Top 20 eCommerce Trends for 2023
eCommerce has faced tremendous growth in previous years. The pandemic in 2020 and 2021 and the cost of living crisis in 2022 have shaped the future of eCommerce. The aftermath of the events in the world will be seen in this industry.
Here are the 20 hottest trends that will shape the future of the eCommerce industry. Check them out, and don’t stay behind them!
- Gamified marketing design will be a rising star in 2023, and eCommerce companies will add gamified content to give out coupons.
- Due to the cost of living crisis, companies will include second-hand and rental options on their websites.
- Search engine functions will be optimised for mobile, and voice and visual search will be more widespread.
1. Interactive Websites with Gamification
Gamification is the primary trend that will become more widespread among eCommerce companies. It is a great way to catch the customers’ attention and engage them with the website. The interactive games are interesting for some customers, especially Gen Z, and keep the visitor on the website for more time.
With gamification, companies can entertain, educate, and engage with their customers. The best and most used way for eCommerce companies is to make them play a game and offer them a discount coupon depending on their game result. Shein has started adding several different gamification features to their website. The fashion retailer has included options to post on social media and make a friend use the website to increase their audience.
2. Omnichannel Approach
Thanks to the Internet, consumers have never had this much choice when it comes to shopping. However, this is somewhat of an Achilles’ heel for online retailers: If the needs and standards of consumers are not met, the consumers will leave and find a brand that can offer the expected standard and much more. Getting loyalty is more important than ever, while it is also more difficult than ever to keep.
With more customers going online and loyalty becoming harder than ever to attain and keep, it is more crucial to have a constant and cohesive presence throughout different channels and pages. The right way to tackle this issue goes through understanding what is needed by your customers.
Connecting with your customers through different channels is the key to this problem. Adopting an omnichannel presence will help you understand the differences in generational preferences. In addition, by offering a variety of channels to connect, you will be giving them the chance to use and interact with their chosen medium.
3. Mobile Commerce
After the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, mobile shopping rose high in popularity. According to PwC, 45% of consumers have increased their usage of mobile phones while shopping online in 2020. In addition, Gen Z and Millennials are using mCommerce more than any other generation, so that part of the eCommerce market offers great potential.
Moreover, while the purchase step is the most significant part of mobile commerce, mobile commerce is not just about shopping. Consumers use mobile channels at different parts of the buyer’s journey. For example, people look at online gift guides and read online reviews before buying gifts during the holiday shopping season.
The main takeaway is that you should optimise your eCommerce website for mobile. Always put user experience at the front of your mind during and after the design process as the digital world changes too fast. Keep your eye out for new technologies and trends to make the necessary changes as they emerge.
4. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing has been around for some years now. It seems that this will not change in the future as well. In 2022, we have seen the rise of micro influencers and this is likely to continue in 2023.
Influencer marketing is mainly preferred because it increases brand awareness since it has a higher reach and creates more exposure. In addition, it allows for a more diverse approach to content creation for the brand. While it is true that many brands say they employ influencer marketing mainly to get discovered and to create brand awareness and not to generate more sales, it might change with the social media platforms allowing you to shop through them.
However, two essential things to keep in mind: Firstly, the connection between the brand and the influencer has to make sense. You cannot just select someone simply because they have a high follower count. Remember that it’s essential to create meaningful relationships with your customers based on honesty and trust!
The second one, be mindful in deciding the medium of your content. Is it going to be a photograph, a short video or reels? Pay attention to what the social media platforms are doing with their algorithms! Instagram’s CEO Adam Mosseri recently announced that ads would be added to the Reels. Since then, Instagram has been promoting reels content more than any other type of content on the app.
One last thing that brands should recognise is that the supply for influencers have increased rapidly in the last year. Therefore, there will be more competition between influencers and eCommerce brands can always look for more affordable options from influencers.
5. Social Commerce
Social media has been an inseparable part of our lives for quite some time. And for the past couple of years, social media platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, Facebook etc., have become a staple part of online shopping. For one thing, they are great tools for creating brand awareness. Additionally, these platforms have become marketplaces themselves. The idea behind this is moving the purchase point closer to the consumers since people – especially younger generations – spend so much time on their phones.
