eCommerce trends for 2023


Covid-19 has impacted us severely, but new eCommerce innovations in the aftermath to simplify selling services are booming.

From the early days of eCommerce, studies have shown that customers expect far more from every company engaged in online selling. Customers may now use up to five devices to browse the internet and your website has to be reachable on all of them.

These expectations and trends change with every passing year and help shape the content and products that companies need to create to keep up with modern tastes, as well as the competition.

What eCommerce trends will be important following the pandemic?

  1. The pandemic saw eCommerce gain unrivaled access to a captured customer base. Companies that never had an online shopping portal stepped up their game to survive lockdown and customers who previously preferred brick-and-mortar stores were forced to change their online habits. But as we move closer to a life free from lockdown restrictions, these off-line stores are enjoying a healthy rebound. In fact, brick-and-mortar stores have enjoyed a growth rate of 6.5% from 2020-2021, the most since 2016.

    Companies can’t rest when it comes to using their online presence to make up for a lack of customer presence in stores. This year will be vital for establishing omnichannel marketing plans that make both your online and offline channels hold the same appeal. From buy online, pick up in store options to ‘experiences’ that are the perfect source of social media mentions and shares such as in-store shopping evenings or even yoga sessions.

  2. Facebook may not be the preferred platform of the young and trendy today, but the eCommerce statistics suggest it is still the must-have channel for general engagement. While decline was reported in 2022, this is barely a dent in the wider up-take of the platform, which has increased by over 40% since 2017. With that in mind, brands should work to keep their Facebook channels as fresh and updated as Instagram and TikTok.

  3. Virtual reality has proliferated over the past few years, and increasingly accepted as a genuine tool by customers. 71% of customers said they would be more likely to shop with brands that used VR. But this doesn’t mean customers have to put on a VR headset to enjoy the virtual reality experiences of your brand.

    Examples of how VR is being used to lay the way for this ecommerce future include furniture brands that allow customers to view their products within their home. There are also fashion brands that allow for things like spectacle try-ons using a phone camera, or beauty brands that do the same with shades of hair dye. This use of 3D technology that gives customers a virtual ‘hands-on’ experience has been reported to increase conversions by as much as 40%.

  4. As mentioned previously, some customers are using as many as five devices to get online and that means your website and apps have to cope. Functionality is crucial in reducing bounce rate and ensuring conversions. 2023 may be the perfect time to look at where your online channels are underperforming or are appearing to look outdated, and to get them back up to scratch.

    One area where businesses may fall into this trap is legacy software. The SaaS model has long become standard for businesses both big and small, allowing you to benefit from things like in-the-cloud operations that prevent your updates from falling behind or data from being lost. It also allows for a new level of scalability where businesses can simply add another account instead of setting up entirely new systems and extensive software maintenance. This is a key area where following the trends of your competition will also keep you ahead, such as using the same standard of CMS for your website to ensure similar levels of easy user interaction.

  5. Subscription services are unlikely to slow in their growth over 2023 — in fact, subscription businesses are achieving five times faster growth than the S&P 500. This applies to a range of products and services including:

  6. User-generated content (UGC) continues to grow, with 41% of consumers saying they stream more user-generated content than TV shows or movies. That’s a notable ecommerce statistic considering TV and movie streaming services are rarely free and yet is free-to-view UGC that remains the priority of those same paying customers. Eighty-percent of US social media users check their channels daily, so brands should aim to have fresh content always ready to greet them.

    One of the most common ways to do this is to tap into the power of influencer marketing. By aligning with social media users who have sizable followings, your brand awareness can grow in an authentic way i.e. through the gaze of a real customer. The power of the influencer is recognized worldwide, for example, in Brazil alone almost 90% of the population follow at least one influencer online. Advertisers can collaborate with these personalities and the vital link they have to their targeted customer base to build credibility and trust, as well as reach a massive audience in a single post, with advertising tools making it easy to see every campaign’s total impact.

  7. The pandemic forced a new set of customers online, most notably, older customers who may not have been particularly interested in shaping an eCommerce future for their shopping habits. Now that these older shoppers are online, though, it’s important that businesses consider their needs as much as millennials or Gen Z. One of the biggest areas of concern for more mature customers is in security, and it should certainly be a priority for any business.

    For these mature shoppers, 70% cite secure payment methods as a key reason why they might shop with a certain brand. However, even among Gen Z, Gen X, and millennials, this was noted as a key concern for at least 49% of all demographics, increasing in importance as customer age increased. This taps into a mentality that all age groups can share and that is a sense of transparency. Be clear on how you process user data and how you secure your website for safe payments in a way that is easy to understand for all age groups.

  8. Another of the lockdown ecommerce trends, the expectations customers have for delivery have increased. A vague suggestion of ‘3-5 business days’ may no longer be enough. Studies have shown that when businesses fail to be most accurate about the delivery date of orders, almost 70% of customers would refuse to order from that business again. But deliveries that delivers on customer satisfaction is about more than being on time.

    Companies should aim for transparency and constant engagement, so customers can know at any time precisely where their product is in the process. For some brands, that may mean being able to track a driver on an app; for others, it may mean email updates with accurate time slots. You may also want to consider new ways of adding convenience to this part of the purchase cycle such as giving customers the freedom to split purchases into multiple packages, send them to different locations, collect items in-store or pre-order new items. Free and easy returns are another thing that are quickly becoming standard among any respectable brand.

  9. With the advent of new payment options like Klarna, customers have come to expect more flexible ways to pay. The idea of ‘buy now, pay later’ has always been an appealing purchasing model, and services that apply this model to even small, everyday purchases have quickly been adopted by customers.

  10. While personalisation is becoming increasingly important for customers, whether that’s Gen Z looking for social media shopping that speaks to them or baby boomers seeking sites that share their values when it comes to quality and security, not everyone wants to share intimate personal details.