is to contextualize the influence of Covid in relation to data. Many factors will continue to impact eCommerce platforms in this way and are dependent on client goals, company region, and the status/possibility of lockdowns around the world.
For example, when restrictions loosened up in some parts of the United States in 2021, there was an increase in in-store shopping resulting in a slight decrease in online traffic as those comfortable went back to traditional brick-and-mortar stores to make purchases. Through data in GA, this appears as a decrease in revenue, which is technically true on the website in this specific example. However, this does not necessarily mean a decrease in overall revenue for the brand. Before sounding the alarm and highlighting this change, our eCommerce team will continue to use information outside of GA to provide context to situations like these when necessary.
Helpful Tools to Track Trends
Our team utilizes many tools to stay on top of trends in the industry and the world. This allows us to contextualize and create meaning out of often complex data situations. Heading into 2022, we wanted to highlight several resources and tools we use as we continuously learn to ensure we are the best we can be for our clients.
- Google Trends is a great, free resource that highlights internet traffic for specific topics you choose. You can also compare topics to each other and their popularity over time. They provide visuals to show when these topics are trending in relation to social media, holidays, regional searches, and seasons changing.
- Spark Toro is a similar website that allows five free searches per month with a basic account and also highlights similar web searches by users.
A quick example to show how our team utilizes these tools is through the highlighting of sustainable products. Let’s say a company wants to choose a week in 2022 to feature sustainable products on their site but aren’t sure the most effective timeframe to do this. By doing a simple search for “sustainable” on either of these tools, our team noticed that in 2021, searches for this peaked in April, near Earth Day. We can help our clients strategize into 2022 and choose a week to highlight their “green” products that align with this peak (or not depending on their needs and GA data). This is a fairly straightforward example of how our team at InfoTrust uses tools to provide context to data and decision making to serve our clients and their ever-evolving needs in retail/eCommerce.
This is not an exhaustive list, but rather a few examples of ways InfoTrust uses and will continue to use context, retail/eCommerce and data trends, and creativity to build the best projects for our clients as we head into a new year. We follow trends and track industry events closely to stay on top of things and drive revenue for our clients. Our diverse background of consultants work collectively to bring insight from many perspectives and create the best strategy for each individual client. Contextualizing reports, trends, and new technologies is an essential focus with clients and behind the scenes to strengthen their presences heading into 2022 and thereafter.