7 e-commerce trends to prepare for in 2023

The relentless pace of tech advancements is changing just about every aspect of the way we live. Shopping is no exception.

The pandemic undoubtedly added to the popularity of digital shopping as businesses without an online presence suddenly needed one to survive. Today, the process of retailers moving to an e-commerce environment has never been simpler. And technological developments have now made it possible to buy and sell goods in just a few clicks of a button or swipes of a screen.

For all these reasons combined, we’re witnessing exponential growth of the retail and e- commerce industries. According to Shopify, the e-commerce industry is projected to grow by a staggering $11 trillion between 2021 and 2025.

But while e-commerce is here to stay, customer expectations are changing, and competition is fierce. If you’ve an online business, make sure you’re ahead of the game by preparing for these top e-commerce trends for 2023.

1. Mobile shopping will remain the most popular way for people to buy

The convenience of purchasing goods with just a few taps on a hand-held device has seen mobile shopping become the most common way for people to buy. During 2022 65% of all online purchases made in the UK were done so on a smartphone.

The rapid development of online shopping tools means stores can now extend their reach at lightning speed and to consumers based anywhere, at any time.

But it’s not only online consumers using phones – a US survey showed that 80% of shoppers used their mobiles whilst inside a physical store to compare prices, check out reviews or find alternative store locations.

E-commerce retailers combining mobile-friendly sites and apps with an attractive and consistent online presence are reaping the rewards. If you’re lacking the tools and/or resource to create a simple, efficient mobile-purchasing experience for your customers, you’re definitely missing a trick!

2. There’ll be a wider choice of payment methods

For 2023 and beyond, expect to see an expansion in the number of payment options provided to consumers.

While there’s no signs of debit and credit cards becoming obsolete just yet, customers do now want greater options when checking out virtually. From digital wallets and methods such as Apple Pay or PayPal, to digital currencies like Bitcoin or payment solutions like Klarna – data released by Statista illustrates the increasing popularity of alternative payment methods.

For this reason, it’s important that brands can provide options for customers that include traditional ways of paying, as well as more cutting-edge processes.

3. Social media will bear greater influence over our buying

Social media continues to dominate the online world with 59% of the global population accessing an average of 7.4 accounts per month. But it’s no longer simply a means for connecting with friends and stats suggest that 76% of consumers buy products seen in social media posts, including businesses. A study by Gartner revealed that 46% of B2B purchasers use social media at the start of their buyer journey – an important consideration for e- commerce companies wanting to remain competitive throughout the year ahead.

“Buy buttons” on Facebook and Instagram posts make selling easier than ever. And don’t forget social media ads. Market predictions show that TikTok’s ad revenue will surpass that of YouTube in 2024 and that they’ll achieve more than $11 billion in ad revenue in the same year.

A strong digital strategy led by social media or marketing specialists is well worth the investment for 2023.

4. Sustainability will be a major consideration

Becoming greener is a current focus for individuals and businesses alike. With households and workplaces striving to reduce waste, recycle and save energy or switch to renewables, many of us are increasing our efforts to do our bit for the planet.

And that includes in the way we shop…

More than 30% of UK Gen X customers said they’d purchase more sustainable fashion products if they were more widely available. And 61% of global consumers claim they wouldn’t buy a company’s product if they found it performed poorly on environmental practices.

So, for e-commerce businesses, sustainable products and packaging are going to be increasingly under the spotlight for the foreseeable. While taking steps towards becoming a more sustainable organisation may incur some upfront costs, the long-term benefits of having a green, ethical brand will be worth it.

5. E-commerce companies offering omnichannel selling will lead the way

Today’s buyers have more choices. Both on and offline shopping experiences; purchasing goods via a variety of devices and from anywhere; home delivery and ‘click and collect’ options; customer care contact via apps, social media, or websites.

But the secret is not just to cater for all these preferences, it’s to do seamlessly. A true omnichannel selling model will provide a consistent experience across an entire brand.

Omnichannel selling is about creating trust and a connection with your customers. With Harvard Business Review discovering that 73% of consumers prefer shopping through multiple channels, ensuring you’ve a strong team of e-commerce experts who can plan and implement a leading omnichannel selling strategy is key for 2023 and beyond.

6. Customers will enjoy a more personalised experience

Customer experience has always been a priority for merchants and in the e-commerce world, a stand-out experience often equates to a personal one.

The popularity of personalisation is budding, and ABM (Account Based Marketing) is now a central component of many e-commerce strategies. 67% of brands now use ABM and to demonstrate the scale of growth, 64% of them only started using this kind of strategy in the last five years.

Think geotargeting, product recommendations, pop up ads and banners, bespoke navigations, wish lists and targeted email content – all examples of a more tailored shopper experience. They’re must-haves for e-commerce specialists wanting to increase sales figures and are more achievable for 2023 due to the wider availability of big data in today’s retail organisations.

7. AR and AI technology will be must-haves for e-commerce businesses

We’ve already mentioned how tech is changing the e-commerce landscape, but retail businesses really making the most of today’s technological capabilities are those investing in Augmented Reality (AR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Going forwards, expect to see a growing demand for AR on e-commerce sites. Programmes which allow customers to view how an item may look in their home is already becoming more conventional, but during 2023 the phenomenon will become more advanced, as well as more commonplace across the fashion and beauty sectors too.

And for AI think improvements in customer care, checkout and post-purchase processes due to automation and chatbots. Also, better fraud detection, order processing and delivery. AI’s central to merchants designing greater personalised experiences for shoppers – even the building of metaverses is catching on to create the ultimate immersive encounter for people choosing to buy online.

During 2023 the retail sector’s AI spend is expected to reach $12 billion – a huge figure but perhaps predictable when you consider all the ways consumers can benefit from AI throughout their buyer journeys.

The future’s rosy for global e-commerce. Every human being is a shopper in some form and online selling is now the new norm for the vast majority.

But even in today’s tech-led world, the old saying’s still relevant: the customer is always right! Staying ahead of the curve relies on e-commerce businesses investing in the latest technologies and resources in response to consumer demand and in line with the latest trends.

We’re partnering with consumer goods specialists worldwide to help them stand out from the crowd. If you want to chat more about how these latest trends are shaping the industry, or find out how we could help you, get in touch.