The commerce lessons of the past few years are piling up quickly, and while 2022 offered tons of learnings, a lot more is in store for 2023. We saw early ripples of emerging digital trends (like the importance of mobile experiences) during peak seasons such as the Cyber 5 weekend, which played out through the holiday season. Our recent consumer survey solidified those trends with clear data – where we learned how critical personalization is as well as meeting customers at their preferred screen.

Innovation in digital experiences in 2023 has the potential to enable better personalization across devices as well as unique approaches to product and content discovery. Bearing in mind all we learned last year, here are five trends that brands should be keeping an eye out for:

#1: The move to anonymous personalization

The enablement of privacy regulations such as CCPA and GDPR will move the focus of personalization away from using explicit consumer data to more predicted approaches such as neural and vector based approaches. These approaches leverage anonymous data points such as context and behavior to form hyper relevant experiences. This allows users their privacy while still enabling personalized, unique experiences that make them feel understood.

#2: Conversational commerce grows

People expect conversational exchanges in ecommerce to be plainspoken and straightforward. Ironically, complex technology is key to fostering this simplicity. More ecommerce engagement and transactions will be facilitated through the likes of (selling) chatbots, ar/vr and similar interactive tools. This will not only improve experiences through intelligent guidance, but will reduce the necessary effort for shoppers to find and pick the correct products as well.

#3: Product customization innovates

While traditionally more prevalent in B2B commerce, more consumers are beginning to demand product customization, and sellers will follow suit. Technology adoption such as 3D printing tools will help support this. We can expect to see customization use cases for products that require a lot of research ahead of time – such as furniture or large appliances.

#4: Increased diversity of applications for product discovery & findability

Consumers will demand and adopt new innovative ways to discover products beyond traditional text based means. As a result, ecommerce will further penetrate additional digital mediums and IOT. Video-based platforms such as TikTok, games, and streaming music are all fair game. The rise of more ad dependent free streaming tiers by the likes of Netflix and Spotify will accelerate this – catching more customers’ eyes as they are already absorbing content pertaining to them. Additionally, In-app advertising and purchasing of products beyond what is in the scope of the app itself will dramatically increase.

#5: The shift towards relevant and unique content

Google’s algorithm updates included more weighting on content utility and originality, which will force sellers away from programmatically SEO tactics to invest more in curation. Shoppers can expect ecommerce sites to have greater enriched experiences beyond just product data to include the product experience itself. There is a ton of opportunity here for brands to showcase their understanding of who their customers are, and the smartest brands will get creative about how to weave that understanding into their content.

How can brands ride the wave of trends?

Brands need to make sure they are covering a couple important elements if they want to take full advantage of the coming changes in 2023.

  • Nail personalization in social and mobile commerce. For social commerce we should expect to see more traction in meta-supported transactions(such as ar/vr, in-app product advertising and purchasing such as through TikTok), and further momentum of social influencer impact – particularly those creating original content. With exponential adoption of secure mobile payment like ApplePay, we expect mobile transactions to meet or exceed desktop transactions. Commerce journeys now go beyond app and desktop and connect to all consumer peripherals such as gaming devices, streaming, fitness, vehicles, and more. There’s an opportunity here for brands to catch these users where they are and deliver memorable experiences directly to their preferred device.
  • Invest in digital transformation and site optimization. The above solution goes hand in hand with this one. Most research today shows that the majority of in-store transactions are influenced by previous digital interactions. Brands need to master personalization, and doing so is only possible by embracing the full potential of their digital and web experience. Retailers that are already clued into this have been investing more in their digital experiences in order to better measure and attribute the influence of their digital channels to store traffic and transactions.

Why search matters in 2023

When it comes to site navigation, personalization, and overall optimization, we at Lucidworks believe it all begins with search. Semantic vector search is becoming an increasingly necessary technology for retail and ecommerce brands to stay competitive in the marketplace and stay connected to their customers. The customers of today expect seamless digital experiences that showcase the brand’s understanding of who they are and why they are arriving at the digital storefront.

Brands need to do everything they can to capture that intent by way of a highly personalized search experience that delivers highly relevant, personalized results, and takes customers where they ought to go – no matter where they arrive from (be it social, mobile, or desktop).

Interested in how Lucidworks solutions can help your brand anticipate and tackle each of these predictions as they relate to your strategy? Get in touch with us today.

About Sanjay Mehta

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