The 2023 eCommerce Trends You Need to Look Out For
By Courtney O'Riordan • Last updated: Monday Jul 3rd, 2023
The start of a new year brings new questions about the future of the eCommerce industry.
As eCommerce sales are expected to climb to $6.3 trillion this year, online stores may be wondering how they can successfully gain customer loyalty and support.1
Focusing your efforts on keeping up with and acting upon trends against a backdrop of economic difficulties will be key.
In this article, we’ll be sharing the biggest eCommerce trends for 2023 that you can tap into to ensure you achieve long-term success.
Suggested reading: We’re looking to the future, but curious to know more about the trends that influenced the past year of online retail? Check out our blog, The 6 Top eCommerce Trends That Shaped 2022.
5 eCommerce trends that will define 2023
Following a year of economic instability and financial uncertainty, we’re predicting these five trends are going to be big in eCommerce in 2023.
Tapping into these issues can help online retailers gain a competitive advantage and drive conversions.
1. A customer-first approach
The economic climate will be challenging for online retailers this year, as the cost of living crisis and looming recession promise to create even more uncertainty for online shoppers.
Consumers are becoming less frivolous and increasingly conscious of what they spend their money on and where they spend it.
To combat this, eCommerce businesses should place fresh prominence on putting their customers’ wants and needs first.
Offering small incentives throughout the online shopping experience shows that you want to help your customer and reinforces the feeling that you care for them.
For example, we’ve already seen a number of online giants begin to offer free delivery as a standard. The ease of free shipping has made it the number one reason why people shop online.2
Other effective methods of strengthening your relationship with your customers include:
- Limited-time discounts: Unique discount codes can show individuals they are valued while preventing basket abandonment.
- Personalised Recommendations: Engage visitors with product recommendations that are relevant to their on-site journey. This will allow you to make the most of the 60% of consumers who say they’ll become repeat customers after a personalised experience on-site.3
- Cross-selling and upselling: Help your customers make a purchase best suited to their needs by presenting complementary and similar products. When done right, it can show your customer how much value your site can offer them.
- Dynamic Overlays: Intelligently triggered Overlays based on user behaviour can be used to share vital information that could secure a conversion.
No one knows your customers better than you, so be sure to select a strategy that will likely suit their shopping habits and encourage conversions.
2. Environmental awareness
Climate change concerns have made younger generations, particularly Gen Z, increasingly aware of consumerism’s impact on the environment.
One of the most achievable ways Gen Z can take action is by changing their online shopping habits to better reflect the importance they place on this issue.
Gen Z currently makes up 40% of global consumers and this number is only projected to grow, making them a crucial target audience for many online retailers.4
To attract this key demographic, you should align your values with theirs. And in 2023, this will mean supporting environmental causes.
Take Patagonia, for example. They became trailblazers amongst retailers in environmental issues when they made the decision last year to donate all profits to fighting climate change.5
But even when looking at this issue at a product level, items that can’t be reused, upcycled or won’t last will not be relevant to them as consumers.
Shoppers will instead be looking for eCommerce businesses that offer:
- Support for environmental causes: Creating pledges can help to reinforce that your values are aligned with your customers. Shopify is a good example of a platform that has taken this into consideration for its merchants. They make it possible for retailers to remove or reduce the carbon dioxide emissions from shipping with relative ease.6
- Sustainable materials and packaging: The rise in sustainable packaging options makes the responsible use of packaging materials not just expected by consumers, but also achievable for businesses.
- A recycling service: Create a system that recycles product packaging. Maybelline has shown they are actively fighting against plastic waste by creating a recycling programme for packaging from not only its brand but from others, too.7
- Encouraging product packaging reuse: Provide the knowledge and inspiration to reuse non-recyclable packaging to extend its lifetime value.
Today’s generation of shoppers want to know that your brand is pushing towards sustainable initiatives. Beginning to implement initiatives to become more environmentally conscious can help to retain and acquire customers throughout the year.
Pro tip: Promote your eco-incentives to capture the attention of consumers.
Follow up with informational emails to existing customers about the difference you’re making or use Overlays on-site to establish your stance at influential moments in the buyer journey.
Don’t forget to utilise your social media presence here. After all, this is where you’ll find Gen Z.
Create educational content surrounding environmental causes you support to further build a meaningful relationship between yourself and your customers.
A relationship that goes beyond a transaction will be crucial in 2023 to create repeat purchases and sustain the profitability of your business.
3. Shoppable social media
The impact of social media on eCommerce has been difficult to ignore, and in 2023 this is only going to continue to grow..
The way customers shop online is changing to involve social platforms as a key component in the creation of commerce sales.
Online retailers can embrace this shift in consumer behaviour by making the path to purchase as fast as possible.
We’re likely to see more eCommerce sites advertising their products on social media platforms to connect customers with specific products.
The more ambitious brands will begin to focus on utilising in-app purchasing to maximise social commerce sales and reduce cart abandonment.
Remember that above all, the average person wants convenience in the form of easy purchases.
In-app shopping creates the seamless customer experience needed to tick this box, as does a seamless on-site experience.
Considerations: If social media can offer a potential customer a seamless experience, your site must replicate this to help you gain a competitive advantage.
Replicating the benefits of social commerce for customers buying online doesn’t need to be difficult.
In fact, it can be as simple as integrating Visually Similar Search on your site.
Facilitating visual product discovery aligns with the trend of social product discovery we are seeing.
Allowing customers to bring their inspiration to your site creates an on-site journey that provides accurate search results.
Suggested reading: Take a look at our article, Why You Should Upgrade Your eCommerce Social Media Strategy, for ideas on how to enhance your social media presence.
4. Data-led strategies
No one knows their customers better than an online store that’s using big data analytics.
This is just one of the reasons why more and more businesses are becoming aware of the importance of a strategy led by data.
Intelligent resources, such as Salesfire Trends, will be vital in providing the insights needed to craft a strategy that increases conversion rates — no matter the level of data literacy.
Our analytics platform makes it easy to keep track of market trends and benchmark your performance against real-time data by tracking key metrics across 28 industries such as:
- Total page views.
- Average order value.
- Conversion rates.
Don’t underestimate the value of having industry-specific, easy-to-understand reports at your fingertips.
As the only constant in the current eCommerce landscape is change, the findings of Salesfire Trends will be instrumental in creating a data-led strategy that’s responsive to consumers’ developing expectations.
5. mCommerce optimisation
mCommerce may not be a new trend, but its prominence is continuing to grow, so much so that half of all website traffic now comes from mobile.8
Consumers want the convenience of purchasing anytime and anywhere which has been reflected in the consistent boom of mobile commerce.
Modern online shoppers need a clear and fast path to purchase that is unobtrusive to their everyday life.
As you build on-site experiences for mobile devices that fulfil this from start to finish, you’ll prevent shoppers from exiting.
Get started by optimising your site search with Salesfire’s Search to provide fast and accurate results that fit in with the on-the-go nature of mobile shopping.
You can also eliminate any final hurdles to completing online purchases by including mobile-friendly Apple Pay and buy now, pay later payment options at the checkout.
The combination of these two tactics allow businesses to take advantage of the fast-paced nature of mobile shopping while providing customers a speedy product discovery experience.
Pro tip: Learn more about the power of mCommerce in our blog, 6 Benefits of mCommerce.
Preparing for success in 2023
Now that we’ve brought the eCommerce trends you need to look out for to your attention, it’s time for you to take action.
The acceleration of these trends isn’t slowing down, so be sure to implement them into your strategy before you fall behind.
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