Recent years have seen tremendous growth for eCommerce(*). In 2021, revenue was estimated to be roughly $5.2 trillion. In 2025, it is expected to grow 56% and eventually hit $8.1 trillion by 2026. Digital shoppers have increased by about 1 billion between 2019 and 2022, and many verticals are now earning two-thirds of their profit through eCommerce(*).
With the disruptions brought by the pandemic, the resulting inflation, and the looming recession, brands and retailers face a challenging path to capitalize on and sustain continuous growth. Yet, many can thrive by keeping abreast of changing consumer preferences and expectations – and delivering them accordingly.
We asked top eCommerce influencers for their predictions on trends we’ll be seeing next year. Here’s what they have to say.
1. Shep Hyken, Customer Service & Experience Expert
Shep leverages nearly four decades of experience at Shepard Presentations, working with companies and organizations that want to create amazing customer service experiences for their customers and employees. In 2021, he published his eighth book, I’ll Be Back: How to Get Customers to Come Back Again and Again.
“Personalization will become more personalized. Up until recently, personalization has been to segment customers into several personas. Today, customers are experiencing hyper-personalization, treating them as individuals versus part of a group of the company’s customer base. This will endear the customer to the company, creating a greater chance of repeat business and even customer loyalty.”
2. Chloë Thomas, Podcast Host & Author at eCommerce MasterPlan
Chloë Thomas is a globally recognized eCommerce marketing problem solver. She’s the author of several bestselling books, keynote speaker, and host of both the award-winning eCommerce MasterPlan Podcast and Keep Optimising Podcast.
“The Traffic Mix is back. To be super successful brands are going to need to have a mixture of different types of marketing running – some free, some paid, and some automated. Plus I think we’ll see some interesting advertising budget allocations, rather than everything with Google and Meta.”
3. Charles McBroom, Digital Strategist & Founder at Fitted Commerce
Charlie is the co-founder of Fitted Commerce, a growth agency and consultancy firm focused on eCommerce. Charlie is a business consultant and agency owner helping businesses with operations, system implementation, and growth. He works with eCommerce, SaaS, and other digitally dependent businesses to help grow revenue whilst remaining efficient.
“Consumers will look at Alternatives to Amazon. Ecommerce had its lockdown boom and now faces a potential slump! With the cost of living increasing and marketplaces continuing to increase costs for their sellers, popular sites such as Amazon may no longer be the best option for the consumer. We’re going to see more price-conscious consumers search for cheaper options who may prefer price over the convenience of a prime-like service. So it’s time to take some of the costs of seller fees, marketplace PPC, and those premium shipping services and spend it on your website and Google.”
4. Alex Fedotoff, CEO at eCommerce Scaling Secrets
Known as the “King of Scaling Facebook Ads” by Forbes Magazine, Alex Fedotoff has been helping businesses scale their financial returns. After years of success in the eCommerce industry, Alex founded eCommerce Scaling Secrets, a consulting company specializing in eCommerce scaling. Through this journey, he helps business owners see the wonders of social media and how to use Facebook ads, in particular, to their advantage.
“In 2023 lives will become more integrated into eCommerce as influencers and brand faces play a bigger role in awareness and creating trust. Consumers are also getting used to more dynamic interactions with brands besides regular product pages. Another massive brand will be YouTube shorts. Brands who can figure out YouTube shorts will drive a lot of free traffic and top-of-funnel awareness as YouTube prioritizes shorts a lot to beat TikTok. Innovation in these new channels will give brands an advantage and will offset the rising traffic costs.”
5. Kaleigh Moore, Writer & Consultant specializing in Retail and eCommerce technology
Kaleigh is a content marketer and eCommerce expert that creates long-form, top-ranking blog articles for eCommerce platforms and the SaaS tools that integrate with them. She also contributes to Vogue Business, Forbes, Adweek, and other business publications.
“We’re going to see a lot more focus on truly optimizing the online shopping experience–going beyond personalization and getting into engaging experiences that take more of the guesswork out of shopping virtually.”
