It’s almost a new year, and while some of us are still processing the return of Top Gun or the emotional impact of the latest T-Swift album, time stops for no one – and that’s doubly true in the world of ecommerce.
So, what’s going to happen in 2023? While we can’t hop in Doc Brown’s DeLorean and tell you exactly what the future holds, we can give you our best predictions based on recent data and our deep experience in digital retail.
Overall, we’re seeing that online sales are on the rise, and consumers have become more digitally minded than ever before. This shift in buying behavior will almost certainly continue impacting the trends we see in the marketing sector going forward. It’s going to be crucial to stay on the cutting edge of the ever-changing ecommerce sector – and that’s why we’re here to help you make the most of it all during the new year.
In this article, we’ll break down some of 2023’s most important trends and give you actionable advice for planning your ecommerce priorities this year.
1. Experimenting with social commerce
Social commerce has been a growing trend, and it’s one we expect to continue, with research from Alter Agents revealing that two-thirds of shoppers use social media as part of their shopping strategy.
From inspirational images to video tutorials, nearly 50% of people say they use Instagram for shopping on a weekly basis, so make sure to tag posts with your products and include relevant hashtags to reach your desired audience.
Live streaming is another way to promote products on social media, with platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Amazon, and CommentSold allowing brands to showcase their products to viewers during live broadcasts.
Influencer marketing has also risen in popularity over the last few years, with a third of shoppers now looking to social media influencers to learn about products, and an estimated 72.5 percent of US marketers having used influencer marketing in 2022.
As you engage with your target audience, keep in mind that users have different mindsets when going to various social media channels, so content needs to be tailored accordingly:
- Facebook: Keep in contact with close friends.
- Instagram: Look at visual content, stories, and influencer advice.
- Pinterest: Inspiration.
- LinkedIn: Professional content and contacts.
Facebook and Instagram are not just communication channels, but ecommerce channels, too. Even if you already have a great online store, they can make for a worthwhile addition. Users can simply click on the product, view the price, make a decision, and buy it—all in the same platform.
Whether it be a spontaneous purchase or something the user has been contemplating for months, within just five minutes and with little effort, the sale is complete.
If you’re new to social commerce and don’t know where to start, both Facebook and Instagram provide support for businesses.
2. Focusing on content marketing
Creating helpful and educational content to inspire purchase decisions has been important for a long time, but with digital commerce on the rise, it’s time to take a closer look at your content marketing strategy.
Consumers like to feel like they’re in control and making decisions themselves, rather than being given a sales pitch. That’s where content marketing comes in.
Instead of creating sales copy to persuade consumers to make a purchase, brands need to focus on helping prospective customers make the right purchase decision. This can be through detailed product page information, video content, blog content, email newsletters, and social media posts.
Focus on positioning your brand as an expert in your field—somewhere consumers can go for advice in your niche. For example, if your business sells mattresses, your content shouldn’t just focus on the mattresses you sell. In addition to advice on choosing the correct product and the benefits of a good mattress, you could also create content around sleep hygiene tips and sleep habits. This way, you’re not only educating potential customers, but you’re also attracting a whole pool of new customers who land on your sleep articles while searching for advice.
Additionally, when planning your content marketing campaigns, ensure the themes align across each of your marketing channels to create unity.
3. Implementing an omni-channel strategy
It’s been on nearly every annual trends list for years now, yet some businesses still don’t offer a truly omni-channel experience.
With the big push towards online shopping in recent years, it’s not enough to just have multiple commerce options. All channels need to be linked seamlessly, and they need to offer customers the same first-class experience, wherever they choose to shop.
In order to thrive in 2023, businesses need to be wherever their customers are, and they need to make it easy to shop at every touchpoint, with seamless transitions between each.
In addition to the popular omni-channel offerings like browse online and buy in-store, buy online and return in-store, shopping via online retail partners, and social commerce, we can also expect more ecommerce stores to introduce an in-store feel to their websites.
