During the pandemic and existing lockdowns, the stationary retail business has suffered massively. However, this has given a major boost to one economic sector: the ecommerce market. Online retailers reported record sales during the crisis years.
The good news for online retailers: Consumers who did not have any touchpoints with online shopping before the pandemic have become more and more familiar with the new way of shopping and will continue to shop online in the future. But inflation, supply chain problems and a lower propensity to consume are making things difficult for the industry at the moment.
Consumer restraint and increased expectations
While Ecommerce companies are unable to keep up the huge revenue figures of the pandemic years, one factor continues to rise in an unstoppable manner: the expectations of consumers. Consumers expect a unique shopping experience with exceptional service and an understanding of individual preferences. This means that online store operators will have to find new ways in 2023 to meet the growing demands of customers and to stay competitive.
So which trends should Ecommerce companies keep in mind in order to be successful in 2023 and to increase online sales? How can shopping cart abandonments be effectively avoided? And which Ecommerce software solutions will be essential in the future?
We’ve listed this year’s top trends and solutions for high-revenue online commerce.
Top 3 Ecommerce Trends in 2023
1. Mobile Commerce
One of the top trends this year is mobile Ecommerce – Mcommerce for short. Mcommerce stands for the purchase and sale of goods via mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets. According to experts, Mcommerce sales will make up 43.4% of total Ecommerce retail sales in 2023 – and the trend is rising.
More and more consumers welcome the flexibility of being able to shop anytime, anywhere. But to ensure that the mobile shopping doesn’t turn into a frustrating experience, it’s essential that companies are prepared. Online stores must be mobile-optimized to benefit from mobile commerce and generate sales. After all, even ONE bad mobile shopping experience is a reason for 40% of consumers to switch to a competitor. What this means in practice:
#1 FAST LOADING PAGES
More than half (53%) of all website visitors bounce as soon as the page load takes longer than three seconds. If you look at the average loading time of mobile websites, this is quite serious. According to LittleData, the average loading time is 4.6 seconds, which is significantly higher than the required 3 seconds (Sep 2022). A fact that is also directly reflected in the number of purchases: According to a report by Google, the loading time has an impact on the willingness to buy for 70% of the users.
#2 MOBILE OPTIMIZATION
When visiting a website, one thing counts most: the first impression. And this is 94% design-related. An unattractive design or layout is a reason for 38% of visitors to leave the website. And that’s not all: According to a Standfort study, 75% of all users judge the reliability of a company by its web design. Especially when displayed on small screens, a user-friendly layout is often challenging. Fonts and buttons have to be designed in a way that adapts to the screen format and can also be accessed easily (e.g. without zooming) via smartphone touchscreens. Mobile usability should also be given in menu navigation, e.g. dropdown menus, in order to offer customers an optimal mobile shopping experience.
#3 EASY CHECKOUT
Despite the increasing traffic that Ecommerce websites generate via mobile devices, the mobile conversion rate is lower than the desktop conversion rate. Statistics show that the desktop conversion rate is almost 4%, which is more than 3 times higher compared to mobile. One of the main reasons for this gap: a clumsy mobile checkout. The checkout button has to be large enough and placed “above the fold” – in the user’s field of vision. It is highly recommended to use a sticky button that always stays visible even when scrolling. For the checkout form, it is important to minimize the number of input fields: A large number of fields prevents 69% of users from filling out a form and completing the order.
Another crucial aspect that strongly affects mobile purchase intention is security. According to a study by Capterra, 34% of users have security concerns when shopping via their mobile device. Online stores can improve trust by placing existing security certificates such as SSL encryption prominently in the checkout area. Since users are particularly cautious about their personal data when shopping mobile, the opportunity to order as a guest can increase the number of mobile purchase transactions. It lowers the barrier to register again. Furthermore, users appreciate the option to log in with an existing social media account – such as their Google account.
2. Unified Commerce
In order to offer customers an optimal shopping experience across different channels, an omnichannel strategy in Ecommerce is a must: According to a study by the Harward Business Review, 73% of consumers use more than one channel during their shopping journey. Customers want to be able to freely choose which device to use for shopping or which communication channel to use to interact with a company. They also expect a “seamless experience“, which means that all information is available regardless of channel and it is easy to switch from one to the other.
However, Omnichannel is a thing of the past – the next stage is called Unified Commerce. Unified Commerce unites the advantages of Omnichannel, but goes one step further: Whereas the different platforms or channels in the Omnichannel approach have to be brought together via interfaces, Unified Commerce is based on a single platform that centralizes the entire data management in one place and puts the customer at its core.
The goal is to provide an optimal customer journey through the complete integration of all sales and interaction channels. Retailers who rely on such a strategy in 2023 will be able to differentiate from their competitors as a result. Depending on the existing infrastructure, either all-in-one, microservice or modular platforms are suitable for implementing this technology.
