Retail expert shares the top six eCommerce trends for 2023 and why businesses shouldn’t ignore them

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There are over 60 million eCommerce users in the UK alone (Source: Statista), meaning the vast majority of UK residents now shop online. When a new generation of tech-savvy kids start shopping, the industry will only expand further, so it’s crucial that online retailers continue to innovate if they want to keep growing too.

James Khoury, eCommerce expert and CEO of fulfilment provider, Zendbox, has shared his predictions of the top eCommerce trends all online retailers should be leveraging in 2023.

1. Omnichannel Shopping

“It’s no longer enough to only have a website; online stores now need to make their goods accessible across a range of selling platforms. Consumers are channel surfing more than ever, often discovering brands on social media before they find their website. People are more price conscious too and will be looking to compare prices for your product, or similar ones, on search engines or comparison sites.”

“Make a list of the channels and platforms available to you and optimise each avenue. Now might even be the time to look into what will potentially be the next ‘super app’, TikTok (Source: VideoWeek), which is beginning to offer an all-in-one solution where consumers can shop and pay for products without ever leaving the app. As part of your omni channel approach, focus efforts on these types of apps in line with your website, social media accounts and, if applicable, your bricks and mortar store.”

2. Mobile First

“It’s predicted that by 2024, mobile sales will reach over £100 billion (Source: Statista), thanks in no small part to Gen Z and the rise of Gen Alpha. It’s more important than ever to adopt a mobile-first approach to retail sales and maximise every eCommerce opportunity.”

“It’s no coincidence that this upward trend in mobile sales aligns with the exponential growth of social commerce. TikTok has experienced the largest increase in the percentage of consumers willing to buy from social media (Source: JungleScout). People can discover your brand on social media and then buy from the comfort of their mobile phone. What’s more, optimising your social media platforms allows you to take advantage of user generated content (UCG), balancing out any additional marketing spend. Developing a mobile-first strategy should go hand in hand with social selling and will likely be essential in 2023.”

3. Green Commerce

“The word ‘sustainability’ won’t be going anywhere in 2023. In fact, more and more retailers will be looking to increase their green credentials. This means offering things like sustainable packaging, more eco-friendly shipping options and carbon offsetting.”

“Alongside green pledges, there may well be an influx of reCommerce sites or outlets. Online second-hand stores and rental services have gained popularity in recent years, and even charity shops now have an online presence. Some existing retailers allow customers to recycle old items in return for vouchers, and others have set up marketplaces as an offshoot, where they resell past season and pre-loved stock. This may well depend on the product itself but, in any case, a circular strategy is mission-critical for businesses that want to stay competitive in 2023.”

4. User Experience

“Consumers are more likely to convert or share data when they receive a personalised experience, with some 80% of frequent shoppers only shopping with companies that personalise the experience (Source: YouGov).”

“Putting the user at the forefront of your eCommerce efforts is paramount to success. Get to know your customers across all platforms, and use any information to create offers and upselling opportunities based on their specific behaviours.”

“Add to this an excellent customer service experience and a range of delivery and payment options. Fuss-free returns will also attract new customers and retain existing ones. With a host of software, plug-ins and analytics now available, there’s little excuse in 2023 to neglect the customer journey.”

5. Inflation

“Not so much a trend as a necessity. The economic downturn has made customers savvier than ever before. Purchases are carefully considered, and choosing which e-tailer to buy from may come down to which one has the most budget-conscious options.”

“Things like free delivery and free returns are very attractive right now. Having a BOPIS option, where users can buy online and pick up in store, can be a good middle ground to reduce overheads for you as a company and delivery charges for your customers. Offering a range of payment options will also help to assuage any buying-related anxiety – for example, buy now, pay later (BNPL) arrangements.”

6. Payments

“As well as offering BNPL, simply having a roster of payment options will encourage more shoppers in 2023. One of the biggest reasons shoppers abandon their cart is due to a difficult payment or checkout process. Digital and mobile wallets now account for around half of global eCommerce payment transactions (Source: Statista) and so implementing this is going to be vital.”

“PayPal now has 429 million users worldwide too (Source: GlobalData), making it hugely popular for eCommerce. There is still space for the traditional card payment but as above, offering payment methods that satisfy different user demographics sets eCommerce stores up to bring in more of the available market revenue.”

“Perhaps the biggest takeaway for eCommerce in 2023 is choice. Users now expect different payment options, flexible returns, sustainable choices and to be able to shop on various platforms. The worst thing any online retailer can do is stay stagnant. Moving with the times is a must.”

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