2023 Trends for Retail & E-commerce Marketers


Consumer demands and behaviors are changing faster than ever, and megatrends such as the expansion of e-commerce and growing threats to brand loyalty are posing major challenges for retail marketers heading into 2023. However, those same factors are simultaneously creating opportunities, and in the face of this disruption, the most successful retailers will be those that leverage emerging technology to offer new, exciting ways to browse and purchase, while also investing in their data infrastructure to help enrich their communication strategies.

Let’s explore some specific trends:

1) Social media apps as shopping channels

These relatively new online buying platforms are poised to see rapid growth in the US, with social commerce sales forecast to grow by more than 20% year-over-year through 2025. In other words, leveraging tools like Instagram checkout is a great option for retailers—particularly those brands that are still building out an optimized e-commerce experience on their websites. While it is an approach that requires an upfront list in terms of setting up and maintaining product catalogs, it does open the door to exploring more interactive shoppable ad units and, potentially, unlocking incremental revenue. 

2) Capturing and leveraging first-party data

Of course, this is nothing entirely new given the decline of cookies and device tracking, yet some brands are still seriously struggling when it comes to building systems to make the most of their first-party data. Email capture remains the easiest entry point for retail marketers, and the most critical. However, any additional attributes can make targeting all the more effective. These can include types of products purchased, frequency of purchase, loyalty program status—really, anything that can inform more personalized messaging and allow marketers to go after valuable customers with greater precision. 

3) The bridge between online and offline shopping

Here, two areas, in particular, are coming to the fore: 

  • Augmented reality: Whether it’s using a filter to try on eyeglasses or LiDAR to see how a new sofa will look in the living room, AR is the ultimate digital translation of the in-store experience. It can also power impactful, interactive ad units that can then be amplified through paid social efforts.
  • Omnichannel shopping: Statistics show 63% of shoppers use a phone in-store to research before buying and 36% have bought something online while in-store. This demonstrates the importance of advertising where research is happening and retargeting to stay top of mind throughout the buying journey. 

That said, it’s important to differentiate buying online from shopping online. Retail marketers must think of the internet as the largest shopping mall in the world and realize that, while not every part of a digital strategy should be focused on finalizing the sale, they need to be an active part of the online shopping ecosystem if they want to stay top of mind with consumers.


Want to learn about some of the macro trends affecting digital marketing more generally? Check out our 2023 Trends Report to stay ahead of the curve as you plan for the year ahead. 

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