The analysis carried out by MerchantPro – the Saas solution platform for e-Commerce – on the data recorded by over 1,500 local online stores show a 12.5% increase in the number of orders and 22% in value in 2022, compared to 2021. The comparison was made on the basis of online stores that had operations in both 2022 and 2021.
Analyzing on a monthly basis, purchasing behavior fluctuated between very cautious in months such as March, after the outbreak of the war, when transactions increased by 5%, to exuberant, in May, when the evolution reached 30% at the level of transactions.
The dynamics in 2022 were obviously more tempered compared to previous years, the effect of the border conflict, the energy crisis and the possible recession, but also the intense competition. Buyers’ interest in online purchases has remained high and continues to grow, also fueled by merchants’ efforts to attract them through better and better conditions – states Arthur Radulescu, CEO and founder of MerchantPro.
At the level of all online stores that use the MerchantPro e-Commerce platform, including those that started their activity on the platform in 2022, orders worth almost 250 million euros were placed last year. The average order was 56 euros, 12% higher than in 2021, when it was 50 euros.
Last year, several large stores, with complex activity and a large number of transactions, migrated to the MerchantPro platform. To determine the trend at the market level, we excluded these stores. If we take them into account, at the platform level the value increase was 50%. At the moment, the MerchantPro platform supports approximately 4% of local online commerce – says Arthur Radulescu, MerchantPro.
2023, year of investments in UX, optimization and automation in e-Commerce
The beginning of the year is, historically speaking, a period with moderate dynamics, a month of settlement and planning. Traders draw conclusions regarding the evolution of the previous year and look to the future from the perspective of the changes and investments they are going to make – says Arthur Radulescu.
Among the trends that stand out in 2023, after a year of market consolidation in 2022, are investments in automation, including for the integration and adoption of artificial intelligence solutions, as well as increasing the performance of stores from the perspective of visitors, at the storefront level.
Process automation aims to minimize human intervention, increase productivity on internal flows and reduce the risk of error. That is why the interest of merchants has increased in the integration of process and operation optimization solutions in their online stores, including artificial intelligence systems such as ChatGPT, Google Translate or Deepl, which will allow merchants to differentiate themselves from the competition through content and personalization.
Also, online entrepreneurs aim to improve the experience of website visitors, with an immediate effect on the conversion rate and sales. From this perspective, investments in increasing loading speed, in simplifying the check-out process or the post-sale fulfillment area are increasingly common.
There are two directions in which online commerce is developing this year, with equal importance from the merchant’s perspective, but with different visibility from the buyer’s perspective. On the one hand, the changes and improvement of the site’s performance at the UX level – loading speed, simplification of the purchase process and fulfillment – are felt directly by the buyers and have an immediate effect on the conversion rate and implicitly on the income. On the other hand, internal automation and optimization of the backend area have an effect in reducing costs. My estimation is that this year traders will focus on investments in these directions, both to align with the demands of buyers, as well as to face the pressure on costs – thinks Arthur Radulescu.