A simple search for ecommerce technology trends is enough to make your head spin. You could spend days on end combing through all the search results and still only scratch the surface.
While there’s nothing wrong with keeping an open mind, you only have so much time to follow every “latest and greatest” ecommerce trend. This is especially true if you don’t have the resources of Amazon, Apple, Walmart, Target, or other leading retailers. And most of us don’t, right?
In this article, I share the top ecommerce technology trends for 2023 so you don’t have to search for them on your own time.
Harness the Power of These 10 Ecommerce Technology Trends
It’s in your best interest to learn more about any ecommerce technology trend that could improve your online business and crush the mobile commerce game.
However, if you’re short on time and ready to take action, here are five trends that deserve immediate attention. Following these has helped many ecommerce businesses and marketers excel at a higher level.
1. Live chat
The ecommerce world is evolving, and with that, today's potential customer is interested in more efficient and effective communication. And that’s where live chat (and even chatbots) comes into play.
According to Zendesk, customer satisfaction ratings for live chat (85%) outpace all other forms—including email and social media—except phone support (91%).
Live chat is effective throughout (and after) the customer journey, with this technology helping to:
- Answer customer questions to increase conversion rates.
- Engage customers to keep them on the site longer.
- Provide post-sales customer support (such as how to use a product).
- Provide information in real time.
Without live chat messaging, your potential customer is forced to search your website for additional information or reach out via phone or email. This poor user experience can potentially chase buyers away forever, especially if your website isn't mobile device friendly or takes too long to load.
The live chat experience can also be streamlined with AI chatbots for a more hybrid approach. Visitors searching for answers to their queries can converse with chatbots for simple questions and then be referred to a live chat customer representative if the question is quite complex and requires a more human touch. This can help reduce the need for 24/7 live chat, which is costly for small businesses, without diminishing the customer experience.
2. Headless CMS
It might sound like something from Sleepy Hollow, but Headless CMS is one of the fastest-growing trends in the ecommerce space.
Here’s how Contentful defines headless CMS:
A headless CMS is any type of back-end content management system where the content repository “body” is separated or decoupled from the presentation layer “head.” Content that is housed in a headless CMS is delivered via APIs for seamless display across different devices.
If you’re struggling to understand the differences between a headless CMS and a traditional CMS—such as WordPress—this chart should answer most of your questions.
Here are some of the many benefits of using a headless CMS for an online store:
- A headless CMS is faster across all devices.
- A headless CMS is easier to scale, such as when adding products to your store.
- Compatibility with any API-first stack.
- Advanced customization to suit your potential customers.
If your ecommerce website is running on a traditional CMS, consider if these benefits could save you time, money, and headaches in the future.
3. Augmented reality
The biggest roadblock facing online retailers has been the same since day one: consumers can’t experience products before buying them, and it takes away from the immersive shopping experience.
For example, they can’t try on clothes, see how a new couch would look in their living room, or physically examine the components of a mobile device (such as a smartphone).
This is where augmented reality (AR) enters the picture.
For example, consumers can do things such as place furniture within their homes, try on clothes, and closely inspect the inside and outside of a vehicle.
Carvana is a prime example of a company on the leading edge of augmented reality. Its virtual vehicle tour technology gives customers the confidence they need to complete a transaction 100% online.
Carvana has no plans to operate traditional brick-and-mortar stores (just car vending machines!).
Overall, the augmented reality market is expected to reach an estimated 1.7 billion users by 2024. And with that, you can expect a growing number of online retailers to take full advantage of this trend to boost retail sales.
4. Virtual shopping
Virtual reality shopping goes hand in hand with augmented reality. Companies such as Klarna are already making major waves in this space.
Klarna is an all-in-one virtual ecommerce platform that more than 200 top ecommerce brands currently use.
Through the use of shoppable videos, you can bring your products to life. This is as close as your consumers coming to an in-store experience without being physically present.
With virtual shopping technology, you can do things such as:
- Tag products so shoppers can purchase on the spot.
- Make it easy for buyers to instantly connect with a live customer service representative.
- Instantly publish videos to the most relevant product recommendation and category pages.
- Make product recommendations based on metrics.
- Cater to both desktop and mobile users.
- Change pricing in real-time
- Integrate with your mobile app.
Watch this video for a better understanding of how virtual shopping works and how it can transform your ecommerce store.
In simple terms, virtual shopping boils down to providing a better online customer experience. And when that happens, shopping offline at physical stores is not nearly as appealing.
