19 Emerging eCommerce Trends for 2023 and Beyond
How Your Brand Can Benefit from the Latest eCommerce Trends
How COVID has changed the dynamic of the business is old news. But what is still relatively new is how companies handle online presence and marketing in this ever-changing business environment.
Every year some popular eCommerce trends create a buzz in the market. Some trends come and go, while others influence the market and drive consumer behavior in the long run. With the changing pace of the eCommerce market, it is essential to be aware of emerging eCommerce trends for 2023.
Today we will highlight some of the significant eCommerce trends for 2023 to keep pace with the changing market demand. Study these changes and implement them in the business to remain competitive in the ever more competitive online marketplace.
The Future of eCommerce
The eCommerce industry is rapidly evolving, with new stores and business ideas popping up daily. Global eCommerce revenues hit $4.9 trillion in 2021. This number is expected to increase by 60% over the next four years, reaching around $8.1 trillion by 2026. More than ever, owners are creating and improving their eCommerce websites, and the competition is heating up.
According to the US Census Bureau, eCommerce sales were $870 billion in the US in 2021. This figure amounts to a 14.2% increase over 2020 and a 50.5% increase compared to 2019. eCommerce represented 13.2% of all retail sales in 2021 in the US.
This figure is forecast to grow by 50 percent over the next four years. And by 2040, about 95 percent of all purchases are predicted to be via eCommerce. These stats tell us that eCommerce sellers must prepare for even more growth or risk becoming outdated and left behind.
Based on recent market research and our experience, we have compiled a list of the top eCommerce trends that are more likely to define the future of online shopping. Understanding emerging eCommerce trends will help you focus on what’s relevant and offer your customers an ahead-of-the-curve eCommerce experience in 2023 and beyond.
19 Top eCommerce Trends for 2023 and Beyond
1. Growth in Online Shopping
The COVID-19 global eCommerce surge was initially born out of necessity. Online shopping provided a practical alternative as retail locations closed, and people stayed in to avoid the virus. As a result, global e-commerce rose from 15% of total retail sales in 2019 to 21% in 2021.
Shopping is now the most popular online activity, with more and more people choosing to buy products from online sellers. The ease and convenience of online shopping dominate consumers’ list of top reasons to shop online, with around half of their primary motivations directly related to these factors.
There is also an increase in trust that online buyers have when purchasing online, as well as an improved website experience. People used to be hesitant to buy things online, but that’s no longer the case. Websites have also become a lot more customer-friendly.
Therefore, it is no surprise that online sales growth is becoming unstoppable.
2. Rise in Mobile Shopping
In addition to overall eCommerce growth, mobile shopping has exploded in popularity in recent years. Consumers increasingly shop for and purchase products using mobile devices like phones and tablets. Therefore, online sellers would be wise to adopt a mobile-first approach to eCommerce, designing an online interface primarily for mobile users.
Allowing clients to shop via mobile devices is no longer an exception but a new norm. As of August 2022, 59.4 percent of all web traffic came through mobile phones, and around 187.5 million users are forecast to be active mobile shoppers, compared to 167 million users in 2020. This figure will increase, so we expect mobile commerce to be one of the top eCommerce trends shaping the Future.
The reason is simple: mobile shopping is convenient. It enables customers to purchase from any location, which is essential in today’s world. In addition, customers can research, compare products, and make payments on the go.
3. Increased Use of Niche Marketplaces
Marketplaces provide a simple paradigm for various suppliers to collaborate on a single system to handle everything, making reaching out to specific groups of people and addressing particular problems easier. This model will become more popular in the next few years. According to Forbes, marketplace sales will exceed $3.5 trillion by 2024.
In April 2021, 92% of US online consumers used a marketplace. In addition, many shoppers used major eCommerce sites like Amazon and eBay, at 74% and 48%, respectively.
However, consumers made not all purchases on these large markets — 42% of online consumers said they had purchased on a niche marketplace. Nevertheless, this is up significantly from 29% in 2020, which is promising for these smaller and more specific platforms.
Small and medium-sized businesses may shift from competing in established ecosystems such as eBay or Amazon towards using niche marketplaces. Personalization and customization will be the main focus for many.
