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8 essential eCommerce trends for 2023: everything you need to know as a leading eCommerce retailer

We’ve been getting our research hats on over here at Cake. The team have been digging into and analysing the trends and patterns we’ve noticed over the last 6 months to create a forecast for what we expect the eCommerce landscape to look like as we head into 2023.

This will be the most interesting and one of the most important years for eCommerce brands in history. We’re a full year post-pandemic, a world going more digital by the second, more and more people signing up to social media and spending more time online, increased loneliness although we’re even more digitally connected and after having most of the pandemic restrictions lifted globally, but, nobody is the same. 

How could we ever be!? 

2023 is set to bring huge opportunities to the brands who are ready to jump in and solve a whole host of new problems (recessions and challenges always mean opportunity to help people solve problems in new ways) and help customers reach new levels of desire that we just quite haven’t seen like this before. 

Shopping, travel, relationships, values – everything is changing. And nothing is the same as even two years ago. As we move into our first full year of “normality”, here’s what we’re expecting to see more of, less of and brand new possibilities.


1. Circular retail  

Not a new trend by any means, but something that’s only going to evolve and become more and more important. Adidas have been the latest to unveil a collection dedicated to promoting a circular economy with their 'Made to Be Remade' products. There has been a rise in second-hand clothing Google searches in the last 2 years as well as a number of big brands and retailers; most recently Flannels, launching rental services for their products. We expect to see brands launching new ways to reignite old items and introducing innovative circular campaigns to their brand. Expect things like: second-hand collections, upcycling, rentals and returning old goods back to the store to be common in 2023. 


2. Value & giving is the new marketing  

In earlier years of eCommerce growth, whenever we’ve entered a period of global, political unrest or economic downturns, brands have been able to slash prices and offer large discounts to remain relevant and top of mind. The story isn’t as easy anymore as audiences are smarter and shoppers are more discerning, it’ll take more than a quick thoughtless discount to keep your people loyal. Your story, your mission and what you can offer for your audience without expecting anything in return is what will really set you apart. In the age of TikTok, educational videos and high value free content is what’s going to build connections quickly. Communicating the value of your product or service through educational content will showcase in the best possible way why consumers should invest in your brand. 


3. Influencer storefronts 

Amazon has pioneered the concept of a storefront for influencers. The idea is that influencers and creators with big niche audiences have the capacity to easily host a landing page on Amazon with a carefully curated collection of their favourite products. Making it easy for influencers to make money by partnering with brands through their storefront, and cuts out a whole lot of hopping around for the customer, too. With TikTok shops, creators can create their own storefront but we may see other brands, particularly ones with large inventories capitalise on the Amazon format to eliminate appearing next to potential competitors and to claim exclusivity on high performing influencers with engaged followings. Watch this space for this one to develop. 


4. Collaborations 

2022 has seen even more brand collaborations from Burberry x Supreme to Primark and Greggs. We expect this to continue in 2023 with more brands working together on products, collections, and events to leverage their audience overlap and promote shared values. We know that post-pandemic shoppers are more discerning, values and relationship driven. Collaborations are an easy way for brands to make a statement about who they are and what they stand for. 


5. Online goes offline  

Previously we saw brick and mortar stores move online and now we are seeing the reverse with online-first brands looking at opening physical locations. The new Gymshark store on Regent Street shows this on a big scale but lots of ecom-only brands have expanded over the years to opening stores across the UK. It's a newer, much more personal way to engage with your customers and explore building a deeper connection with them IRL. When the offline and online experience is seamless, a whole new world of possibilities opens up for brand relevancy and awareness.


6. Even more subscriptions 

One trend that’s not going anywhere: making. things. easy. Subscriptions are not new but ever-growingly popular, with 70% of consumers saying they’d be interested in receiving a subscription this year. Subscriptions allow users to budget each month for certain goods and with the current climate commodities or recurring purchases can be more considered. For a brand, they drive better lifetime value and drive down acquisition costs. For the customer, they just make life easier and mean there’s one less decision to make or thing to think about. It’s a win/ win and definitely worth considering if it’s relevant to your strategy.


7. Visual and voice search 

At the forefront of both visual and voice search is Google which offers alternative ways to search for what consumers are looking for AND gives interesting new data when it comes to identifying what your customers really care about. In order to capitalise on both, your website needs to be marked up to ensure you can respond to voice searches with conversational content that is snappier, sharper, clearer messaging and informative image searches that have all the correct product markup to encourage these searches to turn into purchases and revenue.


8. Restorative nesting 

With the cost of living rising, consumers will be going out less, and therefore more and more consumers will be looking to invest in their homes and spending time in them. Post-pandemic millennials and Gen-Z have stated over and over again in various studies that being at home is more exciting to them than it was pre 2020. Restorative nesting covers small decor additions to big, practical DIY renovations. Similar to 2022 during lockdowns, it means there is an opportunity for brands in this vertical to be at the forefront of the customer's mind and for other brands to adapt and diversify their product offering to meet their customers where they’re at.


What do these trends mean for your brand? How are you interpreting the patterns and what will you be doing differently?
Share this article with your network on LinkedIn, tag us and let’s start a conversation about it over there.

Kirstie Smith


Kirstie Smith

Agency Director