In 2023, eCommerce will still be a crucial avenue for businesses, but it might be ready to lose some of its sway. While studies suggest things are starting to plateau and eCommerce development globally is exhibiting indications of halting, the race for eCommerce space has caused significant expansion over the last ten years. In light of this, it’s critical for companies to stop viewing their business’s eCommerce future as a guarantee of success and to pay more attention to the factors that determine that success, primarily eCommerce trends.
Online purchasing trends, also known as eCommerce trends, are the frequently shifting customs of online users. Early eCommerce would have made simple features like 360-degree product viewing a trend that brands could capitalize on, but customers today demand much more from the brands they patronize. Studies reveal that some shoppers now use up to five devices to access the internet, and they demand much more support to read your content on each of these platforms if you want to offer consistent engagement. Every year brings new expectations and trends, which influence the content and goods that brands must produce to stay competitive and meet customer demands.
Significant trends in 2023
The expectations of your customers are determined by online shopping trends. Here are the top trends to think about as you prepare for your business’s eCommerce expansion over the course of 2023.
- The reign of online lockdown may end
eCommerce gained unmatched access to a seized customer base as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Customers who had previously preferred brick-and-mortar businesses were compelled to adopt new online behaviors, while brands that had never had an online shopping platform had to enhance their strategies in order to withstand lockdown. As an example, consider online grocery shopping. Despite the fact that online grocery shopping was already widespread prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, a survey found that 34% of households said they had increased their online grocery shopping since the pandemic began, and 60% of those households said they intended to do so even after the pandemic is over. However, these offline establishments are experiencing a healthy resurgence as we get closer to a life without tight limitations. In truth, the growth rate for physical retailers from 2020 to 2021 was 6.5%, the highest since 2016.When it comes to leveraging their online presence to make up for a lack of customer presence in stores, brands can’t take their foot off the pedal. Setting up omnichannel marketing strategies that provide your offline and online channels the same appeal this year will be crucial. From choices that let customers purchase online and pick up in-store to activities like sip-and-paint classes or in-store lavender bath bomb shopping afternoons that are ideal for social media comments and shares.
- Major social media platforms are unlikely to be impacted
It may appear that people are losing interest in the social media heavyweights due to Facebook’s initial signs of decline and Twitter’s ownership issues. Nevertheless, it’s doubtful that a disruptive social media alternative will appear in 2023, so companies should protect all their avenues. Although Facebook may not be the younger generation’s preferred platform, according to eCommerce statistics, it remains the essential medium for general engagement. Even though a decline was noted in 2022, this scarcely has an impact in the platform’s overall uptake, which has grown by over 40% since 2017. In light of this, businesses should make an effort to maintain their Facebook pages as current and updated as their Instagram and TikTok accounts.
- Virtual reality dominates
Over the past few years, virtual reality, or VR, has improved in accessibility and customer acceptance as a legitimate tool rather than just a passing trend. In fact, 71% of customers stated they would be more inclined to purchase from businesses that utilized virtual reality. Customers can still take advantage of your brand’s virtual reality experiences without donning a VR headset, though.Furniture companies that let buyers virtually preview their products inside their homes are one example of how VR is being used to pave the way for this eCommerce future. Additionally, some eyewear websites allow users to try on glasses with their phones’ cameras, and some cosmetics companies offer the same functionality for lipstick colors. According to reports, using 3D technology to provide customers a virtual hands-on experience can boost conversions by as much as 40%.
- Online platforms must remain relevant
As was previously noted, some customers may use up to five devices to access the internet, therefore your website and apps must keep up. Functionality is essential to increasing conversions and lowering bounce rates. The year 2023 might be the perfect time to assess where your digital platforms are lacking or seeming outdated, and to bring them up to par.Legacy software is one area where companies may fall into this trap. For both large and small enterprises, the SaaS model has long since become the norm. It enables you to take advantage of features like cloud-based operations that prevent updates from falling behind or data from being lost. Additionally, it enables a higher level of scalability, enabling companies to simply add another account rather than establishing completely new systems and requiring intensive software maintenance. This is a crucial area where keeping up with trends set by your competitors will help you stay ahead, such as employing the same type of CMS (content management system) for your website to guarantee comparable levels of simple user engagement.
- Subscriptions continue to flourish
Over the course of 2023, the rise of subscription services is not expected to slow down; in reality, subscription businesses are growing five times faster than the S&P 500. This holds true for a variety of products and services, such as:
This is also known as the “Netflix Model,” and it may be used to define movie and TV streaming services as well as other areas like online meditation and fitness classes. This model includes audiobooks, podcasts, and music under the heading of audio.
During lockdown, subscription boxes experienced a surge in popularity as customers capitalized on the FOMO (fear of missing out) mentality, which motivates 60% of purchases made by millennials. They are a flexible model that can be utilized for practically anything, from delicious meals delivered right to your door to a fresh supply of shaving razors each month. Birchbox is a fantastic example. It’s a beauty subscription business that may help anyone, from beauty enthusiasts to those who are just learning about the ins and outs of skincare, cosmetics, and nailcare, create the ideal beauty box. A customer has two choices each month: have a handpicked box delivered to their house or choose from a plethora of customization options.
Technology and software
This includes topics like cloud-based file storage, photo editing tools, and POS systems for businesses. Most software you need in 2023 and the years following will likely be available via a subscription plan rather than the one-time payment and local installation of the past.
