The e-commerce industry has experienced unprecedented growth in recent years, and the trend is expected to continue in the coming years. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the shift to online shopping, and many consumers have now become accustomed to the convenience and flexibility of e-commerce. As we look ahead to 2023, there are several trends and predictions that are likely to shape the future of e-commerce.
One trend that is expected to continue is the growth of mobile commerce. As more consumers use smartphones and tablets to shop online, businesses will need to optimize their websites and mobile apps for a seamless mobile shopping experience. Another trend is the rise of social commerce, where consumers can buy products directly from social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are also expected to play a significant role in the future of e-commerce. These technologies can provide personalized product recommendations, optimize pricing and inventory, and improve the overall customer experience.
Sustainability is another trend that is likely to gain traction in the e-commerce industry. Consumers are increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of their purchases, and businesses that prioritize sustainability can differentiate themselves from competitors and attract socially conscious customers.
In this blog, we will delve deeper into these trends and predictions for the future of e-commerce. We will explore how businesses can adapt and thrive in this rapidly evolving industry and provide insights on how to stay ahead of the competition.
1. Voice Search
According to Google, 27 percent of the online global population is using voice search on mobile. Voice, however, returns only a few top results based on past buying history, user preferences and speech processing.
Doing business in the future will be survival of the relevant. Brands must ensure their e-commerce site is speech-query friendly, relevant to search assistants and accommodating to consumers that prefer contactless options. Without optimizing for this new channel, brands miss opportunities to tap into a new source of consumer data and generate critical insights.
2. Visual Search
Search engines are gateways to information, but reliance on user ability to articulate exactly what they’re looking for leaves e-commerce experiences lacking. For example, English has around 1,71,000 words and an average person makes use of 20,000-40,000 to convey or articulate his/her message. Say a shopper wants to buy a specific sweater in a particular color that they saw on social media. If it’s a rare shade, the shopper may not know how to accurately describe it in search, making it harder for the shopper to find exactly what they’re looking for.
Visual search lets customers click and upload images of desired products to search for options to buy – enabling greater accuracy of results. Brands can partner with third parties like Google Lens, Pinterest Lens and others to elevate user search experiences in a more visual way.
3. Influencer marketing
It’s imperative for brands to understand how to reach the right people through the right channels. Seventy-four percent of consumers trust influencers while making buying decisions, and brands are experimenting with ways to integrate influencers into the buying experience. For example, Lancome partnered with influencer Chiara Ferragni and livestream platform Livescale for an online release event that attracted more than 46,000 viewers and 2,00,000 likes/comments.
4. Omnichannel connected experience
Ninety-eight percent of Americans switch between devices in the same day, which means customer journeys are now happening across more devices and channels than ever. Consistency across channels increases customer engagement, boosts trust and makes the journey less complex for users because they can seamlessly resume their customer journey from any device.
Omnichannel is all about providing brand presence on all platforms under a single source of truth so that product pricing, promotion, stock availability and user journeys appear the same everywhere. Brands can partner with platforms like Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Magento and Shopify to provide seamless experiences to customers.
5. Video Engagement
Content quality is a make-or-break deal for brands. Around 54 percent of consumers want to see more videos from brands and companies they pursue.
Videos, by format, are more convenient to digest and have a compelling influence on path to purchase. Seventy-two percent of consumers say they would prefer to watch a video rather than read text to find out more about a product or service.
Advancement in technology that captures, hosts and shares videos has revolutionized how content adds to business strategies. Retailers can use video platforms to create compelling animated product videos or set up a livestream event in a matter of minutes. That same video can be shared across channels, with the potential to reach more than 4 billion internet users.