ECommerce is a very fast-growing industry. It offers retailers around the world huge opportunities, but the more new online stores that come along, the harder it becomes to make your offering stand out.
According to Statista, worldwide eCommerce sales will reach $5.7 trillion by the end of 2022, then grow to around $6.3 trillion by 2023, and reach $8.1 trillion by 2026.
In preparation for 2023, it’s worth keeping up to date with how the eCommerce industry has performed over the past year, what trends we’re dealing with and how they might affect the state of online advertising next year.
Based on analysis of data gathered from key eCommerce websites and the latest Feed Marketing Report (which studied 15 thousand online stores globally), we are able to present you with 10 crucial statistics you should pay attention to before 2023.
- Discounts hit digital shelves: 26% of inventory goes on sale
Based on the data from the first half of 2022, we know that more than 26% of products advertised in PPC campaigns are on sale. The current economic situation is only expected to make product discounting more popular. Supply chain disruptions that were started by Covid-19 pandemic and rapidly rising inflation are leading to significant price jumps in many parts of the world.
As for the difference between January 2021 and January 2022, prices climbed by 7.51% during the year. This factor clearly affected customers, who had to make more cautious purchasing choices and look for cheaper alternatives to the products they usually bought.
The sector leading in discount implementation is Apparel & Accessories. Almost 37% of product catalogs in this product category are on sale. Health & Beauty and Furniture sectors take the next positions with approximately 33% of products being offered at a promotional price.
Incorporating discounts into your eCommerce strategy is usually a good way to find new customers and grow your business. However, it is crucial to determine whether it will be profitable. Higher conversion rates through discount strategies are correlated with lower profit margins on the products you sell.
- Global social commerce sales revenue is constantly increasing for both B2B and B2C
Social commerce is often considered to be more of a B2C eCommerce strategy, but B2B brands are actually trying to catch up. And the reason for that is unquestionable.
Global social commerce sales in 2022 through all available platforms is set to reach 992 billion US dollars. And the popularity of selling and buying through various social media is increasing every year. Statista forecasts show that the total value of sales through social commerce channels will reach 2.9 trillion US dollars by 2026.
These numbers clearly tell us that brands in all industries are becoming interested in selling their products on social media. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok are becoming an important source of revenue for many companies, whether they operate in B2C or B2B.
In fact, research shows that 46% of B2B buyers use social media to find and learn about available solutions for their business. 35% of them claim to use it to search for crucial information about specific solutions before making the final purchase. About 40% use social media information to compare different solutions
There is no doubt that you should not skip social media channels in your eCommerce strategy. The only question is which right social media platforms to choose for your business.
The right way to go about it is to research your audience and find out which platform they use. Many social channels like Instagram or TikTok allow you to sell directly through the platform, making it even easier to sell your products.
- Over 16% of advertised products globally cannot be purchased
Feed Marketing Report 2022 shows that 16.66% of items across all product catalogs are not available for purchase. In other words, they’re out of stock.
Fortunately, some of the top eCommerce channels, like Google Shopping, automatically stop displaying ads for products that go out of stock. This way they want to prevent a poor shopping experience for Google users. However many advertising channels still do not have that practice (you should always check channels’ policies). This may result in generating paid clicks without conversion potential.
Ensuring that the data feed sent to a particular channel always contains up-to-date stock information is crucial to keeping your ads fresh and not discouraging potential buyers. Feed management software can be a very useful tool to filter out unavailable products from your product catalog.
Countries with the highest inventory levels in 2022
The markets that boast above-average stocks in 2022 are the US (85.61% in-stock products), the UK (82.92%), UAE (89.26%), and some EU markets such as Denmark (83.70%), Sweden (92.14%), and Poland (90.65%).
Supply chain issues following the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021 seem to be slowly fading away in 2022. According to Statista Supply Chain Index, the US and EU markets were among the most affected by supply chain disruptions in August 2021. Now, the majority of products in the catalogs in these countries are available and they are among the well-supplied markets.
