As the internet grew more commonplace in the early 2000s, with it came a rapid shift towards online retail and electronic markets. The entire world was starting to go online and do things online, so why would buying and selling of products and services not be included in that?
Over the years, the e-commerce industry has grown massively, to the point where it has already started to completely replace physical stores across the world. The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic created another massive shift that changed how many businesses that chose to stay offline operated. With technology evolving the way e-commerce works almost yearly and with more and more people trying to get into this industry, here are some of the E-commerce trends in 2023
The last decade or so saw the rise of many new technologies that have changed the world drastically. Cloud-computing allowed for faster digitization, and faster internet technology allowed for people to connect better. Social media changed how people connected to the world, and Big Data changed how businesses operated.
One of the biggest technological advancements of the past decade, however, is artificial intelligence. AI technology brought a lot to the table that was simply not deemed possible before it – better predictive analytics, machine learning, improved automation, and even content creation. The way AI is developing, it is likely to play an even bigger role in 2023 and the years to come. Here are some of the ways AI is changing and is going to change the ecommerce industry:
While the technology itself hasn’t peaked yet and is not up to the point where it can completely replace humans, AI chatbots have allowed businesses to solve minor customer-service issues and allow for service requests 24/7. With machine learning, chatbots can become more and more empathetic and identify the tone and requests of the customers just like a human would.
AI-based natural language processing and image training has vastly improved speech and image recognition over the years. This has allowed customers to look for products either through voice search or using images. This has allowed a much wider audience to gain access to online retailers and marketplaces. Furthermore, AI-based translation technology can process speech in many languages, providing an even larger audience support than what the store itself can offer.
Using store and customer data to provide insights into the business has been a goal for data science and machine learning for a while. AI based data analytics is allowing business owners to make better predictions for their stores, which in turn allow for better and more optimized operation of the business itself. Moreover, AI based predictive analytics also allow businesses to predict the outcome of making drastic changes to their business models before actually trying out the changes.
User data collected from their browsing activity can provide a lot of information about the user. By harnessing that data, AI can be used to improve targeted advertisement and provide better recommendations. This can allow businesses to cater to each customer individually without needing the manpower to do so and create a unique customer experience.
Ecommerce owners heavily rely on content generation to be able to stay relevant in an ocean of online businesses. AI based content creation tools are at a point where they can easily generate content for businesses to use. From images to videos to text, AI content generators can create a huge plethora of content that mimic real creators. This can be huge for businesses, although not so good for content creators themselves.
The amount of data being collected on the internet is a growing concern for privacy. While data privacy laws like the GDPR exist, they are merely a slap on the wrist of Big Data companies.
Awareness about data collection is increasing and customers are starting to be more concerned about forced advertisements and collection of data through internet activity, something which online businesses heavily rely on. This means that ecommerce business owners will have to adopt more ethical data practices and rely on lesser data collection going forward.
Currently, mobile commerce plays a huge role in ecommerce, making up most of the customer base. With price of smartphones dropping across the world and mobile data becoming cheaper in many places, there is likely going to be an even bigger prominence of mobile ecommerce in 2023.
Subscription based service models are growing in popularity. They can offer convenience to the customers at a much lower price point and if done right, it can secure your business for the long run. The subscription model can become more common in 2023 and in the future.
There has been a greater emphasis on accessibility and ease of use when it comes to online retailers and marketplaces over the years. A well-designed website is expected to be accessible to all. However, many businesses fail to meet these requirements. Addressing accessibility issues can allow your business to reach a wider audience.
AI is already improving accessibility with the help of better searching facilities, but site design that can provide more streamlined access to your website and create better customer experiences is a must in today’s world. 2023 will see more in the sense of better accessibility options in websites.
Climate change and environmental degradation has been a major concern for a while. Consumers are starting to opt for more sustainable choices when it comes to packaging, transportation, and even manufacturing of products. This has forced businesses to adopt green practices and alter their branding towards sustainable practices. Many large companies have already pledged to achieve 100% sustainable raw-product use within the next few years. 2023 might see a greater shift towards sustainable choices.
From new means of online ecommerce to improved AI based analytics, 2023 has a lot in store for the ecommerce world. As technology evolves, so does the ecommerce world, and the only way to survive is to adapt to these new changes. There is a lot to look out for in the coming years and it will be up to you as a business owner to stay up to speed with the changing technology.