The Future of eCommerce: Online Shopping Trends 2023–2027
Whether you are a huge retailer or a local seller, you will more than likely turn to eCommerce in the upcoming years if you haven’t already. In the US alone, retail eCommerce revenue is expected to almost double in the next five years, with an annual growth rate of 9.3%. Even today, 27% of shoppers buy online. According to Forbes, 76% of them go global and buy outside their countries. This means changes in the eCommerce industry will affect the lifestyles of millions of people worldwide, making it essential for everyone to learn what the current state of eCommerce is, what to expect from the industry, and which trends will affect it the most. In this article, you will find outlines, statistics, and emerging trends in eCommerce that are important for both sellers and buyers.
- ECOMMERCE SALES GROWTH FORECAST (2023-2027)
- THE FUTURE OF ECOMMERCE: WHAT IT WILL LOOK LIKE
- HOW ECOMMERCE WILL THRIVE: 10 NEW TRENDS IN THE ECOMMERCE INDUSTRY
- TREND 1. INVEST MORE IN NEW TECHNOLOGIES
- TREND 2. GOING HEADLESS
- TREND 3. CLOSER TO THE METAVERSE
- TREND 4. SPENDING MORE TIME ON SOCIAL MEDIA
- TREND 5. ADDING MORE VALUE WITH ADDITIONAL CAPABILITIES
- TREND 6. BUILDING SELF-SERVICE PORTALS AND KNOWLEDGE BASES
- TREND 7. OFFER GREAT SUPPORT FOR THOSE WHO NEED IT
- TREND 8. PROVIDING BETTER PERFORMANCE
- TREND 9. BETTER UX FOR A PERFECT CX
- TREND 10. THE RISE OF B2B ONLINE MARKETPLACES
- THE FUTURE OF ECOMMERCE IN A NUTSHELL
eCommerce Sales Growth Forecast (2023–2027)
In our eCommerce History investigation, we explain how eCommerce started evolving from the early 1970s.
Here, we will turn to the latest trends over the past three years that are still significant today.
Back in 2020, when COVID-19 struck, the eCommerce market further evolved due to lockdowns and social distancing. In 2020 alone, online sales grew by 11.8% and reached $2.19 trillion. Over 60% of B2B businesses turned to cloud migration, which allowed them to scale smoothly and sell seamlessly despite the increased volume of sales. This migration continues. According to Gartner, in the upcoming years, over 20% of users will turn to the cloud.
As the crisis passed, the trend of buying online continued and even increased as buyers got used to the convenience of a quick buy. This was where the popularity of online marketplaces skyrocketed: 17.8% of companies created their own portals and marketplaces, and over 18% of eCommerce growth in 2020 was due to the creation of new business websites. In 2021, the value of the B2B eCommerce market grew to $6.7 trillion in the US alone.
A year later, at the end of 2022, the global market size of eCommerce came to $17.9 trillion. And the main trend back then was starting to sell online. By the end of 2022, 65% of B2B sellers were working fully online, offering all ways of purchasing to their customers. Half of them invested in developing their own eCommerce platforms.
Another relevant trend is the constantly growing use of mobile phones. In 2017, it was found that buyers who have a negative brand experience on mobile are 62% less likely to buy from that brand. Forbes showed B2B orders made from mobiles have increased by 250% since the start of the pandemic. And it’s predicted that over $710 billion of total sales in the US will be mobile purchases by 2025. All this means that eCommerce sellers seek greater mobile performance, for example, by building their own apps.
The future trends of eCommerce keep changing (you can find all the main trends of 2023 in Virto’s Trends article), but the main idea of eCommerce’s constant growth remains. All these changes are expected to lead to a great transformation of eCommerce in 2023 and beyond.
eCommerce survey results
According to a Digital Commerce 360/Bizrate Insights survey of more than 1,000 online consumers over one week in April 2020, shoppers place their orders online in the following ways:
- almost 7% of shoppers placed more orders online compared to the previous year
- 22% placed significantly more orders online compared to the previous year
- 58% of online users expect to order even more online in the next few months
eCommerce survey results
This means retailers need to adjust and prepare for the increase in traffic.
According to the same survey, shoppers ramped up purchases in the following categories:
These statistics reveal shoppers’ desire to set up comfortable surroundings while stuck at home.
Because of shifting priorities and consumers becoming increasingly comfortable shopping online, retailers need to change their own behaviors, adopt new technologies, and roll out tools to help users make better and faster choices online. However, as consumers are aware of the imminent recession, they are also starting to search for better and cheaper deals. Consumers now need extra motivation to spend – an important trend not to be overlooked.