6. Neha Singh, Founder & CEO at Obsess
Neha Singh has led engineering and product teams at Google, Vogue, and a luxury eCommerce startup, building platforms and products that reach millions of users. She received her graduate degree in Computer Science from MIT. In 2016, she founded Obsess, a metaverse shopping platform that enables brands and retailers to serve highly interactive, visual, and branded virtual stores on their websites and on metaverse platforms.
“In 2023, virtual experiences will become table stakes for the eCommerce industry. During the years following the pandemic, we saw a rise in brands experimenting with virtual versions of their retail stores, in order to engage with their consumers outside of the transactional eCommerce grid. Now, those brands are expanding into fantastical, out-of-this-world virtual experiences that are more immersive, more creative, and prime for permanence. At Obsess, we’ve seen a positive correlation between discovery-driven, gamified virtual stores and long-term customer engagements in eCommerce.”
7. Glynn Davis, Founder & Director of Retail Insider
Glynn is one of the UK’s most knowledgeable and experienced retail journalists, founder of Retail Insiders, and provides consultancy and media advice to various corporations. Glynn covers the retail and leisure industries for a variety of publications, including the FT, Retail Bulletin, Essential Retail, Retail Systems, Retail Technology, BEER, and Propel.
“Returns continue to be a major headache for online retailers. Continuing to keep them free to consumers is unsustainable. Retailers need to bring in charges and further promote click & collect. Bringing in charges should help reduce serial returners and bump up average basket sizes. The second trend in 2023 will be the continuation of online-only brands taking physical stores. The ability to secure units has become easier as vacancy rates rise and the cost of digital marketing has increased so dramatically that moving into bricks and mortar now looks economically sensible.”
8. John Ghiorso, SVP of Global eCommerce at Media.Monks
John Ghiorso is the founder of Orca Pacific, a Seattle-based agency that helps brands sell on Amazon that now is part of Media.Monks. He has been studying Amazon for 10 years and has a reputation for being able to predict industry reactions and shifts within the marketplace. His insights have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Vox, Modern Retail, and Digiday.
- “Unified retail media. Brands will start viewing retail media as an interconnected channel for paid media and not a handful of unrelated platforms.
- Creative differentiation in retail media. Creativity will start to play a bigger role in the differentiation, and success, of retail media campaigns. Savvy brands will also do a better job of connecting their retail media creative with their overall creative strategy.
- Increased product discounting. Consumers will become more price-sensitive due to the convergence of inflation and an economic slowdown. They will still spend but will increasingly look to get a deal when doing so.”
9. Neil Ashworth, Director at Neil Ashworth & Associates
Neil has more than 25 years of board-level experience in the logistics, supply chain, retail, and eCommerce industries, with a track record of helping companies and organizations remain at the forefront of market innovation and transform their operations into the digital era.
“2023 will be a year of constraint – in terms of customer spending, retailer inventories, and labour capacity. In overall terms, I would anticipate a difficult year, with limited/low growth in the overall eCommerce market (though with one or two stronger categories such as Home, DIY, and Health & Beauty)”
10. Don Brett, Global Chief Digital Officer at NBG Home
Don Brett is the Global Chief Digital Officer at NBG Home and a professional with 16 years of experience in transformation, new business development, sales, revenue growth management, and post-merger integrations. Don is a fantastic go-to resource for what’s the latest and greatest in the world of eCommerce and digital. He has the ability to see the opportunities in front of him and raise them up and drive exponential growth in his businesses.
- “Digital shelf fundamentals (increased rigor around content, ratings, visual image effectiveness)
- “Distribution strategy (greater migration towards 3p)”.
- “Share of voice and advertising (Tracking the average spend to incremental sales. The need for every dollar spent to generate incremental sales will continue to grow. I am not talking ROAS or even total ACOS); rather, true incremental sales. It is based on metrics like lifetime value, the share of voice, new to the brand, etc)”
With a possibly unpredictable market ahead, the top influencers of eCommerce think that retailers can make strides by focusing on customers and their shopping journeys – both online and offline. Being innovative and creating memorable experiences make a big difference at a time when attention is fickle. When consumers are tightening their purse strings, it’s important that every minute of the customer experience is worth their while. Beginning with product discovery right down to loyalty programs, being lean, creative, differentiated, and sustainable is what can separate winning brands from the rest next year.