The holistic interaction of customer interactions via online store, stationary store, social media, mobile or telephone enhances the touchpoints between customer and company. The data collected will provide even deeper insights helping to better understand the individual customer, which leads us to the third major trend in Ecommerce in 2023.
Another trend in Ecommerce whose importance has grown steadily over the past years: Personalization. According to studies, personalized content can increase the likelihood of additional items being added to the shopping cart by 110%. In fact, sales can thus be increased by up to 40%.
A company that focuses on personalization can not just significantly increase sales in its web store – it also secures a long-term advantage compared to its competitors. This is because personalization creates customer proximity. A McKinsky study found that 71% of consumers expect a company to present personalized content. If this expectation is not met, this is accompanied by disappointment (76%).
3 Measures for a personalized online store
#1 PERSONALIZED PRODUCT RECOMMENDATIONS
Product recommendations that match the user’s preferences have a strong effect on willingness to buy: 75% of consumers are more likely to buy after receiving a personal recommendation. 49% of users even said they made a product purchase based on a recommendation that they initially didn’t want to buy at all. This is directly reflected in the order value: It is estimated that a full 35% of Amazon’s total sales can be attributed to product recommendations.
#2 EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNTS
Due to price transparency, the price is a crucial factor in online shopping. Therefore, discounts are an excellent way to boost online sales. In a survey by invesp, 64% of consumers said they would not buy an item until it is discounted. 59% actively search for coupons or voucher codes before making a purchase. Through personalized discount campaigns, e.g. on the occasion of a birthday, existing customers can thus be motivated to buy again. By linking the discount to a personal event, exclusivity is conveyed and the customer feels valued.
In addition to e-mails, SMS are the best way to send out these promotional campaigns, as they pop up directly on the recipient’s smartphone. And with an open rate of 98%, they cannot be overlooked. Personalized discounts are also an excellent tool for winning back shopping cart abandoners: 54% of users buy abandoned shopping cart products as soon as they are offered a lower price.
#3 ONLINE PRODUCT CONSULTING
In a survey, the Pepper Media Holding GmbH found that 43.8% of respondents regard a lack of advice or service as a disadvantage of online shopping. Ecommerce companies can combat this pain point by providing virtual product consulting: AI-based chat or voicebots do an excellent job as shopping assistants. The availability of a bot on the webpage of the online store enables users to contact the store directly to clarify product and service questions or to receive individual recommendations.
Software solutions for increased revenue in online shops
Current Ecommerce trends show that online retailers should invest in expanding their sales strategies in order to increase sales. In addition to the technical implementation of a complex unified commerce system, however, there are also cost-effective software solutions that can be rolled out in the short term and also have an enormous impact on conversion rates and customer loyalty.
1. AI-based Shopping Cart Reminder
Abandoned shopping carts are a major problem in Ecommerce: almost 70% of all shopping carts are not completed. In figures, this means: worldwide sales losses in online commerce of $4.6 trillion. The reasons for abandonment are diverse and range from a lack of user-friendliness to negative customer reviews and high delivery costs. Users who do not complete the order because the prices are too high could possibly be encouraged to buy a product when offered a personalized discount.
But how can shopping cart abandoners be targeted? The answer is: with the help of shopping cart voicebots. Voicebots that contact the user directly after the shopping cart has been abandoned can help to recapture shopping cart abandoners. And in a fully automated way. The concept: If the user leaves the checkout process after entering his personal data, the voicebot offers the user a personalized discount via a phone call. This could be a reduced price or free shipping, for example. The integration of such a bot has the advantage that the call takes place immediately after leaving the cart and the checkout is still present for the user.
But the voicebot can do more than just act as a reminder. While chatbots are already common in online stores, Ecommerce companies can create a competitive advantage in the field of customer service by using voice-based telephone bots: The unique characteristic of the customer service voicebot is that the bot answers every call directly without any waiting time and can solve concerns on its own by connecting to the customer data base. If the request is more complex and requires the expertise of a human employee, the caller is forwarded to the responsible department.
2. After Sales Service via SMS
Once the revenue-boosting measures in the online store have been successful, the work for Ecommerce companies is not done. Now it’s time to build sustainable customer relationships to turn new customers into long-term customers. Essential for this: A great after-sales service. After an order has been received, it is the company’s job to provide the customer with all the necessary information about the online purchase. For example, 87% of consumers appreciate receiving information about the delivery status.
To ensure that the desired information does not get lost in a flood of e-mails, it is a smart choice to use the SMS channel in after-sales service. SMS notifications can be sent automatically and personalized out of existing CRM systems. In addition to delivery dates, text messages are also ideal for sending voucher codes, personalized product recommendations or customer satisfaction surveys.
So, did you already adopt the most important Ecommerce trends in 2023? Our software solutions help you effectively increase your online sales and strengthen customer relationships sustainably.