The popularity of ecommerce continues to soar, but if you want your own ecommerce business to thrive in 2023, you’ll need to follow a few tips and best practices. Online shopping trends are changing, and if you’re not evolving with them, you’re going to get left behind.
1. Make Customer Experience Your Top Priority
With talks of a potential economic downturn and increased competition from global megaretailers like Amazon and Alibaba, customer experience is more important than ever. Customers expect prompt and friendly service, a smooth user experience, and rapid (preferably free) shipping.
If you don’t already offer free shipping on your ecommerce website, this is an easy way to boost your customer experience. Shopping cart platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce make it easy to set your shipping cost to free, and customers will appreciate it—even if you’re just folding the shipping cost into the product price. As the joke goes, a lot of customers will refuse to pay €20 plus €5 shipping, but they’ll happily pay €25 with free shipping.
You can also boost your customer experience by offering convenient contact options (including live chat) with flexible hours, and by ensuring that your site runs smoothly, is mobile-friendly, and allows guest checkout. Consider also adding a loyalty program
2. Expand Your Payment Options
It’s no longer enough for your online store to accept credit and debit cards. A lot of ecommerce platforms allow you to accept debit and credit cards by default, but if you want to be competitive in this economy, you need a dedicated merchant services provider that supports more than just Visa and Mastercard.
Research shows that debit and credit cards are no longer the preferred online payment method in Europe. Digital wallets are now the most popular payment option for online shoppers, followed by debit/credit, PayPal, local payment methods, pay on delivery, and services like Google and Apple Pay. If you want to make the sale, you have to have flexible payment options.
3. Start Leveraging Social Media—Or Start Doing It Better
Even though there are more than 4.5 billion social media users worldwide (projected to exceed 5 billion by 2024), many ecommerce businesses are still underutilising social media. Some aren’t using it at all. And yes, while you might draw more ecommerce sales from PPC and organic search, social media is becoming an increasingly critical component not only for drawing attention to your business but also for building your brand and establishing customer loyalty.
It’s not enough to have social media profiles for your ecommerce store. You have to update them regularly, build your following across all major social media platforms, and engage with users. Don’t just use your social profiles to promote your products. Use them to communicate your message, connect with the online community, and put a meaningful human face on your business. Ideally, your socials should be updated daily—with a combination of promotional, educational, and fun content.
4. Partner With Influencers
Influencer marketing is also becoming imperative in 2023. Consider that the value of influencer marketing has doubled since 2019, and it continues to surge upward. For ecommerce businesses, the right influencer partnership can be more valuable than a hundred Google Ads; many potential customers will ignore online advertising, but they pay close attention to the influencers they love.
Getting started is easy. You don’t have to cold-call the influencers in your niche; just sign up for an influencer marketing platform like Grin, Creator.co, Upfluence, Aspire, or Obvious.ly. From there, it’s all about finding the influencers who specialise in your target market.
5. Bring AI Into the Equation
As a small to midsize ecommerce operation, you probably don’t have the resources of your top competitors. But the good news is you don’t have to. When you work smart, you don’t have to work so hard. AI-driven ecommerce technologies have skyrocketed over the past couple of years, and the savviest businesses are using them right now.
There are AI tools for live chat, customer relationship management, chargeback prevention, creating branded marketing materials, UX optimisation, email marketing, conversion optimisation, and more. Search for AI tools in your platform’s app marketplace, and discover some of the ways that you can simplify and improve your business—virtually on autopilot.
Build Unstoppable Customer Loyalty for Your Ecommerce Brand in 2023
Maybe you already know how to sell products successfully online. Unfortunately that’s no longer enough to create loyal customers. Staying competitive in 2023 is all about leveraging the latest technologies and ecommerce marketing channels to build trust and provide an incredible customer experience. By working smart and giving new and existing customers a reason to buy, you can hold your own against the mega-retailers and against your closest competitors.
The most successful ecommerce brands aren’t those with the best products. They’re the ones that understand how to connect with customers and how to adapt with the changing trends. So follow the ecommerce tips on this list, and make it a priority to adapt in 2023!