Blog article

The 7 most impactful ecommerce trends in 2023

Many businesses that haven’t successfully transitioned to online sales have had rough times in the past few years. The rapid digitalization in ecommerce and increased online shopping transformed the industry, resulting in many organizations struggling to keep up. Whether you are a pure play or omnichannel ecommerce business, the future is digital, personalized, and automated.

But what is your next step to not be overtaken by your competitors? In this blog, we will discuss seven of 2023’s biggest trends, so that you can evaluate and optimize your strategy.


1. The inflation ghost

Perhaps the biggest challenge for 2023 is the rapid increase in inflation, leading to ever-higher costs and thus prices. Customers will be more selective in their buying journey because of this. Simply because they cannot spend what they used to.

When financial anxiety is high, assurance becomes even more valuable than usual. Making sure that returns are flexible is one of the ways to assure your customers. Returns are costly, but 67% of the customers check the return policy before buying online, which means that a lousy return policy may keep them from buying your products at all.

With price increases and shrinking margins in mind, another way to ensure customers keep buying your products is to introduce personalized, economically-friendly alternatives. Using a Customer Data Platform for marketing personalization can make your marketing activities more effective and efficient. For example, you can target price-sensitive customers and persuade them more easily, recommend products with higher margins, and automate marketing processes.

2. From third-party to first-party data

Privacy protection is ramping up worldwide. Whereas third-party tracking cookies have long been the backbone of online advertising, it will become increasingly harder to use this data effectively. Data privacy is on the agenda of governments around the globe, which are regulating the gathering and sharing of personal data.

Although Google delayed the elimination of 3rd parties cookies to 2024, it is wise to prepare for this big transition in collecting and sharing customer data. In the ecommerce landscape, customer data is immensely valuable. But only if you own it yourself. Collecting and learning how to effectively use first-party data should therefore be a priority on your strategy list.

Fortunately, the technology landscape has not stood still and offers a wide range of tools for you to effectively gather first-party data. Perhaps the most innovative tool of all, the CDP, even enables you to use this data more effectively than ever. It not only gathers data, but also unifies it on one platform. It gives you a detailed insight into the behaviour and needs of each specific customer, enabling you to offer a highly personalized experience that suits your customer’s needs.


3. The transition to omnichannel

The global pandemic made one thing abundantly clear: If physical commerce does not make the transition to the digital world, they will be left behind. In the past couple of years, both innovative start-ups and traditional corporate giants have come up with new solutions to combine physical shopping with online shopping. This not only increases their sales, but also enables them to collect and use valuable customer data. Gathering and owning customer data is key for enabling personalized buyer journeys, which in turn is a vehicle for growth.

Starbucks understands this and started online deliveries via popular delivery giants. They even went a step further and introduced an app that integrates the physical world into the digital one. The app gathers valuable data and simultaneously offers helpful services to the customer such as customizing and ordering a coffee upfront.

The challenge for companies around the globe is finding innovative ways to gather unique customer data online. And to effectively use this data to increase sales through both physical and online channels. With the rapid innovations in customer data platforms (CDP), this fortunately becomes easier. A CDP allows companies to gather and unify data for effective personalized marketing campaigns. But still, integration of an online channel in your business model is necessary to optimize the potential of a CDP.


4. The rise of AI and voice shopping

In December 2022, a sneak peek into the seemingly infinite capabilities of AI was released to every human being. OpenAI invited everyone to test their AI chatbot, and it immediately went viral. The intellectual ability of this specific algorithm amazed the tech community, leaving many thinking about what the future holds in store.

AI enables new ways to communicate with customers. Chatbots already use advanced learning to offer seamless communication with your customer. And voicebots become more intelligent every year. According to research by Wunderman Thompson, the market share of voice shopping will grow to 18% in the near future. Making it a trend you should better be aware of in 2023.

5. Seamless ecommerce personalization

Another innovation fuelled by Artificial Intelligence is Behavioural Targeting, to offer a personalized customer experience. With the help of AI and machine learning, CDP’s offer tools that enable hyper-personalized, omnichannel customer journeys and predictive marketing techniques. Which is what customers increasingly demand from businesses nowadays. Are you prepared to meet these sky-high expectations?

With every passing year, personalization becomes more important. Customers become accustomed to being shown what they want, at the right time, through the right channel. And the more they become used to personalized customer journeys, the more they start to dislike generic customer journeys.

2023 will only increase this trend. Especially in times of high inflation and smaller budgets, customers will be more selective about what they buy and from which company. If you do not offer your customer a personalized ecommerce experience, chances are that you get left behind or overtaken by competitors.

Using a CDP enables you to step up your marketing personalization game. This ensures your customers feel understood, resulting in more loyal customers and higher conversion rates in combination with lower media costs.


6. Augmented reality & virtual reality

One way to integrate the online world into physical stores is virtual reality. Instead of having vast amounts of products and color varieties in-store, virtual reality enables physical stores to show their offerings digitally.

For ecommerce companies, virtual reality could simulate the online experience as if you are walking through a physical store. Enabling you to create a vivid brand landscape that allows for more interaction with the customer as well as a unique and satisfying brand experience. It also opens many possibilities for showing products to customers before they finalize their purchase.

Some cases of companies that already use virtual reality in their offerings:

  • Online glasses manufacturer Charlie Temple uses augmented reality to let you fit a great variety of glasses.

  • Amazon lets you see products in your house before buying them by using the AR view app.

  • With Ikea’s Studio app, you can easily create 3D maps that show your current furniture. And it allows you to swap furniture pieces, add accessories, or pick new colors for your walls.


7. Mobile payment methods

As the trend is continuously shifting towards a cashless society, the number of ways to pay digitally is increasing. More flexible payment options like payment in terms, buy now & pay later, and subscriptions are increasingly more common. As customers get used to the flexibility and ease of mobile payments, the demand for this innovative technology will only increase in 2023.

Only offering one payment option increases the chance that a customer bounces in the last step of their buying process. To keep in line with the trend, it is best to offer a variety of different (digital) payment channels and options.

Our tips for 2023 in a nutshell

Trends are constantly changing, but the trend for 2023 seems straightforward. Expect turbulence on both the economic front and the privacy front. Turbulence for which you can certainly get ready ahead of time. With this overview, we hope you now have the insights to anticipate these specific trends; let’s summarize our tips for 2023:

  1. Make first-party data a priority

  2. Make the transition to an omnichannel strategy

  3. Recession-proof your strategy through efficient personalization & automation

  4. Get to know your customers so that you can offer a personalized eCommerce experience

  5. Offer flexible returns and budget-conscious alternatives

  6. Integrate AI in your business model, for example by using a CDP

  7. Explore the possibilities of virtual reality for your specific business

  8. Offer multiple digital and mobile payment options

Are you curious how Datatrics can help you navigate 2023’s eCommerce trends? Try it for free or request a demo. Or get to know more about what a CDP is by reading our long-form blog.