The worldwide pandemic has shifted everyone online. From business transactions to communication to education, we have started understanding the importance of digital. ECommerce and consumer Internet have started leading to bringing people closer to the business. In the middle of this ongoing crisis, businessmen and consumers have adopted online channels to run their respective businesses.
Sporadic lockdown all over place has further pushed retailers to utilise digital mediums to earn revenues. Ecommerce has been emerging 15% on average every year, but in 2023, the number will grow twice. The pandemic has a pressing impact on buyers’ behaviour, hastening the digital revolution for many trades. The US alone had a sale of $107 billion in eCommerce. There is a steep rise of 169% in eCommerce purchases, especially from new or occasional users.
Besides this rapid shift, COVID has also pushed people to consume everything from digital media and mobile. As people have shifted online to reduce the social gap, personalized shopping experiences have amplified.
Let’s find out what lies in the future of eCommerce this year!
Exciting online sales development
Initially, when the pandemic hit, many businesses faced challenges. 2023 was a difficult year, with many experiencing problems with selling, packaging, inventory, marketing, and adjusting to meet a new retail landscape.
Some of these issues crept into online marketplaces, as well. For example, Amazon experienced an enormous inventory crisis and delays owing to the virus.
In spite of the rising concerns, eCommerce sales have doubled, and there is nothing that can stop them. Online marketplaces, including eBay, Walmart and Amazon, are flooded with products to fulfil customers’ needs.
It is also one of the sole reasons that people are excessively turning to eCommerce stores. Plus, the level of comfort it provides to online shoppers is matchless.
Mobile shopping, anyone?
Mobile has turned out to be one of the greatest assets to humanity. The increase in the handling of mobile devices has contributed to the growth of eCommerce. It is expected that mobile shopping will go up further from $2.66 trillion to $3.79 trillion within the following year.
Stores are spending more in creating handy and varied user experiences. It embraces recuperating the eCommerce feel for mobile customers. It is because customers use mobiles to surf the Internet and research a product before making purchase decisions.
As the customers’ trust in online shopping rises, they start getting more comfortable. It becomes easy for them to shop for items from their phones and similar devices. Plus, people are also uncertain about visiting stores since the outbreak of the virus.
Hence, mobile shopping is considered safe and convenient till everything goes back to normal. Or, maybe, with time, mobile shopping will become the ‘new normal’ for everyone!
However, to make things last, eCommerce brands need to ensure that their sites are responsive. Also, the sites should be optimised for mobile devices to make online shopping accessible for wider audiences.
Shopping-focused social media tactics
With the boom of social media culture, online shoppers are speedily escalating. Facebook and Instagram are making waves in social media for adopting marketplaces. It has become easy for users to shop for products from social media sites as they are redirected to the main site.
Facebook and Instagram have started offering Buy button and Checkout features to make an impact in the eCommerce world. You have to agree for sure that social media has changed how people purchase things.
Prominent Brands, too, are creating new Product Development strategy for eCommerce to place themselves on online platforms to be found out by the audience. This especially happens with the new generation users as they can find small, local, independent brands on social media platforms.
Additionally, working with social media influencers is considered an effective way for eCommerce brands to reach their target audiences and increase their followers.
What more can they do? They can link their stores with social media sites for direct purchases. For this, you can utilise the channels of Facebook and Instagram. Furthermore, there is another rising platform- TikTok! The app is working on incorporating elements like shoppable links in videos or user profiles.
Brands that implement social media approaches by keeping them shopping-focused will see a boost in business sales and development over time. It is expected that more consumers will notice them online as they roll through their feeds.
AR in eCommerce stores
As the ongoing situation pushes us further to move towards digitalisation, eCommerce brands will have to work smarter and harder to give enriching and convincing experiences to customers. They will have to work intensely to seize customers’ interest in a jam-packed marketplace.
Fortunately, the technologies got you covered. You can create such compelling experiences and make things more accessible today than before. This allows brands to be more innovative with their offerings.
Augmented Reality (AR) is one such thing! It is trending in 2023 and can deliver the best possible experiences to everyone. Though quite famous in the gaming field, it has slowly entered the digital sphere.
Audiences can get absorbed in a thrilling and charming eCommerce experience through video. Is it not surprising? Besides 3D, AR has taken the world by storm. It sparks emotion and engagement while offering shoppers something they can relate to.
The online shoppers and retailers will join hands to steer the uptake of Augmented Reality in the eCommerce area. The helplessness to see a product is one of the issues that customers raise. With AR technologies, this problem can be resolved.
Through Augmented Reality, it becomes possible for shoppers to envisage the products they are interested in, understand the features and make a purchasing decision. In addition, AR will also help consumers recognise their requirements and whether the goods they want to purchase meet those parameters or not.
