Ecommerce is rapidly evolving, which can make it difficult to know which ideas and trends to invest your precious time in. The great news is that we’ve done the groundwork for you! Keep reading to discover 18 of the biggest ecommerce trends for 2023 that will shape the future of online stores, along with full insights from industry experts.
By the time you get to the end of this list, you will have everything you need to plan your 2023 ecommerce strategy, helping you to impress customers and get ahead of your competition.
18 Ecommerce trends for 2023
These ecommerce trends will enable you to level up your business in 2023, whether you’re looking to boost efficiency, grow sales, engage consumers or stay ahead of your competitors.
- 18 Ecommerce trends for 2023
- 1. Social media
- 2. The Metaverse
- 3. Voice shopping
- 4. Customised packaging
- 5. Sustainability
- 6. Second-hand or rental
- 7. Mobile shopping
- 8. Multichannel personalisation
- 9. Augmented reality (AR)
- 10. Artificial intelligence
- 11. Chatbots
- 12. Different content formats
- 13. Subscriptions
- 14. User-generated content
- 15. Flexible payments
- 16. Frictionless checkouts
- 17. Omnichannel retail
- 18. Marketplaces
- The importance of staying ahead of ecommerce trends for 2023
- Identifying the right ecommerce trends for 2023 for your business
- Make the most of ecommerce trends for 2023
- Ecommerce trends for 2023 FAQ
1. Social media
Social media is expected to have a greater impact on retail behaviour throughout 2023, with an enormous 87% of online shoppers using social media while making shopping decisions. Demonstrating the influence it has on buying decisions, 55% of smartphone shoppers have purchased a product after seeing it on social media.
Retailers that are able to utilise a combination of available tools across various social media platforms will be the ones that can benefit most. As an example, social media platforms can streamline the discovery of items and remove barriers to purchase with the likes of Instagram Checkout, as well as helping to maintain communication throughout the delivery process through platforms such as WhatsApp.
Beth Horn, Director, Head of Industry, Retail & Ecommerce at Meta spoke with Modern Retail about the importance of social media in ecommerce: “We’ve seen a big shift in the way people shop over the last few decades – going from visiting shopping centres and the high street, to buying online, and now, virtually trying on sunglasses and lipstick from your couch. What underpins all of this, though, is a desire to discover: to find new things, explore new brands, and express who we are. Every day, people discover products they’re interested in through personalised ads in their feeds and stories. Our goal at Meta is to make it as easy as possible for people to seamlessly make a purchase after they’ve discovered a new brand or product. Our playbook, over time, has helped build services that serve billions of people. We’ve done that with Facebook and Instagram. WhatsApp is really going to be the next chapter, with business messaging and commerce being a big thing there – we’re already seeing a billion people that are connecting with businesses on our messaging services every week.”
Fintan Gillespie, Head of UK Enterprise at Snapchat outlined the importance of a carefully created social strategy: “Social platforms are an integral part of every retailer’s marketing mix today. But it’s not enough to have a strategy, it’s about having the right strategy to reach your audience, drive action and critically – deliver business results.”
2. The Metaverse
The Metaverse has the potential to revolutionise the retail industry, being able to replicate many of the social aspects of shopping from the comfort of consumers’ homes, with even fewer barriers to creativity. While this is one of the ecommerce trends for 2023 that is yet to officially take off, many retailers are already thinking about the ways that they can use the Metaverse to immerse customers and forge stronger brand loyalty.
Peter Wallace, General Manager, EMEA, GumGum shares the possibilities for retailers within the Metaverse: “In the metaverse, retailers have been presented with an opportunity which far transcends the experiential possibilities of the physical world. For those retailers who are able to successfully adopt the metaverse, the opportunity to immerse consumers in their brand is immense. The Metaverse will lead to next-generation brand experiences, the likes of which we have never seen before.
“Brand storytelling will need to become much more dynamic and fluid to match such a fast-moving and multidimensional environment, enabling consumers to explore products and their passions and to engage with like-minded communities. In this way, the Metaverse heralds enormous opportunities for brands which offer genuine utility or entertainment. Whether playing virtual games or interacting via wearables or smart speakers, new ways to communicate and engage are emerging all the time. Retailers must keep up with these seismic shifts in behaviour.”
James Barlow, Regional Director UK&I at Akeneo commented: “The retail Metaverse is prompting growing digital demands for product information. Brands and retailers have been trying for some years to make the online experience less transactional and more involving, using virtual and Augmented Reality (AR) to enhance their products and place them in a live context that puts the customer at the heart of the experience. The consumer is on board in a big way. Original research of over 1,800 shoppers by Akeneo in its 2022 B2C Survey: Product Experience Satisfaction Around the World’ report, found that 42% of UK consumers want to use AR and the metaverse to find product information in their buying journeys. The fact that consumers have effectively conflated AR and the metaverse shows that, whatever words are used, the strong desire is the same – to make digital shopping more like real life. What this desire points to is the need for much greater volumes of information online but also a much broader variety of information types. To capitalise on this opportunity, it’s essential to understand how and where consumers are engaging with products. The product experience for each channel must be consistent across all points in the path to purchase, be they digital or physical.”
