The e-commerce industry has been growing at an unprecedented rate in recent years. But with the rise of online shopping giants and waning pandemic, is selling online still worth it in 2022? 

The answer is yes.

But whether you’re an aspiring dropshipper or experienced e-commerce entrepreneur, there are 5 important facts we think you should know about the state of the e-commerce industry.

E-commerce is still growing - in fact, it never slowed down

At this point, it’s fairly well known that the pandemic played a significant role in the surge of online retail sales in 2020. 

From 2019 to 2020 alone, online leaped from 13.8% to 17.8% (Statista) as a global percentage of sales. Now, compare that to a previous jump of 1.6% YoY growth the year prior.

So, this was clearly an anomaly, right? Yes and no. As a matter of fact, e-commerce continues to show no signs of slowing, and the momentum from 2020 has continued to gather. 

Despite a slowing global market, conflict in Europe, and a struggling supply infrastructure, online retail sales are expected to account for 21% of all global retail sales in 2022. Better yet, future projections are even brighter with online shoppers expected to make up 24.5% of all global retail by 2025.

Did you know e-commerce only accounted for 7.4% of retail commerce in 2015 compared to 21% in 2022?

Whether we like it or not, people just prefer to shop at home

A leading cause of failure for businesses is the inability to react and adapt to the wants and needs of their customers. 

For a large, and growing, portion of the population (particularly younger generations), purchasing goods and services from the comfort of our homes is simply preferred over bustling, busy markets. 

That isn’t to say the high street is dead – not yet, at least; and although the Covid Pandemic triggered a surge in online commerce and accelerated online sales growth, the trajectory was already set in stone. Just take a look at this chart published by eMarketer highlighting the dominance of e-commerce as a percentage of retail sales globally, and you’ll see our point:

Mobile is completely taking over e-commerce

Does it surprise you that 72.9% of all online sales in 2021 were made on mobile phones? Compare that to roughly half (52.4%) in 2016.

These figures are astonishing and really do highlight the behavioural changes of consumers globally. If you’re looking to start your own online business and want one thing to take away from this article, let it be this: optimise for mobile, optimise for mobile, optimise for mobile

How often have you visited a website looking to buy something you know you need – credit card at hand – only to be completely dissuaded by slow loading times and an exhausting user interface? 

You should be an easy conversion – a guaranteed customer, only you weren’t, due to a few simple mobile optimisations lacking on the store.Just to put things into perspective, e-commerce sites can gain a 35% increase in conversation rates with an optimised checkout page. Now, imagine the edge you could have over your competitors if you simply ensure your website experience is smooth on mobile phones!

Dropshipping is definitely not dead

The dropshipping business model is fantastic for entrepreneurs who are looking to start their own business with low up-front investment and fewer risks. You don’t have to worry about manual fulfilment and you don’t need to rent a warehouse or purchase bulk stock.

In fact, dropshipping is how we first started in e-commerce!

Yet, many online have preached ‘dropshipping is dead!’ as e-commerce explodes and advertising is becoming more efficient than ever.

Alibaba, an international Chinese supplier and one of the largest players in dropshipping reported an increase of 29% year-over-year revenue from 2020 to 2021.

If you’re looking to test the waters of e-commerce, there’s no better business model than dropshipping. Later down the line, if you’ve managed to find a successful product and profitable business model, you can always order stock directly and even brand your own packaging. This will not only improve your shipping times, but you could improve your profitability significantly.

With market growth comes further competition

The importance of having a high quality brand and visually appealing website in 2022 can’t be overstated. Consumers on social media are increasingly bombarded with retail advertising, and each year more and more people start their own online businesses.

What does this mean? Advertising costs are increasing. This year alone, Facebook’s average CPC (Cost Per Click) has increased to $0.44 compared to $0.38 in 2021, according to AdEspresso. Acquiring customers is becoming more expensive.

This is why it is essential that your product offering and e-commerce store is conversion optimised, easy to navigate and beautifully designed. If you’re looking for a high quality e-commerce store, there are many qualified and highly professional designers and specialists out there. Wilkes Wood have specialised in web design for over 4+ years – feel free to email or give us a call at any time and we’ll be happy to chat about your project!