The last two years (AHEM COVID AHEM) accelerated changes in business that were already in the cards, but with arrival times in the 5-10 year range, not in two years. So with all that upheaval, let’s do a quick rundown of the eCommerce trends to pay attention to in 2023.

Where we’re at in this moment

In the last two years, online sales grew a lot. People were stuck at home all day, schooling their kids, working from home, living in their sweatpants. The urge (and necessity) to relieve all that staying-homeness with some quick online retail therapy showed. eCommerce shot up, with both daily necessities and luxury items being purchased online. From high-end furniture to groceries and craft supplies, we’re talking 10 years online growth happening in just 3 months. Retail and consumer spending continues to carry the economy, but now we’re seeing some of the highest debt levels for Americans in decades. So can this ecommerce surge stick?

Is Online Retail Going to Retreat?

Many consumers were forced to start buying online during the pandemic, and it has become a convenience they now rely on. Many brick and mortar stores were also forced online in order to survive. There was a scramble to make it work when lockdowns started. These retailers have seen the benefits, and now know that business resilience means being able to supply customers online.

Small to Medium Businesses are Online. And Staying There.

If we all got $1 every time the word  ‘unprecedented’ was thrown around in 2020 and 2021, well, we could stock an entire freezer with Ben & Jerry’s Netflix ‘n’ Chill. That said, Shopify’s growth was unprecedented. 109% year on year growth in 2020 is a big deal for an already substantial company. This means not just the big kahunas like Amazon and AliExpress got a surge in sales. Small- to medium-size businesses are growing online, fast. To stay competitive, they’re going to have to work on building a strong brand and positioning that brand well. And all the backend logistics to support that brand.

What’s Coming for eCommerce 2023?

“Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.” – Warren Buffett
Right now, the eCommerce gold rush has likely already peaked. Which means an inevitable catchup is coming as competition increases, ad costs rise and marketers get smarter. Now’s the time to stockpile a war-chest, invest in infrastructure, build your brand and get smart with your marketing. A few trends we’re betting you’ll see:

1. The Fun New Stuff

High converting ecommerce stores are boosting conversion using: + AI (think automated chatbots, recommended products, suggested upsells and more) + Advanced audience segmentation + Hyper targeted advertising on social media, google search, google shopping, and native ad networks. + As margins get narrower, these technologies will help select stores win the customer acquisition battle

2. #Mobile eCommerce

Mobile is already huge, and it’s only going to get bigger, as already-addicted smartphone users buy more online. This means mobile site design is more important than ever — with simplicity, site speed and ease-of-use a must. One-tap payment solutions are going to be critical to checking out on a mobile device— either in a browser or in an app.

3. The Boring (But Still Important) Stuff 

With so many people buying physical goods online, distribution is a boring but critical piece of the puzzle. Free shipping, fast shipping and international shipping will help stores stay competitive and win new customers. Especially with every company experiencing some kind of logistics or supply chain delay. The gold standard is currently Amazon’s Prime offering, with two-day shipping offered almost universally. Stores will need to match this or provide a really incredible customer experience to make up for it.

4. The Old School Stuff

Yes, we left the best till last, because only the focused readers will get this far, and without getting this stuff right, all the fancy shiny tools and gadgets will only hasten your demise. (There’s no sugarcoating at Drizzle Digital. We are bullshit-free). The common sense basic business things never go out of fashion, but often get forgotten in the swirl of new bright shiny objects. This isn’t a trend, it’s a constant. To do well in 2023 and beyond, eCommerce stores will need to:
  • Deliver great customer service. Huge retailers like Amazon and Zappos place this at the center of their strategy. This doesn’t need to be complicated — it just needs to be sincere and responsive.
  • Have a great product(s). It goes without saying.
  • Give a damn.
In fact, in times of upheaval, simply keeping your promises to your customers will make you stand out from the competition. This is how you get repeat customers, which are far less expensive than newly acquired customers, especially as advertising costs rise. Also under the ‘give a damn’ heading are brands who supply locally-sourced, sustainable, ethical products. Consumers have proven they’re willing to pay more for these, and be brand loyal. We’re looking forward to a highly interesting 2023. As recent events have shown, you never truly know what’s around the corner. But with smart people in your wheelhouse, you can adjust, pivot, and come through strong. If you want to turbo-charge your eCommerce business for 2023 (and beyond), let’s talk!