Beth Horn, Director, Head of Industry, Retail & Ecommerce at Meta spoke to Modern Retail about the future importance of the Metaverse, adding: “As we look ahead to the Metaverse, and all of the commerce and digital goods that new computing platform will enable, I think that’s going to be a really big part of our business. That’s our north star.”
3. Voice shopping
Smart speaker use and voice shopping continue to evolve, as shoppers seek convenience. In fact, 62% of those that regularly use a voice-activated speaker say they are likely to use it to buy something in the next month. Attention now turns to creating frictionless retail processes, as well as preventing fraud to create a smooth, risk-free experience as voice shopping is predicted to skyrocket.
Ed Whitehead, Managing Director EMEA at Signifyd explores the benefits of voice shopping for retailers: “Retailers are on a mission to provide tailored experiences and provide quick, easy, and effortless journeys without allowing friction to get in the way. Voice shopping is one of the latest trends that consumers are using and it’s becoming clear that those retailers who haven’t developed voice-native strategies yet are missing out on a growing segment of customers. With merchant innovation being a key trend for 2023, retailers need to come up with strategies that will set them apart in an incredibly crowded landscape. Voice shopping, which has been projected to be worth more than £3.5bn by 2022, is one of them. As the voice shopping market continues to mature, the ecommerce industry will also need to pay extra attention to fraud prevention and use payments and risk screening. Providing a frictionless experience while embracing the legislation put in place to protect consumers from bad actors will only become increasingly important and adhering to compliance with payment regulations will be a key factor for retailers navigating voice shopping technology.”
4. Customised packaging
As retailers look to engage consumers in every way possible, customised packaging is set to play a bigger role throughout 2023. As well as making sure packaging represents brands and makes products stand out from the crowd, it can also be used to take shoppers to digital platforms.
As an example, the inclusion of QR codes has proven particularly effective, creating limitless opportunities to further engage consumers. This one of the ecommerce trends for 2023 is expected to see retailers make the most of packaging, seeing it as much more than a space for branding.
The pressure is mounting on retailers to introduce sustainability at every stage of their business and operations. With two-thirds of consumers being happy to pay more for sustainable products and 42% of online shoppers choosing brands depending on sustainable packaging they might offer, it has never been more important to rethink your impact on the planet. It’s important to note that shoppers expect honest sustainability and not greenwashing, so explaining how you are making a difference and the benefits that this brings is essential.
Tillie Peel, Founder of The Pop-Up Club explores some of the ways that retailers can implement more sustainable ways of working: “Sustainability should really be built into every business now and should run parallel to any brands, retailers, and start-ups. We should all collectively be working towards a greener, fairer world, not only for now but for the future. Since the start of The Pop-Up Club, we’ve made a conscious effort to work with small businesses that have sustainable pledges and ethical practices. Transparency on supply chains, manufacturers, and working conditions should be regulated and monitored. We’ve been educating and working with businesses to find better practices, as well as integrating questionnaires into our application process that has made business owners look at their businesses and want to improve or be better. Researching supply chains, where you source materials and ask questions about certifications and regulations to manufacturers. Normally if they are sustainable, they will be able to give you the answers and sufficient proof.
Some example questions to ask:
1. Do you trust your suppliers?
2. Do they pay fair wages and have ethical work conduct?
3. Are your materials sourced from low-impact and renewable energy methods?
4. Do they use circular economy methods to reuse or recycle materials and waste?”
Clara Challoner Walker, owner of Cosy Cottage Soap said: “Whilst eco-conscious purchasing will remain one of customers’ key aspirations; in straitened circumstances, there’s a danger that beliefs are comprised if sustainable product choices appear to be less cost-effective than the alternatives. Whilst this is a key concern for eco-conscious retailers in 2023, we have an outstanding opportunity to dispel the notion that sustainable means expensive. Research undertaken across our own Cosy Cottage customers and products indicates the financial savings to be gained from buying long-lasting, concentrated products compared to mass-market, cheaper alternatives. It’s vital this important value message is highlighted to customers who may not be aware. By highlighting the cost-effectiveness of their products, eco-conscious e-retailers can support sales throughout difficult trading conditions. Once the notions have been debunked and customers are comfortable that saving money and saving the planet can go hand in hand, the future looks bright for sustainable e-retail and even brighter for our planet.”
James Barlow, Regional Director UK&I at Akeneo added: “Articulating company values is now a key part of the product experience. Most companies have made some kind of commitment to the environment by aiming to lower their carbon footprint, but many have not made it explicit in terms of the products and services they sell. Doing so influences key performance indicators such as brand trust, brand attachment and brand commitment. In our own survey in 2021, 52% of consumers said they would be prepared to pay more when brand values are part of the product information shared. For example, greener delivery options should be displayed alongside products, to include slower delivery, order bundling and smaller boxes so no space is wasted. Sharing and making explicit the extent to which companies are minimising their carbon impact will have a significant impact on customer loyalty and growth.”
