The e-commerce landscape is constantly evolving. As we welcome B2C automation and a new demand for hyper-personalisation, the online selling industry continues to get harder to navigate.
By 2026 the e-commerce market is expected to be worth a staggering $8.1 Trillion, making it one of the highest-grossing industries on the planet. As businesses of all sizes rush online to get a chunk of its rewards, it’s time to get smart with your B2C strategy.
With this in mind, we’ve delved further into some of the largest e-commerce trends 2023 has seen so far and released our own guide on how to see success amongst new competition highs.
How Is The E-commerce Landscape Evolving?
2023 has seen a number of new online retail trends surfacing within the e-commerce landscape. From the impact of AI to a new push for omnichannel experiences, there are many new features to get your head around as a business leader.
Let’s have a closer look at some of the most noticeable changes the e-commerce sector has seen in 2023:
- AI-powered noise: AI-powered content writing, web building and chatbots have all but taken over the e-commerce industry in 2023. In an attempt to aid retailers in personalising their selling game and boosting store productivity, it’s likely to stick around as the industry continues to grow.
- Social selling: It’s hard to miss TikTokShop in 2023. With more brands than ever before heading onto social platforms such as TikTok and Instagram to retail their products directly, these one-stop conversion zones continue to rival traditional online stores.
- Hyper-personalisation: More consumers than ever before are looking for a personalised shopping experience. In fact, 71% now expect a brand to personalise product recommendations for their individual needs.
- Pricing pressure: The e-commerce world is open, meaning that customers can easily price-check your products. As giants like Amazon and eBay continue to lower their prices to draw in more deal seekers, smaller business leaders are facing new pressures to match prices, despite running under higher operational costs.
“e-commerce is an ever-evolving industry, and staying ahead of the trends is key to success,” says Kirk W. McLaren, the CEO of Foresight CFO. “In 2023, we can expect to see continued growth in social commerce, personalisation, AR/VR, subscription services, and sustainable and ethical shopping practices. Retailers who stay ahead of these trends and provide exceptional customer experiences will be well-positioned for success in the years to come.”
With these trends in mind, let’s take a look at six strategies business leaders can adopt to take on the new e-commerce trends of 2024.
1. Establish Your Position
One of the first things to do as a business leader is to establish a position in the market for your company.
The e-commerce industry is vast and wide, often making it difficult to stand out. If you want to compete with your competitors, ensure that you have original brand messaging, niche products and a hunger for adaptation.
“Determining what sets your business apart from your competition is key. Ask yourself what makes your business different and keeps customers coming back. Your business has a purpose, and you have a passion,” says Milan Harris, CEO of Milano Di Rouge. “Include both in your brand messaging. You should be clear on who you’re talking to, your value proposition and what makes your business different.”
2. Spend Time On Your Content Strategy
While your products may be masterful, if your content strategy lacks originality and SEO appeal, you’ll see little to no traffic on your site.
Content drives leads. Whether you’re optimising keywords or creating existing visuals, these are the factors that will encourage consumers to keep clicking and help your business appear at the top of the search engine.
For those working on their content strategy, here are a few crucial tips to consider before sending your website live:
- Accuracy: Is your content accurate and truthful? Did you know that a whopping 50% of shoppers send back a product because it didn’t meet the description?
- Excitement: Is your content exciting? Does it offer new angles and perspectives on the industry? Think about how to draw in your target demographic.
- Accessibility: Can your users access your content? Do your visuals load easily? Run constant A/B tests for your UX to ensure that your site offers a seamless user experience.
- Sharability: Is your content easily sharable? Will it gain attention cross-platform? Increasing your content sharability is the key to gaining more brand awareness.
3. Keep Building Your Social Following
Did you know that 27% of online shoppers prefer to discover new brands through social media first?
If you want to see e-commerce success in 2023 and beyond, your social strategy should be at the top of your priority list.
The key here is to build your following authentically, over a long period of time, rather than using quick-gain tactics that are likely to dip. This includes persevering with a consistent content schedule, regularly engaging with your audience and sharing posts that contain quick call-to-action for an engagement boost.
Better still, take some time to start social listening to your audience. Get to know your demographic and find out whether they are the prime candidates for targeting via social channels.
For example, if you have a millennial or Gen Z-based audience, it could be time to start social selling according to Hubspot, as nearly a third of each group has purchased a product via a social platform in the last three months.
4. Update Your Seasonal Strategies
Seasonality is the driver of success in e-commerce. Whether it’s Christmas or Valentine’s Day, keeping up to date with the holiday periods is an easy way to improve your conversions.
In order to account for slower selling months, ensure that your seasonal strategy is up to scratch. Always have themed campaigns planned months in advance and don’t forget to offer a range of exclusive deals.
“For most retailers, seasonality can be expected during the holiday shopping season. What’s more, the few weeks after the holidays can also tend to be busy for retailers with post-holiday sales and the rush of returns,” says Ray Schultz, E-commerce Department Manager at Liquid Rubber. “Make sure that your business is prepared for these ups and downs to make the most of your long-term vision and strategy.”
5. Think Mobile-First
Did you know that 71% of online traffic comes from a mobile device in 2023? If you want your e-commerce business to go far, mobile customers should be your priority moving forward.
With the global mobile e-commerce industry predicted to be worth more than $3 Trillion by 2027, many major brands are investing in smart apps, mobile design and a number of exciting mobile features such as augmented reality and gamification.
“The market today for e-commerce is mobile, personal and engaging,” claims Solomon Thimothy, CEO of OneIMSA. “A lot of the tools to sell your product online are readily available if you take the time to learn how to maximize them. Your marketing initiatives can seamlessly be optimised for mobile through Facebook ads, Instagram ads or Google ads.”
6. Retention Retention Retention
We all know it is twice as expensive to acquire a new customer than to build a relationship with a current one. If you want to carry your e-commerce business through tricky times ahead, consumer retention should be your top priority.
Not only do you have a 60-70% chance of re-selling to an existing customer, but fostering loyal relationships with these leads could actually aid your acquisition strategy too.
Loyal customers are more likely to leave positive reviews, share your content and refer your business to a friend. They are not to be forgotten if you want to keep your empire growing steadily.
The key here is to pour focus into keeping loyal customers sweet. Open up loyalty schemes and offer previous customers exclusive offers based on their past purchases. You’ll see your conversions rise in no time.
What’s Next For 2024?
With 2024 just around the corner, it’s time to prepare your business for the newest e-commerce trends on the block.
As a business owner, you should be prepared to keep adapting to ever-changing demographic values and stay ahead of the technological curve when it comes to automated commerce and existing immersive content.
The road to success may be harder as the e-commerce industry continues to grow, but every business in the game has the potential to shine.