eCommerce has long been a crucial part of the purchasing process since it gives customers affordability, convenience, time savings, and competitive pricing.
Shopping in stores, restaurants, and bars resumed once the Covid-19 limitations were lifted in 2022, but internet sales remained at record levels. This suggests that there has been a shift in customer purchasing behaviour that has permanently altered the retail environment. Therefore, for the advancement and prompt response of manufacturers and retailers, it is not only important but also vital to be aware of the most recent trends in eCommerce.
Online shopping continues to grow in the EU, according to the data from the latest annual survey on the use of ICT in households and by individuals. In 2022, 91 per cent of people aged 16 to 74 in the EU had used the internet, 75 per cent of whom had bought or ordered goods or services for private use. The proportion of e-shoppers grew from 55 per cent in 2012 to 75 per cent in 2022, an increase of 20 percentage points.
Marketplaces live up to all these new expectations, but you may still be interested in the latest innovations that are worth checking out. We at Gepard highlight the main eCommerce trends in 2023.
We are in the next evolutionary stage of omnichannel marketing – commerce is becoming increasingly democratised, with a view to centralising the various sales channels. The purchasing process is integrating more and more new technologies. The expansion of internet markets will pick up momentum. The availability of a product on a single platform, accessible from anywhere at any time, and an incredibly broad product offer with an easy buying process, quick, high-quality delivery, and operational security are the keys to successful shopping in the market in 2023.
Mobile commerce dominance
According to the App Annie State of Mobile report, time spent per day has reached five hours in the top mobile-first markets in comparison with the year 2019 when consumers worldwide spent three hours on their mobile phones per day. Thus, mCommerce, or mobile commerce, will definitely remain a growing trend in 2023. The majority of purchases per hour are made through mobile applications.
A “responsive” market proposes a visual layout that is perfectly adapted to the different screen sizes of mobile devices, tablets, and computers. It is more likely to occupy the highest positions in search engines, which will allow it to increase its audience and generate more traffic.
Responsiveness is an important characteristic for consumers who want to shop in a convenient and efficient eStore. If a website isn’t mobile-friendly, customers are likely to stop using it, even if they like the brand. A negative experience with a mobile site also increases the likelihood that a customer will choose to use a competitor’s site. Incorporating mobile features into your marketplace, such as integrating social sharing buttons for each product, can really make a difference.
Voice searching and smart AI assistants
Marketers may not have to rely on traditional SEO anymore. Voice searching is expected to change the search engine landscape drastically. The appearance of AI assistants for searching for goods and selecting specific goods and the integration of smart assistants in eCommerce platforms is revolutionising the way customers interact and shop online.
These voice-enabled technologies, such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple’s Siri, have gained immense popularity and are reshaping the eCommerce landscape. Just like Apple’s Siri, this feature is anticipated to be big as consumers learn to interact one-on-one with voice with their mobile devices when they shop like never before. The assistant suggests product options, while the human simply evaluates the experience through video content.
As the adoption of smart assistants continues to grow, businesses must consider integrating these technologies into their eCommerce platforms to stay competitive.
Personalisation and customer experience
Data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) have emerged as powerful tools for businesses to deliver personalised experiences to their customers. By harnessing the potential of these technologies, businesses can gain deep insights into customer behaviour, preferences, and needs, enabling them to create targeted marketing campaigns and customised recommendations.
What is the role of data analytics, AI, and ML in delivering personalised experiences and the benefits they bring to businesses and consumers?
1. Data-Driven Insights: Data analytics plays a pivotal role in understanding customer behaviour and preferences. By analysing vast amounts of structured and unstructured data, businesses can uncover valuable insights that drive decision-making, identify trends, and anticipate customer needs.
2️. AI and ML Algorithms: AI and ML algorithms are the engines that power personalised experiences. These technologies can process and analyse vast datasets at high speed, allowing businesses to generate real-time recommendations, predictions, and personalisation.
3️. Personalised Marketing Campaigns: Personalisation enables businesses to craft targeted marketing campaigns that resonate with individual customers. By segmenting customers based on their preferences, purchase history, and browsing behaviour, businesses can deliver personalised content, offers, and recommendations.
4️. Customised Recommendations: By analysing customer data, including past purchases, browsing behaviour, and demographic information, businesses can provide personalised product recommendations to customers.
5️. Improved Customer Engagement: Personalisation creates a deeper connection between businesses and customers. By understanding individual preferences, businesses can deliver relevant content, personalised emails, and tailored promotions.
