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22 Ecommerce Trends To Watch In 2023

Last Updated: August 30, 2022

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Trends in ecommerce come and go rapidly — so much so, in fact, that staying on top of the changes can be a full-time job in itself.

To help you optimize your time, we’ve put together a list of the top 22 current trends in ecommerce today.

In this post, we’ll cover everything from what, why, when, and how people shop online to shopper behaviors and preferences and how these are driving retail business decisions.

If you’re considering an ecommerce website redesign or looking for effective ways to improve your conversion rates, this article is for you.

Ready to dive in? Let’s go!

Here are 22 of the top eCommerce trends to watch in 2023:

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

AI and ML have been disrupting the ecommerce experience for some time now.

Going forward, being able to provide a more personalized experience will deliver value to the consumer and actionable data to company decision-makers.

But these technologies are improving much more than just the front end.

Automating warehouse operations and improving the efficiency of logistics are a big part of AI and ML, creating a more predictable workflow from the factory floor to the customer’s door.

Companies are also using AI to predict customer behavior, providing recommendations for products they might like or complementary products to what they have already purchased.

Chatbots

Chatbots are often the first line of entry into customer service, giving the shopper the benefit of instant attention and relieving much of the pressure from customer service teams.

Chatbots can accomplish a great deal, from directing the customer to a solution or a product, providing information on returns, and even making changes to an order that has already been set up for delivery.

AI (Chatbots) Are Only Going To Grow

The trend of AI chatbots is likely to grow in the coming years as they get better at understanding human conversation.

In addition, people are becoming more comfortable using chatbots for tasks like shopping and customer service.

Some businesses have already started using chatbots, and the results have been impressive.

For example, Sephora has a chatbot that helps shoppers find products and provides recommendations.

Similarly, Nike recently launched a chatbot that helps customers find the perfect pair of shoes.

How we shop is changing, and chatbots will be a big part of that change. If your business is not already using them, now is the time to start planning for how you can integrate chatbots into your process. The more you can automate, the more time you’ll have to focus on other business areas that need your attention.

As a website builder, you should also consider how chatbots can be integrated into your platform to provide a better customer experience. Better customer service = happier customers.

With this in mind, it’s important to note that chatbots are not a replacement for humans.

They should be used as a supplement to provide a better overall experience for your customers.

Augmented reality, Virtual reality

The difference between AR and VR is that with VR, there is little input required from the user — it’s simply a matter of being able to access the VR content.

VR content provides an immersive experience that could lead to a purchase. For items like vacation packages and real estate, this is an area where purchasing online was never really an option.

Now, with the ability to experience these offerings first-hand, this is actually possible.

AR, on the other hand, requires some interaction on the part of the user, usually in the form of providing an image of themselves so that they can “try out” the retailer’s products, whether it’s clothing, cosmetics, or paint for your living room walls.

This current trend will continue to grow and develop over the next year as more businesses adopt AR/VR into their ecommerce strategy.

Allowing customers to “test” products before buying helps build trust with the customer and creates a better overall experience.

Some businesses have already started using AR/VR, including IKEA, which allows customers to see how furniture will look in their homes before they buy it.

Another example is Home Depot, which allows customers to view how paint colors will look in their space before making a purchase.

As an ecommerce business, consider how you can use AR/VR to provide a better experience for your customers.

This could be in the form of offering virtual tours of vacation rentals or providing a way for customers to see how products would look in their homes before they buy them.

Animation

Movement on a page draws the eye. It also signals urgency and excitement.

Some retailers are using animation to draw attention to sale items or items that are about to sell out.

Expect to see more of this in the near future.

Social shopping

Two of the most visual platforms on the web, Pinterest, and Instagram, are exposing their products to shoppers gently.

This helps them present their wares in a visually appealing way that lacks the sales-y posture and allows people to comment, share, and interact with the products more organically.

Social Commerce

Social shopping/ads are becoming more popular as we become more reliant on social media.

It’s a way for companies to tap into the personal networks of their target audiences. It’s something that ecommerce businesses should start thinking about if they haven’t already.

Some examples of social commerce platforms are:

  • Shopify
  • BigCommerce
  • Woocommerce
  • Weebly

Attracting audience attention on social media can be a challenge.

