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11 Future Ecommerce Trends & Forecasts for 2022/2023 – A Look Into What’s Next

A new version of this article, featuring the latest data and statistics, is available. Check out our report on Ecommerce Software Trends for 2022/2023.

As government lockdowns forced people to resort to online purchases during the pandemic, the value of ecommerce transactions has ballooned to unprecedented numbers. Those who did also say that they are most likely to continue buying online even after the pandemic. More than anything, it showcases the versatility of ecommerce, which has undergone great changes since the first online stores set up shop back in the 90s. Today, ecommerce is valued at around $4.2 trillion. Never before has retail been as profitable as it is now, hence the popularity of top ecommerce software among online retailers.

So what are the top trends in ecommerce? To give you a better picture of what’s happening on the ground, we have gathered some of the most notable ecommerce trends that best describe the future of online selling. After you’re done with this reading, you should be able to use the insights provided to better manage or build your own online store.

key ecommerce trends

The retail sector has immensely benefited from online selling, as it gave the age-old industry the ability to reach out to more customers without sacrificing the customer experience that physical stores offered. In the same manner, ecommerce fits retailers of all types and sizes, covering products ranging from truck parts to shoes to clothing. All parties in the retail loop, including manufacturers, suppliers, and consumers can benefit from online selling. This massive market base makes online selling a difficult process to manage, prompting ecommerce companies to depend on the benefits of ecommerce solutions.

But ecommerce is not limited to the Business-to-Consumer model. Business-to-Business (B2B) companies are likewise seen to benefit from having an online presence. This market is expected to become even bigger as sales continue to soar from increased online shopping activity. With 15% of Americans making weekly online purchases (Pew Research Center), ecommerce may very well become the new norm.

Ecommerce’s popularity is further fueled by the fact that more and more retailers have come to accept its effectiveness. This is nowhere more evident during the pandemic, as buyers flocked to online stores when governments enforced lockdowns and severely limited purchases from physical stores. For those who continue to resist the concept, failure to embrace it is risking losing their businesses. This shift, in turn, has resulted in the popularity of top ecommerce platforms among online sellers.

1. One-Time Buyers Are the Challenge

Buyer response to the pandemic demonstrates a massive shift towards ecommerce. As a result, the ecommerce industry saw intense growth during the lockdown period in 2020. According to an industry expert, the US ecommerce market experienced a growth equivalent to 10 years in just a single quarter. While this is joyous news to brands, they need to be alert to new arising challenges.

One of those is the scourge of one-time buyers. These are customers that brands managed to attract once but were unable to retain or attract for further transactions. Seventy-five percent of a brand’s customers do not purchase again from the same online shop (Forbes, 2021). This can be attributed to increasing competition that vies for customers’ attention.

consumers do not purchase from the same store again

As such, it has become more imperative for online stores and brands to be fiercer and more strategic in retaining and attracting buyers. They have to deliver more relevant messaging to build sustainable relationships with purchasers. Plus, they have to be more mindful of touchpoints, as the number of touchpoints has been increasing. Thus, they have to identify the places where they can reach the most customers and where they can gain a high conversion. That way, they can be efficient in their actions and marketing expenditures.

One-Time Buyers Highlights

  • Customer loyalty is becoming more difficult to obtain.
  • It will no longer be enough for businesses to survive on one-time purchases.
  • Stores and brands need to create sustainable relationships with buyers.
  • Increased touchpoints are another challenge when it comes to attracting consumers.

2. Online Selling Will Get Bigger

Ecommerce is the most popular online activity and has been growing exponentially. Online sales are forecast to reach $4.5 trillion in 2021. This popularity stems from the ease and comfort that online shopping offers, prompting more and more people to cut down on mall visits and purchase online instead. Besides, consumer trust in online purchasing has increased, further boosting online sales. One can confirm this growth simply by looking at current ecommerce statistics.

Today’s websites are more user-friendly, offering customers only the best online shopping experience. The processes involved in online shopping have also improved, allowing customers to find and choose the items they want with ease and pay using a variety of payment options. These days, online shoppers are coming in droves, unlike before when people shy away from making online purchases.

Moreover, because of the pandemic, more consumers are preferring to buy goods online. Even grocery stores are making it possible for people to buy food and other essentials through their websites or apps.

Source: emarketer.com

Online Selling Highlights

  • Ecommerce is slated for further growth.
  • Online sales will reach $4.5 trillion in 2021.
  • Online shopping now enjoys greater customer trust.
  • Online shopping processes have significantly improved.

3. Customized Packaging

Let’s face it, as customers, we equate packaging with the brand itself. The nicer the packaging looks, the more likely we’re going to make a purchase. It is also a fact that most consumers become more excited about products that come in unique packaging. So it is a no-brainer for online sellers to customize their product packaging. Doing so can help their products stand out.

