The eCommerce industry is ever-changing. Last year the industry saw a wave of innovations and, as we begin 2023, a host of exciting new developments are on the horizon.
According to the retail experts at British online marketplace OnBuy current trends are dominated by the ‘conscious consumer’ – whose primary concern is savvy spending and making money go further.
With 2023 slated as the year of the smart shopper, it’s important for retailers to meet demand with relevant practices and technologies, especially in light of the ongoing cost of living crisis.
Cas Paton, CEO at OnBuy, said: “The all-important adoption of new principles and standards year-on-year is vital when it comes to revenue, customer acquisition and brand awareness.
“Each of these changes propels the industry forward to bigger and better things, changing the face of eCommerce one innovation at a time.”
So, what trends were predominant last year? And what emerging trends are slated to lead the way in 2023? The eCommerce experts at OnBuy have crunched the numbers and analysed the data to compile a review of the last 12 months and look forward to what’s to come this new year.
TOP THREE TRENDS FOR 2022
- TIKTOK… BOOM
TikTok is at the centre of the online universe with an eye-watering one billion active monthly users, and its rapid rise to number one social media platform in the world is shaping the way consumers shop online.
Brands are dedicating vast resources to marketing through TikTok, with the likes of ASOS and Zara boasting seven-figure followers – proving the increasing importance of customer communication.
The platform has changed the online shopping game after launching TikTok Shop, a feature enabling merchants, brands and creators to directly sell products through in-feed videos, LIVEs, and the product showcase tab.
After launching this year, the experts expect TikTok Shop, and social shopping channels in general, to continue gaining significant traction over the next few months. Retailers take note!
2. CUSTOMER COMMUNICATION
Consumer habits shifted significantly amid the Covid-19 pandemic, resulting in a seismic shift from the high street to online. This catalyst led to an online marketplace boom, which began in 2020 and has continued ever since.
Despite the high street opening up fully for the first time post-pandemic this year, figures published by the Office for National Statistics showed year-on-year online sales to August increased to 26.4%*.
While online migration is a golden opportunity for eCommerce retailers, in order to succeed in the space, they must adopt astute communication practices. This means maintaining a presence everywhere their customers exist.
Whether it’s online or offline, on social media or via traditional marketing tools, successful retailers in 2022 have embraced every channel available to remain front of mind for their customers.
3. ENHANCED EXPERIENCES
The rise of the ‘conscious consumer’ means an increased onus on retailers to provide customers with not only good value for money, but also an enhanced shopping experience.
And when it comes to eCommerce, options mean prizes (or sales!). The more choices you can provide for the consumer, the better chance you have of converting the sale.
An increased number of payment options beyond simply debit or credit card is an advised way to offer consumers choice, while retailers should also consider guest checkout and improved search results, as OnBuy has instituted within its own business,
Each of these processes works towards an enhanced online experience, by providing the customer with effective touchpoints on their shopping journey.
AND A COUPLE OF TRENDS FOR 2023
- FREEDOM OF INFORMATION
Gone are the days when customers are content with a brief product description and a single image on the page, the ‘conscious consumer’ demands more information at their fingertips to ensure they’re able to make an informed decision.
In 2023, retailers can inform consumers with a range of cutting-edge innovations that offer a small point of difference when it comes to enhancing customer experiences.
These include technologies like augmented reality – a next-generation product enabling consumers to visualise what it would be like to have their chosen product right in front of them.
It’s particularly exciting when you consider how AR can be utilised within the fashion and home categories. Shoppers can use the technology to see exactly how a pair of glasses would fit on their face or a three-piece suite would look in their living room.
This transformed shopping experience, which also includes 360-degree video content, is creating a new way of buying online. And it spells good fortune for marketplaces and retailers too, with higher customer satisfaction and better online experiences.
2. GIVING BACK TO THE CONSUMER
The ‘conscious shopper’ is a more considered spender than those that have gone before. The average consumer in 2023 will be on the hunt for a bargain or a ‘hack’ that can help them get the most from their investment.
That’s why in order for retailers and marketplaces like OnBuy to continue winning custom this year, it’s in their interest to add value in some shape or form. As a result, those who find a way to give back to their customers are due to set the trend in 2023.
With the cost of living crisis set to continue dominating the financial landscape next year, this one shows no sign of slowing down.