2023 is around the corner and we shared our thoughts on key trends of 2022, but it’s time to look forward as the new year rapidly approaches. We’re breaking down predictions for 2023 into three buckets commerce, consumers, and retail to provide our viewpoint from what analysts at Forrester and Gartner have identified as critical areas of focus.
3 Predictions for Cross-Channel Commerce 2023
Commerce Operations take Center Stage
It’s still up in the air about whether we are in a global recession, despite global inflation, mass layoffs at some of the biggest tech firms in the world, and shifts in consumer spending habits. Businesses are shifting focus to their commerce operations and identifying where they can make smarter investments while reducing costs. Some have opted to dial back on offering free returns and next-day delivery as costs continue to rise. This needs to be looked at in conjunction with how effective their commerce platforms are in helping customers find the right products the first time – if you have return rates, you need to consider why that’s happening.
Over 44% of businesses plan to re-evaluate or replace their current commerce platforms in 2023 and will be looking for solutions that drive value across the business and improve operational and sales efficiencies. If a project is too complex to execute or maintain, it will be abandoned by 1/3 of digital businesses as accepting sunken costs is inevitable and necessary in an uncertain economic environment. Smart investments will be centered around low-code technology that offers value across the organization.
Consumers are Over Poor CX
The good news: consumer spending will increase by 5%. The bad news: if you have a poor brand experience, you aren’t going to reap the benefits. For the first time in 3 years, consumers’ tolerance for poor brand experiences will fall. Consumers expect – and deserve – authentic and seamless customer experiences across whichever channel they prefer to use for their buying needs. A poor brand experience can differ between consumers, for some consumers lack of needs-based product content could be a reason to abandon a brand, and for others, it could be about difficulty navigating the website. Every angle of CX needs to be ironed out to deliver a high-quality CX that drives conversion and repeat customers.
Retail Saved by Automation & Offline Shopping
Labor shortages will remain a concern in 2023 and will require innovative solutions and automation to fill in the gaps and help businesses operate more efficiently. Over 2/3 of retail businesses with tech knowledge will be adopting AI and process automation. Tech-savvy retailers started to bring kiosks to stores in 2022 offering self-service support to help customers find what they need without one-on-one support from a sales associate. The most forward-thinking retailers and brands are looking for technology that can touch on both self-service selling and process automation.
In the US, 76% of total retail sales will still occur offline, so rethinking how to approach customer experiences in-store is vital to the bottom line. Cross-channel shopping is the norm for today’s consumers – they will interact with more than 5 touch points, on and offline, before making a purchase. Omnichannel retailers have a leg up on the competition in winning over cross-channel CX as 38% of US total retail sales in 2022 were digitally influenced sales that happened offline. Adopting innovative technology that can be integrated across touchpoints and channels is a foolproof strategy for a successful 2023.