To sell their eCommerce technologies to customers, businesses need to establish partnerships to incentivize buying with deals, loyalty perks, and discounts. Partnerships may include strategic B2B partnerships or cooperation with mobile apps, affiliates, social influencers, publishers, and sponsors. For example, content partners and how-to or review websites can promote online retailers with coded discounts, free shipping, flash sales, and coupons, providing consumers with more reasons to spend. Stagnating inventory housed offline can also be turned agile and into cash fast with deep-discount partners and deal websites.
The pandemic has definitely affected warehouse procedures, with more offline stores forgoing in-store foot traffic entirely and switching to home deliveries or curbside pickup – turning themselves into pickup points for online orders. Enhancing omnichannel fulfillment is another operational pivot that is happening with e-retailers at the moment.
According to the Forrester survey conducted of 99 of Narvar’s retailer clients, 50% of retailers expect eCommerce to fare better than the rest of their business and 20% expect it to fare much better. Adapting to the new reality has become a key priority for online retailers. Things like simplicity in navigation, product filters, website responsiveness, interactive and media features, and the use of artificial intelligence for better product recommendations and a personalized shopping experience have all become crucial strategic elements for businesses looking to increase shoppers’ likelihood to purchase.
The Future of eCommerce: What It Will Look Like
According to Statista, the eCommerce market will have over 5,263.6 million global users by 2027, while user penetration will grow by almost 10%, from 57.3% in 2023 to 66.2% by 2027 across all sales categories.
Statista shows that the biggest industries will remain the same – fashion and electronics will still be the most popular categories by 2027. Meanwhile, the share of eCommerce in retail will increase to 24%.
Most eCommerce revenue will be produced in China, and the biggest eCommerce region will be the Asia-Pacific region (APAC), which is expected to contribute 48% of global eCommerce growth, followed by North America.
With regard to technology, artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) will undoubtedly revolutionize the world of eCommerce. According to Adobe, in 2018, 47% of digitally mature companies said they had a defined AI strategy in place. AI is leveraged to identify market patterns, establish dynamic pricing, segment customers based on their browsing history, offer personalized shopping experiences, or recommend products. Shopping has also become much more convenient with augmented reality (AR): lifelike simulation of a product gives customers a better, if not complete, picture of how something looks and feels in real life.
Loup Ventures forecasts that 75% of US households will own a smart speaker by 2025. There’s a growing trend of people relying on voice assistants such as Google Assistant or Alexa for anything from checking the weather to buying products online. One of the responses to the ever-increasing number of mobile users is progressive web applications (PWAs), which give mobile shoppers a native-app experience to work offline and allow push notifications.
The biggest factors that will affect e Commerce in the future are developing internet penetration, increased use of mobiles, and a seamless and comfortable shopping experience.
The eCommerce industry is expected to have stable development and growth in the upcoming years. Over the next five years, it will change significantly: here are the trends to follow to keep up with these changes.
How eCommerce Will Thrive: 10 New Trends in the eCommerce Industry
As we track all the latest changes in the world of eCommerce, in this section, we will tell you about the trends that will form eCommerce and how eCommerce will affect the lives of sellers and buyers in the future. You can find the full list of trends in our B2B eCommerce Trends 2023 and B2B Statistics article.
- Trend 1. Investing more in new technologies
- Trend 2. Going headless
- Trend 3. Closer to the Metaverse
- Trend 4. Spending more time on social media
- Trend 5. Adding more value with additional capabilities
- Trend 6. Building self-service portals and knowledge bases
- Trend 7. Offering great support for those who need it
- Trend 8. Providing better performance
- Trend 9. Better UX for a perfect CX
- Trend 10. The rise of B2B online marketplace
Trend 1. Invest more in new technologies
The main eCommerce trend continuing from previous years is paying more attention to your technology. Remote work and turning to cloud solutions requires acceptance of more technologies, including live chats, virtual shopping, and voice search. Today, you have to invest a lot in these technologies or turn to one of the B2B eCommerce platform vendors who are ready to offer everything in one box.
Trend 2. Going headless
It’s time to separate your frontend and backend and use more APIs (application programming interfaces)! Going headless allows using more channels to communicate with your clients seamlessly, creating huge independent platforms for different regions, and unifying all your apps and resources with a single control center. And there are more possibilities for you to grow: 77% of headless businesses expand into new channels easily and notice their clients’ experiences improve.
