From community building and AI to hybrid shopping models, 2022 was a year of exploration and innovation. With advances in personalization, social commerce, and globalization, there were many developments that left retailers reflecting in awe. According to industry experts, these e-commerce trends (plus some new ones) will go even further in 2023.
Looking toward a new year of e-commerce adventures, we checked in with leading CEOs and founders for their takes. We asked them to describe the shifting e-commerce landscape in just one word.
And you know what? They delivered. Here’s what they had to say about e-commerce trends into 2023:
“We’ve seen how more and more brands use Instagram Reels, TikTok, and YouTube Shorts to promote their businesses. They will continue to do so next year. We can expect more creative and interactive ways for consumers to engage with the brand through these short-form videos,” says Nunzio Ross, CEO and Founder of Majesty Coffee.
Nunzio predicts short-form video will continue to dominate in 2023 and beyond. His reasoning? Short videos are eye-catching, digestible, and just long enough to give viewers the information they need to buy the product.
While TikTok might’ve kickstarted the trend, almost every social media platform — Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and Facebook — has adopted this format, leading to the next wave in social commerce.
Today 86% of businesses use video as a marketing tool and 87% report positive ROI.
Majesty Coffee’s adoption of short-form videos on their social media, particularly Instagram reels, has been impressive. It illustrates how any brand can easily jump into the art of short-form video — no mega-influencers necessary.
“Throughout this year, we’ve seen consumers increasingly demand in-store experiences alongside seamless online interactions. Companies unable to provide a mix of online and in-person shopping experiences are facing increased customer turnover and loss of revenue,” says Mark McShane, Managing Director of Manchester First Aid Courses.
Mark emphasizes that “e-commerce companies that want to succeed in 2023 will have to provide more fluid and seamless omnichannel and multi-channel shopping experiences to retain customers.”
Whether that means investing in headless commerce or launching on new marketplaces, more brands are getting in on omnichannel selling. According to Shopify’s latest Future of Retail Report, 53% of brands are investing in tools to boost their omnichannel strategies.
The way experts like Mark see it, the sooner brands adopt these strategies, the longer they’ll stay in the game.
“From Amazon to eBay to Walmart, e-commerce is a lot more than just a website. It’s changing the way we shop, how we shop, and how we think about shopping,” says Jamie Irwin, Director and Founder of Straight Up Search.
As a search engine optimization (SEO) expert for leading e-commerce brands and affiliates, Jamie makes it his mission to know how the landscape is changing.
Jamie honed in on several potentially disruptive e-commerce trends as we move into 2023:
- Interest in unique, eco-friendly, and handmade items: As shoppers become more aware of the issues surrounding mass production, they are increasingly turning to handcrafted items and are even willing to pay higher prices for ethically made products.
- Focus on mental health and wellness: Consumers are also becoming more conscious of the ingredients in food and personal care products as they look for ways to improve their overall health.
- AI and chatbots: As many others have predicted, AI will make big strides in 2023 (and beyond) as it works its way into the fiber of hybrid shopping models.
Jamie also said, “There needs to be a shift in the way people shop and how they value their time. E-commerce has given consumers a lot more choices and has made it easier for them to shop.”
One hard fact is that search abandonment costs retailers more than $300 billion a year. Jamie’s top tip for merchants is to become as searchable as possible. Optimizing your websites, marketplace listings, ads, and navigation tools can help keep your store front and center for online shoppers as they hunt for products next year.
“Knowing the industry is seen as ever-changing, it’s become increasingly paramount for e-commerce sellers to have an ear to the ground — latching onto timely trends, challenges, and unfolding consumer habits,” says Adam Shaffer, President at leading e-commerce accelerator Phelps United.
What are some of the latest shifts in e-commerce trends that Adam’s got on his mind? Here are his top five:
- Voice Commerce: Amazon has released Alexa Voice Shopping, which allows shoppers to browse for items, add to carts, and track orders. What does this mean for sellers as they plan for 2023? Serious SEO. Brands will need to optimize their sites for voice search to help increase traffic and generate new leads.
- Premium user-generated content: With consumers being connected to each other at all times, your brand is what shoppers say it is. Consumers are more likely to trust content from their peers over content from you. This means that user-generated content will become more important for building trust and brand allegiance.
- Amazon business growth: More brands are projected to sell on the Amazon platform. Currently, about 55% of brands are already selling on Amazon. We’re expecting this figure to rise to 70% throughout 2023.
- Social Shopping: For many, social media is the entry point for all of their online engagement, from communication to news to entertainment — and, now, shopping, too. In 2023, consumers looking to buy via social media will be looking for connection, social validation, and serious efforts toward sustainability from the brands they shop with.
- Sustainability: Piggybacking on our previous point, the focus on ethical and sustainable consumption will continue to play an important role in shaping consumers’ buying intent. Products that create positive environmental impact will be well-positioned for success in 2023 and beyond — especially if your target market includes Gen-Z shoppers.
With trends like the increase in Amazon growth and social shopping, experts like Adam believe that staying one step ahead is key to making the most of new and developing e-commerce trends.
“Over the last 12 months, we’ve seen brands shift their marketing focuses to creating and building highly engaged customer communities. That’s on social channels and in more closed settings such as groups on Facebook or Discord,” says Ryan Turner, Klaviyo Expert Consultant and Founder at Ecommerce Intelligence.
