Looking into the 2023 Ecommerce Crystal Ball 

Michael Kahn (MK) 

Global CEO, Astound Commerce

Another year is in the bag, and it’s been a big one. As we enter 2023, brands need to pay attention to the ecommerce lessons learned in 2022, and keep them top of mind. Here are my top 5 industry predictions for 2023, along with the consumer trends that are driving them:

Brands need a social selling strategy for 2023. As discovered by Shopify, 80% of TikTok users state that they discover new brands and products via the platform—just one stat underscoring the importance of extending your customer journey to social. The ability to shop on social media platforms provides users with a frictionless experience, and benefits include enhanced brand awareness, increased revenue and improved SEO rankings.

Over 40% of consumers bought second-hand or refurbished goods last year, highlighting the need for brands to embrace circularity as part of their digital commerce strategy. Consumers are increasingly drawn to resale and rental opportunities in response to elevated social consciousness around climate change and the prospect of access to products at lower prices—an especially tempting proposition against the backdrop of the rising cost of living.

As we enter 2023, brands need to pay attention to the ecommerce lessons learned in 2022, and keep them top of mind.

Brands need to be prepared for the impact AI is set to have on myriad digital commerce components—think personalization, site optimization, marketing, inventory management and logistics, omnichannel product discovery, customer service and fraud prevention. The number of businesses adopting AI has grown by a staggering 270% over the past four years, and as the pandemic has increased the popularity of online shopping, customers are demanding quicker, more seamless, hyper-personalized experiences. AI provides the technology and advanced insights to meet those expectations.

We are in a personalization/privacy paradox, and the proof is in the pudding: 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when their experience has been personalized. People seek to be known but also expect to have their privacy protected, and with tougher data protection requirements and rising customer concerns, achieving this balance has never been more challenging or more important. With the demise of third-party data, brands must lean into first-party data; using it wisely and being transparent about requests for further data should be the cornerstone of an approach to personalization that’s based on trust.

Loyalty and retention are king, with 52% of consumers citing brand affinity

and experiential benefits as top drivers of membership retention. As noted above, a personalized experience is a key differentiator for retailers and is particularly important in 2023, with consumers navigating the increased cost of living—since they are now more inclined to switch brands based on price and rewards. Brands need to become skilled at shaping product content to fit individual consumer preferences and ensure subscribers have flexible options.


JAN 2023