Consumers are increasingly interested in experiences rather than products. That’s why experiential shopping, which offers unique opportunities for customers to interact with brands, is becoming popular. From food tours to fashion shows, there are many ways to create an engaging experience for your customers that will keep them coming back for more. By being aware of changes in consumer behavior and technology, you can ensure that your business is always offering the best possible experience to your customers.
As we head into 2023, many retail and eCommerce trends are worth keeping an eye on.
From the increasing use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to the rise of experiential shopping, these trends will significantly impact how consumers shop in the coming year.
So whether you’re a small business just starting or you’ve been in the game for a while, you must keep looking ahead to ensure future success.
Trend 1: The relentless growth in the eCommerce landscape will continue
According to a recent industry report, e-commerce will account for 20.4% of global retail sales by the end of 2022, up from only 10% five years ago. In other words, the e-commerce space is becoming more crowded.
The e-commerce landscape is becoming increasingly competitive. The rapid growth of e-commerce can be attributed to many reasons, including the Covid-19 pandemic. In times of uncertainty, people fear the virus and stay home more often. This has led to a change in consumer behavior, with more people shopping online. As a result, more e-commerce businesses are emerging.
However, businesses need to find their niche to succeed in the e-commerce space, whether through unique product offerings, competitive pricing, or excellent customer service,
Trend 2: eCommerce strengthens further in digitally mature markets
Experts predict that the impact of the coronavirus will not just be a short-term boost to eCommerce but one that’s here to stay. This is because people have become comfortable with online shopping and the benefits of multiple payment options. These factors are likely to cause a permanent behavioral shift toward digital purchases.
First, online stores offer a convenient way to shop, especially for busy people who don’t have time to visit brick-and-mortar stores. Second, eCommerce provides a broader range of products than most brick-and-mortar stores, so shoppers can find exactly what they’re looking for without settling for second best. Third, eCommerce offers contactless payments, which are becoming increasingly popular in the wake of the pandemic. Contactless payments are more convenient than traditional methods like cash or checks, and they also provide an extra layer of security by reducing the risk of transmission of diseases like COVID-19.
eCommerce stores are poised to see even more growth in the coming months and years as more people embrace the convenience and safety of online shopping.
Market analysts say the eCommerce industry will be the biggest beneficiary of the coronavirus pandemic. Global penetration rates, which are currently at 22%, are expected to increase to 27% by 2026.
Analysts are even expecting eCommerce adoption to increase in countries where online shopping is already pretty rampant. In the US, eCommerce penetration rates are set to rise from the current 23% to 31% by 2026.
Trend 3: Mobile shopping accelerates
The growth of mobile commerce has been particularly noteworthy. In 2021, total sales made via mobile devices came in at $359.32 billion. This figure is expected to more than double, to reach $728.8 billion, and account for nearly 44% of US retail eCommerce sales by 2025.
Mobile shopping is growing at an unprecedented rate. Consumers are starting to feel more comfortable shopping on mobile devices than ever before. This is especially true for millennials and Gen Z consumers, who have grown up surrounded by computers and the internet. These generations are also more likely to shop online using their mobile devices than older generations. Mobile shopping gives consumers the convenience of being able to shop anywhere at any time. It also provides retailers with a unique opportunity to connect with their customers in a more personal way. Mobile shopping is changing how we shop and is here to stay.
Trend 4: Social media in eCommerce will become more influential
Social media has changed how we live our daily lives, including how we buy things. With the introduction of the Buy button on Facebook and Instagram Checkout, social media plays a significant role in the world of eCommerce.
Social media platforms act as channels for inspiration and allow brands an opportunity to be discovered while people scroll through their feeds. As social media continues to become a regular part of our daily lives, its power to influence eCommerce trends will only increase. That’s why brands must adopt a shopping-focused approach to their social media strategy. By doing so, they will be able to capitalize on the growing social media trend in eCommerce.
With platforms like Shopify, businesses can easily link their eCommerce stores to social media sites so people can buy from them directly through social media. Instagram and Facebook, for example, are constantly updating their features to meet the comfort needs of online buyers.
Thanks to features like Shoppable Ads, which allow brands to reach TikTok audiences who are most likely to convert. TikTok also has other commerce features that let store owners sell directly on the app. By using social media in eCommerce, businesses have a better chance of getting discovered by their target market and making sales.
[Bonus Read: eCommerce Best Practices ]
Trend 5: Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) continue to become complete game changers for eCommerce
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have been around for a while, but their potential as tools for online shoppers is just starting to be realized. This type of immersive shopping experience is sure to become more prevalent in 2023.
With AR/VR shopping, customers can “try on” clothes or accessories before they buy them or explore furniture and home decor options in a realistic setting. AR changes the shopping experience in specific industries, such as fashion and home decor, because the customer can get a better feel for the item without seeing it in person.
This is extremely useful for customers who want to see how an item looks in their home before they make a purchase. AR has also been known to increase conversion rates and average order values because it provides shoppers with more information about the products they’re interested in.
This type of technology is also beneficial for retailers because it allows them to save on inventory costs. Overall, AR is enhancing the reality of online shopping and revolutionizing the eCommerce industry.
