The sustained growth of eCommerce continues to provide new challenges as we are faced with rapid changes and increased engagement. As we move into 2023, where the prevalence of eCommerce in society will be bigger than ever, there are several things to be aware of. As customer behavior continues to change, new competitors enter the market, new trends emerge and data privacy laws grow in their complexity; how can an eCommerce company navigate all of this?
In this post we will look at the 2023 eCommerce trends, the challenges they bring with them, and how to respond to these challenges successfully.
Rising Customer Expectations
As more shoppers become acquainted with eCommerce shopping, the higher the demands of the customer base become. Customers require a simple and convenient shopping experience, with the ability to track orders, purchase across multiple channels, and have real time updates about the state of the business and their orders. Customers expect easy communication, fast site-speed, personalized content, and to feel unique and respected as a shopper.
In order to give customers the optimized experience they expect, customers need to make sure that their websites are optimized. Merchandising combined with personalization tools need to be modernized and created with the customers in mind. Availability over customer support is important to let the customers know they are not alone in the process. The overall solution to this challenge is: bring your A game. There’s no possibility for laziness when it comes to eCommerce in 2023. You have to show why your business stands out from the rest and deserves the custom, and provide a customer experience to match.
Increased Data Security
In order for eCommerce to work successfully, a huge amount of data needs to be processed and stored. Customer profiles, purchase history, website analytics and inventory management data should all be considered. It goes without saying that this data should be secure against viruses, cyber attacks, hackers or data breaches.
On top of that, we’re moving towards a cookie-free future that provides challenges for personalization that until now has relied on data which is now difficult to gather without explicit consent as a result of updated privacy laws. People understandably want their privacy, but they also still require a personalized experience, so what can be done?
The increased privacy laws simply require advanced creativity and ingenuity from the eCommerce world- something they are pretty used to anyway. Even anonymous shoppers can have personalized experiences if data is gathered from real-time click profiles based on current actions and current intent. This can be applied to audiences at scale, as well as on an individual shopper basis. As soon as any click data is gathered, shoppers can start to be put into categories that best fit their needs and they can have a unique shopping experience that is more likely to lead to conversions with no data privacy compromization.
Rising Importance of Social Media
The emphasis on sales through social commerce will continue to rise in 2023, and if your business doesn’t have a strong social media presence, there’s a high chance this is costing you sales and engagement. Users are expecting to be able to interact with their favorite brands through many channels, and particularly younger users will want to see an active social media presence (Instagram, Facebook, TikTok) where companies create valuable content and respond quickly to messages. Meeting shoppers in their own space on social media, and even allowing transactions to be made through social media will be something that we’re seeing more and more in 2023.
In order to meet these needs you need to step up your social media game! If you haven’t already invested in a social media team- now’s the time. Involving user generated content as a part of your social media strategy can be a great way to increase social proof and boost your content. With Visual Discovery solutions you can bridge the gap between social media browsing and direct purchases from your store by providing inspiration for products on sale via posts.
A More Sustainable Future
Pressure is mountain for a greener eCommerce world at every stage of business and operations. Customers are choosing to spend their money with more sustainable brands, who have proof of their commitment and actions rather than just ‘greenwashing’ with no concrete examples of changes taken. Ethical commerce will also be a priority for shoppers in 2023, so these will all need to be considered.
A sustainability strategy, pledge and changes will need to be considered by companies in 2023. Making a sustainability pledge is a great way to demonstrate to customers that you are taking actions for a greener future. Reconsidering your supply chain ethics, how to minimize unnecessary or non recyclable packaging, greener online tools and which environmental organizations your business can support are all great ways of going greener in 2023. These actions will give great returns in terms of customer loyalty, brand image and engagement, as well as working towards a greener future for our planet.
Emphasis on Mobile Commerce
Mobile commerce (shopping done via mobile phones) is growing at an extensively faster rate than traditional ecommerce. More people than ever shop on their mobile devices, and in 2023 these figures will just continue to grow. Making sure that all elements of mobile shopping are optimized is incredibly important.
A strong mobile app is a great way to do this, so investing in a good mobile app is necessary. There are good choices out there, for example Tapcart, which can transform your website into an app that is optimized for mobile use. Easy access to shopping on the mobile phone is also important, as is making sure that mobile payment solutions are offered. Making sure the customer journey is as smooth as possible is a must for 2023, so investing some time into ensuring this is definitely worthwhile.
Flexible Payment Options
The more flexible payment options are offered, the higher the chances are for increased conversions. People may want to pay via credit card, debit card, online payment services such as Paypal or Apple Pay, or even in installations with solutions such as Klarna. Especially when selling bigger ticket items, ‘Buy-Now-Pay-Later’ options are becoming more popular and expected. If people can pay monthly rather than all in one go, they are more likely to afford the bigger ticket items.
If these aren’t offered, customers could be lost. Shoppers in 2023 need to know that they have a choice; that their experience with your store suits their needs, and flexible payment options is a way of ensuring this. Going the extra mile by saving customer payment details for next time, for example, is a great way of showing that you’re committed to them having the best customer journey possible.
Headless Taking Over
As opposed to the traditional monolithic model for eCommerce, more and more people are turning to Headless. Getting rid of costly and time consuming backend processes, Headless paves the way for flexibility and speedy changes to your frontend that can be implemented immediately. In order to keep up with new trends and needs, Headless means that developers have more freedom to customize, experiment and integrate a solution that fits your business perfectly.
Tools such as a No-Code Editor can mean that your website can be personalized in a way that suits you both fastly and efficiently. The customization that can ensue will ensure that your business stands out.
Many of the trends we will see growing in 2023 are already present in the eCommerce world today; they are just going to get bigger. Making sure that all of these challenges and developments are on your radar is the most important thing in terms of making sure you and your business don’t get left behind. Small adjustments, sustained optimization, and omni-channel growth can ensure that 2023 will be the most successful year for your eCommerce business yet.