5. Livestream shopping
With the rise of virtual shopping, livestream shopping is quickly shaping up to be a multi-billion market as more social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok jump on the opportunity to grow their revenue streams. Verticals like fashion and beauty are already creating buzz around livestream shopping events. We are seeing other sectors like technology and home improvement join in on the fun as brands and influencers encourage their followers to watch, be entertained, and spend on limited-time offers.
Companies like Livescale make it possible for ecommerce brands using platforms like Shopify to easily create livestream shopping events while keeping the brand experience intact. Brands are also given all data after the live event ends to use analytics to maximize sales and engage with loyal fans.
6. Voice search
Why type when you can verbally search instead? Speech recognition software can transform voice signals into text, making searching for the closest grocery store or pictures of your next vacation destination easier. According to Google, 27% of the global population currently uses some form of voice search on their mobile phone, and this stat is predicted to rise as voice search becomes more popular.
Since the way we speak is more conversational, prepping your ecommerce store for voice search SEO is crucial. If a potential customer is speaking on their mobile phone, you want to ensure your content is easy to find and answers their query.
7. eWallet technology
Go back 10 years or so—online shoppers weren’t thinking much about eWallet technology or having a mobile wallet. However, this is changing quickly, with eWallets picking up steam with each passing day.
Businesswire estimates that the digital payment sector will reach $361 billion by 2030. That's a lot, right?
It’s simple: Many customers are interested in digital payment technology. They’d rather make a mobile payment using Google Wallet or Apple Pay than tap a credit card. Doing so is more convenient and more secure than traditional payment options, and for that reason, it has the potential to boost conversion rates and ecommerce sales.
8. AI image generators
What if you could create artwork in seconds? AI image generators are making it possible to create images and illustrations quickly without the help of a digital artist. Popular apps like Lensa and Wonder can take uploaded selfies and create portraits in various art styles that can then be uploaded and shared on social media.
TikTok searches for AI Image generators are exploding as more people use AI to see what they would like in different historical periods.
@itallbegantonight everyone’s been doing this but… I’m stunned by the possibilities #booktok #ai #aiart #howilovebeingawoman #aipictures #perioddrama #janeaustentiktok #greekgirl #curlyhair #myheritageai ♬ these videos are adorable - 🪶starling
Ecommerce brands could also use AI image generators to save costs when creating images for social media platforms, ads, and websites.
9. Enterprise resource planning solutions (ERP)
ERPs are the way to go for an all-in-one solution to ecommerce operations. This computer-based application manages all aspects of the business, from product planning, inventory management, supply chain, sales, marketing, etc.
This application updates in real-time to ensure efficiency and communication across all departments. Having all information in one central database rather than across different channels makes it easier to use big data to analyze, predict, and forecast the business's health.
Benefits of having an ERP solution can include:
- Optimizing product planning and allocating resources.
- Improving team collaboration across departments and ensuring transparency.
- Easily retrieving and analyzing information in one database.
- Conducting financial planning and risk management.
- Helping with production costs and on-time delivery.
Related: 10 Best Warehouse Management Systems
10. The metaverse
The metaverse may still be an abstract concept to many. Still, companies like Microsoft and Meta (formerly known as Facebook) are investing billions and betting on its future as a new virtual ecommerce channel. Yes, you can buy, sell and trade through this realistic virtual channel, but you can also learn, play, and interact, which opens a world of possibilities for brands to create immersive events and experiences.
Ecommerce brands could create their own shops in the metaverse, sponsor virtual concerts, and even host VIP parties for loyal customers.
While creating a viable metaverse for the public may take many more years to become accessible, brands need to keep tabs on what they will need to do to play and compete in this digital space.
It’s one thing to understand the top ecommerce technology trends of 2023, but another thing entirely to take advantage of them. Something many of us didn't think would happen soon, like purchasing cars online, is already a reality and is becoming a trend due to the pandemic.
Think long and hard about how your online store can benefit from the tech trends detailed above while learning from other ecommerce sites in your space. From there, implement those that make sense and put the others on the back burner.
A heavy focus on one or two of these new technology trends may be all it takes to move the needle and dominate your niche of the ecommerce industry and up your social media marketing game at the same time. And even if that doesn’t happen, you’re doing your part to improve your target market's online shopping experience.
Don't hesitate to subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest content from The Ecomm Manager.