Another year has come and gone, and with its passing, our staff at content26 and colleagues at Brand New Galaxy can begin to look forward to 2023 e-commerce trends. Not content to simply track online trends as they happen, we’ve consulted a variety of marketing, content, and design experts for their informed predictions as to what they believe the coming year in e-commerce will bring.
2023 E-Commerce Trends
Amazon Continues to Improve Its Offerings to Brands
Amazon knows that even though they’re the most dominant force in e-commerce, it can’t just rest on its laurels and expect to stay on top forever without making improvements. In Amazon Advertising, the biggest recent customer-facing improvement has been video ads for search and display. We’ve seen the response to this firsthand: more and more of our clients have asked about it specifically this year.
These ad videos appear within search results and immediately catch the eye by breaking away from the long row of static images. We first reported on sponsored ad videos when they were announced back in 2021, and now that brands have had enough time to see them in action and see how much more captivating they are than traditional search ads, we predict that the importance of video in Amazon Advertising strategies is only going to increase.
Amazon is also looking to expand its capabilities behind the scenes for brands using Amazon Advertising, so another 2023 e-commerce trend we predict is the growing relevance of Amazon as a more centralized marketing platform. Amazon Marketing Cloud is “a secure, privacy-safe, and cloud-based clean room solution, in which advertisers can easily perform analytics across pseudonymized signals, including Amazon Ads signals as well as their own inputs.” Amazon is continuously striving to be the single solution for any given problem, and for advertisers spread out across too many unconnected platforms, Amazon Marketing Cloud could simply be too useful for many brands and agencies not to use.
An Increase in Vendors Accepting Apple Pay
This prediction is pretty simple, but it falls in line nicely with simplifying the buying process so that customers don’t hit snags while trying to complete a purchase. Not all vendors currently accept Apple Pay, but with iPhones now making up the majority of US smartphones, every vendor should.
Any removal of a barrier at the buy button is a winning strategy, and Apple Pay makes it so you don’t have to type in shipping and billing info to complete the sale. We predict more vendors seeing that quicker checkout leads to more satisfied customers and adding it as an option.
An Increased Focus on Sustainability
As a response to supply chain issues and the general understanding that unchecked consumerism is simply unsustainable, more and more secondhand e-commerce options have appeared on the scene recently. There are several reasons why this is not only a positive trend, but one that we can see continuing. First, “fast fashion” is one of the highest-polluting industries on the planet, and as more people come to realize this, interest will continue to rise in buying responsibly instead of frivolously. Second, the inflation jump in 2022 hit everyone hard, so these days there are more than a few consumers out there who aren’t looking to pay full price if they don’t have to. Those willing to buy pre-owned make up a huge section of the e-commerce market, so we predict more and more brands and retail platforms are going to adjust to meet these second-hand desires.
For many people, wanting e-commerce to be more sustainable extends much further than simply being able to buy used. As Pathfinder 23’s Piotr Tomczuk told us in an interview earlier this year, “Ecological awareness is rapidly growing, and consumers are often choosing local businesses to support sustainability causes and are willing to pay more for sustainable products and services. This attitude is resonating with companies who strive to introduce sustainability to their products and operations, for example through refillable products or eco-friendly, reusable packaging.”
We predict this will continue as a 2023 e-commerce trend. Put simply, brands that focus on sustainability have a lot more to gain than they have to lose. There are plenty of consumers who see sustainability as a big plus; those who somehow think it’s a negative aren’t the sort of consumers brands should be building their sales strategies around anyway.
Make it more functional, make it easier to use, and make it less wasteful. Even outside of 2023 e-commerce trends, these are good adages to live by. We think brands and e-commerce sales platforms will agree and continue to put them into action in the coming year.