Consumers are the driving force behind the fast-paced and fragmented digital commerce landscape, not to mention the emerging eCommerce trends seen every year.
With people resorting to digital channels amid the pandemic, companies have realised that adaptation is essential to growth and survival. The surge in online interactions has also encouraged businesses to deliver shopping experiences that transcend screens.
As online shopping continues to grow exponentially and consumer habits evolve rapidly, it’s critical to create an eCommerce strategy that involves more than running a website or developing an app.
Here are some up-and-coming eCommerce trends to explore in 2023:
1. Tailored Customer Experiences Remain Critical
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Personalisation plays an integral part in what the future of eCommerce might look like. Today’s customers expect tailored experiences—and this goes beyond seeing their names in email campaigns.
According to McKinsey and Company, 72% of consumers want businesses to recognise their individualities and understand their interests. The research also indicated the essential factors that most people associate with positive experiences, including:
- ▪ Relevant product/service recommendations
- ▪ Easy navigation in-store and online
- ▪ Targeted messages or promotions
- ▪ First-time customer onboarding
- ▪ Post-purchase follow-up
These findings suggest that personalisation is crucial to acquire new customers and encourage repeat purchases. eCommerce companies should leverage customer data to scale personalisation initiatives and drive richer customer experiences.
2. Increased Importance of eCommerce Technologies
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Technologies make a tremendous impact on human lives, particularly on the way people shop and interact with brands. This is evident during the onset of the pandemic, where consumers have switched heavily to online purchases because of lockdown and social distancing measures.
Because of the dramatic shift to online retail, businesses are reinventing themselves and their strategies for the digital world. In fact, Forrester reported that nearly 40% of companies have made tech investments as a result of the pandemic last year, despite an overall reduction in spending.
In 2023, global online retail sales will reach $6.169 trillion from 3.351 trillion in 2019. While this double-digit growth is a great deal for businesses, this also implies the increasing importance of eCommerce technologies. Among the technology trends that will shape digital commerce are:
Automation. Artificial intelligence (AI) is the core of eCommerce automation. Equipped with data mining, natural language and machine learning capabilities, AI can help get rid of mundane tasks and simplify workflows that hamper productivity, such as:
- ▪ Inventory management
- ▪ Internal communications
- ▪ Customer segmentation and onboarding
- ▪ Time-sensitive tasks (i.e., scheduled campaigns)
Chatbots. Customer service is paramount in delivering a seamless online experience—and chatbots are a reliable technology that does the job perfectly. Chatbots will continue to gain popularity in 2023 and are predicted to become the primary customer service tool by the end of 2027 for roughly a quarter of organisations.
Voice Commerce. Voice commerce is a technology that allows customers to make purchases using voice commands. It’s expected to exceed $30 billion by 2024, which suggests the need for optimising websites for voice search and enabling transactions from any voice-controlled devices.
3. Metaverse Enables Immersive Shopping
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Metaverse is also one of the top eCommerce trends in 2023. Also touted as the internet of the future, the metaverse will become popular not only among gamers and investors but also among companies and consumers.
Nike, the sportswear apparel giant, is one of the brands that have entered the metaverse. Nike built Nikeland, a Roblox-like platform that allows fans to meet, socialise, take part in promotions and engage with a whole range of brand experiences.
Not only would the metaverse help businesses bridge physical and digital spaces and deliver interactive and gamified experiences, but it would also boost their online presence.
The metaverse also allows brands to tap into sensory marketing techniques to create more appealing retail experiences. This may involve the use of animation and motion graphics or appropriate sound effects that can evoke a sense of excitement.
4. Click & Collect Is Here to Stay
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While click-and-collect isn’t a new eCommerce trend, this retail model has seen massive growth during the pandemic. Customers who buy their products online and pick them up in the store enjoy the advantage of convenience and speed whilst saving on shipping costs.
For retailers, click-and-collect can also be beneficial in many ways:
- ▪ Upsell opportunities: shoppers can purchase additional items when they pick up their orders.
- ▪ Optimised delivery network: retailers can make more efficient use of vehicles and reduce transportation costs.
- ▪ High-profit channel: retailers can generate more yields and minimise expenses (i.e., labour and delivery costs) simultaneously.
5. Creating a Seamless Omnichannel System Is a Must
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Consumers nowadays make purchasing decisions based on a mix of digitally interconnected networks—Facebook, Instagram, website, and more. What’s more interesting is that consumers hold off their final decision until they visit the store.
Despite the increasing demand for online experiences, in-store touchpoints are also deemed necessary. Brands should fulfil customers’ needs across all channels, hence the need for cultivating an omnichannel presence.
By creating an omnichannel strategy, businesses can unify all their offline and online efforts to create a smooth and connected experience. Here are a few examples of omnichannel marketing and why it’s one of the biggest eCommerce trends in 2023:
- ▪ scanners, QR codes, and online search tools available in-store – allow customers to find products easily
- ▪ store locator/site selection tool – helps customers find the nearest store location when they visit the website
- ▪ virtual reality – gives online customers a look and feel of products, which equates to an in-store commerce experience
Future-proof Your eCommerce Business
The eCommerce industry never stops moving forward. New eCommerce trends will emerge, and some existing ones will remain relevant in 2023 and beyond.
At eWave, we’re committed to helping brands keep pace with the ever-evolving eCommerce space. We bring innovative, strategic, and out-of-the-box solutions tailored to your business needs and goals.
If you’re looking to future-proof your business and enable experience-driven commerce, book a session or speak with an eWave representative at +61 2 8381 0600 today!