Top Challenges affecting eCommerce companies in 2022 | Varn

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23 August 2022

Top Challenges affecting eCommerce companies in 2022

2020 and 2021 were very different years for eCommerce companies to those prior, an increase in disposable income amongst middle-income earners combined with a lack of viable activities and holidays to go on led to lots of people saving big and eventually spending big. This led to certain industries doing very well and many experienced record years provided they were in the right markets. 

2022 poses a very different challenge with stagflation (a combination of high inflation and low growth) putting a squeeze on disposable income and causing sales to drop as people spend more money filling up their tanks and heating their homes. 

In addition to an environment that’s less than ideal for an increase in sales, a lot is changing in digital which is also raising new challenges for SMBs within the eCommerce industry. 

At Varn have been working closely with our clients to develop longer-term search marketing and wider business strategy plans to grow over the short to medium future, and part of the planning has been outlining key challenges in the industry. 

Here we have summarised some of the key challenges that are facing eCommerce in 2022 from the common themes that have arisen from our internal client workshops. 

1. Stagflation and lower disposable income in the UK 

Stagflation (an economic cycle characterised by slow growth and a high unemployment rate accompanied by inflation) is leading to an impact on disposable income in the UK as it is amongst many countries across the world and this is inevitably having an impact on the purchasing power of consumers. 

Online stores are finding that sales are dropping, and the high inflation means that their costs continue to rise. It is at times like this when cash flow is king, and keeping your marketing efforts going to bring new customers in the door becomes even more important. 

2. The move over to GA4 and compliant analytics in a cookieless world 

The phasing out of third-party cookies is leading to a massive change in the way businesses collect information on the web, and this will lead to a big shift in the way we work with digital analytics for websites. Google has announced that standard Universal Analytics will stop processing data on the 1st of July 2023 and Google Analytics 4 will become the new standard. 

Adopting GA4 will move higher up the list of priorities for websites over the next year, and Varn are well positioned to if you need a plan on how to move over to the new GA4 standard. 

3. Cyber security risks | Targeting SMBs 

Cyber security is a big talking point amongst ecommerce sites at the moment who are concerned with the potential damage that can be inflicted on their businesses. Customer details, order information, stock management systems, these can all be affected by an attack and losing the data without any backup can mean months and even years of getting back to where you need to be. 

Appetito is an online food delivery service that is still recovering from the impact of a sophisticated cyber attack earlier in the year, and is a good example of why all companies should invest in cyber security. 

4. Converting visitors to customers 

When it comes to digital marketing and more specifically search marketing, converting visitors to customers is the key metric. Whilst you may be getting plenty of traffic on Google and other search engines for more informational keywords if they are not relevant to your offering they will be unlikely to convert into customers. 

With more people searching online, using the right channels to attract buyers is critical, which is why a good organic SEO strategy that targets the right keywords and topics is crucial if you are to overcome this challenge.

Partnering with reputable call center companies to enhance customer support and engagement can also play a pivotal role in converting potential leads into satisfied customers. The human touch provided by skilled call center professionals can address queries, build trust, and ultimately contribute to a higher conversion rate.

5. Developing diversified commercial channels 

Relying too heavily on one channel is always a bad idea and whilst you should focus on your strengths, adopting both SEO and paid advertising within your search marketing strategy will help you develop diversified commercial channels. 

This will allow you to reach more customers at different stages of the buyer journey, and support rankings you may be working on and save money on rankings you are strong on. This is crucial for smaller ecommerce businesses that are looking to improve cash flow. 

Varn can help you with all of the above! 

We understand the challenges facing small, medium and large online retailers at the moment, 2022 has been a difficult year for many however we are finding that businesses that view the uncertainty as an opportunity to push their search marketing efforts are putting themselves in a good position to reap the rewards when markets pick up again and the cost of living challenge eases. 

Make sure you get in touch with Varn to find out more about how we can help your eCommerce store drive profitable growth with a strong ROI on search marketing spend.

Find out how we can help your eCommerce store drive profitable growth with a strong ROI on search marketing spend.

Article by: David, SEO Account Manager More articles by David

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