How To Grow Your E-commerce Business in 2023
Many 2022 e-commerce trends will continue to have an impact in 2023. Learn more about upcoming trends for 2023, and find out how to grow your e-commerce business in the year ahead.
With the pandemic easing and many consumers returning to in-person shopping, there are questions about the continued growth of e-commerce sales. But make no mistake, e-commerce is here to stay – revenue for this market is projected to reach $4.6 trillion globally in 2023. In the US alone, online retail sales increased 7.7 percent in 2022 from the year prior. If you’ve been wondering how to grow your e-commerce business in the face of decreasing restrictions, you’re in the right place.
By and large, industry experts suspect that online sales will slow down somewhat as social limits ease and people return to physical stores in 2023. They’re unlikely to return to pre-COVID levels, though — and that’s good news for e-commerce businesses and marketplace sellers in the US.
We’ll begin this guide with a quick recap of e-commerce trends for 2022, some of which will likely continue in 2023. Then, we’ll talk about upcoming trends, and how you can use them to boost your online presence, and your bottom line.
- Recapping e-commerce trends for 2022
- Upcoming e-commerce trends for 2023
- How to grow your e-commerce business in 2023
Recapping e-commerce trends for 2022
When the coronavirus pandemic swept the world in early 2020, some businesses simply collapsed into administration. Organizations with weak e-commerce strategies weren’t able to continue trading effectively online.Businesses that did thrive in spite of the coronavirus crisis had specific things in common: well-established and intuitive websites, recognizable branding and — for the most part — effective crisis management plans.
In 2022, e-commerce ‘survivors and thrivers’ jumped on board with the following trends:
- Chatbots: AI-powered chatbots like AliMe act like virtual shop assistants. They help visitors find what they need, and connect customers with helpful information and, if need be, a live rep.
- Alternative payments: Almost all businesses benefit when they expand the payment options they accept. Incorporating Klarna into your standalone e-commerce site, for instance, can increase average order value (AOV).
- Subscription services: In simple terms, subscription services keep customers coming back. Setting up a monthly or quarterly subscription service could increase your immediate revenue and make your balance sheet look better.
- Mobile shopping: If you’re on Amazon, you’re already mobile — but if you’re not, make sure your site is mobile friendly. Before taking a new product or page live, test it via preview mode to make sure it looks good on a range of mobile devices.
E-commerce trends don’t generally vanish; instead, they either stay in vogue or evolve. Many 2022 e-commerce trends, then, will continue to be relevant in 2023 and beyond.
Upcoming e-commerce trends for 2023
Sometimes, new trends slide into the picture. In 2023, artificial intelligence is likely to play an even greater role in e-commerce optimization, for example. Similarly, augmented reality integration will make online shopping more accessible than ever. Let’s look at five emerging trends for 2023 in more detail.
Artificial intelligence in e-commerce goes beyond chatbot integration. You can use AI and machine learning to personalize consumer shopping experiences, make smart product recommendations via email, and enhance the predictive search function on your website.
Broadly, AI makes shopping easier — and the easier it is for consumers to shop, the more likely they are to proceed to the checkout. You can make AI work for you as an Amazon marketplace seller, too. Several AI-based dynamic pricing tools exist, for instance, to help sellers adjust their prices in line with consumer demand.
Alibaba uses AI — specifically, big data analysis — to optimize supply chains, create personalized recommendations and even build products. Alibaba sellers can leverage the platform’s AI-driven commodity, operations, and category management systems to stay on top of inventory and business performance. Alibaba’s AI technology works seamlessly with AIipay, too.
Augmented reality, or AR, is an e-commerce trend that keeps on trending. One example of AR integration is Amazon’s use of Apple’s ARKit-based “View in Your Room” feature, which is available on the Amazon iOS app. If you sell furniture products on Amazon, you can use the integration to help US consumers visualize chairs, tables, and other items in situ.
Shopify has a similar feature called Shopify AR, which you can implement on your Shopify store. Amazon and Shopify AR integrations are both compatible with images and videos, but 3D models produce the most realistic results. With that in mind, if you decide to use AR on your Shopify e-commerce site, pick a 3D-compatible theme.
Today’s consumers are environmentally aware — and their habits and preferences are changing as a result. Many pundits consider the recent backlash against single-use plastics, throwaway toys, and planned obsolescence a waymarker along the path to sustainability.
Is consumerism on its way out, then? No — but it is changing. As time goes on, sustainable goods will capture more of the retail market share, so it makes sense to expand your product range to incorporate eco-conscious consumables and environmentally friendly products.
Customized packaging isn’t a new trend, but it is likely to become even more popular in 2023. If you’re currently selling customized white label goods in brown boxes, for instance, you might want to consider repackaging your wares in custom cartons. Given consumer opinion and environmental considerations, it makes sense to go with cardboard, rather than plastic whenever possible.
Personalized packaging supplier options include US-based and overseas manufacturers. Many Chinese manufacturing companies affiliated with Alibaba can produce personalized packaging for existing customers, too. If they don’t have packaging production facilities in-house, they can often liaise with partners who can package products for them.
Voice search features began as a novelty, but they quickly went mainstream. Voice-enabled shopping took off in 2019 and continued to trend in 2020 and 2021. It’s worth highlighting again for 2023, however, because so many online retailers still don’t have an effective voice search strategy.
