2022 is expected to be a good year for the online marketplace industry. Amazon’s sales are expected to reach $580.2 billion in 2022. At any rate, that is what J.P. Morgan’s analysts predict.
In recent years, online marketplaces have indeed become thriving businesses. Their number grows by leaps and bounds and shows no signs of stopping.
As a result, the competition becomes steeper than ever before. The only way for business owners to stand out from the crowd is to implement the latest marketplace trends earlier than their rivals.
To prepare you for the battle for leadership in the digital commerce domain, we created a list of top online marketplace trends for 2022. What are they? Let’s find out.
1. Online sales growth due to COVID-19 pandemic
The online marketplaces industry is flourishing. Undoubtedly, the coronavirus pandemic has become a catalyst for e-commerce. Quarantines, self-isolation, travel restrictions - these measures have led to increasing online sales.
As a result, more and more brands started growing their businesses on the Internet, and got involved in online marketplace development.
For instance, Macy’s, a store chain, is planning to launch a curated digital marketplace in the second half of 2022. It will follow the model set by Amazon, Target, and other retailers that have successfully provided a platform for other sellers. Macy’s made this decision because digital sales continue to outperform in-store purchases.
Matt Baer, a chief digital and customer officer at Macy's, Inc, said that their e-business has been targeted to reach 10 billion in sales by 2023. It is a big step forward, as the company suffered heavy losses during the closure of the malls.
Another example is the company Walmart that has grown through online sales to near Amazon's level. Walmart adopted the online-sales trend in the marketplace domain properly. In 2020 Walmart Marketplace grew to an estimated 70,000 sellers, fueled by the surge of online shopping caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to Marketplace Pulse data, Walmart Marketplace is expected to have risen by 146% by the end of 2022.
In the table below, you can see the continuous increase in e-commerce sales worldwide.
To sum up, one of the main e-commerce marketplace trends with the start of the pandemic was the rapid growth of online shopping. Millions of people, during self-isolation, had to buy a lot of things on the Internet. And despite the weakening of lockdown, many customers remain in the habit of purchasing many things they need online.
Therefore, taking into account all changes in the world, companies need to look for new channels to work with clients. And the development of online sales is the main one.
2. Mobile shopping will be growing further
Let's consider the next current trend in the marketplace domain.
In recent years we have witnessed the rise of mobile commerce. Its rapid spurt was caused by the growing number of smartphone users globally. Current data shows that this marketplace trend is not going anywhere soon. Andrew Lipsman, an eMarketer's analyst, predicts that mobile commerce will take almost 50% of e-commerce sales in 2022.
So what should you do to please mobile shoppers and grow your profit? First, before you launch a marketplace, make sure that your future platform has a robust, responsive design. Smartphone owners should be able to find and purchase the required items just as fast and easily as desktop users.
Another option is to convert your existing e-commerce platform into a fast-loading progressive web app. This technology provides mobile shoppers with a native app-like experience. In simple terms, users can get push notifications and work offline.
For example, recently our team helped a client create the first online auto marketplace in Africa. This marketplace covers Africa and South American regions and provides a connection between buyers, car dealers, and sellers.
When we were working on this multi-vendor marketplace, our priority was to create a mobile-friendly platform, since we knew that most of the target audience would use it from a smartphone.
We implemented the PWA technology, and ensured such key requirements as the website's high loading speed, mobile optimization, user-friendly interface, and advanced searching filters.
In recent years, PWAs have become a remarkable online marketplace trend. It is no coincidence that many big marketplaces invested in progressive web app development. With the help of the PWA technology, brands can improve conversion rate and engage more with their customers.
3. Vertical marketplaces will be gaining momentum
Another noticeable marketplace trend is the shift towards vertical e-commerce platforms. Today business owners tend to narrow their focus when it comes to products they are going to offer and customers they want to serve.
This way, you will be able to stand out from the crowd and increase your customer base.
These platforms offer a great variety of products that suit every taste or budget. Consequently, these digital marketplaces can meet the most diverse customers’ demands.
At the same time, vertical platforms can bring more value to the customers by satisfying their unique needs and requirements. Consider, for example, such vertical marketplaces as Houzz, AngelList, or LiquidSpace. The increasing number of narrow-focused platforms became a trend affecting the e-marketplace domain.
