The E-commerce industry is rapidly evolving, with new stores and business ideas popping up every day. Global E-commerce revenues hit $4.9 trillion in 2021. This number is expected to increase by 50% over the next four years, reaching around $7.4 trillion by 2025. More than ever, owners are creating and improving their E-commerce platforms, and the competition is heating up.
Based on the recent market research and our experience, we have compiled a list of E-commerce trends that are more likely to define the future of custom development in the industry. Knowing such forecasts can help you focus on what's relevant and offer your customers the ahead-of-the-curve experience in 2023 and beyond.
E-commerce development trends overview
There are several tendencies in E-commerce development to keep an eye on in the coming year. Here’s a brief overview of E-commerce trends you need to know in 2023. A more detailed description of each of them will follow.
#1 Mobile commerce
Allowing clients to shop via mobile devices is no longer an exception but a new norm. According to statistics, mobile devices account for 61% of retail traffic, with 70 million online users shopping via mobile devices. This figure will definitely increase, so we are convinced that mobile commerce will be one of the primary E-commerce development trends shaping the future.
The reason is simple and clear: mobile shopping is convenient. It enables customers to make purchases from any location, which is essential in today's world. Customers can simply research, compare products, and make payments on the go.
Here are the main aspects to consider in mobile E-commerce development.
- Visual appearance and UX/UI elements. When people are browsing or looking for inspiration on their phones, they will often want to view the product in more detail or grab a screenshot of an item that catches their eye. By giving your mobile app a great look and high-quality images of your products, you can take it to the next level and win the appreciation of your customers.
- Search functionality. Optimize your customers’ search experience for mobile. Showing their recent searches is a good practice. For example, when a user searches for a product, they see previous searches for comparison or as a reminder.
- Checkout process. Provide a seamless checkout option for mobile shoppers with services like one-click checkout. Make it simple to enter and exit the cart. Obviously, your cart should be highlighted in the main screen. Include a mini cart for mobile devices that shows the contents of the shopping cart as an overlay when users click on the shopping cart icon instead of taking them to an entirely new screen.
- Push notifications. Leverage features like in-app push notifications to alert customers of special offers and other reminders. Push alerts are rarely helpful on their own. Combine them with a full understanding of the customer journey, smart personalization, and clever in-app messaging to make a winning strategy for engaging, converting, and keeping mobile customers.
To learn more about mobile commerce and get inspired by the great examples of how companies implemented it, read our previous article featuring 10 best use cases of mobile commerce apps.
#2 Marketplaces boom
Marketplaces provide a simple paradigm for various suppliers to collaborate on a single system to handle everything, making it easier to reach out to specific groups of people and address specific problems. This model will become more popular in the next few years. According to Forbes, marketplace sales will exceed $3.5 trillion by 2024.
How can marketplaces change E-commerce, and what approaches will be noticeable? Here are several of the key predictions.
- Brand and niche marketplaces. Small and medium-sized businesses may shift from competing in established ecosystems such as eBay or Amazon towards using niche marketplaces. Personalization and customization will be the main focus for many. In turn, niche marketplaces can help satisfy the needs of experienced buyers who are looking for specific products. It's all because they may offer a more complete set of specialized products and hard-to-find items.
- Omnichannel strategy. Thanks to technological advancements, consumers can now shop across channels with little to no difference in buyer experience. As a result, marketplaces must work hard to establish a presence in all possible channels. An omnichannel strategy has benefits like a better customer experience, more sales and traffic, more loyal customers, and a better way to collect data.
- Cross-border trade. The massive shift in consumer behavior triggered by the pandemic enabled E-commerce to travel cross-border with almost no geographical constraints. However, to remain relevant and successful, cross-border E-commerce must address a range of challenges, including cross-border banking, taxation, pricing variation across countries, and security concerns.
All-in-all, recent changes in the global E-commerce industry have opened up new chances for growth. Learn about 10 marketplace startup ideas that managed to adapt to new challenges and will help you look at this model from a new perspective.