6. Second-hand or rental
The second-hand and rental approaches to retail are growing rapidly in popularity as shoppers look to have a more sustainable approach to purchasing. In 2023 alone, sales in second-hand shops grew by 27.2%, highlighting the increased consumer interest in this market.
Gilles Couvreur, founder of Crosslist spoke about the growth of second-hand as an ecommerce trend: “The second-hand retail industry has tripled in value since 2020, worth an estimated $120 billion. With Gen Z driving the industry’s massive growth, there are several trends that will shape the future of second-hand retail in 2023. First, sustainability is playing an important role in driving consumption of second-hand goods, with 40% of shoppers citing this as their main reason for thrift shopping. Second, people are seeking to declutter their wardrobes and homes but the tough economic times mean they cannot afford to simply donate but try instead to get money back for their goods.
“Second-hand sellers can benefit from listing on multiple resale marketplaces to increase their odds of selling the goods. The greatest benefit of resale for retailers is that over 60% of shoppers discover brands they didn’t know about before or could not afford to buy new when shopping on second-hand marketplaces. In order for retailers to capitalise on this, they should aim to partner with resale platforms to resell their products. This is a cost-effective way to attract new customers while giving them access to sold-out or discontinued lines. Alternatively, retailers can set up their own resale marketplace which is a trend called re-commerce. In this instance, to encourage buying second-hand, retailers could offer customers the ability to sell their items back to the store, offer a credit when buying second-hand goods to put towards new items or vice versa, and offer different pricing tiers for new items and second-hand goods.”
At Autumn Fair, Mary Portas said: “I think second-hand retail will be a growing market for sure. These things will be a slow burn, but I think we need to be creative about how we do it. Even the phrase ‘rental’ sounds dry, so it needs to be presented as something that feels more exciting. There’s a lot of potential and I think we can get such fun back into it, where you have almost market spaces with a mix of rental and upcycling. People love markets and it’s all because we want to get out and connect and there’s that social aspect to it.”
7. Mobile shopping
As well as 72.9% of ecommerce purchases now being placed on mobile devices, 72% of people now use their mobile phone to research an item before purchasing. Number 7 on our list of the 2023 ecommerce trends will continue to grow in importance, as consumers look to research and buy on the channels that they prefer.
Mobile commerce is growing 300% faster than traditional ecommerce, meaning retailers must optimise their online stores for mobile devices, or risk missing out.
Oren Inditzky, VP of Online Stores at Wix: “In the US, mobile commerce (m-commerce) alone is expected to account for 44.2% of all e-commerce sales. Despite macroeconomic headwinds, the portion of m-commerce sales will continue to rise and is predicted to nearly double its share of total retail sales by 2025 due to three major trends:
1. Social shopping is predicted to grow by 5.2% in 2023, and hit $101.1 billion. E-commerce platforms making advanced capabilities accessible to everyone, coupled with the exploding adoption of social media which allows anyone to establish brand recognition and awareness, has led to the rise of micro brands. As a result we will continue to see social media apps adding more native e-commerce capabilities so their users could buy products without leaving the app. For example, Instagram currently has a dedicated shopping section, Facebook provides native storefronts to businesses, and TikTok enables livestream shopping capabilities and provides the ability for merchants to integrate their catalogues. These offerings will only continue to advance and become more seamless and frictionless for consumers.
2. Skyrocketing customer acquisition costs are fueling growth in mobile apps. Following a 222% increase in customer acquisition costs over the last eight years, online merchants will increase their investments in native mobile apps and offer app-exclusive products and promotions to entice consumers to download and shop in their apps.
3. Digital wallets and mobile payments will be increasingly adopted, making m-commerce a frictionless and preferred shopping experience among consumers. In 2021, digital and mobile wallet payments accounted for 49% of online transactions worldwide, and the use of mobile wallets is set to rise to 53% by 2024.”
Jo Eckersley, CEO of Bubbl added: “Retailers must ensure they are optimised to mobile given how central these devices are to our lives and our shopping habits. Throughout 2023, we will almost certainly see continued growth in mobile shopping riding the growing capability of apps and advanced out-of-app notification tools are enabling a whole new level of mobile engagement. The aim must be for brands to deliver relevant, situation-specific content and offers to their users – driving engagement and delivering ROI thanks to dynamic, context-based messaging delivered across push notifications, video or audio and driving new revenue streams. Today, it is possible to use a variety of contextual triggers including geofencing, negating the need for cookies or personal data but still making a connection with a mobile user relevant and timely. A privacy-first, convenient and friction-free mobile shopping experience is paramount. Consumer expectations around mobile experiences continue to grow exponentially. They expect seamless service and intuitive, responsive design. Fortunately, disruptive and dynamic technologies make it possible to serve up the ultimate in relevant, location-specific offers and m-commerce. In this way, hyper-targeted content via mobile holds the potential to drive sales, retention, footfall and much-needed return on app investment and on user acquisition costs for retailers.”