Trend 6: The usage of voice search will get more casual
Voice-activated assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home have already taken the world by storm, with over 50 million devices sold worldwide. And this trend is only going to continue in 2023.
With more and more people owning smart speakers, voice search is becoming the preferred way to shop online, order food, and organize their lives.
When someone uses voice search, they typically look for something specific and use natural language instead of keywords. This means that eCommerce businesses need to focus on keywords that are more conversational in nature.
It presents an excellent opportunity for eCommerce businesses in terms of keywords and content. For example, rather than saying, “Buy men’s shoes online,” say, “Where can I buy men’s shoes?” By voice-searching friendly, you can ensure that the growing volume of voice searchers is finding your eCommerce business.
In addition, voice search results are often pulled from featured snippets, so it’s essential to make sure your website content is structured in a way that makes it easy for search engines to find and extract relevant information. Optimizing your website for voice search ensures you can capitalize on this growing trend.
Not only do more people own smart speakers, but they also rely on voice assistants to complete daily tasks. Loop Ventures forecasts that 75% of U.S. households will own a smart speaker by 2025.
Trend 7: AI will become more prominent in eCommerce
AI is completely revolutionizing the eCommerce landscape. By automating personalized shopping experiences, AI helps shops learn about their shoppers and anticipate their needs. AI is constantly collecting data on how customers shop when they make purchases and what they’re looking for in a product or service. This information is invaluable for eCommerce businesses, as it helps them to optimize their offerings and better meet the needs of their customers.
Moreover, AI-powered chatbots can provide customer support 24/7, answer questions and recommend products. AI can also be used to target ads and personalize the shopping experience by making recommendations based on past behavior. In addition, AI can help identify trends and predict future customer needs. By leveraging the power of AI, eCommerce businesses can create a truly personalized shopping experience for their customers and gain valuable insights into their behavior.
AI is a truly transformative technology that revolutionizes how we shop and do business.
Trend 8: Data driven approach plays a significant role in creating personalized experiences
Implementing personalized experiences on-site or in marketing efforts has been shown to have a strong effect on revenue, with one study finding it had a 25% revenue lift for retailers scaling advanced personalization capabilities.
By gathering data on consumer behavior, preferences, and demographics, you can customize the shopping experience for each individual. As a result, consumers are more likely to find items they want to purchase, and they can receive tailored recommendations based on their past behavior.
In addition, big data can also help to improve the overall browsing experience by identifying potential areas of improvement. For example, if a site notices that many users are abandoning their carts at the checkout page, they can use big data to figure out why and make changes accordingly. Ultimately, big data is helping to create a more personalized and enjoyable shopping experience for consumers.
Trend 9: Chatbots improve shopping experiences
Chatbots are commonly used in eCommerce to provide customer support and assistance with shopping. Chatbots interact with shoppers via chat interfaces, such as text messages, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp.
These assistants are perfect for busy consumers who want quick access to information without searching through their phones or computers. By incorporating voice activation into your eCommerce brand, you can make it easier than ever for customers to find what they need quickly and easily.
Chatbots interact with online shoppers to provide them with the same great experience they would get from an in-store sales associate. They can ask questions and offer personalized recommendations to shoppers as a human sales associate would. This allows shoppers to find and buy products in just a few clicks without getting frustrated. Chatbots also help to improve conversion rates by providing potential customers with the information they need to make a purchase decision.
Trend 10. Headless and API-driven eCommerce for continued innovation
Headless eCommerce is one of the most exciting trends in online retail right now. By decoupling the backend eCommerce platform from the frontend presentation layer, retailers are able to vastly improve the flexibility of their online stores. Additionally, headless commerce opens up new possibilities for digital experience. As more and more businesses adopt this approach, we can expect to see continued innovation in the world of online retail.
Headless and API-driven eCommerce is rising as more businesses recognize the benefits of decoupling the frontend presentation layer from the backend eCommerce platform. Headless provides greater flexibility on the backend, plus added digital experience capabilities. API-driven eCommerce is also highly scalable and offers a myriad of integration options. Both headless and API-driven eCommerce allows for continued innovation, making them ideal solutions for businesses that want to stay ahead of the curve.
Trend 11. B2B eCommerce is growing rapidly
B2B eCommerce is on the rise as more and more businesses are beginning to see the value in servicing their customers online. By automating these tasks through their eCommerce site, teams are moving away from spending the bulk of their time processing order entries from email spreadsheets or hard copy forms. Instead, they are shifting their focus towards what matters most: engaging with customers, providing them with an excellent customer experience, and establishing ongoing client relationships.
McKinsey & Company’s latest B2B Pulse reveals that nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of B2B companies across industry sectors now offer e-commerce capabilities, defined as fully executing a sales transaction online. This is up from 53 percent in early 2021. Spurred by the massive wave of digital adoption over the past two years, sellers have accelerated their digital timetables. In a remarkable first, B2B sellers are now more likely to offer e-commerce channels than in-person selling, which accelerated even as widespread vaccine rollouts allowed face-to-face interactions to resume.
It’s no secret that technology is constantly evolving and changing the way we live our lives. So those are just a few major retail and eCommerce trends shaping the market in 2023. Keep these trends in mind as you plan your marketing strategy – if you adopt them early on, you’ll be well ahead of your competition!