Top 10 eCommerce Trends to Watch Out For in 2023 [Views from Industry Leaders Included]
eCommerce as an industry is constantly changing and evolving, even more rapidly than other sectors, due to the proclivity of sellers and customers to jump on board emerging trends in relation to technology, services, website design, marketing, and more. This is because of the hyper-competitive environment that eCommerce sellers find themselves in. For instance, even if a retailer has a business idea in a relatively untapped industry and gains an early adopters advantage, the market will soon be inundated with other sellers trying to duplicate the success of the initial seller. This reduces their competitive advantage because every firm will be trying to be employing their own tactics to highlight their brand to prospective customers and showcase reasons why they should choose them as opposed to other competitors. Thus, in order to maintain an edge over your nearest rivals or gain ground over them, you need to consistently monitor eCommerce trends that are gaining popularity in the market and take advantage of them in your own business.
“2023 is the year that brands need to figure out how to deliver fluid omnichannel shopping experiences.”Arjun Vaidya, Entrepreneur and Investor
Significance of Keeping Up With eCommerce Trends
eCommerce trends can have a significant impact on the success or failure of a business, based on how fast you are able to adapt. For instance, ultra-fast delivery is taken more or less for granted today but when it was first introduced by Amazon in the late 90s, it completely changed the way customers were able to purchase and receive their goods. Thus, companies that didn’t adapt and offer a similar solution of their own would often lose ground to other companies that did. The same can be said about features like live order tracking, multiple payment options, branded packaging, and more. Once consumers get a taste of these facilities, they would not want to go back to purchasing from a retailer that doesn’t offer them. Similarly, if every brand in your industry is promoting its items through social commerce platforms like Whatsapp, you also need to jump on the bandwagon to keep your business in the mix.
Latest Growth Statistics on eCommerce Industry
Let’s take a look at some notable statistics that reiterate the significance of keeping up with eCommerce trends:
- With many studies showing that the eCommerce industry is growing by upwards of 35% per year, with around 40% of new sellers coming from smaller towns and cities, the industry is expected to triple its value, from $50 billion in 2022 to $150 – $170 billion by 2027.
- In 2022, 20% of all retail sales were made online, up from 17% in 2021 and this number is expected to rise to 23% by 2025.
- eCommerce sales are expected to reach $6.51 trillion globally by next year, with 22% of those sales coming directly from sellers’ websites.
- 27% of eCommerce users use voice command technology, out of which, 46% used it to perform price comparisons with other products, and 41% used to it find out which businesses sell a particular item.
- 18% of online shoppers stated that the reason they abandon their carts is because of a lack of multiple payment options.
- The number of customers that chose to pay for their purchase via an online payment option increased by 45% in 2022.
- 75% of customers in 2022 suggested that they preferred paper and other sustainable packaging compared to plastic while 71% said that they would choose a sustainable alternative if they had a choice.
- By 2027, 27% of basic customer interactions with a business are expected to be performed by an automated chat bot.
- 80% of customers state that they would be more likely to purchase from a company that offers personalised options for various products and services.
- 75% of customers browse through multiple listings on various platforms before shortlisting where they want to buy from.
“I think moving forward, a media company that’s separate from a marketing company will not exist. I think the lines are blurring and they will continue to blur.”Katia Beauchamp, CEO of BirchBox
How Can You Monitor eCommerce Trends?
Due to the amount of advanced technology at our disposal, you can monitor eCommerce trends using a variety of methods. The popularity of social media has played a big part in the way customers express their satisfaction or displeasure with a business. Similarly, businesses can monitor social media to identify the likes and dislikes of customers and identify what made them choose a particular brand over others. Another way to identify eCommerce trends is to look for the introduction of new features in the market, such as the emergence of sub-30-minute deliveries that were pioneered by having dark stores where products could be stored and delivered locally.
