One constant of the eCommerce industry is that the environment is always changing, and this year is no exception. Businesses have had to deal with difficult economic situations in 2022, as well as the changes in consumer spending habits that go along with it.
The brick-and-mortar retail sector has been warmly welcomed back by the eCommerce sector, which is also working hard to meet the new post-Covid requirements for polished omnichannel shopping experiences. As more consumers raise their expectations of brands to meet their own values and moral standards, exciting developments in sustainability and the environment have emerged as other exciting eCommerce trends this year.
Businesses must continue to put a high priority on customer retention and increasing customer lifetime value (CLTV) because rising customer acquisition costs are having a significant impact on the entire eCommerce industry. So how can you ensure that customers continue to use your services in 2023?
Get a head start on 2023 by reading the top eCommerce trends that our experts believe will succeed!
Why Are eCommerce Trends So Important?
The world of eCommerce is getting more and more cutthroat. Trends must be continuously tracked in order to stay one step ahead of the competition. No matter how developed your online store is currently, if you don't stay up to date with eCommerce trends, you run the risk of falling significantly behind.
If you want to succeed in the future, you must always look ahead. You must be aware of these trends in order to benefit from them as we look ahead in 2023. This is why it is crucial that eCommerce trends are examined and adopted as soon as possible. It will help you advance your eCommerce brand and keep you one step ahead of the competition.
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How Is eCommerce Changing In 2023?
Below is a look at how the eCommerce landscape is changing in 2023:
Augmented Reality Will Enhance Online Shopping
By 2023, there will be 65.9 million VR users in the US, according to estimates.1 Consumer adoption of VR will be fueled by inventive and creative eCommerce storefronts. The inability to have a physical touchpoint with a product before purchasing it is one of the main worries people have when shopping online.
With the aid of virtual reality (VR) technology, online shoppers can more clearly visualize the products they are interested in.
Virtual reality is being used by businesses to improve the customer experience as well as give customers the chance to test and explore products just like they would in person.
This might completely alter the landscape for eCommerce companies. Experiences with VR and AR can alter how online shoppers view the goods they plan to purchase. You can give them a better understanding of whether the products satisfy their needs by showcasing them in virtual reality.
A few online retailers have already begun experimenting with VR and AR, which will set them apart from the competition. Brand recall will improve if more personalized shopping experiences are provided.
Customer Relationship Management
eCommerce businesses can manage customer interactions with the aid of customer relationship management (CRM), which consists of tools and strategies. CRM is crucial in the eCommerce sector because 92% of customers would stop doing business with a company after two or three unfavorable encounters.2
CRM helps business owners better comprehend the needs and behaviors of their customers. As a result, relationships are strengthened and a devoted customer base is created.
By 2028, the CRM market is projected to reach $128 billion, growing at a CAGR of 12% on average.3 Furthermore, over 91% of businesses with 10 or more workers use CRM to control customer conversations.4
Spotlight On Customer Privacy
A great concern growing among consumers is how their data is being used. Although data is the main source of personalization, privacy must also be respected.
Online laws specify the types of consumer data that businesses are permitted to track and use, for instance, in Europe and California. Businesses engaged in e-commerce must ensure that they adhere to data privacy laws.
The current challenge is providing a personalized experience while adhering to data privacy laws. Fortunately, there is a solution: using zero-party data.
Any information that your clients or prospects voluntarily share with you is considered "zero-party data.” It might be difficult to get, but it's actually very accurate. Take My Jewelry, a clothing and jewelry retailer in the Netherlands, as an example.
Customers could choose between two items by clicking an X or a heart in the "style profile test" that My Jewelry created. After answering a series of questions, users can enter their email addresses to receive a customized style profile.
Many online retailers share concerns about personalizing experiences without using third-party data. In the end, the challenge posed by data security and privacy is intended to bring out the best in terms of customer experience.
Aiding The Discovery Of Sustainable Options With Personalization
Although consumers continue to place a high priority on sustainability, recent research reveals that many people still have difficulty deciding what constitutes sustainability when making purchases online. By 2023, eCommerce companies will need to personalize users' experiences to highlight their sustainability offerings, which could include values, goods, delivery methods, and more.
For customers who have a preference for sustainability, tailoring the e-commerce experience will help them find the right products, encourage sustainable purchasing decisions, and boost conversions and loyalty.
It's critical for brands to provide more clarity regarding their options because they find it challenging to identify which products are sustainable when shopping online. For consumers looking for sustainable offerings, we anticipate more investment in UX optimization in the coming year.
Using affinity segmentation and merchandising to highlight pertinent products and content to an audience that is likely looking for it, adopting visual badges to distinguish sustainable goods or services, informing customers of how their individual purchases can contribute to sustainable causes at check-out, and boosting conversion rates are just a few ways that personalization technology can assist with this.
