It's a new year and brands are curious about where the e-commerce sector is going. The previous year was a rollercoaster ride for many business owners. Notwithstanding geopolitical tensions, inflation is taking a toll on consumers and the landscape has become even more uncertain than ever.
Fortunately, the e-commerce sector continues to thrive. While revenues dropped in the middle of 2022, e-commerce sales are expected to reach $8 trillion by 2026.
If the forecast is right, then 2023 would be a good year for e-commerce brands looking for a place in the spotlight. Business owners will only need to know and adapt to the challenges that lie ahead. To help you develop a better e-commerce brand strategy, here's a list of trends you might want to prepare for.
E-commerce sales using mobile devices will continue to grow along with spending. Mobile purchases will outpace desktop purchases. According to a November report by Pew Research Center, around 76% of adults in the United States used smartphones to shop online, while 69% used desktop or laptop computers.
With this in mind, e-commerce brands will have to invest more in building their presence on mobile devices. This would mean ensuring that their websites are optimized for smaller screen sizes and mobile payment options. Improving mobile checkout processes and offering more payment portals can help improve user experiences and generate more sales.
Gen-Z consumers will make up the majority of e-commerce buyers this year and in the years after. Insider Intelligence expects Gen-Z consumers to develop greater purchasing power by 2026, but 2023 would be the year in which e-commerce brands should pay closer attention to their spending habits.
For this reason, online stores will have to invest the bulk of their time and resources in understanding how Gen-Z consumers choose the products and services they need. Along with the rise of mobile and social e-commerce, this new generation of buyers will present a greater demand for things like sustainable packaging, faster checkout processes, and shopping through social marketplaces.
Omnichannel marketing is nothing new to e-commerce brands, but it will play a greater role in 2023. As consumers become more reliant on mobile devices and present across a variety of online and offline channels, businesses will have to put more time into implementing omnichannel experiences using social media, email, and SMS.
Aside from these channels, e-commerce brands should also integrate AR and VR technologies into buyer journeys. For instance, if you own a fashion brand, you can offer consumers an app that lets them try out different wardrobe combinations. If your business sells interior decorations, you can use AR platforms to give clients a better view of their product selections before checking out.
Cybersecurity will still be a major issue, especially in the e-commerce sector. From phishing attacks to SQL injections, cybercriminals are becoming more aggressive in targeting virtual stores as more consumers shift to online shopping. In 2020 alone, more than 43% of cyberattacks targeted small businesses. The number is expected to grow in 2023 as cyberattacks could cost organizations around $8 trillion in losses worldwide.
With this, e-commerce brands will need to double down on improving their security postures, starting with training entire workforces in identifying the latest security risks and adopting best practices in data security. Many of these will involve social engineering tactics including pig butchering and baiting. Brands can also implement more secure ways of completing checkout processes.
They can use a mobile OCR SDK platform that detects credit card information securely and without the need for a third-party service provider. Other than that, e-commerce businesses can strengthen authentication processes to prevent unauthorized logins and help secure users from fraud attempts.
Before, consumers and businesses shared a straightforward relationship where one sold and the other purchased based on certain wants or needs. Today, however, buying habits have evolved to incorporate personal values and ideals. According to a 2020 report on SmallBizTrends.com, more than 71% of consumers say they prefer buying from brands that align with personal beliefs and ideals.
If you want to retain customers from your target audience, your brand message should reflect relevant causes and issues that matter. Knowing these will help you develop a brand strategy that positions your business as an ally.
Summing up everything that the e-commerce industry should prepare for, personalization will be a major lynchpin that brands can’t afford to ignore. For this reason, e-commerce businesses will need to realize the full potential of behavioral analytics. Gaining in-depth insights into buyer personalities and attitudes remains an ingredient for success in 2023, especially when it comes to building email campaigns and improving customer support.
There’s a lot to look forward to in 2023, so e-commerce brands will have to take heed. By knowing these trends, they are more than prepared to pivot in the face of disruptions.