It’s not necessary for subscriptions to be a company’s primary product or service to bring in more customers. Take into account a subscription for Amazon Prime, where businesses can add convenience to the goods and services they already provide, or for computer paper, which is automatically ordered so that customers never run out of it. Customers may stock up on their favorite goods with Amazon Prime while browsing a collection of movies and TV episodes to watch (thanks to Amazon Prime Video).
- The new content creators are users
UGC (user-generated content) is still thriving, with 41% of American customers reporting that they stream UGC more frequently than TV episodes or movies. Given that TV and movie streaming services are seldom free and that free-to-view UGC continues to be the focus for those same paying users, that eCommerce number is noteworthy. 80% of American users of social media check their channels every day. Therefore, brands should strive to always have new material available to welcome customers.Among the most popular methods for doing this is through utilizing the power of influencer marketing. Your brand exposure can increase in an authentic way by collaborating with social media users who have substantial followings (i.e., through the gaze of a real customer). The influencer’s power is acknowledged on a global scale; for instance, in Brazil, about 90% of the population follows at least one influencer online. Advertising technologies make it simple to see every campaign’s overall impact, enabling advertisers to work with these personalities and the crucial connection they have to their targeted customer base to establish credibility and trust as well as reach a sizable audience in a single post.
- Older and new customers will have to be persuaded
COVID-19 enforced the online presence of a new group of customers, namely older customers who would not have been particularly interested in influencing the future of eCommerce for their purchasing patterns. But now that these older customers shop online, it’s crucial that businesses take into account their requirements in the same manner as those of millennials or Gen Z. Security is one of the main concerns for older customers, which should be a top focus for any business.One of the key reasons why these older customers might choose to shop with a particular brand, according to 70% of them, is because of secure payment options. However, this was regarded as a major problem by at least 49% of all generations, including Gen Z, Gen X, and millennials, and its significance increased with customer age. This appeals to a mindset of transparency that people of all ages can relate to. Make sure that all age groups can easily grasp how you handle user data processing and how you secure your website for secure payments.
- Provide great delivery services
Customers’ raised delivery expectations are another lockdown eCommerce trend. A general recommendation of 3-5 business days may no longer be sufficient. According to studies, when businesses don’t accurately predict when items will be delivered, about 70% of customers say they won’t do business with them again. Deliveries that aim to please the customer, however, require more than just being timely.Brands should strive for honesty and ongoing interaction in order to allow customers to know exactly where their product is at any given time in the manufacturing process. This might entail being able to track a driver via an app for certain brands, and it might entail receiving email updates with precise time slots for other brands. You could also want to think about novel approaches to enhancing ease in this stage of the purchasing process, such as allowing customers the choice to divide orders into many shipments, mail them to various addresses, pick up items in-store, or pre-order new products. Another feature that is quickly becoming commonplace among all reputable brands is free and simple returns.
- Flexible payments continue
Customers now anticipate more flexible payment alternatives thanks to the emergence of new payment methods like Klarna, Sezzle, and Affirm, to mention a few. The concept of “buy now, pay later” has long been a popular one, and customers have embraced services that use it for even modest, regular transactions. That said, it’s not just intended for those bigger purchases such as a living room set or a jet ski; it’s also just as ideal for those new platform shoes you purchased online to wear to that upcoming music festival. Additionally, flexible payments aid in addressing the problem of cart abandonment that all eCommerce sites face. Customers visit websites, add products to their baskets, and appear ready to purchase before changing their minds. eCommerce findings highlight a number of factors that are directly related to payment challenges, such as:
- The total cart price
- Extra charges like shipping
- Rejected cards
- Inadequate means of payment
- Poor policy on returns
Flexible payments, which enable customers to split their whole purchase into manageable installments, can directly assist in resolving the first problem. This also works to counter the second since any extra charges may be seen as less important if they are included in a smaller installment. Additionally, it conveys a feeling of trustworthiness that comes from businesses that recognize their customers and provide for their needs through a range of payment options.
- Purchases don’t involve the exchange of personal data
Not everyone wants to share intimate personal information, even though personalization is becoming more and more important to customers, whether it’s Gen Z searching for social media shopping that attracts their attention or baby boomers looking for sites that share their values in regards to quality and safety.Security is one area that this trend touches on, along with the cart abandonment rate. Customers being pressured to create accounts results in a loss of nearly 25% of sales at the register. The implications for customers could be more troublesome even if this may not seem like a big ask, such as:
- Preserving their payment information on the account
- Provoking emails are constantly overflowing their mailbox
- Storing their address and personal information
- Their data being stored and exposed to brand technology data breaches
In the years ahead, flexibility in general should be a trend for your business, just as flexible payment is becoming more and more common. Rather than the opposite way around, you should provide your customers the chance to purchase without creating an account and make it standard not to hold payment details until they opt in. Additionally, opting into marketing communications rather than avoiding them shows that you recognize customer preferences and wants.
You can engage with your customers more deeply and reach them in innovative ways with FTx Commerce, which will help you integrate your POS an ecommerce site. We provide you the most cutting-edge technology available on the market, whether you’re a small local business or a large one operating over the entire country. In addition to dependable web hosting and software updates, we offer business-to-business (B2B) eCommerce solutions including payment management, product administration, inventory and supply chain management, marketing, and staff management, to highlight a few. Ready to learn more? Give one of our solutions specialists a call today to get started!