8. Multichannel personalisation
Personalisation involves much more than simply recommending a relevant product. It requires a recognisable and enjoyable shopping experience, regardless of which device a consumer is using. Customers who shop across multiple channels have a 30% higher lifetime value, demonstrating the importance of capturing their attention on the platforms they like to spend their time.
Wulfric Light-Wilkinson, General Manager at Wunderkind International said: “The real opportunity now lies in owning audiences as opposed to renting them and growing their addressable first-party database. This will allow retailers to boost marketing ROI while laying down the foundations for more meaningful, long-term relationships with consumers. By identifying more site traffic and focusing on targeted intent signals to deliver the right message at the right time to the right shoppers, retailers can turn browsers into buyers and use the power of personalisation to unlock untapped revenue opportunities. Communicating on a 1:1 basis with the consumer is now, more than ever given the current economic climate, the route to long-term brand success.
“Additionally, it’s become increasingly clear that retailers need to be where their customers are. A recent Wunderkind study of over 2,000 UK shoppers found that demand for text message interactions with brands has never been higher. While email remains the dominant channel for consumers, a third of those we polled say they now find text just as convenient – an increase of 6 percentage points year-on-year. Text is a significant opportunity for retailers wanting to increase loyalty and drive sales and this is a trend I see continuing into 2023 and beyond. Retailers can’t rely on any one channel; they need to embrace the full channel mix so they can support the shopper on their paths to purchase and meet them wherever they are.”
Oren Inditzky, VP Online Stores at Wix commented: “With the ongoing rise of social networks and ecommerce marketplaces, coupled with ecommerce platforms removing barriers for newcomers, the number of online merchants and ecommerce channels will continue to grow, and with it – competition. Ecommerce platforms will continue to enable anyone to sell their products and sync their catalogues across their branded online store, physical stores, social media, and marketplaces, and this list will continue to grow as new channels emerge. Along with the increased competition, merchants will increasingly adopt an omnichannel approach to expand customer reach and boost sales. Merchants’ critical necessity to increase conversion combined with improvements in AI and data collection technologies, allowing online merchants to adapt their stores in real-time to generate personalised shopping experiences, catalogues, and promotions, will lead to a more consistent, seamless, and personalized customer journey across multiple channels.”
Alan Clarke CCO for Europe at ESW added: “The opportunity today is that now consumers have no issue buying across borders from brands and retailers as long as they deliver the same degree of service regardless of whether they are shopping instore or online. Brands must deliver the same experience to consumers no matter where they shop. In order to do this, you must know your customers, delivering a seamless brand experience and consistency, while keeping their identity front and centre as they interact across multiple channels. Curated individual merchandise selections and exclusive product drops will make a difference. Getting these things right will keep shoppers coming back to your store and website. Brands are also now looking further afield for growth. According to Market Data Forecast, the global cross-border e-commerce market was worth US$1280 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow US$4.820 billion by 2026; that’s a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27% between 2022 and 2027. With this much opportunity, it’s just a question of how you position yourself to win it. The principles remain the same, if you understand the behaviours and preferences of people in a particular country, you can find the cohorts most likely to buy from you. Add to this the fact that more and more consumers are shopping cross-border, and you can start to build profiles for both outbound and inbound demand in every territory”.
9. Augmented reality (AR)
Globally, there are 100 million consumers who prefer using augmented reality while shopping. This popular market is expected to exceed $50 billion by 2024, allowing retailers that utilise it to meet shoppers’ demands.
AR enables consumers to visualise products from the comfort of their own homes, or explore items that may not be physically available for them to view. Removing one of the key barriers to online purchases, this is expected to become even more popular over the coming year.
Fintan Gillespie, Head of UK Enterprise at Snapchat spoke about the growing market for AR: “In 2023, we’ll see technology like AR continue to transform shopping, to make it even more immersive. 250m people already engage with AR on Snapchat every day. Through AR, you can try on items no matter where you are, or even place them in your environment to see what they look like. Our recent study with Ipsos found more than two-thirds of people say AR makes it easier to experience the work of their favourite designers – and 80% also believe it has the potential to help the environment by reducing returns. With this technology, the opportunity for retailers to build loyalty, attract customers and drive purchases is huge – and we’re excited to see more brands realise its possibilities in the new year.”