Recommended reading: How to Create a Micro-Job Marketplace Like Fiverr: Features, Cost, Timeline
It is worth noting that you can extend your offering by adding new products and services at any moment.
For example, at Codica we created a vertical marketplace PlanMyKids intended for booking activities for children.
The story behind this project is very interesting. Being a parent himself, our client realized how difficult it is for busy parents to plan activities for their children. To make things easier, he came up with an idea of a digital service which would connect parents to program providers. We helped to bring his idea into life and succeeded in creating this vertical service marketplace.
4. Artificial intelligence will become even more beneficial
It is a common practice for companies to turn to artificial intelligence to streamline their workflow and processes. The e-commerce domain did not stay on the sidelines and quickly followed the lead. Thus, AI implementation became a prominent online marketplace trend.
It is well known that even before the pandemic, many people started shopping online. The main contribution to online sales is made by the generations of zoomers (1997-2021) and millennials (1981-1996), from 18 to 34 years old. Basically, they prefer to communicate using instant messengers, avoiding phone calls. This should be taken into account, and it is better to use AI online marketplace trends as communication channels, for example, messengers and chatbots.
Nowadays, chatbots are highly-demanded in the e-commerce domain. The implementation of these trends in the marketplace allows transforming customer experience. In its simplest form, chatbots scan the keywords in a customer’s query and offer pre-packaged answers.
Meanwhile, sophisticated chatbots are capable of creating more complex conversations and replies.
The table below shows the potential benefits of chatbots that became the latest trend in the marketplace domain.
AI implementation in digital commerce is not limited to chatbots only. Artificial intelligence allows creating personalized recommendations based on the customer’s purchase history.
Finally, smart AI algorithms help analyze consumers’ behavior and identify the best sales channels.
Below you can see the statistics of revenue from the artificial intelligence software market. The numbers have gradually increased since 2018, and are expected to reach more than $100 bln in 2025.
Therefore, there is no doubt that artificial intelligence as a marketplace trend will continue its rise.
Interestingly, the McKinsey Global Institute forecasts that at least one type of AI technology will have been implemented by about 70% of companies by 2030.
Further reading: How Much Does it Cost to Build an Online Marketplace in 2022?
5. New payment options will be adopted (cryptocurrencies and more)
Online shopping can become a hassle for customers using an unfamiliar payment option. Hence, your task is to provide consumers with all popular payment gateways. Allow them to pay for your products and services the way they used to. This tactic will help you improve the retention rate and get better chances of repeat purchases.
So what payment options should be added to your digital marketplace apart from traditional credit and debit cards? First of all, your online marketplace should accept digital wallets such as Google Pay, Apple Pay, and PayPal. High demand for these payment gateways is a noticeable marketplace trend.
Why is implementing eWallet systems so important?
When you aim to create a marketplace website to generate sales, you need to understand that the checkout process is the final stage of the user journey. It defines whether buyers will make a purchase thus boosting your conversions or not. At this step, they have already passed multiple steps from brand awareness, product search, reviews’ analysis, communication with a seller, to finally making a decision of buying an item.
However, if the checkout procedure provides troubles like taking much time or requiring to fill in long forms, it may still force the consumer to quit this process. It means that you can lose a potential customer.
Therefore, implementing e-wallets trends in the marketplace will definitely accelerate the purchasing process and buying experience of your customers, increasing your conversion rate.
You can also study payment methods policies applied by e-commerce leaders. Take a look at the additional payment gateways that are available there. For example, eBay allows users to pay for the items they bought by checks, money orders, or online payment systems.
It would be a wise idea to start accepting cryptocurrencies as a payment method. What benefits will it bring to the marketplace industry? The key advantages include low transaction fees and zero reverse transactions.
Moreover, Blockchain technology makes digital payments even more secure and almost eliminates any risks connected to the fund loss.
For example, Newegg, a huge e-commerce player specializing in electronics, has implemented Blockchain technology and accepts Bitcoin as payment now.
Furthermore, in 2021, Newegg accepted the new cryptocurrency Dogecoin as the official paying method. Notably, the cost of the meme coin has risen many times over one year. It happened due to the general trend of cryptocurrencies in the online marketplace industry over the past six months or a year.
Moreover, the coin implementation has been supported by famous people. For instance, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has repeatedly spoken out in favor of Dogecoin. And he even said that it's his favorite cryptocurrency.
