As the e-commerce industry hurtles towards 2023, it’s shaping up to be a wild ride. From augmented reality to voice commerce, social shopping to sustainable fashion, the trends that are set to dominate the online shopping landscape are as exciting as they are game-changing. Businesses looking to thrive in this dynamic and rapidly evolving space must keep up with the latest trends. With Gen Z’s growing impact on the market, it’s essential to consider the future of online shopping when developing an e-commerce strategy.
We’ll delve into the future of online shopping and explore why they’re essential to consider when developing an e-commerce strategy.
#1 Mobile Commerce and GenZ Shopping Habits
As more and more consumers use their smartphones and tablets for online shopping, mobile commerce, also known as m-commerce, is expected to continue growing in popularity in 2023. To stay competitive, e-commerce businesses must prioritize creating mobile-friendly experiences. Failing to do so risks losing potential customers who expect rapid and convenient access to information on their mobile devices. This is particularly true for the younger generation, who are more likely to shop on mobile devices than older generations. A report by Comscore shows that 63% of millennials and 52% of Gen Xers prefer to shop on their mobile devices over desktop computers. A 2023 survey from Hubspot found that a substantial 74% of Gen Z use their mobile phones when shopping online, while just 15% use a computer. Therefore, to cater to the shopping preferences of Gen Z, e-commerce websites and applications must be designed with a mobile-first approach in mind ensuring that the experience is smooth on smaller screens with touch-based interactions, as well as on computers.
While having a mobile-friendly website is crucial, it is no longer enough to succeed in the current market. A study shows that 85% of consumers prefer mobile apps over mobile websites, meaning that apps are the future of m-commerce. So, to keep your e-commerce business growing in 2023, having an app is essential.
#2 Continued Expansion of Social Commerce
By using social media platforms, you can reach a wider audience and generate sales. If you’re looking to grow your e-commerce business in 2023, it’s essential to consider the role of social media platforms. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest are no longer just platforms to stay in touch with friends; they are now important players in e-commerce. The shopping features of these platforms, Instagram’s Checkout and Facebook’s Marketplace, offer a convenient way for users to purchase products without even leaving the platform. As social commerce is remaining a significant portion of e-commerce sales in the coming years, it’s crucial to keep up with the trend. So, if you haven’t already, consider investing in social commerce in order to benefit from the power of social media.
#3 Increase in Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
In 2023, you can expect to see more widespread use of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies in the e-commerce industry. These technologies are not interchangeable, they have different roles in e-commerce. AR is a technology that allows customers to visualize products in their real-life environment using their smartphones or tablets. For example, customers can get a better idea of how a chosen furniture will look and fit in their home. This can help customers make a more informed decision and reduce the likelihood of returns. VR, on the other hand, is a technology that creates a completely immersive virtual environment for customers by using VR headsets. In practice, it means that in the future customers can explore virtual stores, try on clothes or accessories, and even interact with products in a simulated environment.
Without a doubt, these technologies are drastically changing the e-commerce sector as offering customers interactive and immersive shopping experiences. Such experience probably will lead to higher engagement and increased sales.
#4 Emergence of Voice Commerce
Voice commerce, or v-commerce is another trend that is expected to become popular in 2023. With the rise of voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple’s Siri, more and more people are using voice commands for example to perform online searches, play music or call someone. It is easy to imagine that this technology can revolutionize the way we shop online making it accessible for everyone. V-commerce can offer a better user experience for people with disabilities, elderly people, and those who face language barriers. In addition, voice assistants can suggest products that match the buyer’s previous purchases and likes. This helps customers find new things they might like and want to buy. The more they use it, the better the suggestions become, making the shopping experience more efficient. On the other hand, the challenges of this new technology are definitely security and accurate voice recognition. It is crucial that the technology is sensitive enough to recognize the voice and understand the command correctly. In summary, voice commerce is changing the way we shop, and your business needs to adapt to stay competitive.
#5 Greater Emphasis on Personalization
Thanks to the new technologies of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), personalization is becoming a significant trend in e-commerce. These technologies make it possible to analyze large amounts of customer data such as browsing history or past orders and then personalize the marketing to each and every customer. Personalized e-commerce can mean showing customized product suggestions, promoting certain products or sending targeted emails. A good example is that Netflix uses machine learning technology to suggest movies and TV shows to the subscribers based on their past preferences. Personalization helps businesses understand their customers’ needs while creating a more convenient shopping experience that leads to higher sales and increased customer satisfaction.
#6 Rise of Sustainable and Ethical E-commerce
Consumers are increasingly aware of the environmental and societal impact of their purchases. As a result, there is a fast-growing demand for sustainable and ethical shopping practices in the e-commerce industry. In response, e-commerce businesses need to take steps to initiate sustainability practices, for example sourcing products from environmentally friendly suppliers, using sustainable materials for packaging and working with non-profit organizations to support social causes and promote ethical business practices. In 2023 and beyond, it is expected to see sustainability and ethical considerations continue to be a priority in the e-commerce sector. Retailers that pay attention to sustainability are likely to gain a competitive advantage as consumers increasingly demand transparency and responsibility from the brands they support
#7 Stance on Social Issues
Let’s look at another impact of the post-millennial generation taking the lead in the near future. Although Gen Z is recognized for being vocal about the causes they support, the question remains whether their passion for environmental and social justice carries over into their purchasing choices. The previously mentioned Hubspot survey found that brands taking a stance on inclusion, being a small business or owned by a person of colour make a significant portion of the purchase decision.
E-commerce is set to undergo a revolution that will change the way we shop online. By keeping a pulse on the latest trends, businesses can anticipate the shifting consumer preferences and respond with agility. With the increasing focus on mobile and social commerce, the importance of personalized shopping experiences, and the emergence of technologies like AR, VR, and voice commerce, the future of e-commerce is promising. Let’s not forget the rising significance of sustainable and ethical practices, which are becoming more critical than ever. By embracing these trends and incorporating them into your e-commerce strategy, you can create a customer-centric business that stands out in the competitive online marketplace.