Peter Wallace, General Manager, EMEA at GumGum commented on the importance of introducing augmented reality in the right way: “Within new, immersive environments, user experience is absolutely critical. If brands are to play a credible role, a fresh approach will be required which prioritises cut-through creativity. Retailers will need to create genuinely captivating ad experiences which offer value and one way of doing this is to harness technologies such as AR. Brand storytelling will need to become much more dynamic and fluid to match such a fast-moving and multidimensional environment. It will be possible to take advantage of augmented, virtual or mixed reality technologies to enhance the overall experience, to enable consumers to explore products and their passions and to engage with like-minded communities.”
Tim Brickle, Managing Director at 3D Walkabout explains the benefits of AR: “The ability of AR to allow consumers to ‘try before they buy’ means it has the potential to become the biggest single game-changer in the retail sector since retailers started selling their products online. AR in the retail market is expected to grow by USD 9.24bn, at a CAGR of 41.7% between 2021 to 2026, according to Technavio’s latest market report.
Here are 3 ways retailers can capitalise on this trend:
1. Consider creating a Web AR application that can be triggered through a QR code on their existing online product pages, allowing the consumer to view the product in their present surroundings
2. Set up a native iOS/Android app that can be used at home and/or instore. This can allow the user to see a much wider selection of colours/finishes/styles than are currently stocked
3. Use AR smart mirrors instore that allow consumers to have a ‘virtual fitting mirror’ to try on a whole range of clothing and wearables
If you are in retail, then ignore AR at your peril. It’s quite likely your competitors are utilising or planning to utilise this technology in some way as it has the potential to revolutionise the shopping experience.”
10. Artificial intelligence
AI can be used to deliver personalised experiences based on data, as well as helping ecommerce retailers to forecast sales, manage orders and create a first-class post-purchase experience.
Devin Partida, Editor-in-Chief of ReHack.com said: “Personalised experiences are more engaging, and in the world of ecommerce, engaged consumers are profitable consumers. That’s where artificial intelligence (AI) comes in. Chatbots powered by AI will provide fast and accurate customer service, with voice search and voice-enabled shopping through voice assistants making online purchases easier than ever to make. Shoppers will see customised recommendations for products they didn’t know they wanted. Retailers will also see purchases they want, with fraud protection optimised by AI. In addition to front-end, consumer-focused applications, AI can also be leveraged throughout the supply chain and production process. One of AI’s many talents is analyzing huge amounts of data and making intelligent decisions. When AI is used in supply chain planning to solve logistical problems, cost and downtime decrease while profits and productivity increase. In 2023, we will see optimised, personalised ecommerce experiences for consumers and algorithmically-managed supply chains for retailers.”
Edward Betts, European General Manager of Retail Express added: “In today’s fast-moving world, most retailers only have time to focus on the day-to-day tasks that allow them to keep their business operational. In 2023 and beyond, we will see retailers who embrace AI-powered algorithmic retail principles winning in the market. Algorithmic retail uses the power of artificial intelligence to embed retailer strategies within automated processes, resulting in a reduction in the number of time-consuming day-to-day tasks. These might include price changes, the sharing of plans and the management of workflows. Using technology to help and support the retail business frees up valuable time that can be spent focusing on the tasks that actually drive continuous improvement and deliver growth for the retailer, such as building stronger relationships with suppliers. AI can even be of use in deciding on the best deals and corresponding promotional offers to entice the consumer, based on analysis of both historic and real-time sales data. Algorithmic retail, powered by AI, enables much of the pressure on staff and management to be alleviated, while providing them with the tools to continuously improve the organisation’s capacity for strategic agility. This is essential for any retail business to deliver sustainable growth in a volatile market.”
Chatbots have the potential to save businesses as much as 30% on customer support costs. The ecommerce industry actually has the highest level of chatbot ‘acceptance’ with 34% of ecommerce customers accepting chatbots as a valid and useful tool. The key to success with chatbots lies in using them to simplify the consumer journey without causing frustration, combining this with in-person support as required.
Mark Chamberlain, Chief Evangelist at Lokulus said: “In 2023 we should expect even more advancements in all things chatbots as they continue to evolve. Gartner are predicting that automated bots will be handling 80% of all customer service queries within the next 3 years, so even more retailers will be focusing their attention on the bot. Be they AI or script-driven, today’s bots can provide a good level of customer service when integrated into a retailer’s eco-system, providing personalised answers to common questions about stock availability, order progress (WISMO) or managing returns. For 2023, I would predict further evolution in the humanising of bots, with deployed bots understanding what doesn’t look or feel right and then taking appropriate action. Definitely a step beyond the capabilities generally offered by current customer portals and much needed as CX evolves.
“By way of an example, a bot that today answers an order delivery question will typically respond with the current order status such as pending, delivered etc, ideally backed up by real-time courier data. Looking beyond the simple facts, logic rules can determine if the information doesn’t feel right, for example, an order showing as despatched but the courier data showing as not delivered after a defined period could automatically trigger a delivery investigation whilst keeping the customer in the loop. They will delve much deeper than surface level, mimicking the behaviour of a human. Evolutions will develop trust in both the brand and the technology, whilst contributing to the overall reduction of inbound enquiries which are costly to the retailer.”