Related reading: NFT Marketplace Development: What is it and How Much Does It Cost?
6. Omnichannel selling will become one of the main marketplace trends
Did you know that a strong omnichannel strategy allows businesses to retain on average 89% of their customers? This data makes omnichannel selling one of the interesting two-sided marketplace trends for 2022 and further.
Still, the question arises of what this term actually means. How is it different from a multichannel strategy?
In brief, the omnichannel approach means selling products and services across different channels. The key feature of this trend in the electronic marketplace industry is the close connection between all channels. This way, businesses make sure that customers will get a seamless experience across all platforms.
If omnichannel is a terra incognita for you, follow the tips below to put this enterprise marketplace trend to your advantage.
Learn more about your customers. Research their interests, demographics, pain points, and needs. This way, you will be able to choose the right moment for engaging with your audience. Also, you will find out when to encourage customers to make the purchase decision.
Choose the right channels. Find out which channels are especially popular among your consumers.
Define a clear goal for each channel. For example, use one channel for interacting with your consumers, another one - for publishing news updates.
Keep on testing your marketing strategy. Track and measure your results to make sure you get the most out of your omnichannel strategy.
7. Shoppable video ads on social media will gain traction
Social media have long become a useful marketing tool. Business accounts on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest are a dime a dozen. Here is some fresh news from the world of socials:
YouTube plans to become a marketplace;
TikTok is testing the function of adding product links to profiles and videos (shoppable videos). Furthermore, it is launching an integration with Shopify for direct sales;
Facebook and Instagram also want to use Shopify for real-time shopping on live streams.
As you can see, nowadays, brands are forced to think about new creative ways of using social media to engage with their audience. Hence, shoppable videos became an innovative online marketplace trend you may adopt.
Recommended reading: Online B2B Marketplace Development: Step-by-Step Guide
The strategy works the following way. Embedded links in such videos allow customers to click and purchase featured items right on the spot. Viewers do not even need to leave the video or a platform they are currently visiting.
The basic idea behind this marketplace trend is to meet the immediate purchasing interest that content evokes. Traditional content formats are not capable of doing such things. For this reason, they fall behind this new type of video. Meanwhile, the shoppable video may become the future of marketplaces.
Below you can see a screenshot from a shoppable video ad presented by WIREWAX platform for IKEA. This interactive video helps customers pick the perfect pieces for their spaces. Throughout the video, IKEA items will be clickable, allowing customers to select them to find out the item’s details. And beyond that, customers can make purchases straight away.
8. Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) in marketplace development
As it was already mentioned, one more latest online marketplace trend in m-commerce is the PWA technology. Progressive Web Apps have already become popular in 2021. However, this technology continues to develop.
A progressive web app is the combination of a website and a native app that provides the following benefits to business owners:
- Increase in mobile traffic;
- Average conversion growth;
- Average session expansion;
- Engagement increase.
According to statistics, a standard user installs 0 applications per month on their smartphone. That’s not much, as you see. In such circumstances, it’s wise to look for alternative solutions among online marketplace trends, for example progressive app apps.
So what are the benefits of the PWA technology? The main one is that they offer a close-to-a-mobile-app experience, while you need to develop only one application that will work smoothly on all the platforms and devices, be it mobile or desktop.
What else? Conveniently, PWA applications do not require a stable connection to the network. Such an application can be saved on the home screen of the smartphone or accessed directly from the browser. For now, the user only needs to visit the site twice to make the browser send an installation offer. Besides, PWAs do not take up as much storage space on the phone as native applications.
Therefore, many brands use them as a primary channel of interaction with customers or as an add-on to a mobile app.
Undoubtedly, the use of PWA is one of the most popular and prospective digital marketplace trends. Let's look at examples of well-known companies that successfully apply this technology.
PWA for OLX
A good example is the OLX marketplace. The company has enlarged the ad clickthrough rate by more than 140% and diminished the bounce rate by over 80% after launching a PWA online marketplace technology.
PWA for Flipkart
Flipkart, an Indian B2С e-commerce marketplace, attracts half of its new users with the help of PWA implementation.
PWA for AliExpress
Even such a thriving marketplace as AliExpress also created a progressive web app and increased the average user time on the site by 74%.
