Three Holiday Predictions for E-Commerce in 2023

Written by:

Amit Gutin

Jul 20, 2023

5 min Read

As we look ahead to the 2023 holiday season, retailer’s must navigate a complex and ever-changing landscape marked by inflation and cautious consumer spending. In this environment, consumers are more likely to conduct more thorough research before making a purchase.

Simply offering the lowest price may no longer be enough to capture their attention and dollars. This heightened scrutiny underscores the importance of technology and personalized customer experiences in driving success in the retail landscape. Here are three key predictions that retailers should prepare for to stay ahead of the curve and meet evolving customer needs and expectations.

Prediction #1: AI, Machine Learning, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Will Continue to  Reshape Online Shopping

With the rise of immersive technologies, the online shopping experience is set to undergo a significant transformation. Customers will expect interactive and life-like shopping experiences, powered by Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Machine Learning (ML).

Enter Generative AI, Augmented Reality (AR), and Virtual Reality (VR) - the game-changers in retail. 

  • Generative AI personalizes the shopping journey, creating content that resonates with individual customers, thereby deepening the brand-customer relationship. 

  • AR takes this a step further, allowing customers to preview products in their own surroundings before purchasing. This immersive approach bridges the online-offline divide, enhancing the shopping experience. 

  • Meanwhile, VR transports customers into fully digital environments, such as virtual stores or fashion shows, offering an enriched level of product interaction. 

Ultimately, these technologies are weaving together the physical and digital aspects of shopping, crafting a cohesive, engaging, and tailored customer journey.

Consider the example of Graco, who utilized eko to create 360-degree images and interactive experiences. With the help of our 'How to' templates, customers can learn more about the product, mirroring the in-depth exploration they would undertake in a physical store. This approach to digital retail ensures a comprehensive and satisfying shopping experience for all customers.

Prediction #2: Personalization Reigns Supreme

In 2023, personalization will be more than just a trend—it will be an expectation. If you’ve ever tried to deliver one-to-one personalization to your customers, you know how incredibly challenging it can be. However, a simpler solution is to put the choice in the users' hands and provide an incredibly engaging experience that customers actually want to use. No more assuming what’s important to your customers, but allowing the customer to choose what’s important to them. 

Moreover, consumers are now more aware of what they want to buy and have multiple considerations before making a purchase. With access to a wealth of information at their fingertips, they thoroughly research products, read reviews, and compare prices before deciding. This heightened awareness makes personalization even more crucial. Tailoring the shopping experience to individual customer preferences and behaviors will not only meet their expectations but also cater to their specific needs and desires, ultimately driving customer loyalty and increasing sales.

How to prepare: 

Personalization has long been the key to successful retail engagement. Customers crave shopping experiences that are tailored to their unique preferences and make them feel seen and heard. With eko, brands can deliver exactly this level of personalization.

By building interactive videos for their products, eko puts the control in the customers' hands. This allows customers to decide what they want to learn next about a product. For instance, if a customer is interested in a Nespresso machine, they can choose to view it in a specific color, size, or explore certain functionalities. 

As they navigate through the video, interactive prompts appear, enabling the customer to customize their experience further. This approach empowers customers, making their shopping journey more engaging and personalized.

Prediction #3: Multi-Channel Retailing Takes Center Stage

The future of retail is undoubtedly multi-channel. Customers will expect and demand seamless shopping experiences across all platforms, from brick-and-mortar physical stores to user-friendly online websites and mobile apps. In fact, 60% of online shoppers currently use more than one channel for their purchase needs. This means that consumers are not confined to a single channel; they hop between different touch points during their shopping journey. The ability to seamlessly integrate these various touchpoints and provide consistent, personalized experiences across them will be a crucial differentiator for retailers during the holiday season, especially since retailers who have a strong presence on multiple platforms generate a staggering 190% more revenue than those that rely on just one channel.

How to prepare:  

In today's retail landscape, customer shopping journeys are far from linear. A customer might initiate their shopping experience by reading product reviews on Reddit or social media channels. They could then visit a physical store to try the product themselves, browse your brand site, and perhaps, finalize their purchase on a platform like Walmart.

Given this diverse journey, it's crucial that your product visuals remain consistent across all customer touchpoints. This is where eko's Media Asset Creation Suite comes into play. It integrates effortlessly with various systems, enabling you to generate numerous assets that meet the requirements of Amazon, Walmart, or your Shopify eCommerce store. This will help ensure a unified customer experience across all sales channels.

Final  Thoughts

As the 2023 holiday season approaches, retailers must recognize the transformative power of technology and personalized customer experiences as crucial elements for success. The acceleration of AI, machine learning, augmented reality, and virtual reality is enabling the creation of immersive and interactive experiences that effectively bridge the gap between the physical and digital realms. By embracing these technologies early on, retailers can position themselves ahead of the competition and gain favor with consumers who increasingly value these advanced capabilities. 

Moreover, personalization has shifted from a passing trend to an expectation, and brands that tailor their offerings to individual preferences will foster customer loyalty and drive sales. The ability to deliver a personalized shopping experience is becoming a defining factor for retailers seeking to thrive in the evolving retail landscape.

And in the current retail environment, multi-channel retailing has become essential. Customers now expect a seamless shopping experience across various platforms including physical stores, online websites, and mobile apps. By staying ahead of the curve and implementing these predictions, retailers can create a cohesive, engaging, and tailored customer journey that sets them apart and leads to success during the upcoming holiday season.

In our upcoming blog posts, we'll delve deeper into these trends and provide actionable strategies for brands. We'll share insights and tips to help you navigate the holiday season successfully, ensuring your brand not only meets but exceeds customer expectations.  Stay tuned for these forthcoming posts, as we continue to explore how to leverage technology and personalization to create memorable shopping experiences and drive retail success in the holiday season.