E-commerce trends in 2023 are changing fast, and future-oriented, progressive businesses must catch up.
By 2023, it is estimated that 21% of global retail sales will be conducted via e-commerce, a dramatic increase from the 13.7% of sales that made up the total share of retail sales in 2018.
The retail industry has been completely transformed over the past decade. With technologies advancing faster than ever and e-commerce platforms proliferating, we’re not surprised how e-commerce continues to gain significantly in popularity. Two hundred eighteen million people in the US alone will be shopping online in 2023.
Today, it goes beyond just taking up a larger portion of retail sales – it has also changed how small businesses and customers interact with one another.
Insights and Forecasts: Key E-commerce Trends for 2023
For small businesses, having a website has become one of the core foundations of their businesses: around two-thirds of American small businesses have reported that they have an online presence.
This digital presence has also changed how customers interact with businesses. 28% of United States shoppers report using their mobile phones in stores to find the best offers, which allows them to make more informed purchasing decisions.
Furthermore, 81% of customers research online to find the best product based on customer reviews, ratings, and more.
The role of influencers is also shaping the e-commerce landscape: 30% of consumers report that recommendations from influencers influence their purchasing decisions.
It’s inevitable for businesses to ensure that their customer service quality is at the highest level. Otherwise, customers may not be hesitant to move on to a different business, as 76% of people report that it takes just two bad experiences to rule out a company.
Ultimately, if businesses want to stay competitive, having a digital presence, providing meaningful products and services, and consistently maintaining high-quality customer service will be essential for success.
With the e-commerce landscape continuing to grow rapidly, businesses should use this to explore how they can capitalize on the power of digital technology.
E-commerce Trends Shaping 2023 and Beyond
The world of e-commerce is evolving quickly, and there is no clear path to what to expect in 2023.
That’s why businesses must constantly stay informed on developments and trends. Below are the 15 eCommerce trends that will shape 2023 for years to come.
By leveraging AI technology, retailers can provide personalized product recommendations to shoppers, enabling them to shop easily and confidently. This trend will only become more prominent in 2023 as retailers look to AI to better understand their customer’s needs and preferences.
Here are some real-life examples of AI personalization for e-commerce in action:
- Product Recommendations: Amazon uses AI to analyze customer data and recommend products based on previous purchases and browsing history.
- Content Recommendations: Did you notice how Netflix personalizes your content recommendations based on your viewing history and preferences? Have you ever started watching a new series because Netflix recommended it and ended up spending hundreds of hours more on the platform? That’s AI.
- Website Experience: Coca-Cola analyzes your browsing behavior and interests by using AI to personalize the website experience.
- Chatbots: Sephora leverages AI-powered chatbots to provide personalized recommendations for makeup and skincare products based on your skin type, color, and preferences.
- Pricing: Airlines like Delta and United utilizes AI to personalize pricing based on the user’s browsing behavior, purchase history, and other factors.
These examples clearly show how AI-driven personalization enables you to tailor experiences, content, and products to individual users based on their behavior, preferences, and interests.
Augmented Reality in Shopping Experiences
Augmented reality (AR) is transforming the retail customer experience. Shoppers can now superimpose digital objects into real-world environments to experience the product. Consumers make better-informed decisions by visualizing what a product looks like in their space.
With the rise in AR-enabled devices, expect more e-commerce stores to incorporate this technology into their platforms. Businesses can add 3D models of products with interactive features to give customers a more realistic look and feel.
Companies can also use AR to make shopping more engaging by adding virtual experiences to make the shopping journey more interactive and fun. Furthermore, retailers can use AR to showcase different products and their features so the shopper can see them and make an informed decision.
Voice shopping has been gaining traction in e-commerce over the past few years. As more consumers gravitate towards the convenience offered by voice shopping services, this trend will likely grow in 2023.
Voice shopping will allow shoppers to browse, search and purchase products with their voice. That will likely make the whole process easier and more enjoyable for most people.
Smart home technology has made it easier than ever to integrate voice shopping into a household. Major companies like Amazon have already implemented voice shopping capabilities, and more companies are expected to follow suit in the coming years. For more info on voice search, see our blog post How Voice Search Can Transform Your SEO & Digital Marketing.
With the growing use of voice assistants like Alexa, Google Home, and Siri, 2023 should be a big year for voice shopping.
Expanded Payment Options
In 2023, more payment options, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, will be offered as part of the checkout process. Customers will have more choices which will make buying products easier and safer.
Additionally, digital wallets are in to expand the payment options consumers have available.
And let’s not forget the Just Walk Out technology Amazon customers use at their physical grocers.
Then comes cryptocurrency, offering users more privacy and secure transactions as it uses cryptography for authentication and verification.
We also see contactless payment options in e-commerce, making it faster and more convenient for customers to pay at physical locations.
Omni-channel Shopping Experiences
As more consumers shop across multiple channels and devices, retailers must provide a unified and streamlined shopping experience. More retailers will offer omnichannel shopping experiences in 2023 to create more customer value.
Omni-channel shopping experiences involve integrating the customer experience across multiple touchpoints, like websites and social media. By enabling customers to buy, ship and return goods across devices, retailers can create seamless and engaging shopping experiences that result in higher customer loyalty.
As an online retailer, you must focus on providing customers with personalized content and product recommendations to create an ideal omnichannel shopping experience. Prioritize the customer experience by providing clear navigation, easy checkout and comprehensive product search capabilities.
Subscription-based Business Models
Subscription-based business models provide customers with the convenience of automatic product deliveries, lower pricing and product customization.
Subscriptions also benefit retailers by offering an ongoing revenue stream and creating customer loyalty. Examples of popular subscription-based businesses in e-commerce include meal delivery services, beauty and subscription box services, streaming services and subscription-based clothing outlets.
