The pandemic shook up entrenched methods across the entire world, including the retail sector. But even after three years of market volatility, rapid consumer behavior shifts, and unpredictable growth patterns, 2023 is all set to experience accelerated eCommerce evolution, technological innovation, and new retail paradigms.
The year 2022 witnessed an increased emphasis on automation across order management, the proliferation of interactive retail experiences, a slew of innovations targeted at driving omnichannel interactions, and more. As we head into 2023, businesses will continue to experiment with new ways of engaging with customers while leveraging technology and what has worked well for them in 2022.
Top Retail Trends and Predictions In 2023
1. Rise of Experiential Retail
Today’s consumers expect much more than a shop-only experience, especially in the context of personalization. This has led to the rise of experiential retail; wherein conventional retail stores incorporate shareable experiences and create an interactive environment. The main goal is to maximize customer engagement.
As much as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), and other technologies are gaining popularity and transforming online experiences, in-store experiences drive a lot of foot traffic and help establish the brand’s culture. Major retail brands like IKEA and Nike are experimenting with in-store concepts. The positive experiences of consumers eventually lead to increased sales and brand loyalty. In 2023 and beyond, the stores will move towards experiential retail and pursue a “phygital” (physical and digital) experience.
2. Omnichannel and Hybrid Shopping
Over 73% of shoppers in a HBR study affirmed to have explored various channels to discover and purchase products. That number would be even higher today. In recent years, retailers have capitalized on this trend by offering agile solutions for the physical as well as the online retail world. Retail brands are using AR and VR technologies to preview items before buying them.
While consumers demand similar experiences and information on every channel, it is only possible through omnichannel and hybrid shopping. To that end, businesses in 2023 will aggressively add more interactive kiosks and digital displays with touchscreens. They would further augment their apps with loyalty programs, holistic inventory tracking, and reporting, better ordering and pickup options, etc. The contactless digital storefront would be seamlessly connected with the retail store, allowing customers to continue their journey wherever they deem fit.
In fact, these hybrid experiences will become more common in 2023 and beyond as retailers compete to craft best-in-class experiences.
3. Autonomous Shopping and Contactless Payments
Originally implemented as a safety precaution in the pandemic era, BOPIS, BORIS, and BOPAC have now become prominent. The concept of autonomous shopping and contactless payments has become permanent within the retail world. Over 8 out of 10 shoppers prefer to use contactless payments.
Autonomous shopping takes the concept of contactless payments further by leveraging AI to create cashier-less stores. It enables customers to scan their phones to select the products and leave without making any cash transactions. The trend of autonomous shopping will become more prevalent in 2023 and beyond. Learn how to offer top-notch BOPIS experience with headless commerce.
4. Social Commerce
Over 75% of retail brands are selling on social media. Also, 43% of retailers who use social commerce confirm that more than half of their profit comes from social media sales. Social media allows retailers to promote products, reach more customers, and boost sales, as most of the target customers are glued to their mobile devices.
With the growing online community space, social media has become one of the best platforms for communicating with users. If your business hasn’t experimented with creating shoppable media and posts, live sales, and setting up a shop on a social media platform, this year is the best time to get started and leverage the social commerce trend.
5. Data-Driven Decisions and Insights Will Be More Important
This trend has remained constant, but it gains more importance every passing year, and understandably so. The best path forward for retail businesses is to effectively utilize real-time data across multiple channels to prepare for the future.
Retailers need to collect, extract, and analyze the key insights to make strategic decisions and drive predictive analytics and personalization initiatives. The key checkpoints of customer experience can be leveraged to gather valuable data and exceed the expectation of customers across every interaction.
6. Voice Search and Personal Assistants
Statista estimates the global voice assistant eCommerce transaction value to be around $19.4 billion in 2023, up from $4.6 billion in 2021 – i.e., 400% growth.
Searching content by voice is already popular on Google, as 20% of mobile searches are carried out using voice. However, up until now, it has mostly been used for checking the time and weather and setting the alarm. But that’s going to change. Voice search is becoming prevalent in retail, and 2023 is surely the time for retailers to make their websites searchable by voice.
How Can Retail Businesses Prepare for Success in 2023?
With greater volatility and widespread adoption of technology in the retail industry, businesses need to adapt to the aforementioned trends to survive. The line between physical and digital storefronts is blurring, and solutions like headless commerce are revolutionizing the eCommerce space.
At the end of the day, what businesses need is a unified commerce solution to stay competitive, draw more sales, and increase profitability — precisely where Ignitiv can help them with its technological expertise. Get in touch with us today to learn more.