With the new year here, many ecommerce companies are refocusing efforts on planning for the future. After all, now that the busy season has died down, you are faced with the prospect of charting a course forward into 2023.
What do you want your business to look like? How will you adapt to the changing needs of the market? In the short term, utilizing tools to keep top-of-mind for customers will help boost the sales slump that usually comes after the holiday season. Once that’s done, understanding how things are likely to change in the ecommerce space is crucial, because then you can figure out how your business will be impacted.
Here are the top five trends you can expect to have an influence in the ecommerce space heading into 2023:
Sales Numbers May Experience Some Turbulence
The past few years have been characterized by incredible conditions. Lockdowns have forced people to rely on ecommerce much more than they would have otherwise. In some ways, the shift those forces caused means ecommerce will be a powerhouse for any business moving into the future.
However, with the removal of lockdowns comes fewer restraints on how customers will find and buy from businesses. Many ecommerce businesses have likely already seen a slip in their numbers from the heights of the pandemic, but you may still see some bumpiness as consumers seek greater flexibility in how they approach shopping. Most consumers are unlikely to abandon shopping online, but they may be looking for an opportunity to visit brick-and-mortar locations where they can try on clothes or return items without waiting for the mail.
In addition to an increased desire to visit in-person locations, shifting economic forces will play a role in how much shopping customers do regardless of how they do it. However, that doesn’t mean that your business can’t fight back against the slippage. For example, by paying attention to abandoned shopping carts and marketing to folks via automated email reminders, you can often recapture the attention of potential buyers.
Marketing Content Will Become Increasingly Important
Although there may be fewer online sales moving forward, your business can still thrive if it leans into the ways marketing is likely to change for ecommerce brands moving into the future.
Social media will become an increasingly large portion of any ecommerce business’s marketing plan as more and more customers look to social networks for information about products. Video in particular will be more useful than static content to achieve sales because it offers a more dynamic means of engaging with audiences and is a lot easier for customers to consume.
In addition to videos and other digital content, user generated content (UGC) will hold an increasing amount of influence over how much engagement brands can achieve. Influencer marketing has been gaining traction and it’s likely that for ecommerce companies, they will have a much stronger impact on your bottom line.
There’s a lot more changing in marketing in 2023, and even though video and influencer marketing may be major channels for ecommerce brands, that doesn’t mean they should be the only ones.
Mobile Phones are the Next Battleground for Ecommerce
How many people do you know who make their Amazon purchases through their mobile phone app? How frequently do you manage business from your phone? While there are many discussions about just how good it is to use our mobile phone, we spend a significant amount of time on it, whether we’re scrolling through social media, email, or an ecommerce catalog, and there’s little evidence to suggest this will change.
If people will continue to rely on their mobile phones to perform daily tasks, it’s important for ecommerce sites to be designed with mobile in mind. While the traditional action for individuals to take when designing a mobile app is to create a native application for Android and iOS phones, the rise of Progressive Web Applications (PWAs) have made it significantly easier for organizations to deploy a mobile application without needing to invest in coding for multiple platforms.
You can find out more about how PWAs are impacting software development here, and how marketing is likely to adapt as a result.
Artificial Intelligence Will Become a Silent Partner for Most of Ecommerce
AI software is becoming increasingly available at a low cost, and with that comes massive implications for your business. Content generation, inventory management, and chatbot services are becoming increasingly reliable as AI becomes more reliable in its ability to assist you in running your business.
Content generation and chatbot services run on AI are often seen as inferior to having a person do it for you. While this can be true, that doesn’t mean that content generation done by an AI system can’t be useful to an organization. In fact, there are already systems like ChatGPT that can enable an organization to deploy social media content based on product descriptions and even rudimentary blogs which can significantly cut down the time and resources dedicated to generating those marketing initiatives. Plus, if your customers have a question, an automated chat service can be used to get basic information into the hands of your potential customers quickly without needing to devote additional resources to answering the question.Even if you don’t feel comfortable relying on AI to generate content or provide customer assistance, then you can still take advantage of AI’s ability to manage your inventory and data more efficiently. Tracking and ordering new inventory are tasks that can easily be automated and streamlined with the assistance of AI, freeing you up to find ways of innovating and serving your clients, while tools like Gorgias can enable you to provide a high-quality customer experience by streamlining the customer service process.
Transparency will Become a Necessity
Most businesses haven’t placed an emphasis on transparency with their customers in the past, and for the most part, it hasn’t had an adverse impact on their ability to perform. However, moving into 2023, more customers want to deal with brands that are honest and up-front about when to expect orders, returns, and other key aspects of their operations.
Most customers understand when there are delays to an order, but they often won’t buy from a company who isn’t clear about when they can expect their orders to arrive. Further, creating a complicated return policy means you’ll likely miss out on business, because like shipping details, they don’t want to have to navigate an opaque system while making their transactions. Luckily, there are solutions that can help with this, like ShipperHQ, which automatically custom shipping rates and delivery options for ecommerce sites.
Other Trends to Be Aware Of
In addition to the ecommerce trends we’ve covered, here are a few others that will be shaking up the space in 2023:
- Headless Architecture will become more prevalent.
- Influencer marketing will be more widespread.
- Sustainability will become more important to customers.
- Alternative payment methods will be an area of interest.
- More businesses will be a larger focus of ecommerce marketing strategies.
- Many businesses will need to change their playbooks if they want to thrive in 2023.
The past few years have seen massive changes in the ecommerce space, and it’s likely to continue shifting as customers become increasingly independent when looking at the companies they want to buy from. Despite the turbulence expected in ecommerce sales, designing a high-quality customer experience that can easily be navigated across the mediums customers are looking for your products will be a way to ensure your company remains successful.