As we move into 2023, this business model will remain popular among e-commerce retailers. Many retailers seek creative ways to drive recurring revenue and build customer loyalty.
With growing competition in the market, you must focus on offering unique value and experiences that stand out from the Standard subscription offerings. For example, subscription services could offer exclusive products, discounts or additional customer service that isn’t offered elsewhere.
Online retailers also need to leverage a deeper understanding of consumer behavior to suggest additional subscription services or products that customers may be interested in.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning will also detect and prevent fraudulent transactions and strengthen data security. AI-based systems can detect suspicious activity in real time. Using it allows e-commerce businesses to quickly address security threats without negatively impacting the customer experience.
Consider blockchain a distributed ledger technology that can help secure customer data and provide a more secure online shopping experience.
Furthermore, more secure payment methods, such as two-factor authentication, have become commonplace in e-commerce. It adds another layer of security to online transactions, helping to protect against data theft and malicious hacking attempts.
We feel that e-commerce stores will continue relying on trusted third-party security providers to offer comprehensive protection against cyber threats. These providers, however, will utilize the latest developments in AI to improve security.
Retailer Chatbots and AI-Assisted Customer Service
Many retailers now use AI-powered customer service tools to provide automated and personalized customer service. AI can accurately predict customer queries to provide personalized responses in a timely fashion.
As these technologies become more advanced, we expect to see an increase in adoption by e-commerce retailers.
E-commerce retailers may also leverage chatbot technology to offer product recommendations, updates on special offers, and assistance with tasks such as checking the status of orders.
These technologies are now more affordable and easier to customize, which will continue to push the boundaries of customer service.
A mobile-first shopping experience is indispensable today. Retailers must consider the mobile user’s journey, from browsing to purchase, to create an optimal experience for mobile shoppers.
In 2023, more retailers are expected to focus on creating seamless mobile experiences to engage their customers better.
We’ve observed several examples of offering more personalized product recommendations, better-integrated loyalty programs, more personalized offers, and easier checkout processes tailored specifically for the mobile user.
Mobile optimization will determine the future success of many retailers. Mobile-first strategies will be essential for those looking to stay ahead and steer clear of the competition.
The Rise of Social Shopping
An E-commerce marketing plan in 2023 wouldn’t be complete without integrating a strong social strategy.
Facebook, Instagram, and even TikTok are now an integral – and frequently more effective – part of e-commerce marketing, now used by retailers to promote their products and services more than ever.
As this trend increases, the USP would be to offer customers a seamless experience from discovery to conversion. The entire journey will also consist of developing strategies for efficient product merchandising, customer engagement, and customer service.
Furthermore, retailers will invest in automation to scale, and tools for content management, analytics, and customer engagement will come to aid. That’s what they’ll need to capitalize on this trend and maximize their sales, and AI will continue to make these tools smarter.
Augmented analytics is essentially data analytics for business intelligence which uses AI and machine learning to analyze, visualize, and comprehend data.
These analytics can help retailers gain insights into customer behavior and preferences, enabling them to make data-driven decisions.
As more retailers look to leverage the power of AI and machine learning, we’ll witness a growing number of e-commerce retailers in 2023 adopt augmented analytics.
Integration of Voice Assistants
Voice assistants are no longer restricted to just home devices. In 2023, integrating voice assistants such as Alexa and Google Assistant into e-commerce stores will become more common.
This technology will help customers get product recommendations, find the best deals, and purchase quickly and conveniently.
Rise of Customer Video Reviews
There are already some AI tools that will make a human-like video of the bot speaking out any script you throw at it, with proper hand gestures.
The similarity is uncanny – you have to see it to believe it. The bot in the video will even review your product or whatever you ask it to do.
In 2023, more stores will leverage video reviews for customer engagement and validation. That will create a more personal connection between the customer and the retailer and help boost sales by giving customers the confidence to purchase.
It’s still possible to tell a few things apart. Still, the way this technology evolves, it’s hard to say how AI-powered audio and video will unravel.
Social Impact-Driven Shopping
Social impact-driven shopping is all the rage now. Consumers are actively seeking out products that are made in an ethical, sustainable and socially responsible manner.
Even celebrities like Gigi Hadid and Amber Valetta are touting their commitment to environmental sustainability and social responsibility to attract more customers.
Data-driven merchandising enables online retailers to tailor their product assortment to meet the needs of their customers.
By leveraging data and using advanced algorithms, you can optimize your product offerings to increase sales and drive customer loyalty.
This one is my favorite. Autocommerce is how some e-commerce businesses are thriving beyond their human limits.
It’s significantly shaping the way businesses operate and interact with customers online in the following ways:
- Improved efficiency: Businesses can automate various processes, including inventory management, order processing, and customer service, which results in improved efficiency and reduced costs.
- Personalized experiences: You can collect and analyze customer behavior, preferences, and purchase history data. Use all this data to provide personalized experiences for customers.
- Enhanced customer service: Some businesses no longer hire virtual assistants. AI can provide 24/7 customer service support, answering customer inquiries and resolving real-time issues.
- Faster order processing: You’ll be able to streamline order processing and fulfillment, which can lead to faster delivery times and improved customer satisfaction.
- Increased sales: Tools like abandoned cart emails, retargeting ads, and personalized promotions can help you increase sales and revenue by encouraging customers to complete their purchases and return to the site.
Imagine a customer coming to your online store, getting assisted with everything they need in real-time, placing their order and completing the transaction without anyone involved. You simply get your sales figures on your phone at the end of the day.
This level of automation is now possible with AI in 2023, and people who fail to join the bandwagon will eventually lose out.