The eCommerce market is bigger than ever before – it is projected to reach US$4.5 trillion in 2023 – with more and more people turning to the convenience of online shopping. And as we look ahead to 2023, it's clear that this trend is only going to continue. But what can we expect to see in the world of e-commerce over the next year? Here are a few key trends to keep an eye on.
7 trends that will shape the industry in 2023
The seven main trends that will shape the industry in 2023 are stated below.
- Growth of mobile commerce
- Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are changing the game
- Rise of social media commerce
- Sustainability measures
- Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) for maximum immersion
- Conversational search
- Omnichannel presence
Let's dive deep into them!
1. Growth of mobile commerce
Mobile commerce refers to the use of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to make online purchases. People use their mobile devices for everything from work communication to entertainment, so it's no surprise that mobile shopping is also on the rise.
In recent years, the growth of mobile commerce has been nothing short of explosive. According to Statista, global mobile commerce sales reached reach almost US$3700 billion in 2022, representing 65.7% of all global eCommerce sales.
Mobile commerce is particularly relevant for emerging markets, representing nearly 80% of all sales in 2022. This share is only bound to increase.
So, what does this mean for you? It's clear that catering to mobile users is crucial. This means optimizing your website for mobile devices, prioritizing fast loading times, and creating an intuitive design. It's also a good idea to offer a mobile app, which can provide a more seamless shopping experience for customers on the go.
Additionally, it's important to consider the mobile payment options that you offer. With the rise of mobile payments and digital wallets, it's essential to provide customers with a range of options for completing their purchases.
2. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are changing the game
AI & are set to play a major role in the world of e-commerce in the coming years. These technologies can be used to improve the shopping experience for customers in a number of ways.
From personalized product recommendations to real-time inventory management, AI is already being used in a variety of ways to make the shopping experience more seamless and efficient.
ML techniques can also be used to improve the efficiency and accuracy of back-end operations, such as inventory management, price optimization and fraud detection. This can help your business save time and resources while also improving the overall customer experience.
Additionally, you can optimize the search experience for your customers by using AI-powered site search platforms, which have cutting-edge features like neural search, synonym matching, and multi-language support.
So, how can you take advantage of these technologies? One option is to invest in AI and ML tools and platforms that can help streamline and optimize various aspects of the business. It's also important to consider the role that AI and ML can play in the customer experience, such as through personalized recommendations or chatbots that can provide quick and accurate responses to customer inquiries.
3. Rise of social media commerce
Social media commerce, refers to the use of social media platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook to sell products directly to consumers.
In recent years, the growth of social commerce has been nothing short of remarkable. According to a report from Global Social Commerce Market, social commerce is expected to reach nearly US$3 trillion by 2026.
With platforms like Instagram Shopping and Facebook Marketplace offering seamless integrations with e-commerce websites, it's becoming easier than ever for consumers to discover and purchase products directly through social media.
However, this trend also means more brands will use these platforms to bypass traditional retail channels. If you primarily sell your own products, that translates to massive cost savings for your business. But, if you’re a retail aggregator, you may find it harder to compete with the increased efficiency and reduced costs of direct-to-consumer social commerce businesses.
So, what does this mean for e-commerce retailers? It's clear that social media is a key channel for reaching and engaging with customers. This means having a strong presence on the platforms that your target audience is most active on, and using social media to showcase your products and drive traffic to your website.
Plus, it's important to consider the use of social media shopping features, such as Instagram's shoppable posts or Facebook's shopping tab. These features allow customers to browse and purchase products directly from your social media accounts, making it easier for them to discover and buy your products.
4. Sustainability measures
With consumers becoming increasingly aware of the environmental impact of their purchasing decisions, it's likely that more businesses will adopt sustainable practices and offer eco-friendly products.
So, what can e-commerce retailers do to cater to this trend? There are a number of measures that businesses can take to make their operations more sustainable. For example, you can implement eco-friendly packaging options, such as using recycled materials or biodegradable packaging. You can also consider sourcing products from eco-friendly suppliers, or offering a range of eco-friendly products for customers to choose from.
In addition to these measures, it's important to consider the carbon footprint of your business. This includes not just the shipping of products, but also the energy used in your warehouse and office operations. By reducing your carbon footprint, you can demonstrate your commitment to sustainability and appeal to environmentally conscious consumers
By taking steps to make your operations more sustainable, you can differentiate your business and appeal to environmentally conscious consumers. And most importantly, you help keep our planet healthier.
5. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) for maximum immersion
AR and VR are technologies that have the potential to revolutionize the way we shop online. These technologies allow customers to experience products in a more immersive and interactive way, helping them to make more informed purchasing decisions.
How can e-commerce retailers take advantage of these technologies? One option is to invest in AR and VR tools and platforms that can be integrated into your e-commerce website or mobile app. It's also important to consider the role that these technologies can play in the customer experience, such as through virtual try before you buy or immersive product demonstrations.
One way that e-commerce retailers can leverage AR and VR is by offering virtual try-on features for clothing, makeup, and accessories or seeing how furniture and home decor will look in their space before making a purchase
This allows customers to see how an item would look on them without having to physically try it on. AR and VR can also be used to create immersive product demonstrations or virtual showrooms, giving customers a better understanding of a product before they make a purchase.
6. Conversational search
From keyword to voice and now to conversational search. ECommerce takes one more step closer to replicating the in-store experience with conversational search.
Conversational search is set to play a major role in the world of e-commerce in the coming years. This type of searching allows customers to search using natural language in the form of a conversation, making it easier for them to find and purchase products online.
How to integrate it into your business?
One way that e-commerce retailers can leverage conversational search is by integrating virtual assistants into their websites and mobile apps.
These virtual assistants allow customers to search for products like they were talking to an in-store employee. Virtual assistants can also be used to provide personalized product recommendations or answer customer inquiries in real-time.
7. Omnichannel presence
An omnichannel presence refers to a retail strategy that aims to provide customers with a seamless shopping experience across all channels, including online, in-store, mobile, and through social media. In recent years, the importance of an omnichannel presence has become increasingly apparent, as consumers expect to be able to shop and interact with retailers in a variety of ways.
So, what can you do to build an omnichannel presence? The key element is to have a strong online presence, including a user-friendly website and mobile app. It's also important to consider the role of physical stores, as many consumers still prefer to shop in person. This could involve offering in-store pickup or returns for online orders or integrating online and in-store inventory systems to provide customers with a more seamless shopping experience
It's also important to consider the role that social media can play in an omnichannel strategy. This could involve using social media to drive traffic to your website or physical stores, or offering customers the ability to make purchases directly through social media platforms.
The world of e-commerce is constantly evolving – from the continued growth of mobile commerce to the increasing use of AI and the rise of social media commerce, it's an exciting time to be involved in the world of online shopping.
By staying attuned to these key trends, you can position your digital business for success in the coming year.
But as exciting as these trends are, it's important to remember that they are just part of the bigger picture. The true key to success in the eCommerce landscape is to stay attuned to the needs and preferences of your customers and to be willing to adapt and evolve as the landscape changes.