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8 Emerging Ecommerce Trends in 2023


Keeping up with trends is a tiring business. But, if you don’t, it’s pretty much impossible to boost revenue in the ecommerce world. The good news is, we’re here to make it easy. From green commerce to augmented reality, read on to discover the 8 emerging ecommerce trends for 2023.

According to Digital Market Outlook, digital shoppers are forecasted to reach 265 million in online marketplaces in 2023. While the pandemic massively contributed to driving customers online, it’s a theme from 2020 that shows no sign of slowing.

Every year, some inspiring trends create a buzz in the ecommerce market. Some trends are temporary, while others take hold and become a part of global ecommerce. Knowing the latest trends gives you the power to remain competitive in online marketplaces.

So, what’s hot for 2023? Let’s take a look.

Person on phone, looking at the best online marketplaces 2023

1. The rise of social commerce

Now more than ever, consumers are turning to online social media platforms for research, discovery, and purchases. In fact up to 40% of 18-24 year olds use TikTok and Instagram as a search engine. And this is only set to increase. So, what does this mean?

You’ve got a direct opportunity to engage with a much wider audience.

Social commerce is revolutionising the shopping attitudes of people. It allows users to sell and purchase items through their preferred social network. It helps brands get closer to potential customers by offering discounts, discussing items’ usability, and providing sweepstakes, among others.

“In the beginning, ecommerce was really about getting commodity products online as cheaply as possible. Now, we’re moving into the more exciting phase of ecommerce, where it’s about emotional products – the things that people really cherish.”
Jason Goldberg, Fab.com

The Future of Commerce predicts that social commerce will generate over $30 billion in sales in 2023, comprising 20% of global ecommerce sales. This study even found that Gen Z prefers TikTok over Google for product recommendations. In short, social commerce and your marketing activity on these platforms will have a direct and increasing impact on your business.

So, you need to make strategies that align with current social commerce trends this year. Without, you may miss opportunity and face a tougher uphill battle down the line.

neon sign of instagram like button, as social commerce becomes one of the best online marketplaces for 2023

2. The BPNL approach

Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) has been steadily gathering popularity. But in 2023, it’s becoming one of the mainstream shopping trends in 2023. Its model allows shopping enthusiasts to pay in instalments for a product. In the United States, BNPL users are expected to grow to 76.6 million by 2025 from 45.1 million in 2021.

BNPL is offered on popular platforms including PayPal, Klarna, Afterpay, Sezzle, and Affirm. Because of the interest free element, consumers prefer BNPL agreements over credit card payments. And, it’s a win for businesses too. BNPL apps take on the debt, so you get 100% of the money and point of purchase - so there’s no risk on your end!

The BNPL model has been proven to reduce card abandonment rates, boost the checkout process, and increase sales. So, now is the time to embrace this method as part of your ecommerce strategy.

Woman using buy now pay later, one of the big shopping trends of 2023

3. A notion for Green Commerce

You may have seen green commerce in the shopping trends of 2022, but the next year will witness an impressive momentum in eco friendly initiatives. It’s becoming clear that consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable products despite the prevailing financial fear. Everyone wants to play a role in making the earth habitable, from baby boomers to Gen Z. Brands are incorporating the sustainability aspect in their products, as it allows them to expand their market share and protect the environment alike.

By manufacturing products with sustainable resources, investing in eco friendly packaging options, and preferring sustainable shipping methods, brands have many options to embrace green commerce. From Apple reducing emissions by 50% to Amazon investing in the Climate Pledge Fund, the sustainability race is heating up and will continue to scorch in 2023. So if you haven’t already, the time to start acting green is now.

Children picketing for the climate, to demonstrate why Green Commerce has become one of the big shopping trends of 2023

4. Continued rise of mobile commerce

It’s time to accept that mobile commerce is the easiest means of online shopping. Today, people spend more time using their phones, especially for shopping. According to Statista, mobile phones generated 73% of retail traffic and 63% of online shopping orders in the third quarter of 2022.

These statistics will witness a boost in the next year as consumers will continue to use mobile phones as their favourite ecommerce option. M-commerce will be responsible for nearly $4.5 trillion of ecommerce sales, contributing 69.9% to retail ecommerce sales.