Considering that there is a push from consumers for retailers to be more environmentally friendly, brands must respond to this demand by taking action.
Well-crafted programs can assist in increasing the brand's sustainability profile, facilitate product discovery by outlining sustainable products and content, gather behavioral data to target campaigns and audience segments for future efforts, and track and inform people about their environmental impact within a community.
The cost of living crisis won't end anytime soon, so customers will keep shopping around to see who provides the best value.
Focus Will Shift From Discount To Value
Over the years, for many DTC merchants, constant and steep discounting has been the go-to sales strategy. Each discount means less profit, and businesses are feeling the pressure as the economy navigates high inflation, back to normal e-commerce sales, and increased marketing costs across channels.
The relationship between customers and brands has also undergone a noticeable change. More than just the lowest price and mass marketing, consumers expect more from brands. They seek worth. We fully anticipate that brands will switch from a strategy that prioritizes discounts to one that prioritizes customer value.
Brands will achieve this in three simple ways:
In Email And Message Content
Expect brands to increase consumer confidence in email and message content by prominently highlighting their value-adds and competitive differentiators. These include welcoming shipping and return policies, showcasing client endorsements to support client service, brand, and goods, utilizing product reviews to influence customers' purchase decisions, and promoting loyalty programs.
Through SMS Adoption
A top-tier marketing channel today, SMS, is essential for any DTC brand. SMS adoption is still expanding quickly, indicating that customers want to receive brand messages via the channels they prefer to use. SMS is also adaptable. It can be utilized as an alternative to email as well as a stand-alone channel.
A good product at a reasonable price is only one aspect of providing value to customers. The entire brand-consumer interaction is an issue. From a messaging perspective, it entails delivering the appropriate message at the appropriate time on the channel they prefer at that particular time. In 2023, automation will have a big impact in this area.
Automation, however, goes beyond email. It is possible to give users of various channels an omnichannel experience full of pertinent and timely messages via the channels of their choice by combining SMS, email, and web push messages in one automated workflow.
By promoting competitive differentiators and customer-first policies, utilizing customer-generated content (UGC), customer-preferred channels, and behavior-based automation, stand-out brands in 2023 will be able to strengthen their relationships with their customers and pivot away from the deep discounts destroying their margins.
Social Commerce And Community Boom For 2023
As a brand, you must have observed a significant change in consumer behavior following the pandemic two years ago. While stay-at-home orders helped boost digital sales, things have changed now that people are getting back into more of what we would consider "normal" routines, which includes spending more time shopping in brick-and-mortar stores.
As a result, after reaching a peak during the pandemic, eCommerce growth has moderated somewhat this year. With rising inflation, supply chain kinks, changes in advertising tactics, and rumors of a global recession, the e-commerce environment is certain to change.
So, What Lies Ahead For eCommerce in 2023?
It's no secret that brands are spending less on new customer acquisition and focusing on their existing customers to weather the storm as a result of budget cuts. And because brands need to address both issues, we believe that social commerce and community will be crucial in 2023. Each of these promotes customer loyalty while costing the business relatively little money. Customer loyalty ultimately results in growth!
Building a community out of your individual prospects and customers, whether through an army of advocates or a formal ambassador program, keeps them more tenacious: not only will they be more actively engaged with your brand, but it will also encourage them to make larger purchases.
However, it's critical to connect with them on their existing social media platforms, particularly Instagram and TikTok. Mechanisms that facilitate this will be crucial. Inspiring and rewarding your customers for sharing about your brand on social media is an effective way to build community.
This is where the Gatsby x LoyaltyLion integration comes into play. By combining our tools at Replo, you can locate and connect with your customers on Instagram and TikTok while also fostering social engagement, which will help you foster loyalty.
Post-Purchase Experiences Will Become More Important
More and more people are paying attention to retention. And in 2023, this won't end. In 2023, there is one thing, in particular, you should be on the lookout for the post-purchase experience. You'll notice that many of the top direct-to-consumer brands are placing a strong emphasis on enhancing the experience once customers have made a purchase.
This is nothing new; enhancing the customer experience after the sale has always been essential to operating a profitable online store. But it's never been simpler to give your customers a first-rate experience when you have so many tools at your disposal.
The following top 6 drivers will assist you in enhancing your post-purchase experience and converting one-time customers into devoted, lifelong brand advocates:
1. Delivery Timings
Surprise and delight your customers by improving delivery time. Faster delivery has positive side effects like more favorable reviews in addition to higher satisfaction and repurchase rates.
