E-commerce is a rapidly growing industry and the future of e-commerce looks ever so promising. In the past few years, we have seen a rise in the number of companies that started to sell their products online, with a big spike that happened during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020-2021.
In this article, we will explore what trends are shaping the future of eCommerce, why you should care about them, and how to successfully implement them for your own business.
What are some of the most notable trends shaping the future of eCommerce?
- The rise in popularity of mobile devices and social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram.
- The increase in demand for customer engagement through chatbots, virtual reality, augmented reality, etc.
- The use of artificial intelligence to improve customer experience (AI).
In 2022, we’ve seen AI technology gaining territory in all domains and surely this trend will continue to expand and grow in the following years. But before we leave everything in the hands of the AI, let’s explore some more trends in regards to eCommerce in 2023.
What are eCommerce trends?
E-commerce is constantly evolving, and staying on top of the latest trends is essential for any business looking to stay competitive.
Customers today expect a lot more from the brands they support, and they expect to be able to access content from multiple devices.
To ensure customers remain engaged, businesses must keep up with the ever-changing trends and create content and products that meet modern tastes. Keeping up with the competition and staying ahead of the curve is the key to success in the eCommerce space.
What are the trends for 2023?
When it comes to online shopping, the trends you see are a reflection of what your customers want from your business.
Here are the top 7 trends to keep in mind as you plan for continued eCommerce growth over the next year.
1. Social media giants are still going strong
Despite the recent reports of decline in social media giants, businesses should not expect a disruptive alternative to arrive in 2023.
Facebook is still the must-have channel for general engagement, with an increase in usage of over 40% since 2017 and despite Twitter’s new tutelage drama with Elon Musk, the platform still remains on top. Therefore, businesses should ensure they keep their social media channels as up-to-date and engaging as possible and that includes Instagram and TikTok pages.
2. Online Lockdown hype is going down
The pandemic has seen eCommerce gain unprecedented access to a captive customer base, with many brands that never had an online shopping portal stepping up their game to survive the lockdown.
Customers who previously preferred brick-and-mortar stores have been forced to make new online habits. However, as we move closer to a life free from lockdown restrictions, these offline stores are experiencing a healthy rebound.
In fact, actual psysical stores have seen an increase in growth rate from 2020-2021, and it is the highest since 2016. It seems like being away from live shopping makes you miss it more.
It is important for brands to continue to leverage their online presence to make up for the lack of customer presence in stores.
This year is vital for establishing omnichannel marketing plans to provide a seamless shopping experience across all channels, including in-store, mobile, and online that are equally attractive to customers.
Options such as buy online, pick up in store, or unique experiences such as in-store prosecco shopping evenings or work out sessions, can be great sources of social media mentions and shares.
3. Putting the Reality in Virtual Reality
The past few years have seen a rise in the accessibility and acceptance of virtual reality (VR) as a genuine tool by customers. In fact, a survey revealed that three quarters of respondents would be more likely to shop with brands that use VR tech to showcase their products.
However, VR doesn’t necessarily mean a heavy VR headset to enjoy experiences and products of a brand. For instance, beauty and fashion brands allow virtual try-ons and furniture brands allow customers to view their products within their home using a phone camera.
This use of 3D technology allows customers to have a virtual ‘hands-on’ experience and has been known to increase conversions by almost half.
What once was just sci-fi is now readily available in your pocket and a few taps away. What a time to be alive!
4. From the people to the people
Almost half of the American consumer population prefer user generated content to regular TV shows and movies. This is a significant statistic, particularly when considering that streaming services for TV and movies are not free.
It is the free-to-view UGC that is the priority for these customers. Most social media users check their channels daily, soa good practice for brands would be ensuring that they have fresh content available for them to view and people to make content for them.
Influencer marketing is one of the most effective ways to increase brand awareness. By partnering with social media users who have a large following, brands can benefit from genuine customer engagement.
This is especially true in South America, where almost all of the population follows at least one influencer. Advertisers can leverage the connection between influencers and their audiences to build trust and credibility, as well as reach a large number of people with a single post and thanks to advanced advertising tools, it’s easy to measure the impact of each influencer campaign.
5. More flexible payment alternatives
With the introduction of payment options such as Klarna or other BNPL products, customers have come to expect more flexible payment alternatives.
The idea of ‘buy now, pay later’ has been an attractive purchasing model for some time, and services that provide this model for even day to day purchases have been rapidly adopted by customers. This flexibility in payment also helps to address a common issue among ecommerce sites – cart desertion.
Customers may appear ready to purchase but then change their minds and statistics show that this is often due to payment-related obstacles, such as the total cost, added shipping fees, poor payment options, or poor return policy.
By improving in these areas and adding more flexible payment options, eCommerce sites can help to reduce the number of customers who abandon their carts.
It is vital to understand the importance of providing our customers with flexible payment options and breaking down total purchases into manageable installments can help make the cost of products more accessible and less intimidating.
Any additional fees associated with this payment method can be seen as more manageable when spread out over multiple payments. Any eCommerce business interested in satisfying this need for their customers will probably flourish the most in 2023.
6. Optimize Delivery
The lockdown has changed the way customers expect delivery services to operate. Customers now expect delivery to be more accurate, and the classic “3-5 business days” may no longer be enough for the always on the run customer. When businesses fail to meet customer expectations in terms of delivery, almost ¾ of customers would refuse to order from that business again.
To ensure customer satisfaction, brands should aim for transparency and constant engagement so customers can always track their parcels. This could include driver tracking, email and sms updates of time slots, or giving customers the freedom to split purchases and change the delivery address.
Also, free and easy returns are quickly becoming standard among any respectable brand, and should be considered when looking to add convenience to the purchase cycle.
7. Client Data Privacy
An interesting eCommerce trend that seems to buck the current trend of personalization is the rise of the guest checkout option. This allows customers to make purchases without having to create an account, meaning they don’t need to share their personal details with the brand.
This is beneficial for customers, as it eliminates the risk of nuisance marketing emails, their payment details being retained, their address and personal details being retained, and their data being kept and exposed to data breaches.
This trend is particularly beneficial for customers who are concerned about their data security, as it allows them to make purchases without having to share their personal information.
As businesses continue to move into the future, it is important to keep up with the trends and provide customers with the flexibility they need.
To ensure that customers feel comfortable and respected, eCommerce businesses should offer them flexible payment options, such as the ability to purchase without an account, and to make it the default to not retain payment details unless customers opt in.
Additionally, it is important to give customers the option to opt into marketing emails, rather than out, to demonstrate that their preferences and needs are valued and they will appreciate your brand more.
Also read –
Planning your eCommerce strategy for 2023
With the ever-changing landscape of technology and consumer behavior, it is important to stay ahead of the curve and keep an eye out for the upcoming eCommerce trends in 2023.
Taking the initiative to adopt these trends is essential for improving the shopping experience for customers and developing a strong relationship with them. It is important to confidently take the necessary steps to ensure that your eCommerce business is evolving with the times and that you maximize advantage of the latest trends.
Doing so will help you stay ahead of the competition and provide your customers with the best possible experience.