12. Different content formats
Businesses are increasingly using various formats of video content, to connect with shoppers and showcase the benefits of products. Online videos now account for more than 82% of internet traffic, as well as directly contributing to a 78% increase in sales.
For retailers, it is becoming increasingly important to reach consumers in the places where they like to consume media and in the formats that they engage most with. Retailers that are able to find unique ways to showcase their products and grow brand loyalty through video and various formats will be able to benefit most throughout 2023.
Subscriptions are a fantastic method of improving customer retention, growing loyalty and long-term business. It’s essential to demonstrate the value and deliver on expectations to retain subscribers, but it can be a fantastic, more predictable approach to growing long-term business.
Jon Butt, Co-Founder of Blue Coffee Box explained the importance of a retail subscription model: “As long as you treat them well, your subscription customers will be your most loyal evangelists and supporters. Not every product can be suited to a subscription. It may take some creative thinking – think Amazon Prime. As regular paying customers, we find that our subscribers will read our communication. That can be via email or an insert in the box. They also react best to offers, buy additional gifts, refer friends and gladly answer questions to help us know them better. It’s a perfect example of how keeping a customer happy will cost less than creating a new one. It’s not easy, as it takes a whole new mindset to talk to a customer like a long-time friend and make them want to stick around. But that customer will support your business in both good and bad times if you are honest and keep them informed about your business – like you would a friend. Our loyal subscription customers got us through the pandemic, the post strikes and price increases. I own another business that does not fit the subscription model and it never receives the messages and emails of thanks and support that we get almost daily at Blue Coffee Box.”
Edd Evans, Senior Digital Marketing Executive at LoveRaw spoke about his experiences of offering a subscription service: “Being a brand within the consumer packaged goods space, it was a no-brainer to introduce a subscription arm to our DTC model and boost repeat purchase on our website. Plus, it also ensures our customers never run out of their favourite chocolate with up to 25% off each order. Given the current economic climate, subscriptions were relatively slow-moving at first, but with tweaks to the service over time, we’ve seen things pick up nicely. Since launching the subscription model, we always look to enhance the offering so that it meets the needs of our most loyal customers, such as increasing their savings on each order and providing free shipping on every subscription. In addition to this, we have also optimised the way that subscriptions can be managed through automations and CX. Customers should be able to swap, skip and cancel with a click of a button. If they can’t, they are likely to become frustrated with your service and ultimately churn.”
14. User-generated content
User-generated content can boost brand confidence and remove any concerns that shoppers have during the buying process. In fact, 91% of those aged between 18 and 34 trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations and 93% say reviews influence their purchase decisions.
Having honest, authentic reviews works in the same way as micro-influencers, boosting brand loyalty and in turn, positively impacting sales. It is also worth noting that this relies on a positive experience, as 94% have also been convinced to avoid a business based on a negative review.
This ecommerce trend for 2023 can boost customer confidence and prompt first-time purchases.
15. Flexible payments
Flexible payment solutions such as ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ (BNPL) have soared in popularity in recent years. 67% of consumers use BNPL services on at least half of their online purchases, as well as 45% using the service frequently. Having the option for consumers to finance their purchases can eliminate some of the barriers to purchase in 2023, making it a key consideration for many ecommerce businesses.
16. Frictionless checkouts
In this article, 24% stated they abandoned their cart because the site wanted them to create an account. Ways to design a frictionless checkout experience include streamlining the checkout experience with less steps, not requiring people to make an account to buy, transparency with all costs and a wide range of payment options. Retailers that are able to offer frictionless checkout experiences will be able to enjoy higher conversion rates.
Speaking about the possibilities of truly frictionless checkouts, Manhattan Associates Solutions Executive, Joe Kamara said: “Imagine a world where shoppers can walk into a clothing store, scan the price tag on a dress, and complete payment on the spot. A world where virtual stylists allow shoppers to seamlessly pay by link, or shoppers collecting their online orders aren’t just handed a package, but are greeted with personalised recommendations to complement their purchase. As we witness a post-pandemic acceleration in the convergence of physical and digital retail, it’s imperative retailers continue to remove any remaining friction points from the instore and checkout experience. While digitalisation and frictionless shopping are certainly two of the big winners from the pandemic, retailers should not be too quick to discount the importance of human interaction or the role of the physical store (and checkout experience) in the era of digital commerce. In order to meet tomorrow’s customer expectations, retailers must adopt a sell/fulfil/engage anywhere mentality, making an effective unified commerce solution ‘a must’ in 2023.”
17. Omnichannel retail
Those that are able to create online shopping experiences in the places that consumers choose to shop will be able to benefit from their business. Being able to combine online shops with social media platforms and having this information work alongside any physical stores or phone and email communications will enable retailers to create an outstanding customer experience, allowing shoppers to place orders in their preferred ways.
