This year has seen the continued growth of online marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay and Wayfair. The trend away from the traditional high street was turbo charged as a result of the Covid outbreak in 2019, but that trend looks set to carry on into 2022.
The latest statistics show that 91% of UK shoppers now use an online marketplace at least monthly [2021, IMRG]. Amazon was again the dominant marketplace. Amazon’s profit has now soared to $469bn, almost doubling within five years [2021, Statista]. In fact, Only 6.2% of shoppers in the UK say they never use Amazon at all [2020, Statista].
But what does the future hold for online marketplaces, and what can we expect in 2022?
Here, a selection of marketplace experts from Optimizon, a leading Online Marketplace Agency, share their predictions and insights so that you can get business ready for the coming year.
Marketplace Predictions for 2022
Year of the Marketplace
Mel Henson, Head of Creative at Optimizon, predicts:
“2022 will be the ‘year of the marketplace’. Amazon led the way, but others are fast catching up. They come from different roots – auction (eBay), retail (Next), publishing (Country Life), Social (Facebook and Tik-Tok), makers and craftspeople (Etsy) – but they’re all growing up to be in the same place – a purchasing channel.”
“In future, protecting brands will mean making sure that your customers have the same emotional experience wherever they buy in the ecommerce environment. That means making sure that the tone of voice and visual look and feel is consistent across the multiple different layouts and formats dictated by the new superpower marketplaces.”
Live Stream Shopping
Nicola Graves, Operations Manager at Optimizon, says:
“2022 will see a rise in worldwide Live Stream Shopping in the digital ecommerce landscape. From live stream shopping on TikTok, Facebook & Amazon.”
“Live stream shopping has taken off in a big way in the Asian markets, and according to Statista, it doesn’t stop there. There were 80 million social buyers in the U.S. in 2020, which equals a 30% increase over 2019. We expect the 2021 figures to show another large jump.”
“I forecast this trend will grow in other marketplaces and other social media platforms as well. So get your business prepared if you want to tap into this growing market.”
Dean Hawes, Optimizon’s Head of Account Management, highlights brand control and continued supply chain disruption:
“With more focus and confidence from consumers on marketplace platforms, 2022 is the time to own your brand and ensure represented in the way you intended. Marketplaces like Amazon are desperate to deal directly with brand owners over retailers for a number of practical and commercial reasons, so expect to see more incentives for brands.”
“Taking control of your brand on Amazon and other marketplaces is no longer a choice, it is essential. Nobody else will give your customers the same brand experience as you can.”
“We expect that 2022 will continue to see supply chain disruptions. Plan your stocks well in advance. Use the opportunity to steal a march on your competition by keeping in stock.”
More Tools for Brands
Christina Leighfield, eBay Channel Manager & Bert Basset, eBay Channel Director at Optimizon:
Christina says “On eBay we predict the introduction of more tools for brands to present themselves professionally, and more self-service promotional tools. eBay appears to be following Amazon’s lead in attempting to attract more brands directly, by allowing them to present themselves in the best possible light.”
Bert adds “In wider ecommerce we think 2022 will be a boom year for Q-commerce (ordering goods to arrive within hours, not days) as society accepts that covid is going to be with us for years and shopping in store is going to continue to have restrictions and risks.”
“Capitalising on speedy end-to-end fulfilment options such as ‘Fulfilled by Amazon’ and ‘Fulfilled by eBay’ is an easy way to achieve fast delivery speeds for most sellers.’
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Amelia Bourton, Optimizon Business Analyst & Laura Harvey, Data Administrator focus on environmental concerns. Amelia says:
“With greater focus on the environment and the impact of climate change, we predict that consumers will be more focused on the sustainability and environmental impact of their products in 2022.”
“Consumers are likely to be more swayed by Climate Pledge Friendly products over the price.”
Laura adds, “Businesses should ensure that they have considered every aspect of their environmental impact, from sourcing, packaging, to end of product lifetime planning.”
“Ensure your environmental pledges are genuine too. Companies are increasingly being shamed on social media for ‘Green Washing’ (whereby they over-egg their environmental credentials and use them for promotional purposes).”
Charlotte Boaler, Brand Content Specialist at Optimizon, envisions:
“I expect we will see a bigger drive for split testing content added to listings. This could be different forms of images, titles, bullets or A+ content.”
“Towards the end of 2021 Amazon introduced ‘Amazon experiments’ for this reason and currently it has very limited capabilities. I expect we’ll see Amazon bring in more options for this feature so sellers can monitor and A/B test which form of content has more success over another.”
“Why does this matter? Well, your competitors will be using these tools to fully optimise their listings. If you don’t do the same, you’ll find you products being pushed down the listings.”
Jon Ellis, Optimizon’s Head of Advertising
“2021 saw Campaign Manager take a whole new look, where features such as reporting, brand metrics, stores and creative assets can be located on the left-hand side of the interface.”
“New features such as the budget tab to assess how long your campaigns were in budget for (on average), have been launched. Could 2022 be the year that Amazon finally release an attribution tool which measures and appropriately credits all of your Amazon marketing activity? Many will be hoping so!”
1P to 3P
Isobel Wormald, Business Development Director, explains that selling on Amazon has become increasingly professional:
“For those selling on Amazon, there are a lot of other platforms looking to entice them away. The trend in conversations is around how to get the best out of Amazon, and if that means exploring a move from 1P to 3P to get more brand control then businesses will look at this. Onbuy, Wayfair and eBay all launching new offerings.”
What is a 1P and 3P? A first-party relationship? 1P means the marketplace acts as the retailer, and the brand is the wholesale supplier. A third-party relationship, 3P, is when the brand is the retailer, and sells directly to buyers via the marketplace.
“Those looking to launch on Amazon are looking for global reach and have a keen focus on getting EU or US logistics right.”
“Amazon support is popping up in many places. Those who have been round the block a couple of times with independent freelance support and not seen the results or deliverables they wanted are now looking to more established agencies (like Optimizon!) to pick up the pieces and do ‘best practice’ to get it right on Amazon.”
“There is also a trend in recognising that Amazon can’t just be done by anyone and everyone from a freelance network. Amazon is the largest marketplace on the planet, and competition is fierce. Therefore, Amazon best practice is now a multi-team expert skill set that companies recognise they need to outsource. “
Direct to Consumer growth
Finally, James Pitts-Drake, CEO and Founder of Optimizon, predicts that:
“2022 will see many brands created on Amazon fostering their D2C (Direct to Consumer) channels to build their brands for the future.”
“There has been $billions invested into Amazon aggregators globally to buy up FBA brands that carry no brand equity on the channel. The owners of the brands will now begin to create their own D2C and social presence to capture more market share on and off Amazon.”
“In addition, 2022 will see the rise of brands from outside the EU wanting to plant their roots into the UK. They will be looking for Marketplace Agencies like Optimizon to manage and control their brands, to scale their presence, and increase their market share in the UK and EU.”
“Existing businesses need to be ready for the changing landscape of competition.”
2022 Amazon Insights
As always, if you have any questions or need help with your Amazon, eBay, Wayfair or other marketplace accounts, please feel free to reach out to the Optimizon team. We’re here to help.
We have also prepared an Amazon Insights Report for 2022, full of insider tips and expert insights, which you can get for free here.
Written by Optimizon.