February 15, 2024
With global e-commerce sales expected to reach $6.3 trillion by the end of 2023, the world is shifting towards a digital-first culture driven by shoppers’ increasing demand for convenience.
As the e-commerce market continues to grow, here at Flixmedia we believe it is highly important for brands and retailers to connect with their shoppers. We understand the value of providing rich e-commerce experiences, which is why we have outlined five top e-commerce trends to prepare for this year.
The retail industry is constantly changing. With technology and e-commerce evolving, shopping behaviours are also changing. Consumers are increasingly preferring the convenience and benefits of online shopping. An omnichannel strategy focuses on connecting all of a company's touchpoints, including brick-and-mortar, web, and mobile devices, to provide customers with a fully integrated shopping experience.
According to findings in a recent report, 74% of retailers have either started on their omnichannel strategy or have already implemented one. As consumers demand experiences which blend online and offline shopping, it is likely that brands and retailers which have not implemented an omnichannel strategy would at the very least have considered it.
The Covid-19 pandemic has effected major changes to daily living: with lockdowns and social distancing measures, most were forced to stay indoors. As non-essential shops were forced to close the uptake in online shopping accelerated significantly. In addition, as ordinary household items became harder to come by due to panic-buying, shoppers became more focused on basic needs.
Since the pandemic began, many shoppers are continuing to shop online. Indeed, online spending is much higher than before the Covid-19 pandemic, with online sales accounting for 26.6% of official global retail sales in 2022, compared with 21% in 2021. Yet with the economy currently affected by inflation and recession, consumer spending has doubtless been affected. A recent report has revealed how US shoppers have become more cautious in purchasing, with over two thirds of shoppers considering private-label goods. It also found that most shoppers are more likely to purchase lower-priced Amazon private labels versus other brands. Brands and retailers must monitor consumer behaviour and keep up with changes that occur amid economic pressure and unprecedented times.
Brands and retailers are constantly evolving their online strategies to meet the demands of the competitive e-commerce world. Gen Zs and Millennials combined will make up 72% of the world’s workforce by 2029. Currently, they hold the key to the e-commerce future as both generations have high buying power and brand loyalty. Gen Zs hold major shopping habits that brands and retailers must keep a close eye on to meet their demands and expectations. These include the following:
- 77% of Gen Zs have taken some form of action in aid of a cause
- 23% of Gen Zs have boycotted a brand
- 65% of Gen Zs have purchased something based on an influencer’s recommendation
Gen Zs will shape the future of buying and have been labelled the most critically important consumer group, due to having a different view of shopping to previous generations. They value individual expression and mobilise themselves for a variety of causes, and strongly believe in the efficacy of dialogue to solve conflicts and make change. As a result, Gen Zs strongly value sustainability and are more likely to buy sustainable and high-quality products, with 73% willing to pay 10% more for sustainable products, according to a recent report. Gen Z spending is therefore a great target for ongoing business growth.
Gen Zs and Millennials are considerably financially responsible. As a result of experiencing their parents’ financial struggles during the great recession of 2008, they are more economical and price-sensitive. This newer generation is more inclined to purchase via credit, with 19% of Gen Zs willing to buy on credit, and 30% of Millennials willing to do the same. In fact, more than half of the global Millennial population are likely to avoid shopping at stores that don't offer contactless payments.
Social media is the new storefront: findings by Deloitte Global predicted that the market for social commerce will surpass $1 trillion globally in 2023. Shopper purchasing behaviour has shifted to social commerce, especially among Gen Zs who, in contrast to other generations, have grown up with mobile devices. Gen Z shoppers use social media to seek inspiration, research products and connect with brands. In fact, Gen Zs are also more inclined to trust social media influencers over companies. Brands and retailers should recognise the importance of influencer marketing in order to target the newer generation effectively.
In recent years, there has been increasing use of mobile apps among shoppers, particularly among Gen Zs. It is expected that m-commerce will account for 43.4% of total retail sales in 2023, up from 41.8% in 2022. Brands and retailers that implement use for an app will have a major advantage compared to those that do not have one.
Brands and retailers are becoming increasingly aware of the environment and ways of helping to protect it. Many are directing their strategy and investments toward sustainable and responsible growth. This priority is being led by shoppers, especially Gen Zs, who are more conscious of where they shop and the impact it has on the environment.
Last year revealed a sharp increase in the number of shoppers who have adopted a more sustainable lifestyle, in comparison to 2021. Shoppers had increasingly focused on purchasing products they needed, reducing their meat consumption and opting for low-carbon emission modes of transport.
A 2021 study also found that 50% of shoppers said they were willing to pay a premium for a sustainable brand or sustainable products. In 2022, 49% of shoppers said that in the previous 12 months they had paid a premium (an average of 59% or more) for products branded as sustainable or socially responsible.
Re-commerce refers to the selling of previously owned items through online marketplaces to buyers who reuse, recycle or resell them. With the increasing priority of sustainability amongst shoppers, re-commerce has become more popular in recent years due to the concept of fuelling growth whilst promoting environmental protection. A 2022 study revealed that 78% of shoppers prefer to buy used goods online. As a result, many re-commerce platforms and brands emerged last year, picking up on this growing trend. In 2023, we expect re-commerce to become established amongst more brands and retailers.
Delivering convenience as well as innovation, e-commerce provides a great opportunity to meet growing shopper demand, especially among Gen Zs, who are critically important in terms of buying power. In tandem with the increasing demand for digital shopping experiences, e-commerce sales are forecasted to increase. To remain competitive and relevant, brands and retailers should make sure they are aware of emerging e-commerce trends, and identify those relevant to their business.
It is also increasingly important for brands and retailers to have a seamless product experience throughout the e-commerce network. As Flixmedia understands the importance and value of e-commerce, we believe that experience matters. This is why our content syndication platform is an essential tool for businesses with a digital presence. Providing speed, scale and automation, the platform enables businesses to provide memorable shopping experiences, thus promoting client retention – and acquisition.
To learn more about Flixmedia’s content syndication platform, schedule a demo today.