2. The Packaging Experience
Customer's first physical interaction with your brand occurs when they receive the package. Make it distinct. Find creative ways to make your customers talk about the unboxing experience, including custom packaging, personalized flyers, and a personal note.
3. Personalized Communication
Follow up with your customer after they've placed an order. Inform them of the status of their order, or provide them with useful how-to information or additional sources of inspiration. Email has traditionally been the preferred method of communication, but throughout 2023, WhatsApp and other channels will become more crucial for conversational commerce.
4. Customer Support
Being present, demonstrating concern, and attempting to find solutions are the three keys to effective customer service. Even though it might seem insignificant, good support will become an even more crucial retention factor in 2023.
5. Creating A ‘Returns’ Experience
This trend has already begun and will gain more traction in 2023. Instead of viewing returns as a cost center, start thinking of them as a way to increase customer happiness and retention.
6. Relationship Building
Make an investment in developing solid client relationships. Offer club memberships, and VIP clients exclusive benefits, or bring like-minded individuals together at offline events and activities. Be creative; in 2023, your audience is waiting to interact with you.
In 2023, spending money on your post-purchase experience will be a crucial factor in customer retention, giving you the chance to convert one-time clients into ardent brand evangelists!
Loyalty Programs Becoming A Central Part Of The User-Journey
Consumers are being forced to tighten their purse strings and be more careful when making purchases as a result of the cost of living crisis, the war in Ukraine, and the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result of this, merchants are putting more of an emphasis on retention than on acquisition right now.
By 2023, we expect that an increasing number of retailers will not only implement loyalty programs but also make them a more significant aspect of the user experience.
Your users are more likely to convert if signposting is improved and more targeted loyalty touch points are created throughout the customer journey, as we have seen these implementations become more sophisticated and personalized.
The call to action for a user who, for instance, doesn't have an account should be different from that of a user who does but isn't logged in. The former should be reminded of their loyalty status, such as how many more points they need to earn before moving up a tier, while the latter should be informed of the benefits of creating an account (points for signing up, free shipping, etc.).
Similar to this, as a merchant, you could target a potential customer who frequently browses a particular product or category but hasn't converted with a tailored incentive to buy, such as unlocking a particular reward or providing an exclusive discount on their subsequent purchase.
Additionally, you can get customers involved by asking them to leave reviews, follow your business on social media, sign up for newsletters, refer friends and family, or sign up for free shipping or free products in exchange for points.
The effectiveness of the program can be improved by including a points slider on the checkout page and by using unique data in loyalty emails, SMS messages, and real-time on-site notifications.
The homepage, product and category pages, pop-ups, push bags, and cart pages are additional phases of the customer journey where loyalty touch points should be added.
Optimizing The Customer Experience
As brands transition to profitable and sustainable growth, improving the customer experience (CX) will surpass paid acquisition as the new growth model.
The price of digital advertising continues to rise, and now growing brands are being priced out of well-known ad platforms in 2022. Focusing on improving your customer experience will go from being something you should do to something you must do if you want to grow as a brand.
Brands will place more emphasis on enhancing sales performance from their owned channels as it becomes harder to squeeze revenue from paid channels. In order to generate more revenue from the customers already on their lists, brands will delve deeper into their customer data to create more robust and segmented automation across owned channels.
For eCommerce brands, the onsite chat will develop into the next significant owned marketing channel. Increasing revenue or visitors is essential to a brand's health as every paid media dollar becomes more expensive. The only channel that can duplicate the immediate sales opportunity of an in-person retail experience is live and automated chat. Aim to respond to questions about purchases in real-time, like:
– “Will this arrive by xxxx?”
– “What size should I get?”
– “Is this compatible with XYZ?”
– “Do you have any recommendations for ABC?
Brands that react quickly, balancing automation and personalization, increase sales through existing site traffic, boost the return on their paid marketing investments, and offer outstanding customer experiences that encourage repeat business.
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Conversion Rate Won’t Be The Key Metric For eCommerce Stores
We are all aware of the high cost of acquisition in 2022 and the rising standards of consumers. Companies have realized that the best way to increase profits is to grasp the potential of their current clientele fully. And as a result, Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV) will transition from a metric that is "nice to see" to a metric that is “must track.”
Traffic, conversion rate, purchase frequency, average order value, customer retention rate, customer acquisition cost (CAC), and gross margin will all be included in CLTV. Brands will be able to accurately assess their success over the medium and long term by using CLTV as the key metric.
This implies that while conversion rate and acquisition won't be ignored, their overall significance will decline. As a result, brands will now use more strategies to achieve success rather than the CRO-based one-dimensional approach. This is the way of thinking that astute brands and agencies will adopt in order to outperform the competition.