As of the first half of 2022, the markets that were still not coping with supply chain shortages were France, LATAM, and Switzerland. We see 39.40% of out-of-stock inventory among French online retailers, 34.96% among retailers from LATAM countries, and 25.20% of unavailable products in Swiss product catalogs.
- Augmented reality (AR) is getting stronger within PPC
Augmented Reality (AR) has been a growing trend in e-commerce for a while now. In 2023, it will only intensify.
What you need to understand by the term augmented reality (AR) is the integration of digital information in real-time with the user’s environment. This technology allows users to place digital content, visual elements, sound, or other sensory stimuli over a real-world environment.
AR has revolutionized the whole concept of shopping. In addition to providing entertainment, interactive AR experiences help businesses showcase their products and allow potential customers to try them on before making a purchase. Users can virtually combine different clothing items with each other or try out various furniture selections.
By 2025, the AR app market is expected to reach $198 billion, and all indications are that augmented reality is the future for many industries in eCommerce. The retail categories where the use of AR has the greatest potential are fashion, beauty, and home furnishings.
Statistics show that shoppers engage with 3D product images 50% more than with regular static images.
56% of customers who have used AR when shopping report that it encouraged them to make a purchase.
- Electronics is leading the market for refurbished equipment
Online advertising is mostly used by retailers who sell brand-new products. In fact, 99.01% of items advertised online are reported as “new.” 0.41% of promoted products are refurbished and 0.58% are used.
There is one sector that stands out as an exception, and that is electronics. Almost 18% of products advertised online in the electronics category are refurbished products.
This demonstrates the hierarchy of sustainability in today’s consumer mentality. It also shows that the electronics market can be a profitable second-hand market. Selling refurbished electronic goods through eCommerce channels can be a good revenue stream.
In terms of specific subcategories within the electronics sector, refurbished circuit boards & components appear to be the biggest hit of 2022. More than 43% of advertised products of this type were actually pre-owned. What’s more, according to Shopify, refurbished circuit boards & components are experiencing 1.478% Global order growth (YOY).
Video game console accessories are also the type of product that is often sold online in used condition. 34.68% of all advertised console accessories are second-hand.
According to Feed Marketing Report 2022, only 36.4% of advertisers selling used products add the word “used” or “refurbished” to the product title. That’s a minority, which is a surprise. Those who use this practice gain a huge advantage as it significantly increases data accuracy and helps achieve a better query match.
- Only 12.32% of advertisers use product data enrichment tactics
The vast majority of PPC advertisers base their campaigns on just one data source. This is typically an export of shop data, which contains all the key information about the items to be advertised in an online product campaign. However, at least 12.32% of marketers provide additional product information via additional data sources.
Enriching data feeds with information from additional different sources is a vetted practice. Typically, online retailers use it to achieve one of the following goals:
- Meeting all the requirements of the specific advertising channel in case some important product data is missing from the primary source.
- Increasing visibility and relevance of ads by providing additional context for both ad platform algorithms and online shoppers. This is possible by adding more product information such as size, pattern, or gender via an additional data source.
- Improving ad campaign performance by including actionable data that can be used to segment and optimize. This could be profit margin data, for example.
This practice can be especially useful for digital agencies that manage multiple data from different clients. It allows you to change product data in the feed without disrupting clients’ store backend and Point of Sale setup.
- Large product catalog volumes drive multichannel selling
The number of ad platforms a store advertises on is equally proportional to the number of items in that store’s product catalog.
This is probably related to the size of the advertising budget available to the specific store.
According to Feed Marketing Report, online stores with over 200,000 SKUs promote their products on 50% more channels than stores with between 50,000 and 200,000 SKUs.
Online retailers with the number of SKUs from 1 to 5,000 advertise on average on just over 2 advertising platforms.
Sellers advertising on a small number of channels focus mainly on Search-based comparison engines (like Google Shopping, Bing, and Yahoo). As a brand’s multichannel strategy evolves, its marketers are beginning to take an interest in new types of channels, such as social, affiliate, and niche platforms.
