eCommerce has been around for over 30 years, but it didn’t exactly take off until other forms of technology—social media, mobile commerce, and delivery infrastructure—came into play. These tech movements solidified online sales as the way most of us shop today.
COVID-19 has also expedited future eCommerce trends in ways we didn’t expect, like getting your favorite coffee beans delivered to your door. I mean– imagine what these past few years would’ve been like without online shopping! Staying at home pushed more brick-and-mortar businesses to move online and more companies (like Sendlane) to offer eCommerce automation services.
It’s no wonder that Amazon experienced a record-breaking year of revenue during the height of COVID-19. One-day delivery, subscription-based purchases, and augmented reality shopping are now the norm.
And what about other eCommerce trends?
In this article, we’ll cover four of the latest and greatest eCommerce trends of 2023, so you can keep up with your audience’s needs and increase revenue! You’ll also figure out which ones are worth applying to your business and how to get started.
1. Selling sustainable eCommerce products
As fear around climate change steadily increases, more shoppers are pumping the brakes on fast fashion and opting for sustainable eCommerce instead.
So–why are we taking action now?
Thanks to the hundreds of documentaries, YouTube videos, and social media posts shared about sustainability, we now understand the dark side of the global supply chain. Sweatshops, underpaid wages, and human trafficking are just a few of the poor trade-offs of fast fashion.
Thanks to this hard yet necessary education, recycling, second-hand stores, organic items are trending!
Since COVID-19 hit, even more people want to positively impact our planet.
These statistics explain why 41% of merchants are adding environmental sustainability and ethical supply chains to the top of their 2023 priority lists. We want to be the change.
So how can your online store practice this eCommerce trend?
The answer is NOT to flip your store upside down and start from scratch. You’ll end up burning a hole in your wallet and wasting more energy and resources, which is the opposite of being sustainable!
Instead, take baby steps.
Last September, Walmart added a “Built for Better” online sector to their website, which provides eco-friendly and Rainforest Alliance Certified products.
Tierney Wilson, the senior vice president at January Digital, shares, “That’s a first step in putting sustainability messaging at the forefront, for consumers to be able to make decisions on the everyday products that they would be buying anyway.”
Sure, Walmart still sells non-environmentally-friendly items, but customers can now choose how they want to shop.
When you add sustainable methods to your store, make sure to tell your shoppers about their positive impact!
Pact tells you how many gallons of water you’ve saved after investing in their organic cotton clothing. Now, customers will feel good about their purchase—encouraging positive reviews and word-of-mouth marketing.
Of course, making a total shift to sustainable products doesn’t happen overnight. Here are a few ways to start now without overwhelming yourself:
- Deliver products with eco-friendly packaging
- Donate a portion of your revenue to your favorite cause
- Add another marketplace and sell reused products at a lower price
Once you’ve applied a few strategies, share your new changes with your social media followers. Better yet, post a few videos and TikToks about your impact!
And speaking of social media…
2. Increasing sales with social media
Using social media is an amazing way to deepen customer relationships, strengthen brand awareness, and yes–increase revenue. 30% of internet users are already buying items on social platforms in the United States. And this eCommerce trend is set to triple across the globe by 2025!
With the rise in social media shopping, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok make it easy to shop with embedded product catalogs and payment software. Even better, when your customers shop within the platform, you can avoid those pesky paid advertisement fees.
Of course, users won’t buy your products on the fly. Promote your brand and products through methods like live streaming and reels.
Tanya Taylor struts her clothing line with entertaining Instagram reels and posts.
Videos feel more personal than a standard product image. You can follow her lead by adding your personality and incorporating dance moves and humor into your posts.
You should know that 49% of consumers don’t trust influencer recommendations on social media. So it’s crucial to stick to your values, mission, and voice rather than go with just any influencer.
Some methods you can practice to gain trust are:
- Educating your audience about your brand and products
- Posting positive customer stories
- Sending a confirmation email or SMS message after someone makes a purchase on social media
- Encouraging customers to post photos, videos, or stories about your product
The best strategies to increase sales via social media are always changing. Right now, it’s live streaming, but in a few months, it could be completely different! Dedicate this channel to a team member so you can keep up with this ever-changing phenomenon.
3. Adding cryptocurrency as a payment option
Cryptocurrency is currently one of the hottest technology eCommerce trends. Lower transaction fees and more secure purchases are just a couple of reasons why 20% of merchants are investing in crypto and NFTs.
In fact, PacSun recently became the first major fashion retailer to accept crypto.
Michael Relich, the co-CEO at PacSun, shares how BitPay reaches their primary audience–Gen Z. “Seeing their increasing desire towards cryptocurrency, it was clear that we needed to adjust and offer BitPay as another payment option, to further instill their confidence in us as one of their go-to retailers that truly listen.”
Taking a step toward cryptocurrency was the right move for PacSun, but is it for your eCommerce store?
Crypto isn’t popular amongst all audiences–especially eco-friendly users. Some economists claim that Bitcoin mining may generate more electricity than most countries.
This eCommerce trend may be worth reconsidering if you’re into sustainable practices.
But before you do anything, host a survey, personal interviews, or social media polls and consider your audience’s thoughts around crypto.