If you’re considering using social commerce to reach your target audience, consider using platforms that allow for shoppable posts.

This way, you can make it easy for your audience to purchase your products without having to leave their social media platform of choice.

For example, Thread Wallets uses shoppable posts on Instagram to sell their products.

When you see a post from Thread Wallets, you can simply click on the image and be taken to a page where you can purchase the item.

With the rise of social media, it was only a matter of time before social commerce began to take off.

Thanks to businesses like Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest, which all allow companies to use their ecommerce platforms, the growth of social commerce may further increase.

Brands can now use social media to target new generations of consumers, and thanks to the power of social media, they can reach a wider audience than ever before.

In addition, social media allows brands to interact with customers on a more personal level, which can help to build loyalty and trust.

With the continued growth of social media, social commerce will likely continue to grow in popularity.

Smart Home Assistants: A New Frontier to Conquer

Smart home assistants like Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Cortana, and Siri are on the rise.

Research leader Canalys predicts that smart home assistant adoption in 2018 will surpass 56.3 million units in the United States alone.

Retailers who want to cash in on this opportunity will need to meet the challenge by improving NLP capabilities.

Voice Shopping and Personalization

The trend of voice shopping is expected to grow in popularity in the coming years.

This type of ecommerce will require retailers to provide more personalized experiences.

To do this, they will need to have a better understanding of customer behavior and preferences.

Additionally, they will need to be able to provide recommendations based on past purchases.

This will require retailers to have a strong data management strategy in place.

Voice Search Enabled Shopping

Shopping by voice is not the only way smart home assistants will impact ecommerce. Voice search is also expected to play a role in the future of online shopping.

This trend is already starting to take off, with 20% of all searches on Google being done by voice.

As more people become comfortable with using voice search, this trend will likely continue to grow.

This presents a unique opportunity for retailers willing to invest in voice search optimization.

Company giants like Amazon, which uses Alexa, and Apple, which uses Siri, have already taken advantage of this technology.

What does this mean for the future of ecommerce?

We’ll likely see more businesses popping up that are voice search enabled. This means that their websites and apps will be optimized for people using voice search to find products and services.

Additionally, we’ll likely see more retailers using smart home assistants to sell their products and services.

This trend is likely to grow as the technology becomes more widespread and more people become comfortable using it.

SaaS eCommerce Platforms Will Gain Market Share

Companies who want to keep up with current trends may choose to take advantage of SaaS ecommerce platforms to give them an edge.

These platforms offer enterprise-grade features and analytics that can help the smaller players exceed expectations and compete with the “big guys,” meaning there will be more demand as the need for digital transformation and advanced capabilities continue to ramp up.

Analytics Platforms Will Become Essential

The more you know about your customers and how they interact with your brand, the better job you can do of meeting and exceeding their expectations.

An analytics platform can help with much more than just minding your inventory and delivering demographic insights, though — it can help streamline the supply chain, develop new products, prioritize marketing initiatives, and perhaps most importantly, illustrate how your company is performing compared to the competition.

IoT Will Continue to Disrupt the Supply Chain

IoT has become indispensable to on-premise retail, but what it does for the supply chain is truly amazing.

IoT sensors work hand-in-hand with AI to deliver real-time insights into supply chain performance. This results in fewer errors, increased efficiency, better transparency, and optimized business processes on the back end.

It contributes to greater customer satisfaction while providing the opportunity to spare company resources.

On the customer-facing side, it helps to lower the cost of shipping, reduce errors, and provide a more predictable experience from end to end.

The Middleman is Going the Way of the Dino

Brands are increasingly looking for ways to connect with their customers in a more meaningful way.

This means that a large part of the supply chain may actually cease to exist, but the upshot is that brands will better understand what their customers really want while being able to narrow their margins. Blockchain will likely have a hand in this trend — but more on that later…

Mobile Payments

The buying process is becoming simpler and more secure every single day.

We are moving toward a standardized system that will provide consumers with a dependable, secure way to pay online, no matter where they are shopping.

This includes on-premise sales as well, as store associates become empowered with the ability to take mobile payments away from the register. If you are not yet accepting mobile payments, there is no time like the present.

