Top Trends For 2023 From Ecommerce Experts


While shoppers may be returning to brick-and-mortar stores more and more, online shopping habits are here to stay. But what’s not here to stay?

Shopper preferences and expectations. Consumers will continue to expect stellar online experiences in 2023. But, the way they prefer to interact with a brand and navigate the online buying journey will evolve.

To stay ahead, online retailers must closely watch the ever-changing ecommerce landscape. And adapting to the latest trends will help to edge out the competition.

5 Ecommerce Trends to Watch in 2023

So, what does it take to continue to deliver a seamless shopping experience in 2023? We asked a handful of our partners to share their insights on the areas they think will be a big focus for merchants in the year ahead.

1. Brands Overcome Third-party Data Woes

Shopify wrote this content.

More than 26 million ecommerce sites compete for their target consumers’ limited time and attention, with more retailers joining the competition daily. But the advertising tools brands used to rely on are getting less dependable.

Already-high customer acquisition costs rise as return on ad spend (ROAS) declines. On top of this, tighter privacy regulations are forcing brands to rely less and less on third-party data to get in front of the people most likely to buy. In response, brands are considering collaborations and finding creative ways to source first-party data.

Brand-to-brand collabs, where non-competing brands co-create products or experiences to tap into each other’s audiences, allow for reciprocal exposure at a low cost. “The biggest opportunity flying under the radar for brands is the idea of collaboration,” says Alex Danco, Director of Blockchain and Systems Thinking at Shopify. “It’s the best way to increase the number of buyers who know and care about you in a way that turns you into not competitors but cooperators, perhaps even allies and friends. It’s the best way to have fan bases come into contact with new kinds of merchants and brands. Collaboration is truly the win-win way for brands to find new audiences and give them a reason to care in a way that doesn’t dilute your brands.”

Collaborating with influencers will also benefit brands in 2023 and beyond. More than seven out of 10 businesses now expect online influencers to become even more critical.

2. Subscriptions Become More Like a Membership

Yotpo wrote this content.

Brands looking to capture more repeat customers through subscriptions must offer more than a discount. Customers are looking for real VIP experiences. In a recent subscriptions customer survey, almost half of the respondents said they expect perks for being a subscriber and want to be treated like a VIP.

In 2023, brands will look at subscriptions more like a membership than a repeat transaction. Turning subscriptions into an actual membership experience that unlocks benefits and subscriber exclusives alongside recurring orders will keep shoppers interested and engaged.

It’s time to think outside the discount. Create a member appreciation month and offer your loyal subscribers something special like exclusive merch, a credit for their next shipment, or free samples in their subscription orders.

This members-focused approach will help brands build communities alongside recurring revenue streams and keep shoppers around much longer.

3. Shoppers Will Look For Speed

Tapcart wrote this content.

2022 was a challenging year, and 2023 is shaping up to be equally challenging. Given the current economic climate and newly released Apple iOS 16 updates, this is the perfect time to invest in your loyal customers. Along with email and SMS, push notifications complete the trifecta of customer communications that have become the marketing imperative.

In 2023, brands will look to launch mobile shopping apps, tapping into the most potent retention channel yet. Push notifications convert at 10x higher than email and 5x higher than SMS. Purchasing online via a mobile app is an emerging favored method for shopping in all product categories, including the fashion, beauty, home goods, health, and food & beverages industries. This year will show another increase in retail sales happening directly on mobile – and many via a mobile app. While some customers shop online and in stores, those who typically shop by only one method identify apps as their preferred method in all five product categories.

The number one reason people prefer mobile apps to mobile websites? Simply put, it’s speed. The top reasons are checkout speed, login speed, loading speed, new product awareness speed, and quick access to discounts via push notifications. Shoppers know when they want an item and want to complete the transaction quickly. Brands offering a speedy, seamless shopping experience will edge out the competition.

4. High Expectations for Top-notch Customer Experiences

CQL wrote this content.

Online shoppers, more than ever, are seeking top-notch customer experiences that bring their offline and online shopping experiences together. Shoppers have set high 2023 expectations for brands to offer competitive prices, loyalty programs, excellent customer service (in various contact mediums), fast and free shipping, in-stock merchandise, personalization, sustainability, environmental friendliness, and more.

Insider Intelligence shows that more than 70% of consumers bought from a competitor of a go-to brand from May 2021-May 2022, so brands must focus on improving customer experience and building their omnichannel experience. We expect to see a more extensive adoption of features BOPIS, AI tools like virtual fitting rooms, additional payment options, subscriptions, loyalty programs, updated supply chains and returns management, and chatbots or other customer service enhancements.

Social selling will also become pivotal in 2023 as we begin to see the impact of digital Generation Z. According to The Future of Commerce, 97% of Gen Zers use social media as their top source of social inspiration, and Marketing Dive states 9 out of 10 people buy from brands they follow on social media. Brands need to ensure social media is closely tied to their customer experience to capture the attention of this mobile-first market, offer buying options that facilitate immediate purchases, and take advantage of this enormous revenue opportunity.

5. 2023 Will Be A Breakout Year for QR Codes

Brij wrote this content.

With a perfect storm of recession-led cutbacks and a desire to be omnichannel, QR codes will become an instrumental brand tool. With budgets tightening, merchants will be forced to focus on profitability. Their focus will shift from acquisition to retaining their best customers. Acquiring a new customer is 5x more expensive than a returning customer.

Merchants need to meet their shoppers where they are. That means DTC, Amazon, retail and social media. In 2023, we will see a convergence of channels as DTC brands move into retail and marketplaces.

The channel is a black box for those moving to retail and marketplace for the first time. This is the year brands “break the box,” capturing 1st and zero-party data. The QR code will be a lynchpin in capturing it.

Finally, QR codes will activate a new communication channel for those moving into retail. One that delivers the brand story and differentiation, edging out competitors for the purchase.

Getting Ahead of the Latest Trends in Ecommerce

As you build out your ecommerce strategy for 2023, remember this. Delivering the ultimate shopper experience is one trend you can count on to stick around. Searchspring’s Site Search, Merchandising, and Personalization solutions equip merchandisers with the tools they need to take control of their online store and the buyer journey. Get in touch to learn how you can kickstart your business in 2023.


Special thanks to our friends at Searchspring for their insights on this topic.
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