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8 Trends Impacting Online Sales in 2023

Reading Time: 6 minutes

When you understand online sales trends, you can shape your marketing strategies so those trends work in your favor. Read on to learn eight trends impacting online sales in 2023 and how you can leverage consumer shopping habits to grow your business. 

1. The Growth of User-Generated Content

User-generated content provides the social proof consumers need –– and want –– when comparing brands and products. As you ramp up for 2023, consider how UGC and influencer marketing can drive brand affinity and loyalty. Below are a few examples of exceptionally executed UGC:

  • Apple’s #ShotOniPhone campaign collected –– and continues to collect –– artful photographs from iPhone users around the world. 
  • Chipotle’s TikTok videos with the #ChipotleHacks tag currently has over 80 million views. The trend inspires excitement and interest in the fast-casual brand while providing content it can use for marketing purposes. 
  • Social media isn’t the only place for UGC. Amazon’s customer reviews are a prime example of effective UGC. Research shows that 92 percent of shoppers trust peer recommendations over claims from brands. By publishing reviews for shoppers to see, Amazon capitalizes on existing customer sentiment to sell even more products. 

By utilizing UGC, you extend the reach of your marketing arm to new audiences, engaging them through the lens of an individual, not your brand entity. Publishing content created by actual product users allows you to market authentically and earn consumers trust.

2. Increased Accessibility of VR Content

Virtual reality is quickly becoming a fixture for e-commerce and omni-channel businesses. VR enables an immersive visual experience when shopping. VR applications for online stores can include:

  • Virtual try-ons 
  • Virtual stores or showrooms 
  • Interactive content or education 

Revieve is paving the way in the AR/VR content space. In a recent partnership with NAOS, the software development brand has rolled out “Skin Scanner AI” to personalize skincare routines of NAOS shoppers. The personalized digital experience makes customer-specific recommendations based on AI-powered logic. 

By implementing innovative VR applications like these, brands provide unique experiences that consumers simply won’t get with other online retailers. 

And in addition to creating a memorable customer experience, VR content enables shoppers to be confident in their purchases. Implementing VR in your online sales marketing strategy allows

shoppers to better understand your product and how they’ll use it or be served by it, which not only compels them to purchase, but it can also reduce return rates.

3. Product Delivery Rate and Speed

Coming through on package delivery promises continues to be essential for brands into 2023. 

In the past, brands gave a time window for product delivery, allowing for wiggle room in logistics and transportation. Today, Amazon has set the standard for shipping and delivery that consumers not only expect but demand. Prime’s two-day shipping has transformed consumer expectations of online shopping and shipping. 

But when delivery doesn’t go as expected, dissatisfied and inconvenienced consumers take their purchase power elsewhere. One study shows that inaccurate delivery can deter up to 70 percent of shoppers from buying with the retailer in the future. 

Be transparent with delivery details throughout the sales process. Seventy-five percent of shoppers note that putting the estimated delivery date on the product page or in the cart positively influences their decision to purchase.

Set delivery dates according to what shoppers expect –– and demand –– and stick to them.

4. Flexible Ways to Pay

Point-of-sale financing has been a fixture in retail for years. In the early days, installment loans were reserved for big-ticket purchases, like furniture or medical procedures. Now, consumers expect alternative payment methods, like a “Buy Now, Pay Later” option, for their everyday online purchases. 

Flexible payment options allow brands and retailers to address one of the biggest obstacles to sales: cart abandonment. 

Cart abandonment is a significant issue for all industries. Statista found that every market within their research sees cart abandonment rates of at least 50 percent. By reducing friction in the sales journey with flexible payment options, online retailers anticipate consumer hesitations and remove the obstacles to confirming the purchase. 

5. Ratings and Reviews

Product ratings are invaluable for your online sales. There may not be a more effective marketing method than a positive product review. 

According to PowerReviews, 99.9 percent of shoppers have read product reviews when shopping online. And nearly 80 percent of consumers choose to shop from sites with product reviews. If a product has no reviews, 44 percent of shoppers will not buy that item. These numbers show that reviews are essential for shoppers making purchase decisions, especially as they shop online. 

When a shopper chooses to buy a product online, they look for assurances that they’re making the right choice the first time. Your product reviews provide honest insight into the item and how likely it will meet their needs and expectations. 

If you can capitalize on good reviews, you can influence prospective customers into committing to purchase. From there, you can earn a customer for life. 

A strong ratings and review monitoring strategy helps you make the most of your product reviews. You can know when a review is posted, how many are published for each item, and customer sentiment behind your products. From those reviews, you can address concerns, rethink product design, and build trust.

6. Inflation Increases Product Research Efforts

Inflation is on the rise in markets across the globe. Because every product costs more –– from big-ticket purchases to everyday buys –– consumers spend more time researching products and pricing before they buy. 

The reality and consequences of inflation mean brands must create easily discoverable content that appeals to consumer needs. Brands that invest in optimizing for share-of-search results can see how they’re performing, what’s working, and what needs an overhaul to earn conversion traffic. 

High search rankings lead to more engagement, clicks, and long-term customers. When you know how you stack up against competitors, you can adjust your content strategy to draw in your audience and increase your revenue. 

7. Effective and Strategic Product Detail Pages

Winning the digital shelf in 2023 –– and beyond –– is only possible if your product page delivers. In an e-commerce retail space, your content is your product. You need product content that engages, informs, and persuades shoppers to buy. 

Your product page is the epicenter of your online sales. You must strategically design and execute your product detail page to reach your goals. 

Competing on the digital shelf requires your content to be right the first time you publish. There’s no time for content edits, misrepresentation, or miscommunication with your consumers. 

Content readiness strategies allow you to preview your content quality before publishing live. The right readiness strategy empowers brands to:

  • Understand the current product page landscape 
  • Identify opportunities to upgrade content 
  • Score content at scale 
  • Optimize new product launches 

Every digital action you take should drive consumers to your product page. Effective product page strategy sets you up for e-commerce success in 2023.

8. Retail Media Programs

Retail media networks change the way businesses interact with shoppers. The collection of digital channels is owned by a retailer which offers ad space to third-party businesses (think Amazon offering ad space to sellers.) Retail media networks are mutually beneficial to retailers and consumers: businesses advertise to strong prospects who are prepared to spend for the products they want and need. 

Like many other things in the e-commerce space, Amazon paved –– and continues to pave ––  the way for retail advertising platforms. Last year, the retail giant consumed 89 percent of retail media ad spend.  

Walmart, long known to be America’s big box store, has a significant presence in the online retail space as well. Brands fight for top spots in Walmart’s Buy Box. And now, Walmart Connect allows brands to reach consumers online, through the app, and in brick-and-mortar stores. 

Online shoppers want personalized experiences that provide the solutions they’re searching for. Retail media advertising delivers target ads to consumers at the ideal point in their buyer’s journey: when they’re ready to spend. 

This arm of advertising is especially effective because it’s implemented near the point of sale. Brands advertise when consumers are in prime position to spend, increasing the effectiveness –– and ROI –– of their ad spend. But if you’re spending tons of money without knowing what type of shopping experience is on your product pages, it’s a critical missed conversion opportunity.

Take Control of the Digital Shelf in 2023

With the right tools, you can enter 2023 with a strategy to grow your online sales and secure your position on the digital shelf. Content Status has the tech, tools, and resources to help you turn sales challenges into opportunities. Reach out to our team today to learn how we can equip you to capitalize on 2023’s online sales trends.