The beauty of mobile payments is that they are often more secure than traditional methods like cash or check.

With a few clicks, you can confirm your purchase and have peace of mind knowing your transaction is complete.

For sellers, this means less time spent processing payments and more time developing relationships with customers.

Both Shop Pay and Afterpay allow customers to make purchases and pay for them later, either in installments or in full.

This is a popular option for larger purchases or buyers who want to spread the cost of their purchase out over time.

Utilization of both of these methods is on the rise, and we expect this trend to continue into 2023 and beyond for ecommerce sites that want to stay ahead of the curve.

However, simplicity and protected information are key. Consumers are bombarded with too many choices and too much information.

When it comes to payments, they just want to know their purchase is complete and their personal information is safe.

Subscription Box Services

The popularity and success of subscription boxes have seen a massive uptick in recent years.

From the pet-centric BarkBox to coloring clubs, organic foods, socks, cosmetics, groceries, and more, subscription boxes are a way to address the evermore crazy business of living in today’s world. It’s convenient. It’s personalized.

And, if you can maintain a level of customer service and an experience that is high-quality enough to meet the demand of the largely affluent clientele that embraces the trend, you’ve got it made.

Mobile Sites Over Apps

Consumers today are turning away from brand apps in favor of mobile shopping experiences.
There is a combination of trends that contribute to this; in part, there is a hesitance to download “yet another app”, while some cite security concerns.

Mobile first is a strategy any ecommerce website design should embrace to ensure a high mobile conversion rate.

Mobile-friendly, responsive websites are prioritized in the search engines while those that are not will be relegated to the bottom.

While a mobile app was once viewed as the only way to accomplish certain ecommerce goals — like anytime access, high visibility, analytics, and improved customer engagement — a mobile website can do all of these things and more, and generally without the six-figure price tag.

Blockchain

Blockchain stands to be the biggest disrupter of pretty much everything in the coming years. Where it will make an immediate difference to ecommerce is in the supply chain, logistics, and in providing insight into all transactional data.

Data and events that are logged on the blockchain cannot be altered, meaning decision-makers and customers alike will have full visibility into all of their transactions.

Eventually, this will eliminate the need for third-party intermediaries such as accountants, auditors, and more.

Imagine.

Omnichannel

Omnichannel has become fairly ubiquitous in retail, removing barriers to excellent customer service while delivering a streamlined buying journey.

For a relatively new concept, it has pervaded our reality to the point where consumers have come to demand it. It lands on this list as a trend in that it is now essential as opposed to being “nice to have.”

Fortunately, even smaller companies now have access to the technology that enables it, based on the range of companies that specialize in delivering omnichannel as-a-service.

Image Search/Visual Search

Today’s changing technologies are changing shopper behaviors.

So, imagine being able to snap a photo of an item you like and then search for similar items in the hope of getting a better deal. This may actually encourage some shoppers to shop online even more, given the promise of savings.

Pinterest already has a similar function, in which you can zoom on a pinned photo to find similar items.

Some companies, like Target, will be deploying this technology in their mobile app and website to drive purchases at the moment of discovery.

Other retailers who are already using visual search include Neiman Marcus and Urban Outfitters.

As the image will replace a keyword in searches, companies who want to take advantage of this need not only to provide high-quality photos of their products but be sure they are tagged and cross-tagged judiciously.

The way we search for information is rapidly evolving. We are now able to use our voices to search for things online.

In addition, we can also use our smartphones to search for things around us.

However, we believe that the next step in the evolution of search will be the ability to search without words. This will be made possible by advances in artificial intelligence.

AI will allow us to search for things based on concepts and ideas rather than just keywords. This will be a game-changer for how we access information.

We believe that this new type of search will become mainstream by 2023.

Product Videos

Product videos are a little more tricky and expensive than static images. To reduce costs and complexity, most retailers will forego video simply to keep it simple.

Statistically, however, videos provide a lot more value than you might think.

14 percent of all internet searches are video. If you are not taking advantage of this, that’s 14 percent of the population that is already looking for what you sell. If you can’t count yourself in that 14 percent, you may have lost out to your competitor.

