2022 has been an interesting year for e-comm stores. On the one hand, we saw a technological development that enabled people from all around the world to shop more easily. The recent pandemic has definitely sped up these developments, as people were practically forced to shop online. Unfortunately, e-comm stores also had to tackle difficulties with supply chains and various rules and regulations brought on by the pandemic. And to this the conflict in Ukraine, and the various effects it had on the world economy, and you'll soon see why it is still difficult, to sum up, what 2022 was all about. So, can we even predict what 2023 will be like? Well, while no one knows what the future holds, we have a strong belief that our predictions for 2023 for E-comm stores will at least paint a decent picture.
Our predictions for 2023 for E-comm stores
Online shopping is becoming more and more prevalent as the years go by. In both B2C and B2B sectors, customers prefer to at least have the option of ordering things online and even setting up long-term relationships. As such, many factors related to e-comm stores are likely to continue to change in order to make shopping easy and reliable for all customers.
The first of our predictions for 2023 for E-comm stores is that the necessity for omnichannel presence will only become more prevalent. Long gone are the days when you could simply host an online store and hope for the best. Modern trends clearly dictate that in order to draw in customers, you need to represent your brand on multiple channels. Social media platforms, GMB, website posts... All these are channels that you need to use in order for your business to thrive. Modern content like shoppable stories even allows connecting various channels in a single post. Successful e-comm stores have recognized this and recognized it well. And if wish to join their ranks, you better make your brand present on various channels.
Another important aspect that successful e-comm stores manage well is the payment process. In fact, one of the common reasons for cart abandonment is precisely the difficulty with payment. To make it easy for their customers, e-comm stores provide the following services:
- Automatic conversions to various currencies
- Digital wallets.
- Different payment options
- Flexibility with financing
- A commendable return policy
All these help e-comm stores thrive, regardless of what they sell or to whom they sell. Therefore, as industry trends go, we will likely see a more widespread application of these services in various online stores.
Focus on mobile devices
When talking about e-comm stores it is necessary to take mobile devices into account. On the one hand, they are a valuable tool. While estimates vary, it is safe to say that at least half of all modern online users mainly use their phones to go online. And seeing that these estimates only rise from year to year, it is safe to say that in 2023 we will see an increase.
The second thing to keep in mind is that m-comm (mobile commerce) stores are also on the rise. According to Shopify, it is estimated that 8% of total retail sales in the U.S will be through m-comm stores. Seeing that in 2014 this was only at 4%, it isn't difficult to assume that this trend is also on the rise. So, what does this mean for e-comm store owners? Well, what it means is that both their stores and their marketing content need to be mobile-friendly. This includes creating a mobile version of your website and developing an app. It also means that you ought to connect your standard content to your mobile one (this is another aspect of omnichannel presence). All in all, it is becoming more and more necessary to focus on mobile devices. Mobile users need to be able to easily and efficiently interact with your brand.
Personalization is a big subject that we've covered in greater detail in our previous articles. And in all those articles, we mentioned the fact that personalization is only going to become more and more prevalent as time goes on. As of writing this article, our view of this hasn't changed. In fact, the increase in personalization is one of our surest predictions for 2023 for E-comm stores.
When it comes to sales, we can already see that e-comm stores take a more personalized approach to their customers. By gathering customer data, both declared and inferred, stores are able to make customer profiles and get a far better understanding of who they are dealing with. As such, they are able to make shopping easier for the customer and to ensure that the customer enjoys interacting with their brand. Keep in mind that there is a big correlation between personalization and retention. Meaning that the more you are able to personalize your online efforts, the more you will be able to retain customers. Instead of solely focusing on finding new ones, successful E-comm stores work hard to establish long-term relationships. Such relationships make marketing far more effective and tend to generally improve customer satisfaction.
UGC (User Generated Content) is a big factor in online shopping. Modern shoppers don't put much trust in the content that online stores produce. Instead, they tend to trust other people that use and review various products. By certain estimates, reviews on UGC videos are 22% more effective than brand ones. And in 2023, we are likely to see a further increase in both their presence and their importance.
E-comm stores have recognized this which is why influencer marketing is such a big deal. Trusting users to honestly and fully review your products is a great way of showing confidence in your brand. Furthermore, certain reviews won't review products unless they have full freedom to say what they want about them.
Using social media platforms is slowly becoming the dominant way in which people view online content. As such, it is becoming more and more prevalent that E-comm stores sell their products directly from their social media profiles. In 2023, we are likely to see an increase in social e-commerce as connecting your social media profile to your store has never been easier. Web stories are an easy example of online content that can bridge your social media presence with your store. And seeing how easy it is to make and optimize them, we wouldn't be surprised that more and more stores use their social media profile for sales, not just for marketing.
VR and AR
VR and AR technologies still aren't as widespread as some companies would like them to be. But there is a definite increase in their overall use. Certain businesses have seen terrific results from using both VR and AR in their online stores as it gives them a unique way to market their brand. While not all customers have access to VR and AR technology, those that do will greatly appreciate the ability to use their technology for shopping. An easy example of this is furniture, where AR enables customers to view furniture pieces in their homes. Another example of this we will see is clothing, as being able to try out clothes from the comfort of your home is something that the vast majority of people dream of.
Will VR and AR shopping replace standard E-comm practices? No. But, they are a developing trend. And if you can see a clear connection between your brand and it, you should definitely explore it further. 2023 will quite likely bring new innovations that will make VR and AR technology cheaper, and software development easier.
Climate concerns are quite present in the general public (as well as they should be). As such, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that eco-friendliness is a big factor in modern shopping. Brands that not only market themselves as eco-friendly but also explain what makes them so stand to draw in more customers. As a rule, there is no downside to applying eco-friendly practices to your E-comm store, especially if they won't impact the price of your products.
As things are, there is no reason to believe that much will change in 2023. In fact, we expect that more and more customers will turn towards eco-friendless. It is our hope that this will not only be on the superficial level (green packaging and sporadic mentions of the importance of our environment). But, it will also impact supply chains and general productions. While we cannot expect fundamental changes in 2023, we certainly hope that the general economy will take further steps toward eco-friendly shopping.
Maintain communication with your customers
There's no better way to get more customers than product reviews. It is becoming extremely important to communicate with your customers even after the purchase. Brands are asking their customers for reviews, giving them discounts on their second purchase or simply asking are they satisfied with the overall purchase.
The problem with gathering this data is that customers don't have time to leave a review, write a sentence or two and are most likely bombarded with similar request.
This is why engaging formats should be used to collect reviews, help customers dig deeper into your brand or offer a discount.
All of our predictions for 2023 for E-comm stores should indicate that it will be an exciting year for online shopping. There are many areas where you can see new trends emerging. And others where set trends and grow in importance. The most effective course of action seems to be to study your customers and personalize your brand toward them. In both marketing and sales, a customer-first approach is most likely to bring your benefits. There are plenty of ways in which you can improve user engagement with your store, from UGC to personalization and AR. Therefore, you shouldn't feel pressured to use standard online content for your E-comm store. Instead, try to experiment with your brand.
Again, the safest course of action seems to be to understand your customers and find new ways to engage them. Above all, customer respect reliability and comfort. So, if you can tailor your company to cater to their needs, we are sure that you will see success in 2023.