Top 5 Digital Trends for 2023

By Lucy Hutchinson, Research and Content Manager

It’s 2023, which means there’s a new list of top digital trends we will be seeing this year. Last year was all about the likes of buy now, pay later and the metaverse. Although these will still be topics people are talking about, we are focusing on everything from shoppable social media to how brands treat the environment in 2023.

Let’s take a look at the top 5 digital trends you need to know about for this year:

  1. Social Commerce
  2. Video Shopping
  3. Omnichannel Presence
  4. Environmental Awareness & Sustainability
  5. Conversational Marketing

Social Commerce

What is Social Commerce?

Social media has had a huge effect on the world of e-commerce which continues to grow more and more. Now thanks to social commerce, shoppers don’t even have to leave their social media apps to make a purchase. 

Social commerce is the buying and selling of goods and services directly within social media platforms. This shifts social media beyond its usual role in the exploration process, by encouraging users to finish their entire purchase without leaving their favoured apps.

The Difference Between Ecommerce and Social Commerce

E-commerce is largely the process of buying and selling products or services online. With over 50% of all online traffic now coming from mobile devices and mobile users having a much higher cart abandonment rate than desktop users, streamlining the checkout journey is essential. 

This is where social commerce comes in and bridges the gap, by converting users where they are. It eliminates drop-off points and speeds up the checkout process resulting in less abandoned transactions.

3 Reasons to Implement Social Commerce into your Marketing Strategy:

  1. Convert shoppers where they are

Social commerce forms a clear next step for users who already love your brand’s content. Reducing the steps in your checkout journey can lessen friction in your sales funnel, obtaining revenue that may have been lost if a customer didn’t want to commit to clicking through to your website, taking them away from their social media app.

Image source: statisica.com

According to online data shared by Statista, it’s estimated that in 2023 sales via social media platforms across the world will add up to $1.298 billion. Its popularity is showing no signs of dying down and further predictions anticipate that it will reach nearly $3 trillion by 2026.

  1. Reach new potential customers

There are new people joining social media platforms everyday. Statistica claims in 2021, over 4.26 billion people were using social media worldwide, a number projected to increase to almost six billion in 2027.

 Image source: statisica.com

With over half of the world using social media, social commerce gives you the opportunity to expand your target audience and reach new potential customers. 

  1. Elevate your social proof

Your social media accounts are a great place to grow your reviews and recommendations. Social proof is crucial for customers when buying online, as testing, trying or touching a product or service isn’t possible. Looking at fellow customer reviews is often the driving factor in making a buying decision and ultimately gives customers the security to go ahead with a purchase.

Handling your entire customer journey on social media generates a positive feedback loop. Your social content engages new followers and offering social commerce gives them an opportunity to make a purchase and leave reviews in one centralised location. 

Video Shopping

What is Video Shopping?

Video shopping is when brands use video content to promote and sell their products, with ways to easily make a purchase through the video itself or directing the user to the product page on the brands website. Video allows ecommerce stores to present their products in a way that gives the customer much more information and can create more of a feeling of desire towards products and the brand itself. The shoppable functionality embedded into video drastically increases conversion rates, as the customer doesn’t have to take any action other than a simple click to end up on the product page, or make a purchase. Video shopping provides a seamless customer experience from browsing to purchasing.

Livestream shopping or just live shopping, is also now becoming increasingly popular, which is kind of a new digital savvy take on home TV shopping. The host, usually an influencer or a celebrity, promotes a product through live video and all engagement between the host and the audience is completely live.

5 Benefits of Video Shopping:

  1. Shoppers are becoming increasingly impatient and want information as quickly and easily as possible. Video provides a lot of information within seconds, through an easy-to-consume medium. That’s probably why 66% of consumers prefer to watch a short video to learn about a product or service rather than to read text. (HubSpot.com)
  1. Videos get higher click-through rates.According to Biteable, video content in emails can increase CTR by up to 300%.
  1. Video isn’t very difficult to produce. Many influencers are well-versed in producing high-quality video using nothing other than their smartphones and video editing tools. If you need your content a bit more polished and high-end, there are many ways to get the video production you need without it costing you your entire marketing budget.
  1. No matter the length of your video, just having one on your website can increase page duration (a ranking factor will help to increase your position in search engines). In fact, 80% of marketers have reported that video content increased page duration. (Wyzowl survey).
  1. Search engines love video! According to MarketingSherpa, web pages with video are 53% more likely to show up among the first results in searches.

Video shopping and Influencer Marketing:

Video shopping and live shopping is perfectly suited for brand-influencer partnerships. This type of marketing gives influencers more freedom and shows their personality, which is what their followers love about them in the first place. It allows the influencer to really connect with followers in ways that are very hard to do through, for example, a regular social media post. With the ROI potential of video shopping and live video shopping, this is a win-win for both brands and influencers.

Omnichannel Presence

In 2023, the presence of omnichannel shopping is in the majority of consumers’ buying journeys. According to WakeupData, 56% of people who were shopping in-store used their smartphones to look up products or do product research while they were there. That means customers want to be able to do their research online, even if they are already in the store examining a product. 

What Does Omnichannel Mean?

A persistent customer experience across all touchpoints throughout the entire customer journey. These touchpoints may include (to name a few), phone calls, website visits, mobile purchases, social media engagements and in-store interactions. Before making a purchase decision, a customer may come into contact with your brand through some or all of those channels, and their experience should be consistent.

“The power of true omnichannel is understanding all the channels our customers use, and how they want to use them, throughout their entire journey,” said Ferguson Enterprises Chief Marketing Officer, Victoria Morrissey. “If you don’t understand what that journey is, you can’t provide the right information at the right time.” 

