The 2021 eCommerce, Retail, Marketing Trends that are here to stay in 2022

Aditya Labhe
5 min readDec 23, 2021


TikTok’s social commerce ad format.

2021 provided a continued opportunity for brands to invest and grow on the back of some of the success they were able to achieve in 2020. We also saw major developments happening in the eCommerce eco-systems across retail marketing, fulfilment, selling channels.

Here is my attempt to capture some of the trends, that I feel we will see more of in 2022.

Social Commerce:

Selling products on social platforms have been around longer than we remember, but this practice being coined as Social Commerce is more recent. Insider Intelligence forecasted that US retail social commerce sales will rise by 34.8% to $36.09 billion in 2021, representing 4.3% of all retail eCommerce sales.

Although the social commerce ads were always available for the brands to use, integrations, like Facebook Catalog Management syncing with Shopify stores, the emergence of marketplace solutions like Meesho, which makes it easier for shops to publish on social and just the overall development in product integrations space has helped brands integrate on social more seamlessly.

We also saw platforms such as Facebook/Instagram, Snapchat, Tiktok launching new media formats and initiatives such as Facebook Shops, Swipe up Features, Instant Checkouts, Video Shopping Events, VR/AR and more. This in return helped brands truly embrace, be creative and at the same time be precise with their selling initiatives on social.

“In 2020, Facebook launched Facebook Shops to help SMBs bring their storefronts online”

Along with product publishing, payment initiatives such WhatsApp Shops launching front business front along with WhatsApp pay also facilitated seamless processing of payments.

As platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat continue to develop their selling offering we will see more brands having social selling related KPIs. In 2022, brands in tandem should start investing in having seamless integration of product catalogues solutions.

Retail Media:

By this time you might have read hundred and one articles about the growth of retail media, but retail media truly went mainstream in 2021. Amazon can be termed as the pioneer for opening up its platform for retail media, however, it’s very important to recognize that there is more to retail media than Amazon now.

Source: tinuti

We saw massive investments from agencies (Publicis Groupe Buys Citrus Ads), solutions such as Tinuiti, Skai- formerly Kenshoo, and more recently Microsoft acquiring Xandr to accelerate delivery of digital advertising and retail media solutions investing in and building their eCommerce offerings. We also saw a lot of brands going beyond just Amazon, in terms of investment.

With the dissolution of 3rd party tracking creeping in, retail media will benefit.

As retail media investment grows in 2022, it’s important for brands/agencies to start doing media planning with “overall costs on retailer” in mind, keep a tight watch on margins, and also think of retail media creatively by incorporating more KPIs beyond just conversions.

Market Places and DTC Enablement:

We are starting to see more retailers invest in marketplaces, the reason might be again traced back to amazon. Amazon Marketplace grew 60% in the first quarter of 2021, the fastest in at least five years since the company started reporting third-party seller services revenue.

We are increasingly seeing retailers globally launching new marketplaces. This has been an attractive proposition for a lot of retailers as not having to maintain inventory costs, and taking marginal cuts from sales has proved profitable.

On the back of this, we also saw marketplace technologies such as Mirakl finding success and growth themselves.

In 2022, we will continue to see, retailers investing in developing the marketplace offering, brands and sellers continuing to invest the storefront/DTC offering with the likes of Shopify and in return, the 3P and fulfilment solutions and companies also reaping the benefits.

Last Mile — qCommerce

Lastly, Last Mile. We saw the last mile model going through a lot of changes. From the traditional “shoppers doing shopping for you” Instagram model to the warehousing model made popular by GoPuff, Gorillas and so on in Europe, there is lots on offer.

According to CB Insights, Last mile/on Demand was one of the most heavily invested categories globally.

Instant Deliveries, 1-hour deliveries, Same-Day Deliveries, Next Day deliveries are becoming a norm globally. This in return provides opportunities for brands to partner with the last-mile providers. 2022 will see a lot of investment in last-mile marketing, media and partnerships.

I’m also particularly interested in following the digital shelf space, as it goes hand in hand with on-platform, in this case, the retailer website optimisation.

What are some of the trends you are keeping an eye on in 2022?

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Aditya Labhe

Digital Strategy | eCommerce | Solutions and Sales Strategy Lead at ChannelSight.

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Here is a small recap for 2021, and on what’s on some of the trends I feel we will see more of in 2022.



Aditya Labhe

Thinker | Writer | Photographer | Learner | Adboy | Idea builder | Design enthusiast