It is worth noting that 70% of online sellers who advertise on more than 1 platform target a single country, while the remaining 30% expand their presence internationally.
- Mobile devices account for 71% of retail traffic worldwide
Already in 2022, we are spending a record amount of time online, mostly using mobile phones. Surfing online on a computer is becoming a relic of the past, definitely for Generation Z and younger ones.
Also, the primary reason for using mobile phones is no longer just texting and calling. Today, many people shop via their mobile devices and they expect all brands to allow them to do so quickly and seamlessly.
According to Statista, smartphones account for 71% of global traffic on retail sites. They also generate 61% of all online shopping orders. That is impressive!
By 2024, global retail mobile commerce sales are expected to reach nearly 4.5 trillion US dollars, and account for almost 70% of total retail eCommerce sales.
In order to stay competitive, you need to optimize your eCommerce business for mobile. That includes integrating responsive design into your site, adding mobile-friendly elements to your website (e.g. thumb-friendly buttons), offering phone-friendly payment options, and creating a downloadable mobile app.
Customers are 62% less likely to buy from a brand after a negative mobile experience. Only by providing a positive mobile experience can you keep potential customers engaged with your business.
- Personalization is the key to brand loyalty
The trend towards personalization in eCommerce has been on the rise for some time and will continue into 2023. It has become an integral part of digital marketing strategy.
Personalization helps you create a shopping experience that is tailored to each individual customer. It can increase marketing spend efficiency by up to 30%. Through personalization, you can significantly increase customer engagement and loyalty.
Most customers want to buy from a brand that knows them well enough to offer products tailored specifically to their needs. They happily share their data if they know they’re gonna get what they wish for. In fact, 80% of consumers claim they are likely to buy from a company that offers a personalized experience.
There are some proven tactics to improve personalization in 2022/2023. Online retailers are turning from a homogenous approach to focusing on the key components of a buyer’s journey and delivering appropriate products based on their preferences.
Once you have enough first-party data from your customers, you can personalize their shopping experience by:
- Personalization of emails (delivering content specifically tailored to their interests, adding the subscriber’s name to your email etc.)
- Personalization of product recommendations based on pages customers have viewed
- Using retargeting to push potential customers toward making a purchase
- And more
Many B2C companies are already quite good at personalization, while B2B companies still have a lot to improve. 39% of B2B buyers claim to have experienced a poor level of personalization when buying online. They want suppliers to communicate more relevant targeted messages as they’re frustrated with irrelevant messaging and marketing.
The conclusion is simple. If you won’t personalize the shopping experience for your customers across all channels in 2023, you’ll lose them to the brands that invest in learning their customers’ needs.
By showing customers you care about what they’re shopping for, and supporting them throughout their customer journey with personalized offers, you’ll improve their user experience and increase your sales all at once.
- A wide range of modern payment options become crucial for eCommerce
One of the biggest reasons a customer abandons their shopping cart is the overcomplicated payment or checkout process. If a shopper finds it difficult to make an online purchase, they will simply look for another online seller, who makes buying easier.
According to recent statistics, digital and mobile wallets accounted for about 50% of worldwide eCommerce payment transactions, which makes them the most commonly used online payment method.
The trend for 2023 for mobile wallets is to continue to revolutionize ways of online payments. As of today, one of the top online payment gateways is PayPal with 426 million active users. In 2020, 7.8% of all digital buyers worldwide made an online payment through PayPal. This number grew in 2022 to 8.2% and is expected to reach 9.1% by 2025.
The younger generations expect a wide range of payment options. To keep up with their preferences, online retailers need to offer them modern ways to buy their products:
- allowing mobile wallets
- buying directly via social media
- using one-click checkout to the store’s site
Flexible financing options improve the online customer experience and increase conversion.
Business decisions should always be made based on real data. Statistics show you the market opportunities you can exploit and the threads you need to avoid.
Now that you know some key indicators and trends from 2022, it will be easier to develop an eCommerce strategy for 2023. Knowing how your industry competitors behave and what trends are on top, you will know better where to fit in with your business.