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eCommerce - trends and challenges for 2023

The e-commerce market is becoming more mature and highly dependent on consumer preferences. In order to best respond to their needs, it is necessary to follow the upcoming trends in the industry.

As consumer interest in online shopping grows, so does interest in doing business centered around e-commerce. This makes retailers, eager to get their piece of the pie, increasingly in need of innovative solutions that will help them stand out in the market, acquire customers and increase sales.

Live shopping, omnichannel or artificial intelligence (AI) are just a few elements that are likely to influence the development of the e-commerce industry in the near future. From our article, you will learn what trends and challenges await the industry in 2023.

E-commerce in 2023

Omnichannel – sell both online and offline

Multichannel is to gain even greater importance. The COVID-19 pandemic has provided a change in consumer behaviour – customers are used to shopping across different sales channels and continue to expect equally positive shopping experiences in each of them.

In 2023, this purchasing model will be maintained. The omnichannel strategy brings many benefits – from higher sales rates to greater traffic and customer engagement. It is important to maintain consistent product information in all sales areas. The more data, the greater the challenge for e-store owners is.

How to easily control the consistency of product data across multiple sales channels? Download the free guide: How to implement a PIM system? Step by step guidebook.
 

M-commerce - increasing role of mobile apps

Providing buyers with a possibility to make purchases through devices and mobile applications is no longer a break from pattern – those are standard solutions. According to Statista, mobile devices are in charge of 73% of retail traffic and generate 63% of online shopping orders.

Consumers are more likely to choose m-commerce as a target shopping channel. Companies that want to stay on the market need to adapt to the new, digitized reality. This provides the need to design e-stores by adapting the view to mobile devices.

  
Case Study: mCommerce application with a catalog of 2.5 million products


Re-commerce – used does not mean worse

Eco trade is more and more powerful. The GFK's research shows that 52% of consumers appreciated companies' efforts to promote sustainable development as a result of the pandemic. In addition, more and more consumers are verifying what the order is packed in. Sellers are more and more often asked for ecological packaging, and the good reaction results in positive reviews of the company on the Internet.

As this aspect becomes one of the key elements of brand selection, re-commerce is to play a much larger role in the industry. This trend comprises the sale of second-hand items or outlet shopping. The second life is given to clothes, electronics, furniture, and many others.

Consumers are more likely to buy used products that are of good quality – on the one hand, they will serve them longer, and on the other, they care about the environmental aspect and their own finances without spending additional resources on a new assortment.
 

Cross-border – sell outside your country

More and more e-store owners are moving towards international sales due to smaller local markets. It is possible most often thanks to the use of sales platforms. The cross-border selling is associated with the creation of dedicated cross-border logistics based on optimal transport solutions.

When dealing with an unknown market, it is easy to make a mistake that will affect the functioning of a given company. The cross-border functioning releases from this responsibility and allows for directly focusing on running a business.

The decision to start this type of sales is supported, among others, by integrations with marketplaces, couriers, translation companies – one of the tools improving this type of activity is BaseLinker. Selling abroad allows for increasing conversions and build a strong, widely recognizable brand. Why are marketplaces the future of e-commerce?
 


Learn more: What to focus on in international e-commerce projects?


AR/VR automation

For a long time, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have been playing a significant role in e-commerce. It is instructional or demonstration videos that help the customer to better understand the essence of the product. AR allows for visualizing products in 3D, but now the e-commerce industry requires you to take a step forward.

A Metaverse, in which all possible realities (physical, augmented, and virtual) are combined to create a unique, personalized customer experience, shows up. According to Retail Brew, buyers get involved in 3D product visualizations almost 50% more often than with traditional static images.

Examples of VR/AR are present, for instance, among furniture brands by the function of previewing products in customers' homes, or fashion companies which provide a possibility of trying on clothes and accessories with the use of phone camera.

Filters used by cosmetic brands are becoming more and more popular, which allows customers to see whether a given hair dye or lipstick fits them or not. Currently, the use of Metaverse is rather experimental. However, having in mind its market potential, it will become standard in the coming years.


 

Deferred payments – pay whenever you want

Consumers want to have a choice of payment method when shopping online, so sellers should meet their expectations. Buy now, pay later is a method that has gained popularity during the pandemic. It is a form of deferred or instalment payment, allowing you to make a payment at a later time.

Buyers most often choose this model when shopping in electronic or clothing stores due to the quickness of transactions, convenience, and flexibility – they can pay for the product up to 30 days or earlier. Customers in 2023 want to pay for purchases even faster than before – without having to register or change the platform, and preferably within one click.

