Updated: Sep 18
eCommerce has been evolving rapidly over the past few years, and it doesn’t look like it will slow down anytime soon. There are many exciting trends that are shaping eCommerce as we know it today, and they will continue to have an impact on how we buy and sell online in the future. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of these trends and discuss how they could influence eCommerce in 2023.
The eCommerce market in 2023 and beyond
Global eCommerce numbers crossed 5 trillion USD this year and are projected to rise to 6.5 trillion USD by 2024, with a large number of countries recording double-digit growth in the year 2022. The most major Southeast Asian economies recorded more than 20% increase in online retail sales. Moreover, as per a report by Wunderman Thomson more than 60% of consumers were inclined to increase online retail spending.
As technology becomes more accessible and internet penetration rates continue to rise, the eCommerce market will likely keep growing for the foreseeable future with little signs of slowing down.
1. AI will be a powerful personalization tool
Customers expect tailored experiences, and a personalized experience is the main consideration for customers who choose to shop online today. Customized recommendations and suggestions can increase engagement, conversion, and sales. In fact, according to data from HubSpot, personalized emails are more than six times as effective at generating sales than non-personalized emails.
To meet these demands, eCommerce brands are leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) technologies that can learn about customers' preferences over time in order to deliver relevant content based on their unique needs or interests. By doing so you'll be able to prioritize purchases based on consumer behavior rather than simply guessing what people want.
2. Reducing friction in the buying journey will become vital
Friction is a barrier to conversion and can be caused by multiple factors, including payment methods, shipping and delivery, returns, and more.
Did you know that a multi-page checkout takes an average of 1.5 minutes to complete, while a single page checkout flow takes just 53 seconds? In the world of eCommerce, half a minute can be the difference between a conversation and an abandoned cart.
Despite advancements in mobile usability, and a greater understanding of mobile UX, not designing for the ‘Thumb Zone’ of mobile usage remains a common friction point. The term Thumb Zone refers to our ability to seamlessly interact with touchscreen devices in a way that feels natural using, of course, our thumbs.
This means sparing due consideration for menu placement, the ease of clicking on calls to action on a mobile, and whether the simplest of things such as filling out the address bar is probably turning into a challenge because of how the page is designed.
Although UX is not the only barrier to conversion, research shows that around 70% of online shoppers abandon carts if they face issues during the checkout process such as forcing them to create an account, or having to jump through too many hoops while trying to place an order. Brands that consider carefully how their customers like to shop, and where they may be feeling overwhelmed, will have a better chance of seeing better returns on their ad spends.
Going into 2023, people will be more aware and competition is going to get more fierce, prompting online sellers to reduce friction points throughout consumer journeys.
3. Customized Packaging Will Become More Popular
Customized packaging will become more popular for a variety of reasons, including:
It helps differentiate your product from the competition.
It can help with marketing and branding.
It helps to create a positive customer experience.
Customized packaging can also be used to share targeted communication around special events, festive sales, and other important milestones for the brand through the year. Operationally, it can also help with shipping and delivery by making products easier to pack into boxes or bags. In general, most shipping companies offer standard packaging sizes, and ensuring that multiples of your boxes fit together in these dimensions can also help you save money on shipping.
4. Selling everywhere will be the key to success
While it’s tempting to focus on your own website as the dominant sales channel, the reality is that many products will sell better elsewhere. Your best bet is to set up shop on marketplaces such as Amazon, Lazada, and Shopee, as well as social channels such as Facebook and Instagram Shops, so you can reach more customers and make more revenue from your sales.
As online shopping becomes more prevalent, consumers will likely have higher expectations for convenience and variety. By selling on multiple marketplaces, sellers can offer a wider selection of products and make it easier for customers to find and purchase the items they want. Moreover, by selling on multiple marketplaces, sellers can adapt to changes in consumer behavior and continue to reach and engage with customers.
Notably, a study by Bazaarvoice found that 76% of consumers visit multiple marketplaces before making a shopping decision.
5. AI-powered inventory management will be your superpower
Usually, AI applications address the front-facing aspects of an eCommerce business, but powerful forecasting and inventory control are possible through the use of AI. For example, the Graas predictive AI engine can help make accurate, data-driven decisions about how much of a certain product to stock, when to anticipate sales spikes, and when to optimize the amount of inventory held in a warehouse.
Today, almost 84% of eCommerce businesses are proactively trying to integrate AI into their online selling practices. However, not many are thinking about how AI can increase the operational efficiency of the business, and how this can be used to further improve customer experience.
Keeping up with 2023
Since the eCommerce landscape is constantly evolving, it is important for online sellers to stay up to date on the latest trends. In 2023, we can expect to see the continued growth of eCommerce, an increasing focus on personalization and convenience, the integration of AI and automation, and the rise of new technologies such as AR/VR for selling high-value items.
By staying ahead of these trends, online sellers can position themselves for success in the coming years. That said, the operational gap of going from strategy to execution is huge in eCommerce, purely because of the volume of data being gathered and handled. No brand owner can make hundreds of decisions in a silo, and this is where tools like the Graas predictive AI engine come into play.
With automation and the power of Machine Learning at your disposal, you can make highly accurate, data-driven decisions about your brand, on aspects ranging from cost optimization to sales channels, marketing campaign ROI, and so much more.
Gain full access to the Graas predictive AI engine for a limited time here, and explore what working in tandem with AI can do for your brand. Register for access here.