In turn, niche marketplaces can help satisfy the needs of experienced buyers looking for specific products. It’s all because they may offer a more complete set of specialized products and hard-to-find items.
4. Voice Shopping Shows More Growth
Voice shopping is also becoming a more popular activity. Major online retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Alibaba, and many other sites already offer voice shopping. This online trend kicked off in 2014 when Amazon launched Echo, the brand’s smart speaker.
Over 30 percent of internet users have used a voice assistant to look for or purchase products. And you can expect that figure to continue growing thanks to the convenience of speaking into a device and having it order what you want.
5. Live Shopping
As the eCommerce business continues to grow, so does the live streaming. It is one of the best ways to reach customers as it allows customers to see products in real time and ask questions. In addition, this feature helps to create a more personalized selling experience.
Platforms like FaceBook and Instagram make the best use of live streaming to generate more sales. As a result, the live-streaming industry is expected to be worth $330.5 billion by 2030.
6. More Use of Video and Augmented Reality
Video and augmented Reality (AR) have been game-changers for eCommerce businesses. Video has become an excellent way to engage customers by informing them about your products. In addition, sellers can create video demos and showcase products that have the power to capture the emotions and benefits that words or pictures might not be able to do justice.
Augmented Reality (AR) takes things a step further. With this technology, customers can see the item they’re shopping for in 3D or presented in other ways that enhance the online shopping experience.
It allows customers to experience the product by sharing a physical environment on a user’s screen where the virtual interacts with the real world. It enables brands to interact with consumers in three dimensions using mobile devices. 61% of consumers prefer brands with an AR experience.
That’s why we expect many more businesses to utilize video and AR for their products and services, especially in specific industries, such as fashion and home decor. The customer will get a better feel for the item without seeing them in person.
7. Multichannel Personalization
Today’s customers want a more personalized shopping experience with their favorite brands. On the surface, it might seem suspect that an online business knows what type of clothing you prefer and even your size.
But many consumers have moved past the privacy issue in favor of convenience and a more personalized experience. Personalization works well when eCommerce sellers have stakes in several platforms and niches, where they can use the data they collect to boost customer engagement and loyalty.
8. On-Site Search Personalization
Without a doubt, personalization will play a pivotal role in custom eCommerce solutions shortly. According to statistics, more than 60% of consumers are more likely to become returning buyers if a company provides a personalized shopping experience. Accordingly, we expect an even more significant shift towards personalization, especially connected with searching experiences.
On-site search personalization refers to tailoring search results for each customer according to their past behavior on your site, profile data, and many other aspects. Up to 30% of visitors use an available site search box, so investing in search personalization can be a crucial source for making information accessible around your site and retaining more customers.
9. Social Commerce
Social media is primarily a means for people to connect. But, in recent years, it’s also become a way for brands to communicate with their target audience. Furthermore, eCommerce sellers are thrilled to be able to sell directly to consumers through some social platforms.
Social commerce is buying and selling things or subscribing to services directly through social media. Unlike in the past, when product brands exclusively used social media for marketing, several platforms now have built-in technology that allows individuals to purchase things directly through their applications.
Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook have tools for buying and selling things, and TikTok unveiled TikTok Shopping. With these rapid upgrades, more firms will use social commerce to influence customers’ purchase decisions, increasing their visibility and conversions.
Experts predict that the social commerce industry will grow by 22.8% from 2022 to 2028. According to a recent Accenture estimate, social commerce will expand three times faster than traditional eCommerce solutions, surpassing $492 billion in 2021 to $1.2 trillion in 2025.
In addition to this strategy, eCommerce sellers can connect with social media posts, videos, influencers, and paid ads.
10. Seamless Purchase Journey
ECommerce is just more than a convenient and easy way to shop. By 2025, a quarter of total global retail will be through eCommerce. Therefore, ensure a seamless purchase journey; disturbance or unwanted elements create obstacles, and chances of leaving the cart without purchases increase.
The term purchase journey refers to a customer’s entire journey when researching, buying, and using a product or service. It includes the buyer’s impressions and perceptions of a business and their feelings about the interactions along the way.