So, you need to attain the mobile mentality to stay in the game. You should prioritise making your site mobile user friendly. Consumers should get the best mobile experiences with your online marketplace. Moreover, you must offer mobile friendly payment options, such as Google Pay and Apple Pay. The goal is to make online checkout as simple as possible, and reduce that dreaded abandoned basket.

Man leaning on bike, browsing his mobile to answer the question "what is an online marketplace"

5. Advancement in augmented reality, AI, and Metaverse

Video and augmented reality are fast becoming an advanced ecommerce trend for 2023. This game changing technology brings countless growth potential for your ecommerce business. Video is a great way to showcase your product and engage the audience. And, you can make video demos to capture consumers' emotions by sharing the benefits of your products.

Augmented reality enhanced the video shopping experience with a 3D representation of the product. According to a report, consumers engage 50% more in 3D products than in static ones. So, these virtual platforms will be the most powerful marketing channel for ecommerce businesses.

Metaverse takes one step ahead by melding the physical, artificial, and augmented reality, creating a 3D marketplace. Here, people and consumers can interact, purchase a product, play, and more, just like the real world. Nike, Coca-Cola, Gucci, and Vans plan to virtually trade branded goods to consumers. Nike has launched Nikeland on the Roblox platform, where players can purchase virtual gear for their games.

While it may not be wise to jump in all guns blazing with this trend, it’s definitely worth familiarising yourself with the platforms and understanding how it works. That way, you can make an informed decision about your strategy.

6. Expansion of omnichannel capabilities

Being multichannel means offering different means to sell your product and interact with the consumers. Basically, if you’ve got a website, official Facebook page, and Instagram account, this counts as a multichannel business. Omnichannel is an upgrade of this term and is predicted to be the future of ecommerce. Today, 52% of ecommerce platforms have omnichannel capabilities.

Understanding different communication channels, including how consumers use them in their shopping journey, is vital for contemporary ecommerce sites. Companies with robust omnichannel capabilities can retain around 90% of their customers.

Brands with multiple channels to reach out to have great potential to increase sales and, in turn, a significant share in today’s competitive market. Almost 75% of online buyers explore different channels before purchasing a product.

Ready to learn more about building an omnichannel ecommerce strategy?

Well then, this School of Startups guide is a must read for you. Discover the ins and outs of setting up and running an omnichannel ecommece strategy, now.
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7. An increase in live commerce

Live streaming commerce is taking the ecommerce world by storm. One of the tempting online shopping trends 2023 brands' production of online content. Brands, either themselves or with the help of influencers, showcase their products and offer a link in the description. Some live ecommerce platforms even offer to purchase directly from the live stream.

Live streaming is quite popular in China and the United States, and it’s only expected to grow in popularity in the coming years. This study predicts that live commerce will contribute 10% to 20% of ecommerce sales in 2026. Live stream facilitates tech savvy consumers by providing prompt options in the e-commerce regime.

“Live commerce is inevitable. It is not new; it is similar to teleshopping networks.”
Kaushik Mukherjee, SUGAR Cosmetics

Brands can conduct a live stream on TV, websites, mobile app, and social media platforms. A great example of a successful live stream is the collaboration of Walmart and TikTok. Walmart conducted a live stream on TikTok where people can add items to their cards with just one click. The live stream received 13000 viewers in just 3 minutes. There are many other examples where popular brands have embraced the live stream option, such as Amazon Live and Facebook’s Live Shopping Fridays.

8. Growing interest in personalisation

Personalisation has become an essential part of online marketplaces in 2023. Consumers’ choices have shifted to more personalised products, so businesses that offer tailored services have witnessed exponential growth in terms of conversion and engagement.

Personalisation is a powerful tool that helps you capitalise on this booming industry. 77% of consumers have paid more to get personalised experiences. With the advent of machine learning and AI, personalisation has become more sophisticated. By analysing their purchase history, browsing behaviour, and demographics, businesses can offer hyper personalised experiences to their customers.

To sum up

Understanding customers’ preferences are the essence of a successful ecommerce strategy. Trends are a great way to understand what your customers want. If you commit to embracing the latest trends, you’ll give yourself the best chance of increasing those leads and sales. Some trends, such as green and mobile commerce, will continue to rule the ecommerce market, while new trends, like metaverse, have great potential to shape customers' behaviours.

These online shopping trends in 2023 will surely help businesses achieve significant growth in sales and engagement. If you want to learn the essentials of running a successful startup, listen now to the series of podcasts on business strategies from the School of Startups.

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