TikTok is the latest social media platform to get into the eCommerce game. The company has been trying out integrating shopping features by partnering with companies such as Shopify and Walmart. And now, TikTok is offering its users shoppable links, live stream shopping, product galleries, and ads. Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest dominate the US social commerce market. TikTok aims to dethrone Facebook as the leading social commerce platform with its new shopping feature.
TikTok has a great chance at succeeding at its mission to become the go-to social commerce platform. The popularity and virality of TikTok offer new and tremendous opportunities for brands. In addition, TikTok’s popularity amongst younger generations will undoubtedly give them an advantage over Facebook. It’s reported that 60% of Gen Z is on TikTok, while only 40% of Millennials use the app. Social commerce will definitely continue its growth in 2023 as well.
6. Live Shopping and Video Commerce
It’s a known fact that videos are more engaging than photographs or texts. In addition, thanks to their easy to consume nature, videos offer more concise information. However, integrating videos to the brand’s website or social media is not the only way to take advantage of this. A more dynamic approach is possible through live-stream shopping. Because it is live, video shopping lowers the possibility of image manipulation and increases customer engagement. Live-stream shopping originates from China, whose market was worth $66 billion in 2019 and is expected to expand geographically. With TikTok’s new shopping feature, live shopping and video commerce will only get bigger in 2023.
7. Fast and Different Payment Methods
Consumers have different preferences when it comes to finalising their purchases. Most of the time, they are using more than one payment method, and if they cannot find the payment method they wish to use, they might abandon their cart without making the purchase.
While debit and credit cards are staple online payment methods, e-wallets (also known as digital wallets) are being used at an increasing rate. According to Billtrust, 46% of Gen Z use e-wallets 1-5 times a month, while 13% use digital wallets 6-10 times a month. The same research also suggests that while Gen Z is interested in investing in cryptocurrencies, 66% has stated that they do not prefer it as an online payment method. This might be interpreted as a sign of how much Gen Z values security.
Moreover, by 2025, more than 50% of purchases will be made using smartphones. Therefore, we can infer that payment methods like GooglePay and ApplePay will become more popular.
8. Augmented Reality (AR) and Metaverse
The most significant disadvantage of online retail is that customers cannot try the items. So, they cannot feel the products before making a purchase. Luckily, this problem might be solved with the help of Augmented Reality. What the AR technology does is that it allows potential customers to virtually try the items without moving from their spot. So, they can see precisely how a particular pair of sunglasses will look on them or how a sofa will look in their living room.
IKEA has been employing AR technology with their app Place since 2017, which allows the user to place IKEA products in their spaces virtually. Lately, they’ve been developing another app called IKEA Studio with the Copenhagen-based future living lab, SPACE10. This app aims to use AR to help people design whole rooms with correct measurements and everything. The downside of both of those apps is that you cannot purchase through them at the moment. You still need to use the IKEA app for making a purchase, which is not exactly ideal. Hopefully, they will integrate those apps together to offer a more seamless experience in the future.
In the latter half of 2021, there was one term we’ve heard more than any other: Metaverse. First, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would become a metaverse company in the future. Then, later in the year, there was a second announcement: That Facebook would now be called “Meta” and that it will be so much more than a social media company.
9. Virtual Reality (VR)
Also known as computer-simulated reality, VR offers an even more immersive shopping experience. At the moment, it’s not widely accessible, but it’s thought that this will change in the future. As VR sets become more accessible, they will be integrated into eCommerce.
The last two years we’ve spent under the restrictions that came with the COVID-19 pandemic taught us that despite the convenience online shopping offers, people miss the physical shopping experience. VR technology can help with that. For example, VR can enhance the online shopping experience by creating a virtual store that offers an in-store, face-to-face shopping experience.
10. Optimised Search
The search tool will be one of the most effective tools for an eCommerce website. Google has optimised and improved its search engine tremendously. Therefore, users will expect similar upgrades from eCommerce websites as well. Voice search, image search, and instant translation will be the top features of the search tools.
Just like you can ask Siri or Bixby to call a specific person, you can use voice commands to browse through the products of an online retailer.