Why is Omnichannel Presence Important?

Google states, currently 52% of e-commerce sites have omnichannel capabilities, so it’s important to stay ahead of competition. Executing a smooth experience across all consumer interactions is what often causes a customer to return. As a matter of fact, brands that have robust omnichannel strategies retain almost 89% of their customers. However, companies with weak omnichannel strategies have a 33% customer retention rate. (invespcro.com)

According to Shopify, nearly 75% of buyers use multiple channels before purchasing. Staying alert with these growing trends can help your bottom line, which is increasingly crucial in today’s competitive landscape. 

5 ways to Increase your Omnichannel Engagement:

  1. Carry out analysis on the content 

Analysing your content you can find out where different types of content appear: informative, educational and engaging.

The most important content is informational content. It is especially important to the customer experience as it will inform them of things they need to know, such as the businesses contact details. You must make sure that all of your informational content is correct and updated.

This will uphold the high level of customer service for your customers and ensure they have a smooth transition through each channel of your marketing.

  1. Grow your digital capabilities 

Simply having multiple digital platforms for your company can help get your business out there. And then incorporating an omnichannel marketing strategy across all of your platforms will help you grow a strong brand for your business.

  1. Integrate content into your digital platforms

When you create content for a specific campaign, you should consider if that content can be optimised. And decide whether it can be used in your omnichannel marketing.

By using similar imagery and content on your digital platforms, you are creating a smoother customer journey as they are seeing the same branding and messaging.

  1. Don’t forget about the bigger picture

Whilst looking at your omnichannel strategy, you need to make sure you don’t forget about the bigger picture. You need to think about the end product or service you are wanting to sell to your customer.

Try to stick to familiar names that people call things. And similar marketing practices to create a strong customer experience.

So, simply sticking to the normal names we call things over your entire omnichannel strategy will improve the customer journey. You can change things up to make your marketing and product stand out, but try and stick to familiar things for your customers

  1. Map out your customer’s journey

Omnichannel marketing is there to improve the customer’s experience. You should know your customers’ journey end to end to ensure you can provide them with the best experience. 

The customer journey will change from time to time. However, by mapping out the customer’s journey and doing this on a regular basis will ensure that you can keep an eye out for any changes.

Environmental Awareness & Sustainability 

Yes, we know this trend isn’t exactly digital, but it’s one we just can’t ignore. 

According to a report by Talkwalkers, 82% of shoppers want brands to embrace sustainable and people-first practices, with Gen-Z at the forefront. One survey found three-quarters of Zoomer shoppers see sustainability as more important than brand names.

Now more than ever, consumers are choosing brands that align with their values and sustainability is becoming a key factor to shoppers. With issues such as the environmental impact of fast fashion and new coming technologies like NFTs (which are known for having large carbon footprints), many consumers are becoming more aware of sustainability.

Consumers are looking for sustainable packing, moving away from plastic and looking into brands’ environmental efforts. Retailers can help their customers by being upfront about what check-out and delivery choices mean for the environment. Providing information on packaging options, what happens to returns, recycling options and ways to combine orders can help shoppers buy responsibly. Even rebranding to appeal to shoppers’ humanitarian aspirations can be of benefit. For example, imagine the uptake if “Regular Shipping” was renamed “Low Carbon Emission Shipping”.

In 2023, we’re presented with an exciting opportunity to heighten standards for sustainable e-commerce. Our current generation of consumers want to know that brands are doing everything they can to implement sustainable initiatives. We’ve assumed that being sustainable and economically profitable are two concepts that can’t align with one another for too long. An increasing number of companies are proving that philosophy is a lie. 

Conversational Marketing 

What is Conversational Marketing?

Conversational marketing is the process of corresponding with potential and present customers through communicative channels such as chatbots, live chat, social media, and messaging apps. It’s an excellent way to connect with consumers on a more personal level and create relationships that can lead to conversions and sales.

Through conversational marketing, the customer can get answers to their questions about your products or services in real time. They can even make a purchase without leaving the platform. 

Why is Conversational Marketing Important?

The Sprout Social ‘Q1 2023 Sprout Pulse Survey’ reveals, some 26% of marketers plan to use conversational marketing in 2023, a 6% increase from 2022.

(Sproutsocial.com)

7 Benefits of Conversational Marketing:

  1. Higher engagement

Having meaningful conversations and creating more personal connections, with sales reps or chatbots, can turn website visitors into potential customers faster than traditional marketing approaches. In fact, about 63% of customers are likely to return to your website after a live chat conversation. (upscope.com)

  1. Increased sales conversions. 

Consumers getting answers to their questions in real-time, ensures they are getting the information they need in order to make a fast purchase decision.

  1. Good return on investment rate. 

Conversational marketing allows brands to target specific customers and have communication with them in a cost-effective way, when they are usually at the bottom of the sales funnel, reducing cart abandonment.

  1. Better brand awareness. 

Communicating with customers through messages makes your brand more memorable and increases familiarity.

  1. Better customer experience. 

Interacting with customers through real time conversations is more efficient than sending tens of follow-up emails.

  1. Increased customer loyalty. 

Real-time interaction increases customer loyalty by providing valuable assistance that helps customers with quick problem solving.

  1. More customer feedback. 

Engaging with customers through direct messaging can help you learn more about their needs and expectations.

Now that we’ve brought these digital trends to your attention, it’s time for you to react.

The progression of these trends and the rapidly evolving digital marketing industry isn’t slowing down. Make sure you implement them into your marketing strategy to stay ahead of competition and keep your current and potential customers happy.

By Lucy Hutchinson, Research and Content Manager