Let’s take a look at a few ways you can successfully monitor eCommerce trends in 2023:
Use Industry Reports
Many companies and organizations publish reports on eCommerce trends. These reports can provide valuable insights into current and emerging trends in the industry. Either you or someone from your organization should browse through these reports and identify if there is anything of significance to you and your brand which can help propel your business going forward.
Follow Industry News and Blogs
Staying up-to-date with industry news and blogs can help you stay informed about eCommerce trends. Many of these sources provide analysis and commentary on trends in the industry, which come in useful if you need precise data to analyze the effect that such trends could have on various portions of your business.
Use Social Media
Social media platforms can be a great source of information on eCommerce trends, considering that platforms like LinkedIn act as a digital meeting point where the world’s brightest minds can seamlessly exchange ideas and have healthy debates for every user to see. Many eCommerce businesses primarily use social media to announce new products, promotions, and other updates, which can provide valuable insights into current trends. 67% of small businesses prefer marketing and promoting their products on social media to conventional marketing.
Use Analytics Tools
Analytics tools such as Google Analytics can provide data on customer behavior, including trends in traffic, conversions, and revenue. This can help you understand how trends are affecting your business and identify areas for improvement. Additionally, they can help you pinpoint the pages that customers spent the most time on and the ones that resulted in them leaving, so you can make edits to your listings and websites accordingly.
Conduct Customer Surveys
Asking customers directly about their preferences and behaviors can provide valuable insights into current and emerging trends. Surveys can be conducted online or in person and can be a useful way to gather customer feedback and stay attuned to changing trends. For instance, a customer may have experienced a specific service while ordering from a specific company and may voice their dissatisfaction that your company doesn’t provide that same feature. This allows you to gather similar data and implement the facility in the future.
“There are so many opportunities on the horizon, from mobile exclusives to geo-located offers to better filtering and searching. We’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible with personalization.”Michelle Peluso, CEO of Gilt Group
10 Most Important eCommerce Trends to Watch Out For in 2023
Omnichannel Retail is Making a Comeback
With the world recovering daily from the after-effects of the global pandemic, many shoppers have decided to go back to their old shopping habits as well. A recent study by Harvard indicates that 73% of consumers prefer purchasing through a variety of means, compared to 20% that shop solely in physical stores and 7% who shop exclusively online. While online shopping is extremely convenient for some things, customers have showcased that there is nothing quite like browsing for exactly what you need while the products are tangibly present in front of them. Thus, retailers need to make the jump to omnichannel retail if they want to take advantage of higher sales in 2023.
Increasing Importance of Highlighting Differentiating Factors
During the pandemic, with the burgeoning popularity of eCommerce compared to previous years and people making the jump to try their hand at starting a business, the number of online companies that emerged have been unparalleled since. With all these new sellers diluting the market, the onus is on each brand to highlight and promote the reason customers should choose them. Whether it is providing lower prices, free shipping, or flexible returns, identify the unique selling point of your brand and waste no time in reiterating that message to customers.
Globalisation is Taking the World by Storm
With the borders of many significant countries fading away, at least for retail international trade and investments recuperating after a couple of hard years, globalisation has become the power for the course in modern society. It has never been easier for brands to manufacture their products in one country and sell them in multiple countries of their choosing. Additionally, many local Indian brands are expanding their services abroad, to take advantage of markets with higher GDPs and per-capita incomes, resulting in the increased international movement of commodities.
Performance Marketing is On its Way Out
Given the emphasis placed on performance marketing for what seems like an eternity, it may be a surprise to learn that industry experts have suggested that firms do not need to waste resources and effort on performance marketing and rather divert their attention to social commerce and social media marketing. A common consensus among industry experts is that performance marketing has seen a dip in its significance so it makes more sense to invest in your brand itself and have all your sales and operational funnels in place, with promotions and marketing being required only after that is done. So if you want your business to increase its exposure to potential customers, you need to update your tactics.
