2022 was a lot. The pandemic fizzled on, war broke out, inflation spiked, and consumer spending tanked. Taking a moment to take stock of things before being swept away by a new world event was almost impossible. And ecommerce felt the effects of all this and more – the lockdown-inspired booms were undoubtedly over.
But those 12 months have actually taught us more than we might think. The tougher times have created more resilience in ecommerce; businesses have become more agile to remain competitive.
So, what now? This article will dive into what’s happening and what will happen, tracking the trends and topics shaping ecommerce in 2023, and featuring insights from some of the industry’s key players.
The key ecommerce trends in 2023
1. The downturn will continue
We don’t want to start on a sour note, but one certain thing is that times will continue to be challenging for many online retailers. Why? Because political unrest continues, spending is down, and inflation is still high.
What does that mean? Businesses will have to work harder for every sale, do everything they can to attract and retain customers, and always be ready to respond to global changes.
And what will happen? Well, last year we conducted research with consumers across Europe, and almost 4 in 5 (79%) said they would spend less if the economy significantly worsened, and 30% said they would spend a lot less.
But opportunities still exist. The research also showed that more consumers now shop online, and what you can do to attract customers, increase sales, and build brand loyalty.
Want to see how? Download the European Ecommerce Report.
2. Conversion tools will be critical
There are many tools that you can use to optimise your conversion. Maybe you’re using some already? Google Analytics, heat maps on your ecommerce store, user testing, data mining, A/B testing, and more.
But 2023 is the year you need to do all these things – and more. After all, when spending is down, you need to make the most of every sales opportunity.
So, what tools should you be thinking about using? Of course, a good customer relationship management (CRM) system is essential, while other solutions are redefining engagement to help businesses connect with customers and prospects. Consider using analytical tools, click trackers, and testing solutions.
For UK ecommerce agency 247 Commerce, making data-driven decisions is key to optimising conversion.
Mariam Lipartia, the firm’s Senior Marketing Manager, says: “Other than Google Analytics, companies can use Adobe Analytics or Adobe Target, which help to get insights to deliver personalised experiences at scale.
“At 247 Commerce, we regularly consult our merchants on Google Analytics to monitor and analyse conversions and traffic from top acquisition channels.”
3. Customer retention will be crucial to success
Another key webshop trend in 2023 will be businesses focusing on building relationships with new and existing customers. Why? Because becoming more customer-centric and building customer loyalty can help you power long-term success.
How does that work? Think about one of your customers who is cutting back their spending. If you haven’t built a relationship with them and they can find what you sell for cheaper elsewhere, you’ll likely lose them.
On the other hand, consider what happens if you’re consistently providing value for the customer – delightful shopping experiences, personalisation, and genuinely satisfying customer service.
Will they stop buying from you? Almost certainly not.
So, what can you do to ensure you deliver truly remarkable experiences and build relationships with your prospects and customers?
- Display reviews on your website
- Offer your customers their favourite payment options
- Personalise the customer journey
- Offer discounts or reward programmes
Read our guide to learn more about building trust and customer loyalty in ecommerce.
4. The headless and composable hype is real
It’s been spoken about around the industry, and the hype appears to be true: headless and composable commerce are the next stages in ecommerce’s evolution.
Why? Because decoupling the frontend of your online store – or the customer-facing parts of your website – from the back-end systems that run your business’s commercial and operational functions offers many benefits. These include:
- Better flexibility
- Faster and cheaper development
- Quicker site speeds
- The ability to create a tech stack to perfectly suit your needs
According to Przemysław Połeć, Business Developer and Partner Manager at open-source headless platform Sylius, planning and addressing issues are both key to successfully moving to a headless or composable solution.
“Maybe you’re considering expanding to new markets in the next five years or adding multiple warehouses to your shop?” he says. “If that’s the case, composable architecture will allow you to use and add different modules, each excelling at what they do.
“Make sure you pick the right time as well. Once you see that your technology limits your growth and possibilities, don’t wait. Technical debt can cripple your ecommerce and generate losses if you don't address it early enough.”
5. The rise of recommerce
Recommerce isn’t new, but it is evolving. If you aren’t sure, recommerce is selling second-hand items to others who reuse, recycle, or resell them.
So, the elephant in the blog here is that this is nothing new. After all, eBay was founded in 1995. But recommerce is gaining more traction than ever for both businesses and consumers. Let’s take a look at the reasons why.
One, thankfully, is the growing consumer demand to buy from companies that prioritise sustainability – especially younger shoppers. In fact, data shows that almost 90% of Gen-X consumers are willing to spend an extra 10% or more on sustainable products.
Another reason recommerce is gaining traction for businesses is the opportunities it can provide to add or improve revenue streams. By controlling the resales of products, companies can instil trust, build loyalty, and help utilise stock more effectively.
Major brands are getting involved, too. Patagonia are working at the very forefront of this type of commerce, but Levi’s, H&M, and Zalando have all launched their own recommerce operations.
It’s not just fashion, either, with Mattel launching a toy exchange service to send back used goods and Ikea implementing its own Circular Hub.
6. Omnichannel strategies will come to the fore
Another trend in ecommerce for 2023 is omnichannel. Why? Because more and more businesses are selling across multiple channels to help open up new revenue streams. But more than multi-channel selling is needed, and creating a seamless, consistent experience is the only way to perfect your omnichannel offering.
This Hubspot article does an excellent job of summing up exactly what it means to create an omnichannel experience across multiple touchpoints. It also explains the advantages that it can provide to your business. Some of the benefits are:
- Increased reach and availability
- Better customer satisfaction
- More sales
For tech firm Vonage, a cloud-based communications platform for ecommerce businesses, using advanced conversational commerce tools can help provide a remarkable omnichannel experience across multiple channels.
Yash Kotak, the firm’s Senior Director of Product Management, says: “Whether it’s messaging, chat, video, or AI-powered conversational commerce, consumers expect to connect with brands in the same way they connect in their personal lives — through whatever channel they are in and where they are most comfortable.
“There is a tremendous opportunity for businesses here. Simply, businesses should communicate more like family and friends, creating experiences that will drive customer engagement and keep customers coming back.”
7. The era of super apps is here (or soon will be)
Superheroes are all the rage in the cinema, but when it comes to online shopping, it is time for super apps to save the day. Already popular in China (WeChat and Alipay), these apps work as all-in-one places where you can message, play, browse, buy, and more. Whether you want to book a table or compare insurance prices, the super app is there to help.
Now Europe looks like the next place to get in on the action. WhatsApp has already started to add super app functionalities to its offering in Germany, and a raft of other firms – including Klarna, Bolt, and Lydia – have all stated their intention to develop a super app.
To see what that looks like, let’s look at Klarna’s plans for its app. The buy now, pay later firm says it will help users shop, manage payments, access support, sort shipping, budget, compare prices, and even access money-saving tools – all in one place.
Is the future super? It looks like it could be.
Get set for success with Mollie
At Mollie, we provide an effortless payment solution that allows you to offer your customers their favourite payment methods and a checkout that is optimised to increase your conversion.
We are one of Europe’s fastest growing payment providers and we’ve made it our mission to provide customers with everything they need to drive success. As well as advanced security features, local and leading payment methods, and an intuitive Dashboard and app to manage your money, we’ll also be there to offer guidance and support at every stage of your business’s journey.
Want to learn more? Find out more about payments with Mollie.