For those of you who are planning to customize your product packaging, you can do so by focusing on different aspects of packaging. You can highlight packaging durability, aesthetics and even point out to your customers that your packaging is environment-friendly. Doing so would further aid in building your brand.

customized packaging

Customized Packaging Highlights

  • Customers put stock on customized packaging.
  • Customized packaging makes products stand out.
  • Focusing on a product’s unique attributes will help retailers design better packaging.
  • Customized packaging contributes to brand building.

4. Rise of Mobile Shopping

The increase in mobile shopping is another noteworthy ecommerce trend. Sales from mobile commerce are seen to increase by 15% by the end of 2021. What’s more, mobile sales will account for 73% of all ecommerce sales. Just by looking at these stats, it’s easy to see how important mobile shopping will be to ecommerce companies in the coming years. 

To better understand the increase in mobile shopping sales, one has to look at how mobile devices have fared in the past year. Mobile devices have been flooding the market in recent years, leading to an uptick in the number of people using them. And mobile users are not just using mobile devices to shop but also to investigate products before deciding to purchase one. Consumers have also developed a flair for using mobile devices, owing to the comfort they offer when shopping.

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Mobile Shopping's Share of eCommerce, 2016 to 2021

Mobile Shopping's Share of eCommerce, 2016 to 2021
2016: 52.4

2016

%
Mobile Shopping's Share of eCommerce, 2016 to 2021
2017: 58.9

2017

%
Mobile Shopping's Share of eCommerce, 2016 to 2021
2018: 63.5

2018

%
Mobile Shopping's Share of eCommerce, 2016 to 2021
2019: 67.2

2019

%
Mobile Shopping's Share of eCommerce, 2016 to 2021
2020: 70.4

2020

%
Mobile Shopping's Share of eCommerce, 2016 to 2021
2021: 72.9

2021

%

Source: statista.com

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Rise of Mobile Shopping Highlights

  • A 15% increase in mobile sales is expected by the end of 2021.
  • More people have been using mobile devices in recent years.
  • The increase in mobile device usage has contributed to the uptick in mobile sales.
  • Users use mobile devices in online shopping.

5. Multichannel Personalization

Personalizing customer interaction has become part and parcel of selling. This trend has become a staple among ecommerce companies as it can improve customer experience. However, there are lots of ways by which to leverage personalization. Imagine integrating this concept with multichannel selling. Now, we know that multichannel selling creates a variety of opportunities to link up with customers. But what if you can improve it by offering personalized interactions? The results can only be enhanced customer loyalty and therefore, repeat business.

Such a setup works by ensuring that individual customers get to have the same personalized brand experience regardless of what channel they are using. This also ensures that you provide your customers with only relevant experiences, doing away with the need to annoy your clients with irrelevant messages. However, many marketers have yet to subscribe to the model, limiting their ability to offer a seamless personalized experience.

Automation from using ecommerce solutions helps online sellers boost customer experience.

Multichannel Personalization Highlights

  • Personalization has become common among ecommerce companies.
  • Integration of personalization with multichannel selling promotes customer loyalty and retention.
  • Personalization enhances customer experience.
  • Majority of marketers have yet to adopt personalization.

6. Better Payment Processing

Like it or not, payment processing is part of every customer’s journey and plays a critical role in the conversion process. This is because customers can decide to cancel a purchase even at the last minute. In simple terms, a deal is not a deal until your cash register bell rings. So, it doesn’t matter if you have convinced a lead to make that purchase. That potential conversion can still be scrapped if a customer finds your checkout process needing. Such is very true for startups, most of whom are beginning to reap the benefits of top ecommerce software for small business, which allow them to process payments in a variety of ways.

Shopping cart abandonment is very real, one of the most cited reasons for which is having a complex checkout process. If you want your online store to become more competitive, you should put in place a simple checkout process that involves easy payment options. For those who conduct business on a global scale, having local payment options and consolidating all payments into a single platform are recommended. Now, if you hit regulatory snags along the way, enlisting the help of a third-party service provider can help.