For the customers, voice search is very time efficient since it’s faster than typing. As for the retailers, the most important thing is that you should optimise your eCommerce store for voice search. People will likely be using questions more frequently while using the voice command. We’re curious by nature, so it’s only natural to ask “what”, “why”, “when”, “how”, etc. You’ll be one step ahead in the game if you answer these questions on your blog or FAQ page.
Currently, 600 million image searches are made each month, resulting in approximately a 150% increase in image searches every year.
As for social media websites, Pinterest was one of the first to add this feature to their website in 2015. Many fashion brands have added the visual search feature to their search engines to help customers find similar items to the pictures. This feature will be more widespread in 2023, and many other industries will add it to their search engines.
Fashion brands like ASOS and Shein have already adopted this feature, and their customers have used it for a few years. ASOS has optimised their search engine by adding camera or photo library options where users can take a picture or upload from their pre-existing photos. This way, the ASOS website has become more attractive for visitors to use this feature, increasing website traffic. Additionally, they show more precise search results for visitors and increase conversation rates and, subsequently, customer satisfaction.
Google Search has instant translation capabilities where the search tool understands the language directly from any word search. This can be adapted to the eCommerce websites’ search engines as well.
eCommerce websites that sell products worldwide already have their websites in several languages. However, to make the search process even more optimised, the search engine can differentiate the language and show items related to the search without choosing the location.
11. New eCommerce Categories
Pharmaceutical, Hygiene and Health-Related Companies
The pandemic led to the creation of many pharmaceutical, hygiene and health-related companies. Buying habits and patterns of consumers have significantly changed in the past two years. For example, groceries, hygiene products, and home essentials were only purchased online after the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, people turned to online retailers for essential products. Social distancing rules and encouragements combined with the increased application of home offices led people to online shopping for categories they rarely shopped with.
Quick commerce companies have also been a rising star during the pandemic. The difference between Q-commerce companies is that they have shorter delivery times and a smaller range of products. In 2023, we will continue to see the growth of these businesses and see other industries adopting the features as well. Getir, Gorillas, GoPuff, Deliveroo, UberEats, Jiffy, and Zapp are all Q-commerce businesses in the grocery and food & beverage industries. However, other sectors will start having shorter delivery times and same-day deliveries. ASOS, a fashion retailer, has included a same-day delivery option with a higher delivery fee.
In the light of clear and often signs of climate change, consumers are becoming more conscientious about the environment and how their actions affect it. Things like less plastic packaging, waiting to send multiple items in the same package, using environmentally friendly ingredients etc., are becoming more and more critical for them. In addition, research shows that Gen Z is willing to pay 50-100% more for sustainable products.
Many eCommerce companies have started to showcase their sustainability reports on their websites available for their customers to view.
13. Independent Brands
Apart from green consumption, sustainability, and environmentalism, independent brands are another concern for the consumers. In 2021 and 2022, consumers were encouraged to help small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, they have been switching to shop from small local businesses 𑁋 a trend that will continue in 2023. Other reasons for shopping from independent retailers include the desire to own unique products, receive better and more intimate customer service, and support entrepreneurs.
14. Offline Experiences are Still Important
Just because most shopping is done online nowadays, it doesn’t mean that you should ignore the brick-and-mortar operations. Offline operations are still significant; they are only somewhat changed. The focus should be on establishing a connection between physical retail and online retail. Practices such as BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick-Up In-Store) and BORIS (Buy Online, Return In Store) are expected to gain more traction. One successful application was observed by Target during the holiday season of 2021. They plan to continue to close their stores on the busiest days of the year to avoid the crowds and offer a safer shopping experience.
15. Customer Service with Chatbots
Customer service is an essential part of any business. Handling and solving customer queries are two different but equally important tasks. However, not every business can hire multiple people for this job. Chatbots are great tools for customer service, and they will definitely get more critical in 2023. More than 60% of US consumers prefer to use digital self-serve tools, such as websites, apps and online chat.
At the moment, chatbots may not work perfectly, but they are bound to become famous thanks to technologies like AI and machine learning. With the help of AI, chatbots can improve themselves based on their previous experiences and conversations.