Additionally, 71 percent of shoppers think that a video explains a product better and 73 percent of the people who watch the video will buy.

Still thinking a video isn’t worth your time?

Local Search

Local search ties in directly with voice search capabilities as shoppers who use voice search (with their voice-activated home assistants, for instance) are three times more likely to want to connect to local stores.

Ensure that you are able to meet these needs with updated and accurate hours, reviews, product photos, product descriptions, and so on.

Your website is your storefront. Giving your shoppers every opportunity to convert is simply smarter.

Research Online Purchase Offline (ROPO)

ROPO is poised to support online retailers with an accurate measurement of how well their digital ads are supporting on-premise sales.

Shoppers today tend to research, compare and shop online, but will often go to the store to see and touch the product, try on a garment, or see what other value they can find.

ROPO combines information from mobile, social, location, inventory, CRM, and more besides, in order to find out which ads are converting best and generally making the most impact.

This will help companies hone their marketing strategies to an even greater degree and ensure that the underlying message is getting across as intended.

Same Day/Next Day Delivery

Once you have tackled all of the various challenges in the effort to stay ahead of your ecommerce competitors, the only frontier left to conquer is being able to get the products to the customer’s door even faster.

For companies that have a local presence near the shopper, items can be picked up in-store or delivered from that store to provide convenience and value.

The cost to the store is about 30 percent less expensive to ship same-day-local than it would be if the item were to come from an out-of-area warehouse.

Items that could be considered for same-day delivery include groceries, apparel, electronics, and more.

Shipping Speeds

Amazon set the gold standard for shipping when it introduced Prime and its two-day shipping.

Other retailers followed suit, offering free shipping with a certain number of items in the cart or a minimum purchase amount.

While free shipping is still important to shoppers, many expect even faster turnaround times. Some retailers offer same-day or even one-hour delivery in select markets.

To make this possible, retailers must be strategic about their inventory and warehousing. They also need a robust last-mile delivery network, which can be costly.

As a result, we expect to see more partnerships between retailers and third-party logistics providers specializing in last-mile delivery.

Ecommerce order management software can also help automate the process and make same-day delivery more efficient.

Other ecommerce sites are adapting strategies to improve their speed of delivery. eBay, for example, has started testing a local marketplace program, which allows buyers and sellers in the same area to connect and arrange for local pickup.

This is convenient for both the customer and the seller, as it eliminates shipping costs.

As shoppers demand faster shipping speeds, we expect to see more retailers offering same-day delivery in the coming year.

Global Retail Ecommerce Sails Will Only Grow

The coronavirus pandemic has been a game-changer for the retail industry, with ecommerce sales skyrocketing as consumers seek out safe and convenient shopping options.

Many retailers have stepped up their online game, investing in user-friendly websites that offer a seamless shopping experience.

One of the key components of a great ecommerce site is the ease of payment, and many retailers are now offering various payment options to meet customer needs.

Whether it’s Paypal, Apple Pay, or good old-fashioned credit cards, customers appreciate being able to choose the payment method that works best for them.

There’s no excuse for not offering a great online shopping experience with so many choices available.

Sustainable Shopping – People Care Where They Buy Stuff!

Consumers are increasingly looking for companies that share their values when it comes to the brands they support.

In particular, millennials are willing to pay more for environmentally friendly products or support social causes.

For example, a recent study found that 65% of millennial shoppers consider sustainability a top priority.

This trend extends beyond online shopping, with 26% of millennials saying they would only purchase from brands that align with their moral values.

As companies continue to struggle with issues like climate change and income inequality, it’s clear that consumers are looking for brands that care about the world around them.

With this in mind, it’s no wonder that sustainable and socially responsible brands are seeing such success in the marketplace.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, there are many exciting ecommerce trends to watch in 2023. What will you do?

If you are looking for ways to elevate your customer experience and boost conversions, contact us for a 1-on-1 assessment.

We’d love to learn more about your company and tell you how we can help.

Meet The Author

Jeff Gapinski is the President of Huemor where he helps plan the long-term strategic growth of the agency. Jeff is passionate about UI/UX, demand generation, and digital strategy.

Originally Published

July 19, 2018

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