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3 Commerce Trends That Will Dominate 2023: Trailblazers Weigh In

An illustration of a person touching an oversized image of a shopping cart on an oversized smartphone: ecommerce trends 2023
Businesses are still looking to become more productive, but they’re also searching for innovations that keep the customer experience front and center. [Malte Müeller / Getty Images]

Businesses are digging into social commerce, investing in marketplaces, and maximizing data to meet business goals.

Commerce leaders are starting to emerge from one of the most turbulent business periods in recent history. After years of pivoting to meet new demands, often with fewer resources, the industry is starting to seize new opportunities with an eye to the future. When it comes to ecommerce trends, 2023 is the year that brands will move from being reactive to proactive.

Businesses are still looking to become more productive, of course, but they’re also searching for innovations that keep the customer experience front and center. They’re exploring options in social media and in new venues like marketplaces. And they’re getting better at using data to meet business goals.

We asked our commerce Trailblazers to share their predictions for the industry in 2023. Here’s what they had to say.

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1. Brands will use social commerce to boost engagement and expand their reach

Nearly every internet user worldwide is also on social media. That’s a staggering 4.5 billion people — and a huge opportunity for businesses. We caught up with Khadijah Robinson, CEO of Empower Global, a digital community for Black-owned brands, to get her take on social commerce in 2023. Her prediction? “A huge emphasis on video.” Social media (and video, specifically) offers an engaging, entertaining way to build relationships with new customers and encourage deeper loyalty with ones who already know your brand.

Channels like TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook are already primary sites for our daily interactions. Enmeshing ecommerce in these moments seems like an obvious next move, especially as each platform rolls out new video and shopping features. 

Adding video to your commerce strategy can help boost engagement and maximize revenue. For example, businesses can use video on product pages to offer item details and tutorials, and even collect reviews. For customers seeking information about product fit, functionality, dimensions, and more, video paints a much clearer picture than static imagery. It can help your brand set the right expectations, and even reduce the likelihood of returns.

2. Businesses will turn to marketplaces for supply-chain relief and growth opportunities

Nearly half (47%) of enterprise-level organizations will prioritize building a digital marketplace within the next two years. Why? Thomas Theunen, head of commerce at Forward, a company that helps brands implement ecommerce and digital marketing solutions, believes it’s because marketplaces help brands fill inventory gaps and provide personalization. “Marketplaces help create more personalized experiences and more revenue without the hassle,” he says. 

Typically, brands would need to invest in research and development to create and add new products to their catalog. With a marketplace, businesses can skip this step entirely.

Marketplaces also help brands expand quickly into new markets and make it easier to gain access to first-party customer data. As inflation and supply-chain issues follow the market into 2023, this helps brands build much-needed resilience. The customer data you acquire from the different sellers in your marketplace gives you the insights you need to increase conversions, recommend relevant products, and target the right customers. 

A marketplace also means you can quickly expand your product catalog, cross- and up-selling products that were once outside the scope of your offerings. And you can lean on third-party sellers in diverse markets, which can ease supply-chain challenges and help speed up delivery and fulfillment.

3. Companies will use data management to become more efficient

The average company uses nearly 1,000 applications to run its business and store customer data. This isn’t efficient, effective, or affordable. The solution: data management. Global beauty brand L’Oréal understands that properly managed data is a key to success in 2023 and beyond. What do brands need to do? According to Deputy CEO Barbara Lavernos, “We need to make the most of our data. [We need to] collect data from each and every touchpoint — at home, offline, online — and turn it into a seamless journey.”

To help consolidate all the information that brands work so hard to collect — and quickly turn it into actionable insights — many businesses are starting to use customer data platforms (CDPs). This is especially true as the cookieless future approaches. In 2023, businesses will prioritize data management to prepare for stricter privacy regulations and an evolving internet. 

How can a CDP help? It unifies data from marketing, sales, service, and commerce, and presents all the insights in one place. This can be a game changer in terms of productivity. In fact, 64% of business professionals say that centralized customer data increases efficiency, and 54% say it offers more opportunities for business growth.

Using the right data management strategies can give your teams a single, accurate view of each customer so you can move fast to create stellar experiences. No more customer information siloed across your organization. No more communication breakdowns between cross-functional teams. The future of commerce belongs to those that do more than just collect data — they manage data correctly so they can be more innovative and productive. If you keep up with one ecommerce trend in 2023, make it data management.

Embrace ecommerce trends in 2023

As market shifts and economic headwinds continue to drive change in the new year, successful businesses will be those that adapt quickly. To set your business up for success, prioritize key tactics that will build resilience. Consider these predictions for ecommerce trends in 2023, and determine which will make the most impact.

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Kristina Henry

Kristina Henry is a former content marketing manager for Commerce Cloud. She’s a New York native with experience working in marketing strategy and ecommerce for travel, beauty, and entertainment companies.

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