New CommX Research Report: 2022 Digital Trends and Investment Priorities

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For their premier research report of 2022, CommerceNext partnered with CommX — the recently launched community formed to guide brands and retailers into a new era of digital commerce growth through research, benchmarking data, best practices and more.  The report 2022 Digital Trends and Investment Priorities  surveyed top brand and retail marketing executives  to ascertain their plans for navigating this next year during one of the most disruptive eras of digital marketing ever, shaped by rising acquisition costs and the aftershocks of iOS 14/15’s privacy changes. 

This report answers:

  • Where are retailers and brands making upgrades in customer acquisition, CRM, customer experience and other areas?
  • What is the industry impact and strategic response to altered KPI performance from customer privacy changes? 
  • Are there new revenue streams we can expect to see in ecommerce? 

Read the full report here


Summary Findings

CommerceNext surveyed 118 digital marketing and ecommerce executives across verticals about their 2022 plans and priorities. After a strong 2021, retailers are generally optimistic about digital sales this year and are looking to build lifetime value with customers through loyalty programs and better, more personal customer experiences to mitigate rising social media advertising costs, continuing supply chain challenges and increasing inflation. 


Residual Concerns

Among all executives surveyed, supply chain challenges continue to be seen as the primary risk to achieving desired sales results, cited by 61% of respondents, while 75% of digital-first retailers surveyed said rising customer acquisition costs were their primary concern. Inflation concerns are top of mind, too, with 56% of respondents anticipating a minimum 6% increase in prices and 20% expecting an increase of over 10%. 


Retention On Top Again

52% of respondents plan to either launch a loyalty program in 2022 or expand their current one, as diminishing acquisition KPIs have driven retailers to prioritize retention strategies. The survey also found that many retailers think investing in buzzy technologies like crypto payments and AR/VR is a much lower priority than investing in personalization, navigation and discovery, and search in order to keep customers coming back.


2022 Opportunities

Some of the most valuable information from the report is centered around the future of ecommerce. The ever-changing industry has been impacted greatly by new privacy laws. “Paid social will remain the top acquisition channel in 2022, but its high costs have retailers looking for models that will generate higher ROI in the future,” said Scott Silverman, Co-Founder of CommerceNext. “Brands looking to endear their customers to them are prioritizing loyalty and personalization and we’ll see retailers focusing their money and marketing efforts on either launching or expanding loyalty programs in 2022 in order to build better, more enduring brands.”

In terms of opportunities for 2022, retailers see the on-site consumer experience as a high-impact priority and are ramping up personalization efforts and upgrading site search and product discovery tools. Added revenue streams, like international e-commerce, are clear areas of focus as well, while brand executives’ views on social commerce are mixed, with 45% of respondents saying they are still “considering it,” but not prioritizing it.

“With such apparent obstacles ahead for retailers in terms of the supply chain and inflation, it’s now more important than ever for brands to invest in opportunities that allow them to own their own data and build that lifetime value for customers,” said Brian Walker, Chief Strategy Officer of Bloomreach, which chairs CommX. “The more brands prioritize customer acquisition and retention through diversified efforts beyond paid social, the better they’ll fare throughout the year.”

The research report reveals important digital trends and changes in the ecommerce industry that all retailers should use to their advantage in their marketing strategies. Read our recent blogs on Women’s History Month, Collaboration and the CommerceNext 2022 conference vision. Also, don’t miss out on the recent episodes of our podcast, Conversations With CommerceNext.

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