Kevin Mathers, MD, Retail at Google spoke about the importance of utilising online alongside physical retail: “As we navigate this year’s peak shopping season and head towards 2023, UK retailers increasingly need to keep a keen eye on consumer behaviour, particularly, the interplay between physical stores and online. If we rewind two years, back to the height of the pandemic, online shopping naturally overtook the high street. The reality today is that rather than simply co-existing, the high street and online retail interact more than ever. In fact, according to our recent market research, 30% of UK shoppers browse online to decide what they’re going to buy from a physical shop.
“Insightful retailers will take advantage of this trend by reaching customers browsing online with targeted adverts showing stock availability at local stores. Running adverts across our multiple platforms, with automated tools, will ensure these campaigns are as effective as possible. Establishing a link between online activity and in-store outcomes doesn’t need to be complicated. Localised digital advertising campaigns do this without the need for any complex data manipulation. But for further measurement verification, a retailer can integrate their first-party data to connect the number of people who viewed an ad with subsequent store visits. This is a savvy way to assess the overall impact of a campaign.
“Connecting sales data across channels does, however, require online and instore teams to work in a collaborative way. Many retailers still operate in silos, but today’s retailers should be on a mission to break those down. It’s also time to move away from the static, binary view that exists where we’ve talked about instore and online in the past. Sales success and margin optimisation are best achieved when teams work as one and maximise omnichannel value. In 2023, omnichannel marketing effectiveness will be critical – the retailers that pay close attention to their customers’ behaviours, however they’re interacting with their brand, will be set up for success.”
James Barlow, Regional Director UK&I at Akeneo explains why retailers must adapt their thinking to succeed in omnichannel retail: “As anyone who shops online knows full well, we all face inconsistencies in product descriptions, prices, service and fulfilment as we shop across multiple channels in our journey to the ideal purchase. It is no longer acceptable for brands and retailers to offer an online experience where everything is perfect on the main owned website, only to warp and degrade as it moves out to social, partner and wholesaler websites. It is these inconsistencies across multiple channels that are costing retailers sales conversions, traffic and the chance of building loyalty. Key to fixing the problem is a single product information and experience management system able to manage any channel and customer touchpoint to ensure not only consistency but also ease-of-use, so that new products and deeper product data can be added quickly to take immediate advantage of market opportunities. A single solution also deals neatly with the problem that many brands and retailers have currently, and that is multiple systems built for individual activities and channels. Integration is key to meeting the needs of the customer who thinks not in channels but in purchase outcomes.”
The popularity of marketplaces is expected to grow significantly, according to Forbes. With large numbers of engaged consumers from around the world on most marketplaces, being able to appear in the search results of the right marketplaces and build a positive reputation can prove a successful ecommerce business strategy.
In addition to Amazon and eBay, there are ways for retailers to hone in on their target audience. Marketplaces can also allow ecommerce retailers to target specific customer bases, using niche or industry-specific marketplaces to engage the right consumers. As an example, this could be a UK-only marketplace, or one that focuses on electronic products.
Simon Kvist Gaulshoj, CEO of Adnami spoke about this one of the ecommerce trends for 2023: “Ecommerce platforms have become marketplaces where brands are competing to be featured to the right audiences and in a relevant context of content and related products. Consumers on those platforms are in the market to buy and they are close to the buying decision. In addition, first-party data is in high demand. This key combination makes them highly valuable to brands to reach with advertising – both on and off the ecommerce platform. At this late stage in the buyer journey, it is key for advertisers to cut through, with an attention-grabbing format and an impactful creative. Ad spend going into retail media is on the rise as a consequence.”
Gilles Couvreur, founder of Crosslist, said: “One of the most important things that any retailer needs to keep in mind is where their customers are. With the growth of ecommerce and mobile phone usage, consumers have more instant access to products than they have ever had before. In 2023, it will be essential for retailers to think about how to compete globally and about the new concept of “store as marketplace”. In 2023, marketplaces will continue to grow rapidly, especially within developing countries, and are expected to cater to specific hard-to-find niches, making marketplaces the go-to places to find certain products. Retailers who take an omnichannel approach – i.e. selling through more than one channel – increase their revenue by over 190% on average. In 2023 it will be more important than ever for businesses to take their products to online marketplaces, as 62% of all online purchases take place on marketplaces. Start on one marketplace, like adding your products to Facebook Marketplace, for example. When that’s working, it’s time to expand to other relevant marketplaces by cross-listing on the likes of eBay, Amazon or Etsy.”
James Barlow, Regional Director UK&I at Akeneo outlined the importance of professional marketing on marketplaces: “With brands and retailers paying up to 30% margin for selling on marketplaces, they cannot afford any mistakes in how they present, promote and fulfil their products. However, it is common to see inconsistencies in the way products are displayed between marketplaces and other channels, including product descriptions, images, availability and fulfilment.”
