The latest ecommerce website development trends will certainly help focus your plans in 2023.
By 2024 over 20% of total retail sales are expected to come from ecommerce, worth almost US$7trillion. Business to business (B2B) ecommerce sales are expected to grow even more quickly. Unsurprisingly businesses are looking for new ways to create the perfect ecommerce site to win their share of the market.
Here’s our overview of some key things to look out for this year.
Smart speakers and voice assistants like Google Assistant, Alexa, or Siri are commonplace at home and at work. They offer a popular alternative to typing your online queries. We expect voice search to be an influential ecommerce development trend to improve user experiences. Helping customers to use voice commands to search for products and to speak with chatbots are certainly options worth considering. That means being ready to answer questions rather than simply naming or describing products.
Many shoppers and B2B buyers were introduced to ecommerce during the pandemic – they had little choice. Now the pendulum is swinging back and customers expect high quality purchasing experiences wherever they choose to buy. To attract and retain customers you will need to meet these expectations consistently across multiple channels and devices. These might include websites, marketplaces, progressive web apps (PWAs), social media platforms, and in-store.
The advantage of omnichannel sales is that you can target many different customers. You can meet their needs wherever they prefer to start or complete their buying journey. As an ecommerce website development trend this means you will need to be ready for channel-agnostic customers. They might discover your social media platform, check your website, and make their purchase on an online marketplace or in-store. You’ll need to provide consistently outstanding experiences wherever they choose to browse or buy.
Progressive web apps or PWAs are proving to be a good solution to a challenging problem. Mobile commerce makes speed and high quality presentation on all types of smartphones and tablet devices a priority. For many people it’s a more efficient and convenient way to buy.
PWAs provide super-fast app-like functionality but are actually websites running inside a dedicated browser window. A PWA can be installed on a desktop or mobile home screen just like any native app. Customers don’t even need an internet connection to use them. PWAs are discoverable online so you can continue to benefit from search engine optimisation (SEO) best practices. They can be shared easily with a simple link so they’re also ideal for marketing campaigns.
You can connect with your customers on social media and also provide ways to shop online. This is a key trend that could help you attract new customers, so you won’t want to miss out. Effective engagement on social media can help you build stronger relationships and increase sales. Selling directly via your social media channels and shoppable advertisements has great potential. Creating a social selling strategy for the coming year could give your sales a boost.
The launch of Open AI’s conversational chatbot, Chat GPT, at the end of last year generated a lot of interest. It’s designed to learn what people mean when they ask questions and provide long-form answers. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is increasingly interesting for ecommerce website development because it helps businesses with product recommendations and predictive analytics.
Along with machine learning (ML) it’s now being used to improve customer service and personalisation. It can help you learn about your customers and create near real-time insights. You can also save time and resources by automating many of your customer service interactions with AI-based chatbots, for example.
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) allow your customers to preview products and experience services before they decide to buy. Visualisation helps them see how a product would fit in a home or production environment. Three-dimensional explosions of products can show components and connections to help with specifications and customer service calls. New and existing technologies from ‘try before you buy’ to new marketing tools and the metaverse are coming together. There will be a lot to explore in 2023.
Ecommerce website developers can’t take their eyes off the speedometer. Fast load times continue to be an essential ranking and conversion factor. Google’s Core Web Vitals made page speeds even more important for website rankings.
The longer a webpage takes to load the higher its bounce rate will be. Search engines assume this means users don’t find the page content useful, so your results will be affected. If your checkout page is even marginally slower than your competitors you will lose customers.
You will need to make sure plenty of this year’s website development effort is dedicated to page speed. This will include your hosting, plugins, content, code and databases.
Doing more with less will help to increase your profitability. Combining marketing automation with your ecommerce platform will help you achieve your ambitious goals for growth and revenue. This involves more than automating email marketing and scheduling social media posts. Marketing automation allows you to create customised landing pages, personalised menus, recommendations, and easy-to-use checkouts.
Google is currently set to phase out third-party cookies in its Chrome browser by 2024. First-party cookies stored on your domain will therefore become more important for targeting and personalisation. These can be used for things like on-site search optimisation and recommendations. To continue targeting and remarketing to customers you can look at options like Google Topics and Adobe Experience Cloud to segment your site visitors into interest groups.
We have come a long way since Forrester called content and ecommerce the ‘odd couple’ in 2013. Like many things in our lives, we don’t necessarily want to know how things work, only that they do. The same can be said of your online content and how it’s delivered.
For businesses wanting the best back-office systems and outstanding customer experiences, decoupling content delivery is an important trend. Headless ecommerce allows you to quickly innovate test and deploy content to your customer touchpoints without affecting back-end processes. It will give you all the flexibility you need to embrace this year’s ecommerce website development trends.
Let’s talk about your ecommerce website development plans in 2023.