Headless services by Virto Commerce
Trend 3. Closer to the Metaverse
Twenty-five percent of users will spend at least an hour in Metaverse daily by 2026. And if you worry that Metaverse attracts virtual products and services but not retail, we have something Metaverse-like for you: the trend that will certainly evolve in 2023 is VR and AR. This market is expected to grow to $22 billion by 2025 (compared to $12 billion now).
This trend leads to better personalization and deeper knowledge about your customers. Imagine selling your products just like in a brick-and-mortar store, with the same benefits and the opportunity for the client to learn more about the products, but with less spending on your side. Sounds great, doesn’t it
One of the way AR can help in sales
Trend 4. Spending more time on social media
Almost half of B2B clients already use social media to compare and buy products. As most companies use social media to build their funnel, clients go all the way from interest to purchase more conveniently on the same platform. As the trend evolves now, the global social commerce market will reach $2.9 trillion by 2026.
David Outwear shop at Facebook
Trend 5. Adding more value with additional capabilities
When building your own B2B eCommerce marketplaces, you hope to attract and retain as many clients as possible. A great way to do this quickly is by adding more opportunities to your portal. Add value by expanding your sales lists, offering more payment options, adding cross-sale opportunities, and providing everything your client needs. Here’s a small tip on where to start: track your customer’s journey and try to find out what they really need. These insights will make you really unique, and as a result, your clients will choose you over your competitors.
The capabilities offered by Virto Commerce
Trend 6. Building self-service portals and knowledge bases
According to McKinsey, buyers prefer searching for the information they need by themselves rather than calling support and talking to a real employee. Only 5% expressly say that they wish to reach a real person to find the answer. This is where your opportunity to add more client convenience appears.
The best way to organize self-service help is by building separate portals or knowledge bases about your products. But remember, the quality of such materials must be good: 90% of those surveyed said the content quality affects their decision to recommend the product to others.
Ebay Customer Service knowledgebase
Trend 7. Offer great support for those who need it
Continuing from the previous trend, the people who need help still want great service. And here is a great way to make it better: try to find out your clients’ potential problems by tracking their journey and offer the solution faster than they expect. You might think this is impossible, especially out of hours when human support is unavailable, but here’s a solution: try implementing chatbots in your support campaigns, and you will see the retention rate grow. Use technologies to make your clients happy by providing quick responses and useful hints right away.
Amazon support options
Trend 8. Providing better performance
In the world of eCommerce, performance is king. By this, we not only mean the speed of implementation and integration (in the cloud, this will be seamless) but also the general performance speed of all your services. Choose the platforms that work fast, offer more capabilities for you and your clients, and constantly improve your performance.
Virto Commerce website performance
Trend 9. Better UX for a perfect CX
Ninety-five percent of what your buyer thinks about you depends on your website. Slow websites with inconvenient interfaces are unattractive. Over 70% of users would abandon a website if it’s slow. But 86% of buyers wish to stay and buy more if the user experience (UX) is good.
These are good reasons for you to add more convenient buttons, relevant information, bright images, lists, and FAQs with everything designed to please your customers and increase sales.
Airbnb UX example
Trend 10. The rise of B2B online marketplaces
Everyone selling online dreams of having their own B2B online marketplace. In 2023 onward, almost 70% of existing marketplaces will be used by B2B companies wishing to sell more. Among them are niche marketplaces, which are particularly important for B2B brands specializing in something specific. Attractive not only for wholesalers but also for manufacturers, distributors, and creators, entering or creating a marketplace is a must in the next five years.
The Future of eCommerce in a Nutshell
Most of these trends are either related to new technologies or client communication, and for a good reason: more and more people will buy online, so more and more people will sell online, leading to more competition. To be a step ahead of other sellers, you must offer seamless and convenient services.
Modern B2B eCommerce platforms offer great technical opportunities to please your buyers with excellent service. These solutions also allow you to implement almost any of the new technical capabilities that are continuously evolving and upgrading. Technology and performance are your keys to success.
The ecommerce industry has changed greatly since its beginning, and in the last three years we have seen amazing growth in the industry. As eCommerce statistics show, the industry will keep growing and offering great opportunities for both existing market players and new startups. Even if you are still in education and planning to start a career in eCommerce, the next ten to twenty years will give you many opportunities to thrive. All you have to do is keep your eye on what’s trending and implement these trends into your processes.
This doesn’t mean you have to start with AI integrations. Look out for ways to communicate better with your clients, for example, selling through social media and building your own website. As for technology, going headless when building your portals and marketplaces is highly recommended. Today, there are many technical solutions like Virto Commerce that can help you do these things easily and seamlessly integrate more and more new technologies into your business. If you’re wondering how Virto works or what other hidden opportunities eCommerce has, contact our experts for a detailed consultation.