Mobile Optimization is the Future
Most online interactions take place on mobile devices. After all, they are smaller. More portable and less cumbersome to use than dragging around a laptop everywhere. Seldom do people not perform every task on their mobile devices. Given that mobile devices comprise 71% of online traffic and 61% of where orders are placed, there is no dispute that mobile devices are the present and future of eCommerce in the foreseeable future. As phones start to get more capable, more and more people will start using them for their eCommerce needs. Therefore, your business needs to make sure that every interaction customers have with your online store is optimized for a smooth and seamless mobile experience.
Brands are Becoming Increasingly Reliant on External Funding
It is estimated that upwards of 73% of direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands plan to opt for external funding for 2023 and beyond. This phenomenon will result in increased competition and retailers trying to do whatever they can in their bid to stay competitive and be profitable. These tactics are necessary because the current state of the global economy could indicate that taking on so much debt by giving away equity could create a vacuum that many companies might not be able to recover from. Thus, it is important for retailers to try their best to increase their profit margins and maintain their profitability.
The Rapid Onset of Social Commerce
Social commerce takes place when sellers use social media platforms and messaging apps to promote their products and services directly to customers. This strategy has become progressively more important as social media has gained a strong foothold in everyday life for the strong majority of customers. For instance, Gen Z uses TikTok more than Google to browse for and purchase products. Social media platforms generated a mindblowing $992 billion in online sales in 2022, a figure that is estimated to skyrocket even further to $2.9 trillion by 2026. Platforms like Whatsapp and Telegram have become increasingly common for business transactions and even support features like automated chat bots for basic interactions with customers.
Rise of Automated Communication
As mentioned in the previous point, businesses are increasingly using automated chat bots for both regular and advanced communication with customers. If you have ever received a promotion or link from a Whatsapp business account, odds are that it has been sent by a chat bot. Additionally, most well-designed websites have implemented chat bots to assist customers in navigating around the website and searching for various product details, such as pricing, colours, availability, and more. They provide a cost-effective and hassle-free way of keeping customers engaged and providing instant answers to queries. 87% of customers wouldn’t shop at a brand that has poor customer service and chat bots are a great way of rectifying that.
Expanding Emphasis on Sustainability
The world has generally become more environmentally conscious as more and more people get elevated to a comfortable lifestyle and start to question the impact of consumerism on the planet. More than 51% of customers have stated that they have become more sustainably aware after the pandemic. Companies are encouraged by consumers to adopt technologies and materials that contribute to reducing carbon footprints in every sector. If your company has successfully adopted some form of green technology, either in the products themselves, the packaging, or the delivery process, make sure to highlight it to consumers so they would consider your brand in contention for their purchases.
Customers Place Additional Value on Personalization
Customers thrive when they get to purchase a product in exactly the configuration they want, a sentiment backed up by more than 60% of consumers. A personalized experience can range from being able to customize a logo on a t-shirt to having orders delivered at a specified time. In the eyes of customers, the amount of personalization and freedom that a brand offers are a strong indication of the value it places on them. Therefore, you need to enable some form of customization that will be a meaningful addition to the way customers interact with your brand and will definitely pay off in the long run in the form of positive reviews and feedback online.
“If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.”Jeff Bezos, Owner and Former CEO of Amazon
eCommerce Trends: Winding Up
Staying up to date with the latest eCommerce trends is a must if you want your business to be on the bleeding edge and you do not want it to fall behind your competitors. In the past, certain eCommerce trends, such as Amazon’s ultra-fast delivery and Prime badges that indicate delivery speed revolutionized the way eCommerce operations were conducted and the convenience with which customers view eCommerce. All these years later, trends like those have become widely adopted as industry standards, with every firm needing to adapt or risk getting left behind. In recent years, there has been a new wave of eCommerce trends seeking to enhance and streamline even more aspects of the industry. If you are a current or aspiring eCommerce seller, we hope this post gave you the insights you needed to be aware of the latest trends permeating the market in 2023 and how you can adopt them for your own business.