January 27, 2023

If you are active in the business world, it is essential to pay attention to current shopping trends. By 2023, it is estimated that more than 265 million American consumers will shop online.

Shopify’s Michael Keenan recently reported, “Two years ago, only 17.8% of sales came from online purchases. That number is expected to reach 20.8% by 2023, a 2 percentage point increase in e-commerce market share. Growth is expected to continue to 23% in 2025, representing an increase of 5.2 percentage points in just five years.”

Customer buying behavior has evolved as online shopping has grown. As technology continues to evolve and consumer preferences change, e-commerce companies will need to adapt and innovate to stay ahead. Keeping abreast of these trends can position businesses for success in the fast-paced world of e-commerce.

1. Increased data labeling efficiency for machine learning

Personalizing a customer’s online shopping experience is critical to increasing online sales and amplifying e-commerce success. Machine learning is used to improve the customer experience through improved search, tailored recommendations and more. However, few know that ML in e-commerce is only as good as the data it is trained on.

Any ML product requires three components: hardware, algorithms, and data. While the first two are readily available and generally not a barrier, collecting high-quality data to train ML models remains a challenge. Data labeling based on human insight is one way companies can use to better train ML applications.

“Search quality is one of the most important trends we see in e-commerce,” said Toloka CEO Olga Megorskaya. “Online marketplaces and retailers are discovering that up to 5% of gross trading volume depends on the quality of product searches and recommendations.”

To improve search results, Megarskaya recommends companies train ranking algorithms and evaluate search quality against competitors. However, these complex machine learning processes rely on human judgments of search relevance.

2. The rise of social trading

Social media platforms are becoming an increasingly important part of the e-commerce landscape as consumers use them for discovery, research, and even purchases. Businesses will need to integrate social media into their e-commerce strategies to reach and engage with consumers.

According to The Future of Commerce, “Global sales through social media platforms were estimated to reach US$992 billion by 2022, and projections suggest social commerce sales will reach approximately US$2.9 trillion by 2026. Social commerce is critical for brands to connect with their audiences, and is expected to generate $30.73 billion in sales by 2023, accounting for 20% of global retail e-commerce sales. The Future of Commerce also reports that Gen Z customers use TikTok more than Google to find product recommendations. For brands looking to target these audiences, using TikTok is vital.

Incorporating an influencer marketing strategy is another way to reap the benefits of social commerce. Working with an influencer allows companies to connect with pre-qualified customers. This strategy can increase engagement and conversion rates. Social proof from social media influencer marketing campaigns often converts leads into sales.

3. Expand omnichannel capabilities

Being multichannel means that companies need to be able to sell and interact with customers through multiple channels at any given time. This can be like having a website, Facebook store, and an Instagram account. Omnichannel is the next level, and it’s the future of e-commerce. Currently, 52% of ecommerce sites have omnichannel capabilities.

Building omnichannel capabilities into an ecommerce site requires an understanding of the consumer audience. Creating a seamless experience often keeps a customer returning. In fact, companies with robust omnichannel strategies retain almost 89% of their customers. However, the reverse is also true. Companies with weak omnichannel strategies have a 33% customer retention rate.

“The power of true omnichannel is understanding all the channels our customers use, and how they want to use them, throughout their journey,” said Ferguson Enterprises Chief Marketing Officer, Victoria Morrissey. “If you don’t understand what that journey is, you can’t give the right information at the right time.”

Strong omnichannel strategies do more than just improve the online shopper experience. According to McKinsey, the more channels a sales company has, the more market shares a company gains.

Paying attention to these growing trends can benefit the bottom line, which is increasingly important in today’s competitive market. Staying abreast of upcoming changes will also help ensure you’re not left behind.

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