Industry Trends

The Top 5 E-commerce Stats to Know in 2023

September 5, 2023

During the pandemic, the e-commerce sector experienced meteoric growth, surging by an estimated $244.2 billion in 2020 alone. That growth has now slowed in the face of a global recession. Although the industry is still trending upwards, many are concerned about inflation, and businesses across all areas of commerce are reducing spending and increasing prices accordingly

This isn't to say that the outlook for e-commerce is grim — far from it. The industry is still growing. It's just doing so at a much slower pace, as consumers are now far more discerning about their purchases. 

To thrive in this new landscape, e-commerce businesses must understand the major trends that resulted in its formation and continued growth. 

Online shopping is gaining ground

Even in the face of the recession, global e-commerce sales are expected to increase to $6.3 trillion by the end of this year, a 12.2% year-over-year growth rate. By 2026, this number is expected to top $8.3 trillion. Alongside online shopping, mobile shopping will also continue to accelerate this year, and is expected to account for roughly 44 percent of all US e-commerce sales by 2025.  

It's not difficult to see the driving forces behind these trends. COVID-19 introduced the world to the comfort and convenience of shopping from home. Even now, roughly 80 percent of consumers aged 25-40 shop almost entirely online

Augmented reality (AR) bridges the gap between digital and physical

Online shopping's greatest weakness by far when compared to physical retail is that it's nowhere near as tactile. When you're shopping for furniture in a physical store, you can physically look at a couch before you buy it. Similarly, when you're shopping for clothing or jewelry, you can try it on and see how it fits. 

Online shopping traditionally doesn't offer this level of interactivity. Thanks to AR, that's changing. Roughly 75 percent of online shoppers believe AR is the future of shopping, and with good reason. When a retail experience is made more engaging and interactive through the application of AR, customers are typically both more satisfied and less likely to return their purchase — it offers a level of confidence currently unmatched by any other online shopping experience. 

Having already gained ground in 2022, AR will become central to online shopping in 2023. Brands will need to adopt the technology in order to remain competitive, as shoppers increasingly turn away from static, non-interactive stores and product detail pages. 

Visual commerce takes product marketing to a whole new level

Visual commerce is very closely related to augmented reality. 

The core idea is that typical e-commerce visual content tends to be static and disconnected from the shopping experience. Lifestyle photos are few and far between. Product photos, while they might allow a customer to gain a better surface-level understanding, rarely provide the necessary level of interactivity.

Interactivity is key to visual commerce strategies. The core idea is that rather than static visuals such as images, brands need to start incorporating other, more interactive media into both their marketing and sales experiences. Augmented reality is arguably the best way of achieving this, though consumer-generated media and product videos also play a role. 

Consumers prioritize socially-responsible brands

As has already been mentioned, today's customers are far more discerning with their purchases. With climate change at the forefront of everyone's mind, people increasingly want to support businesses that operate with one eye looking towards the future. According to Harris Poll research commissioned by Google Cloud, 52 percent of consumers say they're interested in supporting sustainable brands, 66 percent actively seek out eco-friendly companies, and another 55 percent would be willing to pay more for sustainable products. 

This focus on green retail is expected to increase through 2023. This isn't something a brand can fake, either. Nearly two thirds of consumers already suspect that companies overstate their sustainability efforts. If yours is caught doing so, it could cause irreparable damage to your reputation. 

It's not just sustainability that's important, either. Harris Poll also found that 82 percent of consumers want a brand whose values align with their own. Additionally, 75 percent have stopped shopping with a brand due to misaligned values. 

Again, as the world enters a recession amidst an ongoing pandemic, you should expect customers to prioritize values and sustainability to an even greater degree — and you need to adapt to that. 

The need for a multi-channel, hyper-personalized approach

People don't shop the way they used to. They want to engage with brands freely and on their own terms, across whatever channels are most convenient. Moreover, they want those brands to provide them with an interactive, personalized experience ranging from targeted communications to tailored discounts.

Social media is enormously important in this regard — but it's important to understand that the need for personalization also extends to your product pages. The reality is that even the most beautiful lifestyle photo will only tell a customer so much. Unless they can see that product in their space or on their person, they're not getting a complete experience. 

Again, augmented reality can help a great deal in this regard, particularly if paired with a decent CRM tool. 

Prepare for a new year of retail

In spite of mitigating circumstances, the e-commerce sector continues to experience healthy growth. With that said, you cannot simply coast along. You need to actively engage with your customers, all while ensuring your business evolves to keep pace with the market.

Equipping your e-commerce website with augmented reality is an important step in this regard — and Tangiblee can help. Our comprehensive AR platform is both resource-light and easy to integrate, allowing you to provide a more engaging, more personalized experience to each visitor. 

Book a demo with one of our AR experts today to learn more, and see for yourself how we can help you adapt to changing consumer behavior and ongoing e-commerce trends.

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