Ryan believes there are many reasons driving e-commerce trends toward organic community building, including:
- Increased advertising costs and data/privacy tracking issues have become increasingly complicated.
- Communities provide the highest ROI solution.
- Customer communities (like Facebook groups) also provide excellent social proof opportunities.
Ryan predicts that new, specialized software tools aimed at customer community building will hit the market in a big way.
“Next year, consumers will be more educated and less impulsive. Focus on quality and improving your process and products to meet the demand from customers who do less ‘want’ shopping and more ‘need’ shopping,” says Marc Werner, Founder and CEO at GhostBed.
Ghostbed is a fifth-generation family business and Marc has witnessed this trend firsthand. In fact, Ghostbed was forced to triple the size of its staff to support the need for quality mattresses during the pandemic.
But after the pandemic surge, higher-ticket items went from a “need” to a “want” as consumers did extra research and pushed off replacing that 8- to 10-year-old mattress, opting for less-expensive mattress toppers instead.
Customers’ needs and buying power have fluctuated frequently and considerably over the course of the year. More customers than ever switched retailers and brands in 2022.
With more ebbs and flows to come, staying in tune with what your customer truly needs matters more than ever.
“It’s hard to predict how e-commerce will evolve in 2023, but 2022 was volatile, to say the least,” says Hannah Nash, Cofounder at Lucy Nash jewelry.
Hannah advises sellers to look out for the following e-commerce trends in 2023:
- Micro-influencers on social media will become increasingly important. Their smaller reach but more engaged followers will make them a valuable marketing tool.
- Shrinking margins will force sellers to offer more discounts to stay competitive.
- AI and machine learning will play an increasing role in sales and marketing, automating tasks such as lead generation and customer service.
Hannah’s prediction about AI software dominating customer service has been a long time coming. In fact, nearly 78% of brands surveyed by Dialpad feel optimistic about AI. Additionally, 66% have seen a positive impact on business performance after implementing AI-enabled customer service processes.
“Personalization will remain important,” says Brian David Crane, Founder of Spread Great Ideas, a digital marketing fund specializing in e-commerce brands.
“Brands will use customer data to provide the best product recommendations and create a personalized shopping experience. These include customized offers or special discounts based on purchase behavior or needs/wants. It may also include hyper-personalized and targeted content, whether in their social media campaigns or email marketing reach outs.”
In addition to this push toward personalization, Brian predicts big moves in the industry toward:
- Environmental consciousness
- Mobile and subscription shopping
- Omnichannel selling
- Live shopping
- Flexible funding
Echoing this key e-commerce trend is Melanie Edwards, Senior E-commerce and Digital Product Manager at Olipop. She also used the word “personalized” to describe the e-commerce landscape. “It’s not enough to understand your customers’ wants and needs. You must tailor your content to them personally.”
Melanie recommends asking the following questions when personalizing your content:
- What are my customers’ top pain points?
- What are they looking for in products like ours?
- Which kinds of content do they consume and does it lead to purchases?
- What are their shopping habits like?
Use this data to create email campaigns, ads, and blog content. By doing so, you can refine your marketing to fit (and convert) your ideal audience.
“Owing to the rapid surge in e-commerce players, local markets have become quickly saturated. As a result, 2022 has seen more e-commerce companies expand globally so they can increase revenues and market share,” says Michael McCarty, CEO of EDGE Fall Protection.
Companies in almost every sector have been boldly expanding across borders into new markets and territories. In 2022 alone, Amazon spent over $10 billion, IBM spent $20 billion, and Walmart spent $350 billion toward globalization efforts.
Michael expects 2023 to further push companies into going global, making preparation for internationalization more important than ever.
“Retail and e-commerce will be more seamlessly integrated than ever before, with digital capabilities embedded into physical stores and vice-versa,” says Aviad Faruz, CEO of FARUZO.
Aviad predicts an explosion in augmented reality and new developments that will allow customers to view digital product holograms in stores and seamlessly purchase them using their smartphones.
With increasingly more brands entering the metaverse and Web3, a sci-fi-inspired future may not be that far off.
“E-commerce has become more agile, withstanding the challenges of fluctuating sales and evolving trends. The integration of more robust sales and marketing analytics tools into e-commerce platforms allows marketers and analysts to quickly pull out and interpret relevant data,” says Robert Johnson, Marketing Director at Coast Appliances.
With only 7% of businesses considering themselves as “advanced insight-driven”, expect to see increased adoption of e-commerce analytics tools.
Robert believes these sophisticated tools will continue to improve, scale, and fortify data insights, content development, and other e-commerce strategies as shoppers’ needs and market trends change and accelerate.
Ready for the next e-commerce trends?
If recent history has taught us anything, it’s that e-commerce is here to stay. In fact, it’s part of our daily routine even if we don’t consider what we are doing to be “shopping.”
While these expert predictions point toward personalization, video marketing, and customer communities (among many other key e-commerce trends and innovations), the fact is 2023 is bound to be full of surprises.
With a reliable funding partner, a solid game plan, and a little willingness to roll with the punches, you’ll be ready to win no matter what disruptions come your way.
At SellersFunding, our mission is to help e-commerce businesses thrive. With our all-in-one e-commerce funding solutions, we support brands worldwide to grow and scale on their own terms. Get in touch to learn more about how we can help make next year your best yet.