Obviously, the Progressive Web App will become the dominant technology in the online marketplace industry.
Therefore, if you have an e-commerce website and are looking for new interaction channels with customers, it is worth creating a PWA right now.
You may also like: What are Progressive Web Applications and How They Can Benefit Your Project
9. Sustainability practices will drive sales
Green consumerism no longer seems just a passing marketplace trend. In fact, these days, more and more customers value products produced in an eco-friendly way. Thus, 65% of customers express their wish to buy from brands that follow sustainability practices. These figures indicate the need for brands to adopt this online marketplace trend to dominate the market in the upcoming years.
Below you can see the key steps to take to follow this latest trend in the marketplace and make your brand more eco-friendly.
Use biodegradable packaging materials. Replace foams and plastic with paper and cardboard.
Track shipping errors and lost items. Enhance the power of data to improve profitability and sustainability.
Reduce energy waste in your business infrastructure. Turn off the appliance when you do not use it. Invest in low energy lighting to minimize energy waste.
Introduce paid returns. Customers tend to order more products they need if they can return unwanted items for free. So if you introduce paid reruns, shoppers will think twice before ordering extra items.
Give up destroying returned goods. Consider reselling them instead.
Avoid using big packages for small products. Make sure that you ship products in appropriately sized boxes.
To sum up on this trend, we can say that millennials feel responsible for the planet and expect the same from brands. Therefore, more and more buyers prefer products made of environmentally friendly materials, so they choose eco-packaging. They are also impressed by brands with rational use of nature and recycling technologies.
In a nutshell, it is worth paying attention to this one of the online marketplace trends.
10. Personalization will gain momentum
We have already mentioned the active usage of AI as a significant marketplace trend. Still, we want to show how artificial intelligence can help create a personalized experience. Why is it so important? The thing is that consumers tend to value products that are tailored to their specific needs.
Recent findings of Smarter HQ are working illustrations of this online marketplace trend. They show that 72% of customers will only collaborate with brands offering personalized messaging.
Do not miss the opportunity to use AI online marketplace technology to collect information about your visitors. This way, you will be able to adjust your website to their particular needs and wants. As a result, you get better chances to grow your revenue and reduce the bounce rate up to 45%.
Vans Customs shows a great way to provide users with a personalized experience. On their website, buyers can brighten ordinary shoes with their favorite art or photo. There is hardly a customer who will not want to get a product with a unique and impressive design.
Therefore, personalization is on the top of important e-commerce marketplace trends.
11. Voice commerce and smart home assistants will rise
Today people consider voice assistant devices such as Amazon Echo with Alexa great helpers. This statement can be easily backed up by specific figures. Thus, the latest study shows that 75% of U.S households will be equipped with smart speakers by 2025.
The increasing popularity of Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa generated growth of voice commerce. A UK-based consultancy, OC&C Strategy, estimated that voice commerce will reach $40 billion in 2022, and that's only in the U.S.
Meanwhile, Juniper Research forecasts that voice commerce will rise to $80 billion worldwide in 2023.
These figures give us the right to consider this form of software application the future of marketplaces.
You will need to optimize your e-commerce platform for voice queries to stay in the game. The tips below will show how to adapt your platform to this marketplace economy trend.
You may also like: C2C Marketplace Development: Why Invest in Your Own Platform
Create a FAQ page to offer users valuable information
Always add main keywords in answers to frequently asked questions. This way, you increase your chances to appear in voice search results.
Complete your local listing
When people conduct voice searches, they expect to find a local business that can satisfy their particular needs. If you want consumers to choose your company, make sure that your local listing is complete. Check the key information such as name, physical address, email, and phone number.
Optimize your content for various smart speakers
Each voice assistant performs differently from its counterpart. For example, Alexa pulls information from Bing. Therefore, you need to optimize your businesses for Bing Places. Optimize your e-commerce platform for each speaker individually. Thus, you will prepare your website for this trend in the marketplace industry.
The future of digital commerce never looked more promising. The latest online marketplace trends discussed above offer businesses multiple opportunities. However, it would be a big mistake to try and keep up with all of them. It’s up to you to decide which marketplace trends of 2022 are important for your business and focus on them.
If you need assistance from a reliable online marketplace development company, feel free to contact us. We have delivered many successful e-commerce projects, and we will be happy to create one for you.