E-commerce at the threshold of 2023 – where is it going?

December 07 2022

Graphics showing elements depicting online shopping, e.g. a basket or shopping bags

The year 2022 is coming to an end, and in the e-commerce industry, we feel like we have a lot of gray hair. It was a time of many challenges, which often overlapped, forcing us – entrepreneurs and marketers to much greater effort.

What trends in e-commerce have we observed over the course of this year?

Pandemic and its effects

Although it would seem that the worst is behind us, it seems that the topic of the pandemic stuck for longer. The restrictions meant that a large part of businesses was forced to move their activities to the Internet. The restrictions also had an impact on the functioning of supply chains – which undoubtedly caused us a lot of problems.

Are we able to list the positive effects of this whole situation in the context of the e-commerce industry? Definitely yes! A significant amount of people who have so far made purchases only in stationary form have learned the advantages of online stores and have remained faithful to them even after the reopening of traditional outlets. Not only that, it turned out that both forms of sales can still function and complement each other.

Photograph of a woman wearing a mask making purchases on a mobile phone
The change in shopping habits was a natural consequence of the imposed restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Changes in customer expectations

In 2022, we observe dynamic changes in customer behavior that require accurate analysis and … effective response. More competition in the market means higher costs for you to acquire valuable traffic and more expectations that you have to meet. Your client has at his disposal price comparison websites and a lot of places where he can verify opinions about your product. Merely adding something to the virtual basket does not mean a purchase completed with payment.

What are customers paying more attention to now?

Firstly, the term quick commerce, i.e. e-commerce fast food. Customers no longer have time to “prepare for shipment within 48 hours”. They expect that the product they choose will be sent almost immediately, to reach the parcel locker on the next business day at the latest.

Attention, if you have used standard packaging so far, consider another trend that stands out in customer behavior. The eco approach, with a whole list of requirements for both ingredients and the aforementioned packaging, is a trend that cannot be ignored. Consumers are making more and more conscious choices and are increasingly stigmatizing green washing. Therefore, if in 2023 you really care about both customers and our planet – consider introducing truly ecological solutions.

Graphics showing examples of ecological products made of wood or raw linen
Your customers are becoming more and more aware of whether a given product is truly ecological.
Don't try to be "eco" just for the sake of principle. Your customers will quickly feel every marketing move and will quickly point it out to you. An example is a cotton bag, the production of which is not as ecological as it looks.

A hated term…inflation

Another attribute of 2022, which is impossible to escape. Higher costs of living, high prices in stores and uncertainty that accompanies your customers and affects their shopping habits. Looking for savings, you may face the need to reduce jobs or your advertising budget. This will make running a successful e-commerce business no easy task.

Winter at the threshold of 2023 is the time of the biggest challenges that Poles will have to face in years. Will they have the means to use your services? Will the problems with heating the house and even feeding the family make shopping in your online store recede into the background … well, unless you trade coal.

War in Ukraine

Back in January, we were whining about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the market… Who could have expected how reality would change after February 24. Russia’s attack on Ukraine echoed in many areas of our lives – from the economy to social behavior. Poles began to get involved in charity actions, pushing entertainment and luxury goods to the background. After a moment of consternation, e-commerce businesses began to show solidarity with the struggling Ukraine in the form of financial aid, as well as in a symbolic way – by adjusting the branding or creating subpages in Ukrainian.

Almost 6 million refugees are – whatever you say – another target group whose shopping behavior is worth getting to know. This is where CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) comes into play, i.e. a trend towards active participation of brands in pro-social activities.

Examples of logotypes of Polish brands that changed their branding in solidarity with Ukraine
Many brands showed support for struggling Ukraine with a temporary rebranding.

What changes in e-commerce have the current situation forced?

The most important lesson for e-commerce in 2022?
The only certainty is… change. Only businesses that responded to them in the right way managed to stay afloat.

A stationary boutique, which opened for online sales during the pandemic, is now able to review whether it is profitable to act “on two fronts” in a given case. After all, customers still like to see and “feel” the fabric on their own skin before ordering the right size of the dress and … picking it up at a parcel locker near their home.