Just like you might shape your offer of cryptocurrency on your audience’s needs, your marketing strategy could also use your customer’s input. This is where personalized marketing comes into play.
4. Personalizing your marketing strategies
If you’re a regular Sendlane user then you know how much we LOVE personalization. Customized emails, text messages, and products? What could be better?
But here’s the problem around personalized marketing. New rules and regulations around third-party cookies have made it tough to collect data. An added caveat is increased skepticism among consumers–they want to know where their data lands.
This doesn’t mean you have to ditch third-party cookies. Instead, opt for a holistic approach and collect first-party data along with third-party data.
In a nutshell, first-party data is data that your customers choose to give you. Think surveys, opt-in forms, and social media.
Hormones Balance, for example, collects first-party data with a private Facebook group.
Groups build genuine relationships between you and your brand. Hormone Balance’s members get to share their favorite healthy recipes, struggles with balancing hormones, and any questions they have about the company’s products.
Communities are helpful for your users and your personalized marketing. Use members’ comments, feedback, and questions to improve your products and brand.
Another form of first-party data is product recommendation quizzes.
Y’Our Skincare’s quiz contributes to personalized marketing in a number of ways:
- Identifies their audience’s skincare routine and directs them to customized products
- Educates users with a personal report about their skin
- Collects customer data, trends, and demographics
- Allows users to interact with their brand without feeling pressured to buy a product
And let’s face it–quizzes are just plain fun to take! It’s a fresh take on the standard survey or poll. Better yet, use our integration with Justuno and create targeted pop-up ads about your quiz!
Our last (and favorite) way to personalize the customer experience is with powerful email segmentation.
Email segmentation is a great partner to all of this year’s eCommerce trends.
Using Sendlane, you can divide your first-party data into specific email lists and send relevant messaging—stories, testimonials, products, and sales—the possibilities are endless.
Which of the latest eCommerce trends will you apply in 2023?
Now that you know the best global eCommerce trends, you might feel inspired to try all of them at once. Or, maybe you’re scratching your head and wondering where to even start.
No matter where you stand, it’s important to check with your audience before launching full force into trying one or all of these trends.
Take note of your customers’ most positive and negative feedback about your company. Use those insights to decide which trends are right for you.
Then, use Sendlane and experiment with your marketing channels and campaigns to see what works best for your company’s individual needs.
Why not take a free tour and get started today? Our support team will set you on the right track to discovering the best eCommerce trends for your business.
eCommerce trend FAQs:
1. Are these trends applicable to all eCommerce stores?
Diving into the latest eCommerce trends will help you stay competitive, but you don’t have to apply every trend you see. Doing so can risk customer dissatisfaction or confusion about your store’s changes.
With Sendlane, you can make trend-based decisions using your customer data and preferences. You’ll find insights like whether your audience is dying for a crypto payment option or is gung-ho about sustainable wear.
Along with user data, you can check your current and future financial goals and see if these trends fiscally make sense.
2. Which eCommerce trend should I apply to my business?
Again, choosing the best eCommerce trend for you depends on your online store’s goals, mission, and ROI. If eco-friendly shopping is already part of your mission, it makes sense to practice eCommerce’s sustainability trend. Or, if customers appreciate your personalized product recommendations, you’ll want to go for the personalized marketing trend.
Avoid going after what everyone else is doing and choose what makes the most sense for you.
3. What other current eCommerce trends can I use?
1. Augmented reality shopping: The biggest con to online shopping was the inability to try on clothing. But AR shopping has changed that. Now you can virtually try on clothes and get a 360-degree look at other products as well.
2. Product-recommendation quizzes: Quizzes are no longer just for BuzzFeed users. eCommerce can use quizzes to recommend personalized products to your customers and funnel users into your email lists.
3. Buy now, pay later method: If you sell high-ticket items, assure users that they can pay off the product slowly with a BNPL plan.
4. Subscription-based products: It’s easy to run out of an item and forget to refill it. Make it easy for your customers to repurchase with a subscription. This works great with refillable items, like supplements and beauty products.
5. SMS marketing: SMS marketing used to have a bad reputation for spam-y text messages, but we’ve finally evolved to sending customized deals, real-time customer support, and shipping notifications. Texting these customer deals gets to your audience faster than other marketing channels.
6. Omnichannel marketing: Touching base with customers through multiple channels increases brand awareness and customer loyalty. With Sendlane, you can communicate through email, text messages, and your website.
4. How do I know if an eCommerce trend is paying off?
You won’t know if an eCommerce trend is working without setting goals. Before launching a new trend, create a list of measurable goals (Web traffic, email sign-ups, customer lifetime value, etc.) prior to launching a new trend. Then, analyze those metrics every quarter and decide if it’s worth continuing.
And keep an eye on your audience’s reactions to your new changes. How are your web traffic metrics? Are you receiving positive or negative feedback? You can even schedule 1:1 calls for a deep-dive conversation to help determine what is working for you.
5. Is eCommerce still profitable in 2023?
Of course! Worldwide eCommerce sales are set to exceed $5 trillion for the first time and will pass $7 trillion in 2025. There is endless growth in this industry, which is why digging into the latest eCommerce trends and applying these strategies to your business will help you stay on top.