Some eCommerce brands are already testing with AR technologies. They are aiming to have a competitive edge against competitors and incorporate enhanced digital shopping experiences.
Communicating with customers using multiple connected channels is a standard norm for any business. In fact, if you are looking forward to winning, you need to have more than one touch point like, e-commerce or business site or social media pages. It is how a business succeeds by converting visitors into loyal customers.
You are creating an omnichannel experience to improve customer’s loyalty towards your brand. So how are you going to do it? Just by creating social media pages? Well, Yes and a No!
Having Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles are a must, but do not miss a crucial point here; that is which channel do your customers prefer? It would help if you did a bit of researching to tap on the channels. This way, you can go for faster responses, better engagement, and solve issues quickly.
No matter how good your online store or website looks, it has to be responsive. The number of mobile users is gradually increasing, and most of the browsing is done on phones, tabs, etc. A mobile-friendly store can pull a lot of customers because it is easy to click and navigate.
It is all about comfort and convenience. Your audiences will leave your site if their mobile experience does not surpass their expectations. The speed matters too, and hence, it should be optimised as well.
Transparency and honesty are what your audiences look for. It can be achieved only when you go for clear communication. Besides deals, coupons, free delivery, and shipping, your customers want real-time information and updates about their products.
Whether the item will arrive at their addresses or need to pick it from the store is crucial data that your customers look forward to.
Use of interactive content
Shoppable snapshots and interactive videos are the new cutting edge in eCommerce. Social channels, such as Instagram and YouTube, offer these communicative selling elements, letting viewers buy listed commodities directly via a pop-up.
You can access shoppable content with a “swipe up” or fixed links to the product. However, you can use interactive content anywhere in any digital portals. Such content includes interactive emails, contests, polls, quizzes, surveys, webinars, product demonstrations, stating product features, and more.
You really need to think beyond “green” packaging! Going green is good, but what about going beyond this idea! Customised packaging is a recent trend that has gained much limelight. It is one way to make your commodities stand out from the crowd.
Customising may be explicit to your trade name or directly linked to your consumers with personalised finishes. These trends are mostly precise with subscription boxes with a “premium” factor.
Tailored packaging can draw notice to ecological practices, augment your brand value, and or support online “unboxing” experiences.
Word of mouth has always been a powerful force in marketing. With user-generated content online reviews, you can easily gain buyers’ confidence and trust. People do read the reviews and surf the web before purchasing a product. If they do not find user-generated reviews, they may skip and find an alternative.
Types of user-generated content are:
- Authentic social photos & content boosted by brands
- Influencer marketing
- Online reviews
- Social photos on product pages
- Discussion boards and FAQ forums
New payment options
Payment options are one of the main reasons why customers choose a specific brand. If you don’t offer your customers’ preferred payment method, they won’t purchase from your eCommerce store.
As of now, most eCommerce businesses accept digital wallets like, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung, besides credit and debit cards. Bitcoin has many perks for online shopping, especially the retailers. It bestows no reverse transactions and low transaction fees.
Overstock is aligned with a Bitcoin platform, Coinbase. It gave consent to the customers to use Bitcoin as a payment mode. This year, we may see more eCommerce shops accepting cryptocurrencies for monetary dealings. So, brace up!
Sustainability is about creating a balance, which is the foremost need of our planet. Consumers have become cautious with their purchases and wish to know more about the environmental impact of their investments.
Hence, they want something beyond packaging! It is said that almost 73% of customers would change their shopping habits to make a greener environment. Though sustainable practices can swell the cost of the business, people are willing to shell out a premium for these practices. These include:
- Product ingredients or source farming practices: Non-GMO, organic, no artificial ingredients, preservative-free, antibiotic-free, paraben/sulfate-free.
- Packaging: Recyclable or reduced packaging, and instructions on how and where to recycle materials.
- Returns: Transparent returns practices, in light of increased scrutiny over returned products that are destroyed.
- Manufacturing: Ethical or sustainable manufacturing processes, as well as supporting more local outlets.
- Shipping: Products shipped as available or grouped to reduce packaging and the environmental impact of transportation.
- Values: Brands that give back to their community or demonstrate ethical responsibility and strong values in their marketing.
- Transparency: Product details help customers make wise decisions and trim down returns.
Go ahead in 2023
ECommerce has never been more important than it is today. The outbreak of the novel virus has made us realise that we can find new ways to expand our business and fulfil markets’ needs.
Understanding the latest trends in retailing, consumer expectations, design trends, and technology is essential to unlocking the potential of your ability to build brand loyalty and attract new customers.
With a few more years left to enter 2023, try these exciting ideas and get brand new exposure in the digital sphere. Utilise these plans and have fun!