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Reasons for Cart Abandonment During Checkout

Reasons for Cart Abandonment During Checkout
Extra costs too high: 60

Extra costs too high

%
Reasons for Cart Abandonment During Checkout
Site requires account creation: 37

Site requires account creation

%
Reasons for Cart Abandonment During Checkout
Too long/complicated checkout process: 28

Too long/complicated checkout process

%
Reasons for Cart Abandonment During Checkout
Failure to calculate total order cost up front: 23

Failure to calculate total order cost up front

%
Reasons for Cart Abandonment During Checkout
Website had errors/crashed: 20

Website had errors/crashed

%
Reasons for Cart Abandonment During Checkout
Distrust of site with credit card information: 19

Distrust of site with credit card information

%
Reasons for Cart Abandonment During Checkout
Slow delivery: 18

Slow delivery

%
Reasons for Cart Abandonment During Checkout
Unsatisfactory returns policy: 11

Unsatisfactory returns policy

%
Reasons for Cart Abandonment During Checkout
Not enough payment methods: 8

Not enough payment methods

%
Reasons for Cart Abandonment During Checkout
Declined credit card: 4

Declined credit card

%

Source: Baymard Institute

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Better Payment Processing Highlights

  • The payment process is critical to conversion.
  • Complicated checkout processes cause cart abandonment.
  • Easy payment options can boost checkout processes.

Most Popular Ecommerce Software

  1. Vend is an award-winning retail POS software for iOS and PC with inventory management, ecommerce, and customer loyalty features.
  2. NetSuite ERP allows you comprehensive, real-time control over the financial aspects of your organization and can scale with your business’s growth.
  3. Shopify Plus is an enterprise-level ecommerce platform for high volume merchants, built on Shopify’s engine that enables over 99.97% uptime.
  4. WooCommerce is a flexible ecommerce tool that can turn any Wordpress-powered website into a full-fledged online store.
  5. TradeGecko features an inventory management system that eliminates the tedium of inventory management, allowing you to put your efforts into growing your business.

7. Omnichannel Selling

It’s time to embrace multichannel selling. Why? Well, for starters, consumers have been purchasing from different online sellers, including Amazon, branded stores, eBay, mom-and-pop shops and yes, even Facebook. Multichannel selling is expected to gain traction among ecommerce companies, who as of now, continue to shy away from the business model. This reluctance stems from the fact that managing multichannel selling is pretty hard.
This trend is inevitable as ecommerce companies are bound to grow and with growth comes the need to integrate inventory. Online sellers’ push into new markets will also drive the development as they look for new channels by which to reach new audiences. And with great market exposure comes the opportunity to boost revenues.

Using apps like BigCommerce can help you quickly sell online.

Omnichannel Selling Statistics

  • 46.7% of all online searches start with marketplaces such as Etsy, Amazon, and eBay. (eMarketer)>
  • 51% of units sold on Amazon came from third-party sellers. (BigCommerce, 2021)
  • 1.5% – The rate at which ecommerce’s share of total retail sales has been increasing. (Census Bureau)
  • 37% – Amazon’s share of online spending. (Wunderman Thompson)
  • 37% of users use social media to research products and brands. (Global Web Index)

8. Voice Shopping to Take Center Stage

Voice shopping has exploded in the United States and would continue to do so in the coming years. Proof of this is the fact that those who own smart speakers have admitted to having voice shopped as far back as 2017. The number of voice shoppers is expected to further increase by 55% by 2022. The growth of voice shopping stemmed from Amazon’s launch of its smart speaker, Echo.

Now, unlike shopping by visiting websites, voice shopping can be a bit tricky for some. No visuals are involved in this channel, with customers describing the product they want to buy. Popular products that voice shoppers purchase include homeware, food items, and low-cost electronics. Online sellers are encouraged to consider this trend and seek to offer customers the comfort they need when voice shopping.

Source: Voicebot.ai 2020

Voice Shopping Highlights

  • Voice shopping continues to gain traction in the US.
  • Smart owner speakers engage in voice shopping.
  • The number of voice shoppers will increase by 55% in 2022.

9. Focus on Green Consumerism

Believe it or not, being environment-friendly is seen to influence online sales. Brands are expected to ride the green consumerism wave, with many consumers admitting to being influenced by environmental concerns when deciding on a purchase. The renewed focus on environmental sustainability is a clear sign that online sellers must step up by observing environment-friendly practices. Companies can do this by making sure that a greener online selling environment is established by sourcing products only from fair-trade organizations.

Another thing driving green consumerism is the emergence of Millennials as a robust buyer group. Members of this generation are keen on demanding environment-friendly products. This demand for green products is steering ecommerce companies to adopt environmentally sound practices.

environmentalism in ecommerce

Green Consumerism Highlights

  • Environment-friendly practices are seen to boost online sales.
  • Consumers’s purchasing decisions can be influenced by environmental concerns.
  • Product sourcing from fair-trade organizations can help companies improve their environmental footprint.
  • The emergence of the Millennial market contributes to green consumerism.

10. Social Media Enters Online Shopping

Social media is not what it used to be. It’s no longer a channel by which people connect with others. Social media has evolved as a marketing tool, enabling brands to expand their target audiences. Platforms like Instagram and Facebook have been equipped with “buy buttons,” which allow retailers to sell through them. Online stores have also been establishing links with social media platforms, enabling customers to make purchases through the latter.

