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Last year, we predicted sustainability, omnichannel, and personalization would be at the top of the priority list for eCommerce professionals and marketers alike. However, as we enter 2023, these features are online eCommerce essentials and no longer ‘nice-to-have’. So, as customer expectations change, you’ll want to make sure you’re offering the best experience possible to convert browsers to buyers.
How do you separate the best upcoming eCommerce trends from the flashy gimmicks? Read on for the top eCommerce growth trends in 2023. From experiential retail and fashion eCommerce trends, to niche marketplaces and social media eCommerce trends.
When Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook was changing its name to Meta in October 2021, he was met with scepticism. Zuckerberg appeared via video, beamed in from the Metaverse, outlining his vision for a new virtual reality. However, not everyone rolled their eyes at Zuckerberg’s announcement.
Brands experimenting with the Metaverse include Nike, having launched Nikeland in 2021. Samsung also launched its first Metaverse-based eCommerce store, Decentraland, in January 2022. Since opening, Samsung’s digital store has welcomed more than 120,000 customers.
Gucci, too, is no stranger to the metaverse marketplace. For instance, Gucci’s Vault Land is the luxury brand’s virtual space, utilizing a treasure hunt experience to urge participants to collect assets. The treasure? Non-fungible token pieces, rendering Gucci’s experimental concept store a top-down totally digital experience.
The Metaverse enables consumers to shop from home, combining the social aspects of a brick-and-mortar shopping experience with the convenience of mobile shopping. There’s still a lot to work out, but the metaverse offers a totally new way to engage with audiences and showcase products. We expect to see more of it in 2023, too.
Right off the bat, it’s key to note social commerce is not eCommerce. Why are we including it, then?
Well, social commerce is the combination of social commerce and eCommerce. To break it down further, it’s when you take the online shopping experience – from product discovery and the checkout process, to customer support – and fasten it into the social media experience. For instance, Facebook Shops, Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok all have native commerce features.
Picture this. You might be scrolling through Instagram and you see a new handbag. Through inbuilt functionalities, can then purchase the product on Instagram and seamlessly return you to where you left off. In short, the experience takes place inside a single app. No new tabs, no extra windows, and no flipping between apps. Social commerce offers a completely frictionless customer journey. As such, it’s no surprise US social commerce is expected to reach $80 billion by 2025.
Social commerce strategies also hold enormous market influence. Take Squishmallows success this Christmas as an example. Sales of the whimsical stuffed toy rocketed by 300% due to the toy’s TikTok fame. By creating engaging short-form content, social commerce empowers retailers to build continued communities and create targeted audiences through specific social media platforms. It’s a completely new eCommerce marketing trend, but it’s here to stay.
Last year, we predicted sustainability would be a priority. We were right! However, we didn’t foresee the damage accusations of greenwashing can cause to brand image.
For instance, in 2022, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) began a campaign to name and shame high street brands who made claims about their credentials they couldn’t back up. This includes fashion companies who describe an entire clothing line as ‘sustainable’, despite lacking sufficient evidence to back up these claims.
This is where your product information comes in. A product Information Management (PIM) tool doesn’t lazily stamp a sustainability sticker on your products. With PIM, you can ensure your sustainability initiatives are supported through accurate product data and digital assets. For instance, you can tell stories about your products through reliable product data that supports your eco-credentials. Remember, once you’ve lost a customer’s trust, it’s near impossible to regain it. It’s not enough to ‘go green’ you have to prove it, too.
Amazon’s dominance is clear, and it’s easy to run out of words to describe its status as a marketplace superpower.
However, the success of Amazon is double-edged. Sure, on one side, Amazon holds enormous market influence. But on the other, horizontal marketplaces like Amazon are so big they can’t cater specifically to the individual needs of customers.
Niche marketplaces – or vertical marketplaces – pay attention to consumer detailers, pushing users to specific products they think are suitable for the particular customer. Examples include Reverb, Etsy, Aibnb, and Depop, with each paying attention to a customer’s needs throughout the buyer journey. Whereas big players like Amazon and eBay offer a total shopping experience, niche marketplaces put the onus on attention to detail. By focusing on a niche, you give yourself greater access to a target audience, too. Instead of having a customer base, you create a community.
So, whilst we don’t think Amazon’s growth to slow down anytime soon, niche online marketplaces will continue to grow and mirror brick-and-mortar experiences in a way Jeff Bezos’ platform can’t.
Voice search makes eCommerce easy. Really, really, easy. So as more and more people shop with their voice, optimizing your product descriptions for voice search will be essential in 2023.
Whether your customers are using Google Voice Search, Alexa, Cortana, Siri, or Amazon Echo, voice search is an accessible – and screenless! – method to shop online.
If your business isn’t optimizing your products for voice search, then you’ll be missing out on revenue. After all, research suggests that by 2024 there will be 8.4 billion active digital voice assistants.
The good news is optimizing your product pages for voice search will positively drive your overall SEO efforts, too. For instance, voice search users often talk in a day-to-day conversational way. So, make sure to use a conversational style in your product descriptions. You want to make sure your keywords feel natural, rather than robotic. By making these simple changes, you’ll be driving product discoverability and improving your overall search rankings. Not only that, you’ll be creating a more personalized and convenient experience for potential customers who prefer to shop through voice search. It’s a win-win for your marketing strategy.
Acquiring new customers is time-consuming and expensive. So it’s no surprise that we’re predicting continued growth in subscription commerce. From shaving kits, to coffee, to online streaming. Over the last few years, subscription services flourished. Let’s get to the reasons why.
Well, consumers are drawn to the ease and convenience of subscription models. Different subscription models also offer consumers a chance to experiment with a new product – whether it be Hungarian wine, or a new recipe.
Say, for instance, you’re a bad golfer. You keep losing your golf balls as they keep landing in a lake. Instead of having to show your face in the club shop again, you can subscribe to a service which will deliver them directly to your door. Problem solved.
For brands and retailers, subscription commerce is equally appealing. Subscription services create a reliable and recurring revenue stream, cutting down on customer acquisition costs and nurturing brand loyalty. Amazon also provides shoppers with a ‘Subscribe & Save’ service, making it easier for retailers to participate in subscription commerce. We expect to see more of this digital eCommerce trend in 2023!
eCommerce business trends change each year, this goes without saying.
The key themes behind our predictions for online eCommerce 2023 trends are determined by convenience, accessibility, top-notch customer service, and attention to detail. In 2023, consumers want a bespoke customer experience, preferring trusted customer experiences.
That being said, 2023 will be a year of experimentation.
The Metaverse is perhaps the most exciting attempt at uniting the digital and real world. We expect more and more brands to use the digital channel to offer totally never-before-seen experiences.