With this definition in mind, a seamless customer experience is a purchase journey devoid of mistakes, delays, or setbacks. In other words, this kind of customer experience is efficient, smooth, and enjoyable. However, it should also be consistent across all channels.
For example, whether the customer is buying in-store or online, the business should demonstrate consistent branding and tone, high customer service, and a dedication to fulfilling customer orders.
In essence, with every touchpoint meeting or exceeding expectations, a seamless customer experience is a positive experience in which customers face no obstacles to their purchase.
11. Emerging Payment Options
Consumers are quickly adopting new payment methods, with 85% saying they have used at least one emerging payment method, such as biometrics, digital currencies, and QR codes. The most commonly used payment methods are PayPal, Amazon Pay, and Apple Pay. If your eCommerce store targets primarily consumers in SE Asia, you also need to consider Alipay, WeChat Pay, and Line Pay.
Another growing payment method is cryptocurrency. While this trend is still new, it’s hard to predict what will happen next. However, several big players, including Microsoft, Starbucks, PayPal, and Tesla, are already accepting cryptocurrency as a payment method.
According to GlobalPayments, in 2021, 38% of merchants reported expanding their digital payment options. Moreover, this momentum is poised to accelerate in 2022, when 53% of merchants expect to accept more digital payment options over the year.
Nearly 75% of retailers plan to accept either cryptocurrency or stablecoin payments within the next two years, according to a June 2022 survey by Deloitte.
12. Better Payment Processing Options
Believe it or not, eCommerce businesses lose a lot of potential sales over payment processing issues. Cart abandonment rates will soar when an online seller makes it too difficult to pay for an order. So a growing trend in this industry is simplifying the eCommerce checkout process. This process involves:
- Having fewer steps in the checkout process
- Not requiring shoppers to create an account to make a purchase
- Being transparent with all costs and policies
- Offering multiple payment options
13. Sustainable Shopping
In 2022 consumers are more aware of their decision’s impact on the environment, which is why more companies are focusing on the green and sustainable trend. A study says that 65% of buyers wish to buy from a purpose-driven brand working towards sustainability. Moreover, 72% said they buy more environmentally friendly products than five years ago, and 81% said they expected to purchase more over the next five years.
In addition, young shoppers now prefer companies or goods whose motto is more than just profit-making. eCommerce merchants can court this changing shopper base and create a positive impact by making their businesses more sustainable.
Consider posting a statement about your focus on ethical and sustainable practices on the “About Us” page. Reduce packaging, shift to an eco-friendly shipping program, and create an optional carbon offset charge at checkout. Develop recycling policies and channels to resell your used merchandise. And partner with brands that have ethical and sustainable models.
Re-commerce (resale or reverse commerce) is purchasing and selling previously owned, new or used things. Buyers increasingly seek items and companies that correspond with their environmentally conscious attitudes.
Brands are already reacting to this. Zara, for example, wants all of its brands to utilize organic, sustainable, or recycled materials in its clothes by 2025.
Smaller D2C (Direct to Consumer) brands are also trending in the same direction. Retailers are making a significant contribution by concentrating on sustainability. At the same time, this allows them to build long-term connections with their consumers while reaching out to new audiences.
15. Focus on Green Consumerism
Over recent years, green consumerism has become one of the biggest trends in the global market. As a result, an increasing number of people are looking to adopt sustainable lifestyle habits, which include investing their time and money into brands that engage in eco-friendly practices and environmentally-friendly products.
Sustainable or green consumerism calls for businesses to adopt environmentally-friendly practices in four distinct areas: business philosophy, packaging, product manufacturing, and product delivery.
So, what is a green consumer looking for from eCommerce businesses?
One thing that is influencing customer choices more is environmentally-friendly practices. As a result, consumers of all ages are now willing to spend more on sustainable products. eCommerce sellers can gain a competitive edge by making sure they are choosing greener products and packaging as well as adopting environmentally sound practices.
16. Increased AI in eCommerce
AI plays an enormous role in adding better customer experiences and innovative solutions in the eCommerce industry. Product recommendations, personalized shopping experiences, virtual assistants, chatbots, and voice search are some of the most distinctive uses of AI in eCommerce.