Companies that worked on brand awareness in social media during the lockdown can now reap the fruits of their labor if they managed to loyalize their audience.
Entrepreneurs who took care of the automation of purchasing processes or personalized mailings will now not be afraid of reducing hours for customer service.

Effective e-commerce, how to keep up with the world?

E-commerce that does not develop – stands still, while e-commerce that stands still – in fact lags behind, because the competition is not sleeping.

How to keep up with the trends of 2023 and not be surprised? Two things are worth realizing:

First, our reality will continue to change. Flexibility is one of the most valuable competencies today. Make sure you have a team around you that is creative, open to change and continuous development. Don’t assume that everything the experts advise you now will still be recommended a few months later.

Another issue is universal values ​​that remain relevant to your customers regardless of trends. The brand’s involvement in individual cases, caring customer care, high product quality and professional advice – these are the distinguishing features that will allow you to survive when others will outdo each other in the “who’s cheaper” category. Consumers buy from brands that they love and that their friends love – it doesn’t change and it’s worth keeping in the back of your mind all the time.

Employees of the graphic department analyze sketches for the mock-up of an online store
The values ​​your brand professes should be the foundation of all its activities.

What will 2023 bring for e-commerce?

Expect a heavy emphasis on personalization. Your client wants to be treated exceptionally and expects tailor-made service. Tools that use AI – i.e. artificial intelligence – turn out to be useful. Based on previous purchases, you are able to adjust product suggestions and even special offers – e.g. anticipating the needs of a customer who has purchased a dietary supplement in a jar for 3 months and may soon need another package.

You already know that another important aspect is time, or rather the lack of it. In 2023, it is worth trying to shorten the purchasing process to an absolute minimum. How about voice dialing? If this solution seems to you a distant abstraction, let’s talk in a few months.

The tiktokization of social media is another strong trend. We reduce the intensity of content and move into the world of short video creations. Like it or not – IG reels will continue to be exposed more strongly than photographs. It’s about attracting the attention of observers more effectively, as well as better presentation of products or services. Fighting with the algorithm doesn’t make much sense here, so all you have to do is keep up with those who are already implementing more and more neat and refined “rolls”. Want to see ours? Click here.

What else will 2023 bring in the world of e-commerce? Changes on the part of giants, such as the one about Google cookies. Greater emphasis on data security, which is still at risk in the age of hacker attacks. More surprises for which you can prepare yourself, even on a mental level.

Who can help you grow your e-commerce business?

If you are ambitious in developing your e-commerce business, take a close look at your resources. Your team should include a project manager who will be able to manage individual departments. It is worth taking care of effective communication and the feeling that each of the employees plays for a common goal. Nowadays, creativity and agility in adapting to the market situation, which – as you can see – is extremely dynamic, is extremely valuable.

One of the basic competences that should be paid attention to is the ability to analyze data. Times full of business challenges are no longer a place for fortune-telling or “spray and pray” tactics. Find specialists who will quickly draw conclusions and use the potential of available tools to the maximum. Thanks to this, you will be able to optimize your activities and make better use of the available budget.

An employee of the Click Leaders e-commerce agency analyzes the recordings in front of a computer screen
The ability to analyze data will be one of the most in-demand competencies in 2023.

Is an e-commerce agency your ally?

If your team is not complete yet, or most of the responsibilities belong to one person – it may turn out that hiring an e-commerce agency will be the best solution for your business. Experienced agencies are up to date with all the latest news, they also have access to tools whose costs can be staggering for a single user. When looking for an agency, pay attention to the exact scope of its services, resources of specialists and, of course, portfolio.

Can you manage without an agency? If you have the right people in your team, or you are able to attract them – yes. Remember, however, that the training process takes a relatively long time, and your employees also have their standard duties. Therefore, a solution close to the ideal may be a hybrid cooperation, in which part of the tasks is performed by trained employees, and the rest by a specialized e-commerce agency.

With such a team supporting your e-commerce, he will bravely face the challenges that 2023 will bring.
What do you think will surprise us this time?

The photo shows the Specialist for Social Media at the Click Leaders agency - Jagoda Wichurska.

Jagoda Wichurska

In the creative department, she is responsible for creating content and making up marketing ideas, which then form into neat plans.

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