In 2022, brands and businesses will make direct relationships and better shopping experiences a priority to keep customers away from marketplaces and coming back for more. The mantra will become “anywhere commerce” as first movers and fast followers alike pursue presence in every possible shopping moment, from an owned website to an influenced marketplace or social platform to a paid retail media placement.
Commerce technology is a vital component in any shopping experience — owned, influenced, or paid. To fulfill the potential of anywhere-commerce, merchants and B2B companies will tackle their technology foundations with more investment energy. We predict you’ll see big changes in digital commerce technology in 2022, including:
- New enterprise “experience” architectures will evolve to deliver anywhere-commerce. One-off point solutions to address the Tribble-like multiplication of commerce touchpoints and channels has led to chaos, fragility, and constant firefighting. But consumers and business buyers alike won’t slow their demand to shop and buy in any moment they choose. To make every touch a shopping moment in 2022, smart technologists will revisit the technological foundations of engagement and assemble an “experience architecture.” How? By investing in commerce cloud components.
- Commerce tech spend will soar as companies reclaim their brands from marketplaces. In the US in 2020, 57% of B2C e-commerce sales flowed through marketplaces. But marketplaces are as much enemy as friend to businesses. Depending on where your product is in its lifecycle, selling through a marketplace forces you to trade sales volume off against losing the soul of your brand. In 2022, brands will fight back. They will make investments in order management, payments, and inventory control to make every touch a positive, shoppable moment; they will build immersive experiences to turn browsing into virtual inhabiting; and they will make subscription billing and loyalty a business model pivot.
- A carve-out/add-on frenzy will triple investment in commerce cloud components. In 2022, we expect that merchants will turn to the cloud in droves to adopt a component extension strategy. They will carve out bits of their mammoth commerce stacks, leaving the engine running while replacing and extending functionality with cloud components. Over time, they’ll be operating a new commerce engine for all but the core, which becomes an easier, final swap to make.
2022 is the year to take ownership of customer experience at every point, deliver on customer expectations for the quality of the experience, and leverage modern architecture to get there.