Artificial intelligence offers personalized product recommendations based on past customer behavior and lookalike customers. Websites that recommend items consumers might like based on previous purchases use machine learning to analyze their purchase history.
A good AI solution incorporating machine learning will improve your customer experience and help you significantly lift conversion, revenue, and profit. In addition, online retailers can automate the workload and remove much manual heavy lifting using AI for eCommerce sites.
Many eCommerce retailers also leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to improve their processes and workflows. AI helps online sellers deliver a more personalized customer experience. In addition, merchants can use AI for better forecasting, order tracking, and service after the sale.
17. Subscription Models Improve Retention
Securing new online customers can be a costly and lengthy process. And eCommerce brands want to avoid having one-off customers as much as possible. As a result, retailers are boosting retention rates and revenue by using subscription models.
Subscription models have been around for a long time, but today’s tech firms are giving the business model a modern twist, triggering the rise of a new era in the subscription economy.
As a result, subscription models have regained popularity in consumer industries— with start-ups such as Dollar Shave Club, Blue Apron, and Stitch Fix becoming billion-dollar corporations by defining a new way to buy consumer goods.
According to The Future of Commerce, almost 35% of weekly online shoppers use subscriptions. Those figures will grow with the right business and fulfillment models baked into a subscription commerce strategy.
18. Influencers are the New Content Creators
Consumers today crave genuine recommendations. It’s the reason 93% of shoppers read reviews before they purchase. Tapping into existing and established audiences can take your product marketing to the next level through increased visibility and brand awareness.
Today’s shoppers trust their peers more than they trust brands. So they turn to their friends for recommendations and seek out reviews before they even think about buying from a brand they’ve never heard of.
Bringing influencers on board replicates this traditional word-of-mouth marketing by tapping into a pre-built audience. Even better, however big or small, influencers have already fostered trust with their followers, so you don’t have to.
It’s easy to become a broken record if it’s just you touting your business and products. By aligning with social media users who have sizable followings, your brand awareness can grow authentically, i.e., through the gaze of a real customer.
Influencer marketing brings other trusted individuals on board to help spread the word for increased trust and more sales. When done right, this type of marketing can send more traffic to your store, which can quickly turn into more sales and revenue.
19. After-sales Experience
Customer service has now become a vital part of the entire experience. Flawless customer experience is the next biggest expectation from customers and will be the new trend in 2023 and the next few years.
In the sea of eCommerce, what separates you from your competitors is an exceptional customer experience. With many options available to customers on eCommerce platforms, customers look for a brand that offers a smoother return process.
Importance of Watching eCommerce Trends
Why the emphasis on tracking eCommerce trends? Simple. If online sellers want to remain competitive, they must stay in tune with what is happening in their industry. And a big part of this is improving the customer experience.
The ultimate success of your online business largely depends on how well it treats its customers. What processes and technology are you using to process orders fast and efficiently, provide transparency throughout the supply chain, and handle reserve logistics seamlessly?
As we move through 2022 and into 2023, you can implement various strategies to stay in front of your competition and, more importantly, deliver the level of service your online customers expect.
Technology and people are constantly advancing, and because eCommerce connects them all, we must always look ahead. As you can see, the landscape is getting more competitive. Customers are currently in charge, and eCommerce companies are adapting to meet their needs.
Adaptability to shifting market conditions is essential today. However, not every eCommerce trend is worth adopting. Some trends can be helpful, while others may be irrelevant to your audience. Therefore, before making any decisions, it is crucial to evaluate project specifics, analyze user feedback, and focus on goals.
If you are planning to launch an online store or are looking for an experienced web design team who can consult you on what is best for your project, do not hesitate to reach out to discuss your eCommerce strategy for 2023 and beyond.
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And if you are unsure how eCommerce trends will benefit your product brand, or want to learn how to apply them, let’s talk! We will listen to you, answer your questions, and determine the best eCommerce solutions for your company or product brand!
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For more content relevant to your business or product brand – check out the range of articles on our web design blog. (This one, on simple eCommerce website design tips, is an excellent place to start!)
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By Gregor Saita
Co-Founder / CXO