The eCommerce industry has seen tremendous growth over the past few years. In 2021 alone, eCommerce sales worldwide were approximately 4.9 trillion US dollars. This figure is projected to grow to 50% by 2025, reaching a whopping 7.4 trillion US dollars.
While it’s generally believed that the eCommerce industry is more about business-to-consumer (B2C), the global business-to-business (B2B) eCommerce industry is projected to reach 18.97 trillion US dollars by 2028.
In short, both B2B and B2C eCommerce will experience growth, but will your online store be a part of it?
Here are the important eCommerce trends that you need to pay attention to as you prepare for the coming year:
1. Reducing One-time Buyers
With numerous online stores springing up across different industries and product categories, one-time buyers are a pain for eCommerce store owners. One-time customers are a direct result of low brand loyalty due to the availability of multiple online stores and numerous touch points.
In his interview with Forbes, Jason Finkelstein (CMO of AdRoll) mentions that 75% of consumers do not return to purchase from the same online eCommerce store (using data from Shopify customers).
The upcoming eCommerce trend is about reducing one-time transactions. As an eCommerce store owner, start prioritizing customer touch points that yield the best results for your business and concentrate your efforts on these touch points. Also, focus on personalized service and excellent customer experience to improve brand loyalty and keep customers returning to your online store.
2. Unique Product Packaging
In the past, eCommerce store owners easily got away with basic product packaging for their products. In the present competitive eCommerce age, consumers are beginning to pay attention to product packages and materials used before reaching final buying decisions. This leads to our second upcoming trend for 2023: unique product packaging.
According to an Ipsos survey, 72% of Americans consider product packaging designs, while 67% consider packaging materials before buying from eCommerce stores. Also, two-thirds of the respondents point out that paper and cardboard packaging creates a premium feel. To remain highly competitive in the eCommerce business, you should pay special attention to product packaging. With great packaging, you can stand out from competitors while building your brand and increasing customer retention and loyalty.
From the same survey, about eight in ten people consider product packaging in gift selection. Take your gift offerings a step further and make it possible to purchase your products directly as gifts for friends and family with the option to leave a personalized note in the order.
3. Mobile Shopping Takeover
Just as the eCommerce industry has exploded in recent years, the rise in mobile eCommerce has also been phenomenal. Between 2016 and 2021, mobile eCommerce shopping increased from 52.4% to 72.9%.
With people increasingly spending more time on their mobile phones, there’s bound to be even more increase in the focus on mobile shopping. To prepare your business for what is ahead, align your eCommerce business with this trend by ensuring that your online store and touch points are mobile-friendly for convenient customer experience and easy checkouts.
4. High Customer Acquisition Costs
Since the lift of the lockdown, direct-to-consumer (DTC) businesses are doing all they can to get their customers back and return to business as usual – this means increased competition for eCommerce stores that surged during the lockdown.
In this highly competitive landscape, eCommerce business owners should start building solid customer bases, including prospects who are not customers or not ready to purchase yet. Focus on nurturing prospects with valuable content through blogs or drip campaigns using eCommerce email marketing.
These types of long-term brand-building marketing activities can be mixed with short-term performance marketing for the best results from lead generation and customer retention alike.
5. Collecting First Party Data will be Crucial
For a long time, internet users have clamored for data protection laws and privacy. In recent years, many data protection laws have been implemented, with some businesses paying heavy fines for violating these laws.
Examples include the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), China’s Personal Information Protection Law, and California’s Consumer Privacy Act. The implementation of these laws is affecting some marketing activities negatively, which makes it hard to track data.
What does this mean for you as an eCommerce store owner?
Focus your attention on first-party data as many internet users and, by extension, consumers are choosing to opt-out of third-party cookies, which provide behavioral and specific data.
To do this, you need to be transparent with data handling and management to gain the trust of your audience. When trust is established, consumers will provide required data for personalization through first-party sources like quizzes, polls, and surveys.
This ecommerce trend should be combined with putting more effort into community building to form direct relationships with customers. For example, you could invest in a dedicated community-building team for the success of your business’s community.
6. Social Media as a Major eCommerce Player
With billions of social media users worldwide, ignoring social media is akin to killing your eCommerce business. Many consumers find shopping inspiration on social media. For example, as of April 2021, 51% of American consumers use Facebook for online shopping.
Take advantage of this trend for your eCommerce business by creating social commerce stores on major social platforms for direct social selling: Facebook pages/shop on Facebook, Instagram business, and Amazon live are the top ones to consider.
Engage directly with your customers and prospects, building personal relationships as a basis for driving traffic to your online store and/or website from your social media pages.
The eCommerce industry is immense, with numerous players and many innovative trends. Get ahead of your competition by preparing your business for the future. By aligning your strategy with emerging trends, you can increase your revenue and remain competitive.
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