Peter Boldt-Christmas, Senior Strategist at Pattern, added: “While the economy may continue to shift over the next twelve months, online marketplace growth is unlikely to stop. UK businesses turn over £282bn a year via online marketplaces, and brands that operate on marketplaces are growing 27% faster than those without a marketplace presence. What’s more, two-thirds of brands are planning to expand internationally through marketplaces over the next year. As they do, brand leaders will need to keep a watchful eye on three factors that will stymie their success: price erosion, inefficient logistics, and bad data. 65% of brands in EMEA are currently experiencing detrimental price erosion due to rouge sellers and leaky distribution networks, while half of brands report having painfully complex or expensive logistics. What’s more, 46% of brands aren’t able to accurately forecast sales, leading to inventory issues that either exceed demand or fail to meet it. The recovery may be difficult, but lean times often present huge opportunities for companies that work both smarter and harder to grow, in spite of a constantly changing market.”
The importance of staying ahead of ecommerce trends for 2023
By keeping in mind some of the most popular ecommerce trends for 2023, you can implement new ideas and solutions that will grow your business. This will help to impress shoppers, increase loyalty and remain ahead of competitors.
Identifying the right ecommerce trends for 2023 for your business
This guide lists 18 of the biggest ecommerce trends for 2023, offering experts’ predictions about the importance of each theme in the coming year. Some of these trends will be a natural fit for your retail business, while others may not make as much sense. We would recommend taking the most suitable ecommerce trends for 2023, seeing how they could align with your business’ objectives and finding ways to action them for the benefit of your customers.
Make the most of ecommerce trends for 2023
Now you know the top 18 ecommerce trends for 2023, it’s time to get planning and put the most relevant ideas into practice. By thinking about unique ways to implement some of these trends, you can be ready to adapt and grow your retail business in the coming year.
Ecommerce trends for 2023 FAQ
What is livestream shopping?
Live streaming in ecommerce is a great way to engage consumers online and showcase the product while being able to interact. Many retailers have found that this online shop trend is a great way to overcome barriers to purchase and grow customer loyalty.
How do I know what to post on social media for ecommerce?
To do this, find ways to combine your offering with popular themes. As an example, you could look at trends on Instagram today and see if any fit naturally with your products or brand. By knowing what’s trending right now on Instagram, or what is popular at certain times of year, for example, on Black Friday, you can stay ahead of shopping trends and tap into online trends in ways that will engage shoppers. For additional inspiration, keep an eye on the types of content your competitors post and track the success of different types of content you publish.
What are the top trends of online shopping?
The top online shopping trends are included in this article, revealing the habits of online shoppers. As well as listing shopping trends for online retailers, you can also see expert predictions and advice from many of the world’s best and most recognisable brands.
Where can I find 2023 ecommerce trends?
This article lists ecommerce trends for 2023 and online shopping trends for 2023. By knowing the biggest UK ecommerce trends, you can utilise the most suitable ideas for online shoppers to enjoy. Read this guide to 2023 shopping trends for online shoppers to design an online shopping approach for consumers, whether they are making purchases on mobile devices or using computers online.
What is one of the biggest ecommerce trends for 2023?
The biggest ecommerce trend for 2023 is expected to be the combination of various online channels to design a seamless online shopping experience. This will see brands utilise social media, marketing, online stores, data and their commerce platforms to guide purchases, while meeting customers’ preferences both online and offline. Brands that are able to make the most of omnichannel retail will be able to grow their number of online shoppers, offer a superior shopping experience for customers and tie this in with their brick-and-mortar offerings.
What is the difference between ecommerce, e-commerce and eCommerce?
Ecommerce, eCommerce and e-commerce are the same thing, just spelt differently. While some choose to spell it e-commerce, others choose to remove the hyphen. This means your spelling of ecommerce, e-commerce, or eCommerce comes down to personal preference.
What does 2023 hold for ecommerce?
The future of the online store looks bright. While the pandemic saw the rapid growth of the retail website and a new focus on high-quality marketing funnels, interest from buyers has remained high. Website personalisation has made it possible for every customer to enjoy a tailored commerce journey, finding recommendations that suit them on each site. Millennials and gen Z previously made up the majority of online shoppers and those shopping on mobile devices, however online shopping is now appealing to a broader range of people. The growth of online shopping and social media as part of the shopping experience means that there are more opportunities for online brands to reach new customers and use data to meet their consumers’ preferences.
How can retail brands utilise these 2023 ecommerce trends?
There are many ways for retail brands to offer a service that meets consumers’ needs. By adding some of the features and services mentioned in this list, it is possible to design an online shopping experience that buyers love to engage with. Including this in your commerce site is a great way to engage every consumer, supporting growth by having forward-thinking and cutting-edge ecommerce features which your competitors do not.
Holly brings a wealth of experience in both print and digital publishing. As Modern Retail’s Content Editor, Holly is passionate about helping independent retailers to thrive in today’s ever-changing market.