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Ecommerce keeps getting more and more relevant to consumers' day-to-day lives and is an increasingly essential component of corporate growth strategies. By 2026, Shopify predicts, global internet-fueled sales will exceed $8 trillion. That's a more than 50% bump from 2021 figures, and no one quite knows where the ceiling might be.
The ongoing planning challenge for businesses is that ecommerce isn't necessarily the opposite of in-person buying: Plenty of consumers use digital sites and apps to springboard brick-and-mortar purchases. Conversely, it's common for shoppers to try out products in a store, then buy the merchandise online. But in any case, ecommerce's relevance and growth are on track to continue indefinitely.
Here are 2023 trends in this space to consider:
1. Digital marketers will seek and apply improved attribution models
Attribution has become a huge sticking point for digital marketers. Let's say your company's marketing includes a mix of Facebook, Spotify and Google ads, along with social media posts and YouTube videos. But when a customer buys something from your ecommerce store, can you be certain where to attribute that sale?
Many e-retailers work with a last-click attribution model that gives all credit to the site where the final click-through occurred. However, that last site might not have actually prompted the sale. It could have been made somewhere earlier in the attribution funnel, such as in a how-to YouTube video. By assigning more significance to the last-click site, it's possible to wind up spending ad money where it doesn't belong or worse yet: taking money away from a site that deserves a higher percentage of your overall spend.
To help get more accurate conversion reporting, many providers now offer alternative options to on-platform attribution modeling. Some platforms can be integrated into your website and send real-time attribution tracking to a dashboard. This would allow you to see the ads, email, or SMS marketing visitors have viewed and track site events through to the point of conversion. This level of detail helps marketers figure out where to most efficiently spend advertising dollars.
So far, ecommerce sellers have been forced to go through trial-and-error steps to feel good about attributions, and these machinations take time to produce enough information to make final decisions. With newer, all-inclusive attribution platforms coming onto the scene, marketers can focus their attention better.
2. Providers will improve content quality
Talks of recession haven't yet stopped consumers from spending, but there's increasing worry about them soon pulling back from unnecessary purchases. According to CFO Dive, the second half of 2023 is expected to bring a consumer spending slump as people tap into savings reserves.
What does this have to do with ecommerce product content? Everything. Consumers habitually research products before making purchases. Exactly how many touch points are needed depends on the product, but without question, content sways their behavior.
Though you'll see text content upgrades this year, that form isn't the only one on marketers' minds. Expect to see a lot of video content incorporated into ecommerce stock-keeping unit pages and descriptions, too. A recent Wyzowl survey indicates that 73% of potential buyers want to learn through short videos: Accordingly, marketers are delivering it in droves.
Not sure how to start with in-house video production? Add a personalized touch. You can also ask for and utilize user content on social channels. Ideally, any content should answer the pivotal question, "Why should I buy?"
3. More ecommerce stores will offer subscriptions
One way to keep shoppers buying again and again is through subscriptions. Not every store has that ability, but expect to see more of them, and quickly. Kearney research reports nearly half of all people who make weekly purchases online are open to subscriptions, and many already have at least one. Put simply, interest is high enough for digital marketers to take the plunge.
The beauty of this model is its consistent revenue. Plenty of consumers take a "set it and forget it" approach to their subscriptions — a great opportunity to enjoy a little passive income that can bump up average customer lifetime value.
To figure out if one could work for your business, study the journeys of frequent customers. Do they tend to buy the same product on a regular basis? If so, that's a potential place for you to upsell them to a subscription, and adding a special discounted rate (à la Amazon) can sweeten the deal.