In the past two years, the absence of physical stores has encouraged those who didn’t previously shop online to do so, and bringing elements of in-store shopping to ecommerce (such as virtual appointments, try-ons, and live streaming) can create a more personal experience.
Conversely, a new variety of retail stores and in-person experiences with digital characteristics will begin to replace traditional retailers, providing consumers with personalized experiences. Retailers will now be able to calculate the return on investment of in-store sales attributed to digital spend, thanks to ROPO Ratio: “Research Online, Purchase Offline.”
Augmented Reality (AR) will grow even more, as brands introduce features that allow consumers to use their mobile devices to visualize items in their personal space before purchasing, minimizing the need to return.
Voice search will also see an increase in use. Consumers will speak to their devices to search online and use voice to interact (conversational AI) like never before. Retailers, merchants, and brands will have to change the ways they communicate to compete.
And as mobile dominates over desktop, mobile checkout will be a convenience that no shopper can survive without and no business can afford to ignore.
As a long-term goal, brands must adopt an omni-channel strategy to allow a seamless buying experience for customers. In the short term, brands may want to think about shifting budgets to enhance their ecommerce and make sure their products are available online.
Brands that want to combine their online and offline sales channels and offer an omni-channel experience can benefit from our Where to Buy solution.
4. Leveraging online reviews
Statistics show that roughly 90% of consumers read customer ratings or reviews before making a purchase, and with the shift towards ecommerce, consumer reviews have never been more important.
When shopping online, customers can’t see and feel products, so honest reviews help paint a real-life picture and ensure shoppers make the correct purchase decision. Reviews also encourage customers to purchase from your brand instead of competitors and can influence your brand reputation.
Implementations like the Ratings & Reviews feature of our Where to Buy tool allow consumers to see real-life reviews from customers across the web and shop at a retailer of their choice once they’ve made their decision.
Giving customers the option to shop directly through reviews shortens the buying journey and prevents your brand from losing out to competitors.
5. Hosting hybrid events
In-store footfall has been on the decline since before the COVID-19 pandemic, and there’s been a lot of talk about redefining the role of physical high street stores. This means more in-store events and experiences to educate and inspire customers. However, as a result of events moving online throughout the pandemic, we’re also likely to see more digital and hybrid events going forward.
In the same way that omni-channel retail combines the digital and physical worlds, hybrid events are a mix between live and online events, and they’re a great sales driver. There are a few reasons for this:
- Not everyone who wants to attend the event will be able to make it in-store, giving more people the option to attend.
- For consumers who prefer in-store experiences, it allows them to see and feel products in real life before they buy.
- They’re engaging. You can address your audience from a place that suits them.
6. Meeting high customer expectations
PWC found that 73 percent of people believe customer experience to be an important factor in their purchasing decisions, highlighting the fact that customers have higher expectations than ever before.
Alongside these higher expectations, the pandemic has also given rise to people shopping with smaller businesses—and they’re happy to pay more, too. In a survey of more than 1,600 Americans, Red Egg Marketing revealed that over 82 percent of shoppers would rather support a local business than a large corporation, with 8 in 10 saying they’d spend more money if it were going to a local shop.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, make sure your customer experience is on point. Impress your customers by making it easy for them to buy your products, and, in turn, they will talk about you. Remember, as humans, we love to brag.
Keep up with your customers
The way consumers shop has changed for good. And while it won’t be news to many, to succeed in 2023, brands and marketers need to be able to adapt to the ever-changing, ever-evolving buying behaviors of consumers.
At PriceSpider, we enable digital transformation for our clients through our Where to Buy tool, making all digital touchpoints shoppable.
We connect brands and retailers, enabling consumers to purchase their favorite products wherever and however they choose.
Brands that work with us benefit from an increase in sales, improved customer experience, and a better relationship with retailers. On top of this, retailers connected with us benefit from a consistent source of free, highly qualified leads from brands they carry.
Want to see these benefits for yourself?