Sellers should consider implementing different payment solutions to encourage consumers to shop online at their store. An example on the Polish market is Blik payments, which for several years have been one of the fastest payment options – Polish customers increasingly require them.
 

Live commerce – buy “here and now”

Although the so-called "live sales" method has been existing on the market for a long time, it has become even more popular during the pandemic. When scrolling social media, a large part of consumers also makes purchasing decisions. Some of them make purchases directly through Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok, e.g., during live streams conducted by sellers.

In many cases, access to this option is subject to joining a monthly, paid subscription – without it, it may be impossible to purchase. This form of sales impacts the quick profit and creating a positive image on the network. It is used both by small boutiques and by large brands.

Live commerce will continue to grow as it is a convenient and alternative way to shop from home. The buyer is able to see clothes on the move and interestingly manage their free time on the web. Regardless of whether the company sells directly through social media, you should not omit these channels in your e-commerce strategy.


 

Subscriptions – a way to increase revenue

Trends in e-commerce indicate that the subscription model will become one of the most important elements of this field. The goal of every company is customer relations. Acquiring new customers takes time and money, so the way to maintain contacts and take care of the right relationships is the cyclical, subscription sales model. It is most often used by VOD services.

Subscription sales are associated with convenience when shopping – as a result, consumers have immediately available products or services that they use regularly. Considering the growing expectations of customers in terms of convenience, speed of service delivery – the trend of subscription trading will constantly grow.
 

Greater role of chatbots

The popularity of this form of conversation with a potential customer is growing every year. Online stores are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – and so should their customer service.

Chatbot technology is rapidly developing - when considering the trend based on personalizing experiences, the consumer should not feel like talking to a bot, but with a real person who is able to solve every problem and answer any questions.

An example is Chat GPT – a system based on artificial intelligence, which has gained importance by generating texts similar to human speech. Although it is currently in the testing phase and has several limitations, there is no doubt that it will revolutionize marketing communication.

To meet the requirements of even the most difficult customers, it is worth taking advantage of new features and gradually improving online customer service. Therefore, a modern conversation with a customer using chatbots is one of the challenges of e-sellers in 2023.


 

What are the challenges for e-commerce in 2023?

2023 is certainly to bring both new possibilities and challenges. What will entrepreneurs in the e-commerce industry struggle with the most?
 

On-time delivery as the key to keep a customer

The time of product packaging and waiting for shipment for two weeks is gone. In the world of digitization, customers expect fast and, above all, timely delivery with information about the stage of order completion. Therefore, time, communication and personalization are the most crucial elements in meeting the expectations of modern consumers.

 

Generation Z when shopping

The new year also means new customer groups. For e-commerce, this provides challenges and a need to adapt to constantly changing needs and expectations. The group that is already becoming part of this process is Generation Z. Research shows that their purchasing behaviour is clearly different from the habits of millennials:

  • 55% of Gen Z use their smartphones for more than five hours a day and 26% use their phones for more than 10 hours a day
  • More than 40% of Generation Z would rather lose their wallets than their smartphones
  • Nearly two in three children between the ages of 8 and 11 have access to a smartphone
  • 97% of Gen Z use social media as their primary source of shopping inspiration
     

Voice commerce – must have for different consumers

More and more people are using voice search solutions – for example, to search for songs on YouTube or videos on Netflix. These types of solutions are changing consumer preferences – they are becoming more and more demanding.

However, the biggest challenge for the e-commerce industry is not only young buyers – the voice search function can also enable online shopping for older people who are getting better at it.

For seniors, the important factors are contrast and large fonts which is make older people find themselves better during a natural voice interaction with the online store. Thanks to the use of voice assistants, salespeople have a chance to gain new recipients and engage their current ones.


 

Flexibility in taking action

The highest inflation in recent years is already affecting the purchasing behavior of customers. In 2023, the situation will certainly continue, thus strongly affecting e-commerce users. The purchasing decision will depend even more on in-depth research, a simple purchasing path and flexibility in terms of available payment options, returns, and timely delivery.
 

The year of legal changes in e-commerce

This year, entrepreneurs have to face not only new technological possibilities or needs of various consumer groups. From 1 January, the e-commerce sector in European Union is obliged to prepare for various changes regarding, among others, the omnibus directive.

 


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Conclusion

The e-commerce market is constantly developing and is very susceptible to constant changes in consumer behavior. Online shopping is considered to be as fast and convenient, giving you more choice at more attractive prices, which are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

In order to best respond to the increasingly demanding expectations of customers, it is necessary to follow market trends on an ongoing basis and treat challenges as an opportunity and a factor that allows for standing out from the competition.

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