Especially in today’s fast-moving e-commerce marketplace, staying ahead of the curve (and the competition) is more than just a way to gain a leg up on your business rivals — it’s often critical to a brand’s long-term success. And in an arena where dynamic transformation is driven by near-constant technological innovations, ever-shifting consumer behaviors, and the continual pursuit of convenience and personalization, businesses must not only adapt to the latest trends and developments, but also anticipate the ones coming on the horizon.
To help your brand stay on the leading edge, we at Brandon have identified a handful of e-commerce trends that are not only shaping the industry in 2023, but also promise to deliver big impacts on the digital-commerce environment in the years to come. Whether you’re a seasoned e-commerce professional or your brand is just starting its online retail journey, leveraging these 15 e-commerce trends can help you navigate a path to sustained success:
1. Social commerce
Today’s tech-savvy shoppers are no longer limiting themselves to brands’ brick-and-mortar and online stores to track down and buy their favorite products and services — they’re seeking out (and even completing) their next purchases on social platforms, too. And by integrating shopping features in its social platforms (using tools such as Instagram Shopping and Facebook Shops), your e-commerce brand can drive added online sales growth.
2. Personalized shopping experiences
Constantly inundated with offerings and information, today’s e-commerce consumers expect more from brands than just products and services — they also want tailored and relevant online interactions. And by leveraging the data they’ve collected to better understand a customer’s preferences, behavior and past interactions, brands can craft unique, personalized online journeys and experiences for their online visitors … and build more meaningful connections with them.
3. AI-generated content
Artificial Intelligence, particularly via natural language processing models like ChatGPT, can save brands time and resources by helping them quickly and efficiently create written assets such as product descriptions, blog articles, chatbot conversations and even personalized marketing messages at scale. Further, AI can provide personalized product recommendations to customers, enhancing the shopping experience. (Note: It’s important to ensure that any AI-generated content aligns with your brand’s tone and values and avoids delivering any misinformation, making it essential that it’s used thoughtfully and with careful human oversight.)
4. Pricing optimization
Pricing optimization can lead brands to that sweet spot where their products and/or services deliver maximum value to customers while ensuring business profitability. In doing so, the process — which leverages data analytics, market research and competitor analysis to fine-tune pricing strategies — can help brands increase their offerings’ appeal to consumers while driving revenue growth.
5. Customer segmentation
By employing customer segmentation to divide its customer base into distinct groups based on shared characteristics, behaviors and/or needs, a brand can tailor its marketing efforts and product offerings to cater specifically to each individual segment. This can help brands increase the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns, improve customer satisfaction and drive higher conversion rates.
6. Contextual and programmatic advertising
Contextual advertising sees brands display their ads on web pages where the content and/or context is relevant to the products or services the ads are marketing, helping ensure that the ads’ messaging is a likely fit with the audience’s interests. Programmatic advertising, on the other hand, uses data-guided automated technology to direct media buying, enabling ad-placement decisions to be made in real time while optimizing ad delivery to reach the right audiences at the right times. When employed effectively, these strategies can work hand in hand to maximize the impact of brands’ marketing campaigns.
7. Voice search
To optimize their digital content for voice search, brands need to put a heavy focus on using more natural, conversational language, harnessing local SEO strategies and employing structured data markup to make the content more search-engine friendly. And by doing so, brands can help ensure their products and services can be easily discovered and recommended by increasingly popular digital voice assistants such as Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant — and the consumers using them.
8. AI-assisted chatbots
Especially helpful tools for supporting customer service and marketing, AI-assisted chatbots enable brands and businesses to provide instant and personalized responses to online customer inquiries 24/7. For the brands that leverage them, these tools powered by artificial intelligence and natural language processing can not only enhance customer satisfaction with real-time query resolution, but also collect valuable data on customer preferences and behavior that can be used in future marketing efforts.