Most social media platforms have been focusing on catering to online shoppers. But more importantly, social media has become a channel by which brands can receive optimal exposure. Social media exposure results in more people becoming aware of a product or service. And because social media’s influence on users continues to increase by the day. Such is why it would do ecommerce companies good to come up with social marketing strategies.

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Social Media Activities That Influence Shopping Behavior

Social Media Activities That Influence Shopping Behavior
Reading users'comments: 45

Reading users'comments

%
Social Media Activities That Influence Shopping Behavior
Viewing ads: 44

Viewing ads

%
Social Media Activities That Influence Shopping Behavior
Brand reputation: 25

Brand reputation

%
Social Media Activities That Influence Shopping Behavior
Writing reviews: 22

Writing reviews

%
Social Media Activities That Influence Shopping Behavior
Associating with brands: 20

Associating with brands

%
Social Media Activities That Influence Shopping Behavior
Purchasing via social media: 16

Purchasing via social media

%

Source: econstor.eu

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Social Media Highlights

  • Social media has become a marketing tool.
  • Social media allows companies to expand their audiences.
  • Retailers can now sell through social media.
  • Social media helps brands receive maximum exposure.

11.Increased AI Use in Ecommerce

More and more organizations have been turning to artificial intelligence (AI) to improve their workflows and processes. And ecommerce companies are no exception. Retailers were among the first to recognize the benefits of including AI in their tech arsenal. It’s no wonder that online sellers are seen to spend $7.3 billion on AI by 2022. The driving force behind this increase is retailers’ drive to provide a personalized customer experience.

These developments in AI spending just show how willing retailers are to invest to improve the services that they render. Prominent AI applications to date include customer service, sales, and marketing. However, areas such as forecasting and pricing are also seen to benefit from AI use. The benefits of AI to the sales process are very promising indeed. It is in this light that ecommerce businesses are advised to consider spending on AI technology.

consumers willing to purchase from chatbots

Increased AI Highlights

  • Companies use AI to improve workflows and processes.
  • Ecommerce companies will spend 7.3 billion on AI by 2022.
  • The push to provide a better customer experience is driving AI adoption.
  • Pricing and forecasting can also be improved from AI use.

The ecommerce trends presented here are meant to paint a clear picture of what the future holds for online selling. Based on the numbers, the horizon looks rosy for this selling platform. Online selling has touched numerous businesses in different industries, changing the way these companies operate. The benefits of ecommerce have resulted in businesses scrambling to get their presence known online.

The latest ecommerce trends are leading organizations to adopt new technologies and business practices that are believed to further improve online selling. Never before heard concepts and even trivial retailing matters such as packaging, better customer experience, multichannel selling, and green consumerism are now in the spotlight.

Given the massive changes that ecommerce is slated to undergo, it’s recommended that companies read and understand the writing on the wall. If you are an online seller or planning to become one, keeping these trends in mind can significantly improve the way you sell online or even help you create a robust online business. However, you will need to use available technologies to make this happen. So, think about investing in the best ecommerce systems that the market has to offer.

 

References:

  1. 4th quarter retail e-commerce sales. (2021, February 19). Census.gov.
  2. Dayton, E. (2021, January 26). Amazon statistics you should know. The BigCommerce Blog.
  3. Fletcher, H., & Hurwitz, D. (2020). Hope for the high street? What Amazon can’t do. Wunderman Thompson Commerce.
  4. Garcia, K. (2017, September 7). More product searches start on Amazon. Insider Intelligence – eMarketer.
  5. Hyder, S. (2021, January 27). 4 e-Commerce trends to watch for in 2021: A case study with AdRoll. Forbes.
  6. Smith, A., & Anderson, M. (2016, December 19). Online shopping and e-Commerce. Pew Research Center.
  7. Young, K. (2016, November 3). Product research on social media rising. GWI.
Jenny Chang

By Jenny Chang

Jenny Chang is a senior writer specializing in SaaS and B2B software solutions. Her decision to focus on these two industries was spurred by their explosive growth in the last decade, much of it she attributes to the emergence of disruptive technologies and the quick adoption by businesses that were quick to recognize their values to their organizations. She has covered all the major developments in SaaS and B2B software solutions, from the introduction of massive ERPs to small business platforms to help startups on their way to success.

2 Comments »
Adriana says:

Thank you for your great research, very informative.
It helps me to do better in my coming t-shirt business with my children books and other products that will come with the children books.

Reply to this comment »
Keon Dunbar says:

This is accurate seeing the trends in CBD i know within the next 5 years natural and online sales will be booming.

Reply to this comment »

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