6️. Enhanced Customer Satisfaction: By delivering tailored recommendations, personalised offers, and relevant content, businesses enhance customer satisfaction and build long-term relationships.
7️. Data Privacy and Trust: With the power of personalisation comes the responsibility to protect customer data and maintain trust. Businesses must prioritise data privacy and security, ensuring compliance with regulations and implementing robust measures to safeguard customer information.
Successful personalisation strategies enable new players to serve special customer groups based on their unique needs and demands. And also according to their unique cultural and local values and requirements.
Importance of Product Information Management (PIM)
According to Verified Market Research, the Product Information Management (PIM) software market size was valued at 7.45 billion US dollars in 2020 and is projected to reach 15.83 billion US dollars by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 9.87 per cent from 2021 to 2028.
As the need to gain real-time visibility into data to reduce Time to Market and eliminate data inconsistencies across multiple data silos is rising, we see the factors that are expected to drive the growth of the product information management market.
PIM solutions gather and combine product data from various sources, including product attributes, taxonomies, and specifications. This enables businesses to improve product data publishing and synchronisation, ensure a quicker time to market, raise brand awareness, boost online traffic and sales, and improve customer satisfaction.
We already see the dominance of rich and video content (videos/stories, how-to) for the experience of using the product before the actual purchase will happen. And the importance of marketing texts is decreasing, while videos/galleries/specifications/reviews are increasing and will be controlled by artificial intelligence.
Cross-border eCommerce and global marketplaces
eCommerce has become a driving force behind the growth and expansion of businesses worldwide. Nowhere is this trend more evident than in the European markets, where the opportunities for international trade and collaboration are flourishing.
Cross-border eCommerce has experienced remarkable growth in recent years, driven by advances in technology, logistics, and changing consumer behaviors. European markets have been at the forefront of this trend, witnessing a surge in online purchases from international sellers. This presents a tremendous opportunity for businesses to expand their reach, tap into new markets, and increase their revenue streams.
Global marketplaces, such as Amazon, eBay, Alibaba, and Etsy, play a pivotal role in facilitating cross-border eCommerce. These platforms provide businesses with a ready-made infrastructure to showcase and sell their products to a global audience. Leveraging the reach and credibility of these marketplaces can significantly expedite entry into new markets, reduce barriers to international trade, and increase brand visibility.
While cross-border eCommerce offers immense opportunities, it also presents unique challenges that businesses must navigate. Some of these challenges include language barriers, cultural differences, varying regulations, and complexities in logistics and fulfillment.
Sustainability and ethical consumerism
Responsible consumerism is booming. Today, consumers are more attentive than ever to the production sites and production methods used, and increasingly favour short circuits for certain categories of products. As the growth of the “Backmarket” marketplace shows, there has been a massive surge in sales of refurbished items. The refurbished smartphone market, for example, grew by more than 20 per cent between 2021 and 2022.
For the marketplace, this may impact your selection of sellers, based on the positioning of products (as refurbished, ecological, organic, etc.) but also your shipping methods.
Ultimately, no one can predict what 2023 has in store for us, but it is safe to say that certain trends that emerged in 2022 are likely to keep gaining ground.
To stand out in 2023, brands and distributors will need to focus on high-quality delivery, but also on customer reviews, detailed product information sheets, and individualised after-sales service. At the end of the day, the key is being able to adapt to new and evolving trends in shopping, such as the rise of more ethical and sustainable consumerism.
Consumers are becoming more environmentally aware and are actively seeking products and services from businesses that align with their values. They are inclined to support brands that prioritise sustainability, reduce their carbon footprint, and promote ethical sourcing and manufacturing practices. By embracing sustainability, businesses can tap into a growing market segment and attract loyal customers who appreciate and support their commitment to environmental responsibility.
To stand out in the next decade of eCommerce, businesses must continuously monitor industry trends, consumer behaviours, and emerging technologies to stay ahead of the competition. The ability to adapt to emerging trends, such as the rise of more ethical, and sustainable consumerism, memorable shopping experiences, and the perception of technological advances, artificial intelligence, automation, and data analysis, is key. After all, it increases operational efficiency, improves interaction with customers and provides competitive advantages.
This content has been produced in collaboration with a partner organisation through our Global Visibility Programme. Our programme helps companies boost their digital presence and strengthen the thought leadership of their experts. Find out more here.