#3 On-site search personalization
Without a shadow of a doubt, personalization will play a pivotal role in custom E-commerce development shortly. According to statistics, more than 60% of consumers are more likely to become returning buyers if a company provides a personalized shopping experience. Accordingly, we can expect an even more significant shift towards personalization, especially connected with searching experiences.
On-site search personalization refers to tailoring search results for each particular customer according to their past behavior on your site, profile data, and many other aspects. Using search engines such as Elasticsearch or Algolia, for example, you can make suggestions on what search results your customers expect to see while they are typing their search queries.
43% of customers use the site's search while making a purchase, so investing in search personalization can be a crucial source for making information accessible all around your site and retaining more customers. To discover more about on-site search personalization, check out our earlier article on what on-site search personalization is and how to set it up.
#4 Artificial intelligence (AI)
Most of the cutting-edge technologies, such as smart chatbots, personalized product recommendation engines, and voice searches use artificial intelligence (AI), and in the coming years, they will become essential for the E-commerce sector. With 70% of online business owners believing that AI for E-commerce will help them personalize their online shops, there's no doubt that this technology will continue to grow.
Voice-activated payments, virtual conversations, and voice searches are the most common NLP use in E-commerce. Besides, computer vision provides for face detection and identification. During an engagement, chatbots employ deep learning algorithms and NLP to grasp the second party's speech and human words. Besides, expert systems may make decisions and mimic human behavior with the assistance of AI as a key component of fraud prevention and security enhancement in E-commerce.
Here are several possible ways to use Artificial Intelligence in E-commerce in the coming years.
- Smart recommendation engine for online shops that works based on user behavior can offer users the products they are looking for. For example, virtual dressing rooms are a type of software that helps consumers digitally try on clothing.
- Supply chain planning. AI algorithms are capable of collecting and analyzing massive amounts of data, assisting E-commerce organizations in detecting logistical issues. According to IBM research, 40% of organizations who participated in the study solved supply chain difficulties with AI.
- Shopper mood tracking. AI-powered E-commerce technology can track and recognize specific customer moods and patterns, assisting online retailers in maintaining more accurate product selection. The Very Group, for example, effectively used AI mood-tracking technology in its machine-learning chatbot. It identifies the tone of consumers' communications and adapts responses accordingly.
- Production process control. By combining artificial intelligence and production process management, cost overheads and downtime can be reduced. According to Capgemini's market analysis, 51% of European manufacturers utilize AI solutions.
As you can see, E-commerce may benefit from AI by using the accumulated company and consumer data for more informed decision-making and accurate predictions for the future.
#5 Augmented Reality (AR)
Augmented reality (AR) is a real game-changer in E-commerce. Statista estimates that the augmented reality industry is worth $30.7 billion, with over 400,000 AR glasses sold by 2021.
This technology uses 3D mapping to allow customers to try on things or preview experiences before purchasing. What challenges does AR commerce solve? It allows you to deliver a more intuitive and engaging visual shopping experience that lets customers interact with products in an immersive way. As a result, AR technology improves customers' ability to visualize products before buying them and make more successful purchases.
That’s why we are expecting a lot more businesses to utilize AR for their products and services, especially in specific industries, such as fashion and home decor, because the customer can get a better feel for the item without seeing them in person.
#6 More ways to pay
69.8% of shoppers drop off somewhere between filling their cart and making the payment. Let’s face it, typing in a credit card number is not the most user-friendly experience. That’s why offering more payment methods for customers can be in more demand soon.
If customers can't pay as they want on an E-commerce website, chances are high that they will cancel a possible sale. Offering a range of payment options is an excellent approach to boosting conversion rates. Furthermore, if clients can save their payment information on your website (and this process is secured), they will be able to check out faster the next time they make a purchase.
Consumers are quickly adopting new payment methods, with 93% saying they would consider emerging payment methods such as biometrics, digital currencies, and QR codes. Among the most commonly used payment methods are PayPal, Amazon Pay, and Apple Pay.