9. More payment options
For any brand, expanding online payment options is a strategic move that can significantly boost e-commerce revenues and customer satisfaction. By providing a wider range of payment methods — including credit cards, digital wallets, Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) services and even cryptocurrencies — e-commerce brands can cater to consumers’ diverse payment preferences and realize benefits such as significantly reduced cart-abandonment rates, increased impulse buying and elevated international sales.
10. Amazon dominance
Boasting a U.S. retail e-commerce market share of nearly 40%, Amazon is by far the nation’s largest online retailer — and for brands that sell their products there, the online retail giant also offers unparalleled access to a vast global consumer base. Businesses that harness Amazon’s broad reach and leverage its resources can benefit from marketplace advantages such as increased visibility, added credibility and a significant boost in sales. But to achieve selling success on the platform, brands must optimize their product listings, employ Amazon advertising effectively and maintain stellar customer service (and reviews).
11. Drone delivery
With the potential to offer a faster, more cost-effective and environmentally friendly method of getting products to consumers, drone delivery is poised to revolutionize the logistics and supply chain industry. With the help of drones, brands could reduce last-mile delivery times and costs — and in some cases, even make same-day and on-demand delivery a reality. Drone delivery also has the potential to unlock new marketing opportunities, such as ultra-precise targeting for local promotions and unique customer experiences.
12. Research Online Purchase Offline (ROPO)
While large segments of digital-age consumers begin their purchase journeys online with product research and price comparison, a significant number still prefer to make their final purchases in physical stores. And by understanding and leveraging the Research Online Purchase Offline (ROPO) concept, brands and marketers can realize the heightened need for a seamless omnichannel marketing and sales approach. By delivering consistent, accurate and up-to-date information online, brands can drive in-store traffic and conversion, creating a bridge between the online and offline worlds to enhance customer experiences and ultimately elevate sales.
13. Improved attribution modeling
In most cases, brands and marketers employ a broad range of channels and touchpoints to interact with and move consumers along the path to purchase, with a few of the former including the brand’s website, email campaigns, PPC advertising and social media, and a few of the latter including blog posts, specific ads, social media posts and emails. And with attribution modeling (aka channel attribution modeling), brands can assign credits to each of these channels and touchpoints to attribute a specific value to each consumer interaction — which can help them better understand the customer journey and more effectively allocate their marketing resources, optimize their marketing campaigns and tailor their strategies to drive increased ROIs.
14. Rise of the influencer
Influencer marketing sees brands leverage the trust and engagement that “influencers” — personalities with a substantial and established following, typically on social media — have built with their followers, helping lend credibility and relevance to their products and/or services. By collaborating with the right influencers whose values align with theirs, brands can reach a highly targeted audience, drive brand awareness, and foster a sense of community and trust that traditional advertising often struggles to achieve.
15. New fulfillment options
By expanding the order-fulfillment methods they offer — to include new options such as same-day delivery, curbside pickup or subscription services — brands can better adapt to changing consumer preferences and expectations … and meet the growing demand for convenience and speed in e-commerce. And in doing so, they can also enhance the customer experience, increase customer loyalty and differentiate themselves in an ever-evolving digital marketplace.
Brandon: Your e-commerce marketing experts
With a successful history of building transactional websites on some of the largest, most powerful e-commerce platforms available — as well as extensive experience leveraging the latest marketing trends — Brandon is a perfect fit for assisting with (or altogether handling) your brand’s e-commerce strategy, development and execution needs. We’ve worked with e-commerce clients ranging from apparel start-ups to enterprise-level stores — sometimes with hundreds of thousands of SKUs — and we can tailor high-performance solutions that are deeply integrated with your brand’s ERP and CRM systems.
Further, as a fully integrated marketing firm, our team of certified brand strategists and data-driven marketing professionals can cover the full spectrum of your brand’s marketing needs. From e-commerce, influencer marketing, email marketing and SEO to social media, digital marketing, media, creative, analytics, public relations, brand strategy, web design and more, we can cover all your marketing needs in one place. To get started with help ranging from a simple website analysis to a comprehensive strategy tailored to boost the performance of all your marketing campaigns, contact us today.