There are many successful subscription models such as Netflix, Spotify, Coursera, Amazon Prime, etc. On a surface level, eCommerce subscriptions offer consumers certain products and services at a regular price. On a deeper level, they are about connecting with customers and establishing solid relationships. Subscription schemes are useful in getting customer loyalty. In addition to that, subscription models offer higher retention rates and predictability.
Subscription models don’t have to be exclusive for online entertainment and education. For example, subscription models can be extremely useful in grocery shopping since they are usually done at regular intervals. A subscription scheme would save the customers plenty of time since they will not have to browse thousands of products. Plus, a subscription model for online grocery shopping would be pretty handy for non-perishables because consumers tend to stockpile them.
17. Improved Delivery Options
Delivery has become an essential determinant for customers to decide whether they will purchase products from that eCommerce website.
Companies have started to put several delivery options for their customers to choose from. These include:
- Same day delivery
- Next day delivery
- 2 days-14 days delivery
- Click and Collect
Companies started to give an exact date for their customers to know when they will receive the products. Previously, companies used to provide a date range; however, now they have started to give an exact date. This increases the customer’s trust in the website. Additionally, companies allow customers to pick their preferred delivery service and track their item to see where it is.
Improvement in delivery options will continue to shape eCommerce companies’ strategies. Companies will start having quicker and more precise deliveries.
18. Second-Hand and Rental Products
The after-effects of the pandemic have been seen worldwide. The cost of living crisis and increasing interest rates will also influence the eCommerce industry. For 2022, many eCommerce predictions still need to be reached due to economic struggles.
The cost of living crisis will continue; therefore, eCommerce companies must prepare their campaigns accordingly. The main results are that many eCommerce companies add second-hand and rental options.
- Second hand
For fashion companies, they have added options where visitors can donate their clothes or buy second-hand directly from the brand. Urban Outfitters has adopted this feature where they have a second-hand shop within their original website.
Additionally, luxury fashion and home furniture companies have started offering options for their customers to rent the necessary items rather than buy them. This is a sustainable option because they give back the items, and other people are able to use the same items. In 2023, more companies will make rental options available for their customers. This will be a good way for the customer to use the product without paying the full price.
19. Celebrity Brands
A trend that we saw was an increase in celebrity brands. In the early 2000s, we had Jessica Simpson’s edible makeup line Dessert Beauty, Cindy Crawford’s skincare brand Meaningful Beauty and Gwyneth Paltrow’s wellness brand Goop. These brands were semi successful in gaining the media’s and people’s attention. In the mid 2010s, we also saw a rise in celebrity brands with Kylie Jenner founding Kylie Cosmetics, Jessica Alba with Honest Beauty and Rihanna with Fenty Beauty.
This trend is only getting bigger every year and many celebrities are opening their own brands or more lines to their pre-existing brands. Since then, Kylie Jenner has founded additional lines such as Kylie Skin and Kylie Baby. Rihanna has added Fenty Skin, Kim Kardashian has included Skims. As of 2022, Scarlett Johannson and Hailey Bieber joined with their brands.
In 2023, we will see more celebrity brands, especially makeup and skincare brands, being founded or added to existing brands. Therefore, no-name beauty brands will have more competition in this industry.
20. Personalisation is Still the Most Important Aspect of eCommerce
As we’ve seen, many changes are expected to occur in the eCommerce industry in 2022. Nevertheless, there’s one common theme to all points discussed here: Personalised experience is still the most important aspect of eCommerce.
Most of the eCommerce businesses in existence have more or less understood the importance of offering a personalised shopping experience to their customers. However, personalised notifications and emails are not enough anymore. What is needed is an even more unique and highly personalised shopping experience. BCG discovered that consumers are 110% more inclined to add more products to their cart and 40% more prone to spending more than initially planned when offered a highly personalised shopping experience.
Touchpoints where your customers frequently interact are critical. Find out what kind of personalisation is needed. Do you need product recommendations, site search, chatbot, or something else? If you need product recommendations, what kind? Complimentary or based on price?
This list might look intimidating but fear not! Segmentify is here to save the day! To experience the most intelligent (AI) technology with our personalised eCommerce store solutions or find out more about how to already know eCommerce trends, book a free demo!