Another growing payment method is cryptocurrency. While this is still a very new trend, it’s hard to predict what will happen next. However, several big players, including Microsoft, Starbucks, PayPal, and Tesla are already accepting cryptocurrency as a payment method. Besides, 40% of consumers would like to use cryptocurrency in the next year.
#7 Sustainability & recommerce
52% of consumers worldwide admitted that the pandemic has made them value sustainability issues more. Moreover, a survey found that nearly 80% of customers consider the sustainability of the product, retailer, or brand when making purchases.
What exactly is recommerce? Recommerce (resale or reverse commerce) is the purchase and selling of previously owned, new or used things. Buyers are increasingly seeking items and companies that correspond with their environmentally conscious attitudes. Brands are already reacting to this. Zara, for example, wants all of its brands to utilize entirely organic, sustainable, or recycled materials in its clothes by 2025. Smaller D2C brands are also trending in the same direction. Retailers are making a significant contribution by concentrating on sustainability. At the same time, this allows them to build long-term connections with their consumers while also reaching out to new audiences.
#8 Omnichannel customer experience
Many companies plan to prioritize omnichannel in the coming years. Indeed, with rising customer acquisition costs (CAC), this can be extremely advantageous. According to a recent study, 32% of brands want to extend their in-person interactions in 2022, such as by opening pop-up shops or putting items in retail locations.
Customers expect to be able to easily transition between platforms and devices when making a purchase. A recent study shows that 69% of shoppers said they expect a consistent experience across all channels. A tailored shopping experience does not rely solely on one mode of communication. To successfully personalize, merchants must focus on offering a consistent experience across many platforms.
We're also witnessing a significant increase in showrooming and webrooming. Showrooming takes place when a person visits a physical store to inspect things before purchasing online. Webrooming is the inverse, with customers browsing things online before purchasing in-store. 54% of consumers participate in showrooming and 59% utilize webrooming, therefore companies interested in experimenting with these should focus on creating a consistent experience across channels.
#9 Social commerce
Buying and selling things or subscribing to services directly through social media is known as social commerce. Unlike in the past, when social media was exclusively used for marketing, several of these platforms now have built-in technology that allows individuals to purchase things directly through their applications — for example, Facebook and Instagram Shops.
In addition to allowing social media to become a direct sales channel, social commerce entails the advertising of items on social media increasing interaction. Furthermore, consumers may now get information, advice, or comments on things right where they buy them.
The social commerce industry is expected to grow steadily by 22.8% during 2022-2028. According to a recent Accenture estimate, social commerce will expand three times faster than traditional E-commerce solutions, more than surpassing from $492 billion in 2021 to $1.2 trillion in 2025.
Currently, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook all have their own tools for buying and selling things, and TikTok has unveiled TikTok Shopping. With these rapid upgrades, more firms will use social commerce to influence customers' purchase decisions, giving them increased visibility and bigger conversions.
#10 Live shopping
Many people were forced to find new methods to make a livelihood as a result of the pandemic. Successful business owners have recognized the advantages of using live video to sell items and engage with consumers.
According to McKinsey, live commerce sales might account for up to 20% of total E-commerce by 2026. While live streaming was once only a fun feature for social network users, it is now becoming one of the vital E-commerce solutions. We anticipate that live selling will become a prominent trend in the next decade for small firms that are still looking for leads and developing their consumer base.
Technology and people are always advancing, and because E-commerce connects them all, we must always look ahead. As you can see, the landscape is getting more competitive. Customers are currently in charge, and E-commerce companies are adapting to meet their needs.
Adaptability to shifting market conditions is essential today. However, not every trend is worth jumping on. Some tendencies can be helpful, while others may be irrelevant to your audience. Prior to making any decisions, it is important to evaluate project specifics, analyze user feedback, and focus on goals ahead.
If on your way to an advanced E-commerce ecosystem, you are looking for a tech partners who can consult you on what is best for your project, do not hesitate to talk to the Wise team. Contact us to discuss your tech strategy for 2023 and beyond.