Happy 2022 South Africa, and what a way to start.

Finding the country back down to level 1, curfew lifted and summer in full bloom, it seems like many of us are in good spirits.

I was thinking to myself, so much has changed in two years. We have adapted the best we can, and business alike have done all they can to ensure they are able to trade.

It got me pondering …. What type of global trends will companies and brands follow in 2022 to ensure that they stay ‘in pole position ‘?

Well, I stumbled upon a great article on Fobes.com and I thought I would share it with you, our Start My Car family.

“ Direct to Consumer (DTC) e-commerce has changed the way consumers interact with brands and shop for pretty much everything — razors, clothing, even mattresses. Even before the pandemic, DTC brands were seen as the digitally savvy retail category. Now, traditional retailers and branded manufacturers have incorporated valuable lessons they’ve learned from DTC brands to compete for the future of e-commerce.

Many traditional retailers now deliver an experience drawn directly from the DTC playbook in order to attract and retain customers. Take Nike: The brand had begun pulling away from department stores and other wholesale outlets a few years prior to the pandemic, claiming that digital sales were more profitable. In the first quarter of 2020, Nike’s bet on DTC paid off: Its e-commerce sales soared 82%

Whether you're a DTC company or a traditional retailer, there are key insights to learn from the DTC space. Here are five DTC e-commerce trends to watch in 2022.


1. More traditional retailers will go DTC.

To compete with online DTC brands, some larger retailers will choose to emulate them. With less foot traffic in physical stores many retailers will follow DTC brands’ lead and approach tech-savvy consumers online.


2. DTC brands will extend their category reach.

It’s true that the pandemic inhibited growth for many brands. But at the same time, Covid has caused heightened demand for athleisure and self-care products for consumers working from home. I predict that digital native companies will continue to grow and expand into adjacent categories.


3. Tech-savvy consumers will continue to be drawn to DTC brands.

At the beginning of the Covid outbreak, one of the most immediate needs for retailers was an efficient e-commerce platform. As luck would have it, that’s something DTC brands already had, giving them an early advantage. Nearly two years later, consumers continue to spend less time in brick-and-mortar shops and more time on their devices: U.S. e-commerce sales in Q3 2021 were up 45.6% compared to Q3 2019.


4. More DTC brands will go headless — or hybrid headless.

The next generation of headless companies, where the consumer-facing website is separate from the ecommerce platform, is developing solutions to outfit and enhance existing websites with new features and performance levels. DTC brands can now deploy seamless edge acceleration, meaning they can serve content powering the storefront from distributed servers worldwide with a simple click of a button. These edge-enhanced experiences allow technology vendors to meet DTC brands at affordable levels of investment and deploy rapidly.


5. Returns will become a competitive service differentiator. 

Customers are strongly influenced by return policy: a study by Forrester finds that consumers in France, the U.K. and the U.S. prefer online retailers who offer free return shipping, as well as retailers that refund the original form of payment. Forrester anticipates that customer-focused "retailers and brands will invest to upgrade returns (locations, streamlined processes, refund issuance, internal returns processing) and ... will work to share data internally and upgrade how they present products to avoid returns in the first place." 

From supply chain issues to rising expectations from consumers, e-commerce has much to contend with in the coming year. But the DTC brands (and traditional retailers) that keep these trends in mind will be well positioned to address these challenges to reach new audiences and thrive in the year ahead.” (Source – Forbes.com)

So as the lights go green on 2022, let us try remaining positive about the road forward. As with the last few years, 2022 certainly won’t always be easy, but if we have taken any lessons away from this pandemic it is, amongst other things important to have the foresight and vision that ecommerce will continue to grow. How we adapt or grow with it … well, that is up to us.

Make sure to pop into our online garage this week for some of our top sellers.

Stay Safe, Stay connected.


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