Rise Of Shoppable Video Content
Online users can watch videos for up to 100 minutes per day. This particular statistic encouraged online retailers to spend money on video marketing to promote their goods and reach audiences who prefer visual content.
There was only one issue. People had to exit the video, navigate to a different URL, find the item, and then complete the checkout process. The customer experience wasn't exactly seamless; prospects could still abandon the process if they found it to be too demanding.
Thankfully, shoppable videos have become popular! Viewers of videos can purchase the item directly from the video with just a few clicks.
Although the video is interesting and entertaining, it also contains shopping buttons. Customers who click those buttons will be taken to the product page, where they can click "Add to Cart" to finish their purchase quickly.
Weighing Your Options: Deciding If A Trend Makes Sense For Your Business
Which trend is worth investing your time and effort in, though? While some will be a significant value-add, others may not be in line with your target market or may be too expensive to implement for your company to maintain a respectable ROI.
Knowing your own customers, industry, and competitors inside and out is often the key to determining which trends will work best for you. You can take a number of actions to assess market trends and choose the best course of action for your B2B.
Keep Track Of Industry Influencers And Publications
Keep up with industry blogs and relevant news to stay informed of what's going on. In order to get the full picture, start by locating publications and influencers that are specifically related to your industry.
Absorb Up-To-Date Industry Research And Trends Reports
Every industry experiences change from time to time, and staying informed through reports and data can help you predict where things are going. Instead of simply relying on popular opinion, the data in these reports frequently originate from reliable original research.
Additionally, if you keep up with trends in your industry, you'll develop a sense of which ones are worth your time and effort and which ones can wait.
Maximize Digital Tools And Analytics To Assess Your Customer’s Behavior
It is important to always track the behavior of your customers throughout their entire relationship with your business in order to make positive changes to their experience. As you track these metrics over time, you will get a better understanding of your customers’ expectations and strategies for retaining current customers.
It will also provide insights on how to attract new customers who share patterns of interest and behavior.
Get Feedback From Your Customers
Don't be afraid to ask current customers what they need. Getting feedback from current customers can give you insight into trends, and you can create more specific plans for the future. You never know, a customer might even suggest a great idea you have never thought of.
Final Thoughts: Futureproof Your 2023 Plan Today
eCommerce is experiencing a lot of new developments and since it brings people, technology, and other human beings together, we will always be looking to the future. It's never too late to get started, learn something new, and determine if it's appropriate for your company.
Consumers are currently in control of the journey, which will be tailored for them by eCommerce companies. Having a well-organized store is one way to impress your customers online. At Replo we understand how laborsome website building can be, so that’s why we have a highly intuitive process that enables you to customize everything.
Schedule a demo and let us help you today!
- Alsop, T. (2022, February 8). U.S. VR and AR users 2017-2023. Statista. Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/1017008/united-states-vr-ar-users/
- Todorov, A. G., & Georgi TodorovGeorgi Todorov is the founder of ThriveMyWay. (2022, October 17). 113 impressive CRM stats, facts, and trends 2022. Learn Digital Marketing. Retrieved from https://thrivemyway.com/crm-stats/
- Fortune Business Insights. (2021, October 21). CRM market worth USD 128.97 billion at 12.1% CAGR by 2028. GlobeNewswire News Room. Retrieved from https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2021/10/21/2317983/0/en/CRM-Market-Worth-USD-128-97-Billion-at-12-1-CAGR-by-2028.html
- Pingrey, J. (2023, January 10). 10 CRM statistics every small business should know. Fit Small Business. Retrieved from https://fitsmallbusiness.com/crm-statistics/
Is eCommerce Undergoing A Digital Transformation?
Yes, businesses report investing in or planning to invest in digital transformation at an increasing rate. In the future, it will be standard practice for businesses to incorporate more technology into their business processes.
eCommerce has undoubtedly always been dependent on digital technology, but that doesn't mean that digital transformation hasn't had an impact. eCommerce is a sector undergoing digital transformation and will continue to change as technology advances.
Is Accessibility Important To The Future Of eCommerce?
Yes, accessibility will be crucial for eCommerce in the future. Customers must be able to access your online store from any location. In today's world, being able to shop on a mobile device from anywhere is essential.
You will, however, be losing out on significant opportunities if your eCommerce site is not mobile-responsive. Customers want the mobility of mobile devices as well as the option to make payments online.
Is eCommerce Growing?
Yes, eCommerce is indeed expanding. All types of consumers anticipate being able to browse and buy products online. As a result, many companies are going online and opening storefronts in an effort to compete for customers.
Today's consumers, who may not have previously purchased products online, were compelled to do so as a result of brick-and-mortar stores closing or only providing buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) options.