According to recent research, more than 30 percent of smartphone users now use voice search every single day. Voice search isn’t technically difficult to integrate — but you might have to modify or tailor your content toward it. We’ll write more about that below.
How to grow your e-commerce business in 2023
Wondering how to grow your e-commerce business in 2023? Simple: harness the power of enduring, current and upcoming trends to expand your customer base and the amount of revenue you bring in.
Find additional sales channels
One of the best ways to grow your e-commerce business is to expand into new sales channels. Every time you add a sales channel, you add another pool of consumers — another captive audience — to your marketing strategy. Some sales channels are more lucrative than others: well-known auction sites, for instance, generally have greater potential than local classified ads sites.
Popular sales channels in the US include:
- Amazon: Around 70% of American adults are Amazon Prime members (roughly 150 million people).
- eBay: There are more than 62 million active monthly eBay users in the US.
- Etsy: Etsy connects sellers and buyers all over the world, and in 2022, Etsy accumulated $2.6 billion in revenue.
- Shopify: Shopify’s US stores generated more than 10% of all US e-commerce sales in 2021.
- Social media: Businesses with a social media presence in the US had access to a collective 302 million users in 2022.
Other US-centric online sales channel options include platforms like Instagram Shopping, Walmart Marketplace, and Google Shopping. Some companies also sell their products by operating affiliate networks, going door to door or attending domestic trade shows and open-air markets.
Expand into new markets
If you’ve been doing well in the US, expanding your business into one or more international markets could bring you even greater success. International expansion takes significant planning — and success isn’t guaranteed — but it can greatly increase growth potential. Many marketplace sellers use this seven-step approach to market expansion:
- Conduct a marketplace analysis: Analyze your target market to determine which of your products will do well, and which ones won’t. What do consumers in your target marketplace want, and how much are they willing to pay? Which sales channels do they usually use?
- Segment your marketplaces: If you plan to move into more than one foreign market, use known data to estimate the potential number of customers in each region. If you’re not sure where to start, a global consulting agency might be able to help.
- Identify your product: With a comprehensive analysis in hand, pick a product, or products, to trial in your target marketplace. Use domestic sales figures and your knowledge of the new target marketplace to project overseas sales for your product.
- Perform a competitive analysis: A competitive analysis can help you identify marketplace rivals. You’ll also learn how well-positioned you are to capture a slice of the consumer pie — and what you can do to improve your chances of success.
- Create an export strategy: If you need to ship your products overseas, think about how you’ll do that. It can be simpler to partner with a new manufacturer via Alibaba or AliExpress if you plan to expand into Asia.
- Follow the rules: Before you begin selling products overseas, familiarize yourself with packaging and labeling requirements for toys, food, pharmaceuticals, and other products. Don’t skip this step: if you do, you might end up in hot water.
- Launch in a low-barrier environment: If you test your expansion strategy in a low-barrier marketplace first, you can assess its effectiveness before moving on to other markets.
Tailor your content for voice search
When a person performs a voice search, they’re only given one answer; your job as a business owner is to make sure the answer they receive comes from your website. If you list products on Amazon, the same sort of thing applies: ideally, your listing will appear when consumers use Alexa devices to find products on the marketplace.
Optimizing for voice search isn’t wizardry — it’s entirely tactical. Most people use voice search to ask questions; you, then, have to provide answers. According to Google Voice Search guidelines, retailers perform well when their answers emulate natural speaking patterns. Take this real-world example:
- Consumer voice input: ‘What is the best Apple computer?”
- Voice search-optimized answer: ‘The new MacBook Air is the best MacBook for most people.’
When they ask what the best Apple computer is, consumers are led to an article by Laptop Mag. The answer isn’t at the top of the page — it doesn’t have to be — but it is conversational. Other best practices for voice search optimization include:
- Keep your content concise — under 30 words, if possible
- Target trigger words, like ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘when’, ‘where’ and ‘why’
Take Amazon seller recommendations seriously
If you’re an Amazon marketplace seller in any country, you’re also an Amazon customer. As such, your bottom line could improve if you follow Amazon’s personalized suggestions for your business. In a nutshell, this means paying attention to Amazon’s recommendations for your store, which might include:
- ‘Almost out of stock’ alerts, which tell you that you need more inventory
- Fulfillment recommendations, which can help you plan ahead for the upcoming season
- Pricing recommendations, which you can use to position your products appropriately
Take advantage of all the tools at your disposal, and make the most of your Amazon marketplace seller account. If you treat Amazon as a business partner, rather than a static sales platform, your revenue could increase.
Use an international payment partner
You can springboard off current and future trends like AI, AR and voice search to grow your e-commerce business in 2023. If you decide to expand into international markets — or if you want to source products from an overseas manufacturer — one of the savviest things to do is partner with an international business payment provider like Zyla.
The Zyla Account is the hassle-free way to pay business partners and get paid from marketplaces quickly.
Open multi-currency accounts with local account details
Make fast and secure global payments to suppliers, staff and partners
Collect funds from marketplace sales
Keep costs down with competitive rates
The free-to-open Zyla Account enables businesses to make collections and payouts internationally – giving you the freedom to do business anywhere, all with the security of our online platform. Open an account today and you could be approved, set up and trading internationally in 24 hours. Get started or find out more by calling (855) 797-3366 today.