B2C Marketplaces: 8 Trends to watch in 2023

The success and proliferation of the eCommerce business model, means that competition is now fiercer than ever. The only way for business owners to stand out is to implement the latest marketplace trends earlier than their competitors.  

We have created a list of the top eCommerce & marketplace trends to watch in 2023. Keep reading to find out more: 

Trends to watch in 2023: 

  1. Online sales will keep growing 
  1. Increased reliance on online and mobile 
  1. Artificial intelligence 
  1. Personalisation 
  1. Frictionless checkouts and blockchain implementation  
  1. Increase in the subscription model for sales 
  1. Omnichannel selling and social media  
  1. Augmented reality and virtual reality to improve the purchasing experience 

1. Online sales will keep growing 

eCommerce and online sales are only set to continue to grow, as we move into 2023. Statista research suggests that in 2023, an estimated 17% of  sales are expected to be generated digitally. 

E-commerce share of total B2B sales in the United States from 2019 to 2023. Statista.

There is no doubt that the pandemic has become a catalyst for e-commerce. Quarantines, self-isolation, travel restrictions - these measures have led to online sales having a greater influence on digital marketplace trends. As a result, more organisations have started growing their business online and developing their digital ecosystems.  For instance, Walmart’s online sales have grown to near Amazon's level.

According to Marketplace Pulse data, Walmart Marketplace reported $152.90 billion (about $470 per person in the US) dollars of total retail sales in Q2 2022. Walmart’s experience reflects that of the industry as a whole, as evidenced in the chart below that outlines the increase in eCommerce sales worldwide.  

Share of e-retail sales. Wakeupdata.

2. Increased reliance on online and mobile

In a study by eMarketer, worldwide eCommerce sales reached about $2.3 trillion in 2017, reflecting a 24.8% increase from the previous year. Mobile made up, almost two thirds of this (58.9%), representing $1.4 trillion in sales, an increase of 18.7% from 2015. As consumers rely more heavily on the digital world in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we expect these figures to continue increasing.  

The convenient, comfortable and contactless nature of online shopping—whether on a desktop, tablet, or mobile device—is here to stay. Online shopping is now easier, friendlier, and more accessible than ever. As the technology continues to evolve, we expect to see the continued growth of most businesses online. 

3. Artificial intelligence to facilitate productivity and growth 

It is common for organisations to turn to artificial intelligence to streamline their workflow and processes. However, the eCommerce space has not stayed on the sidelines and has quickly followed this lead. Today, AI is becoming increasingly prominent feature of online marketplaces.  

The main proponents of online sales is the generation of zoomers (1997-2021) and millennials (1981-1996), from 18 to 34 years old. They prefer to communicate using instant messengers, avoiding phone calls. It is worth considering the value of utilizing AI within your marketplace communication channels. For example, in the forms of messengers and chatbots.

Implementing AI in marketplaces can transform customer experience. Chatbots can scan the keywords in a customer’s query and offer pre-packaged answers. Artificial intelligence also enables the creation of personalised recommendations based on the customer’s purchase history. Finally, smart AI algorithms help analyse consumers’ behaviour and identify the best sales channels for businesses to engage with their customers. 

Below you can see the statistics of revenue from the artificial intelligence software market. The numbers have gradually increased since 2018 and are expected to reach more than $100 billion in 2025.  

Revenues from AI software market worldwide from 2018 to 2025. Statista.

4. Personalisation

We have already mentioned the active usage of AI as a significant marketplace trend. Still, we want to show how artificial intelligence can help create a personalised experience. Why is it so crucial within marketplace trends? The thing is that consumers tend to value products that are tailored to their specific needs.  

Recent findings of Smarter HQ are working illustrations of this online marketplace trend. For example, 72% of customers will only collaborate with personalised messaging brands.   

Using AI technology in online marketplaces is an opportunity to collect information about your visitors. This way, you can adjust your website to their needs and wants during online shopping. As a result, you get better chances to grow your revenue and reduce the bounce rate by up to 45%. 

5. Frictionless and flexible Checkouts

In this article, 24% stated they abandoned their cart because the site wanted them to create an account. When designing a frictionless checkout experience, it is important to streamline the experience with fewer steps. This means not requiring people to make an account to buy, being transparent with all costs and accommodating a wide range of payment options. Retailers that can offer frictionless checkout experiences will be able to enjoy higher conversion rates.  

Consumers rely increasingly on secure digital payment services such as PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay and Square. Instead of providing credit card information to each individual site they order from, customers have come to trust these convenient, fast, and secure checkout methods. Allowing flexibility with payment options at checkout is a great way to protect against cancelled sales and increase conversion rates. Customers look for a seamless checkout experience. The more ways to pay, the more value to your business.  

  • New payment options 

Online shopping can become a hassle for customers when using an unfamiliar payment option. Hence, your task is to provide consumers with all popular payment gateways. Then, allow them to pay for your products and services with their preferred method. This digital commerce tactic will help you improve the retention rate and get better chances of repeat purchases. 

Share of selected payment methods as percentage of total e-commerce transaction volume wolrdwide in 2021. Statista.

7. Increase in the subscription model for sales

New subscription offerings are born every day. The subscription economy now operate across a wide range of industries, although there has been a particular increase in the automotive industry. Inflation and the costs of products and services are rising, and users are becoming wary of subscriptions. Many are returning to pre-subscription sales habits to avoid paying what may be considered a non-essential convenience premium. Meanwhile, those in favor of subscriptions want to keep the cost down. 

The value of subscriptions for businesses is clear, due to their ability to generate mass amounts of customer data and recurring revenue from the consumer. 

Recent reports have shown that most companies will switch to a subscription-based model for their software products by 2023. A study by Revenera illustrated that over 50% of businesses use subscription or perpetual licensing models. It was also stated that subscription and usage-based models would record the strongest growth in the next 18 months. Many organisations are looking to change their models to access new markets and create a recurring revenue stream. 

8. Augmented reality and virtual reality to improve the purchasing experience.

The pandemic saw a surge in online shopping. This made it even more important — and expected — for brands to be innovative in offline environments. In 2023, the customer experience provided in-store should add unique value. It’s all about encouraging physical footfall alongside online shopping. 

Augmented reality (AR) and other immersive experiences have become key to achieving this. And the rise in use of AR technology means consumer demand for immersive experiences will become even more mainstream in 2023. In fact, more than a third of Gen Z are predicted to be shopping with AR by 2025. 

Start creating and testing immersive experiences with smartphones today. And you will be one step ahead when emerging AR hardware, such as glasses, reaches more widespread adoption. 

Final thoughts

The future of digital commerce never looked more promising. The latest online marketplace trends discussed above offer businesses multiple opportunities. However, it would be a big challenge to try and keep up with all of them. You must decide which marketplace trends in 2023 are important for your business and focus on them. 

By keeping in mind some of the most popular online marketplaces trends for 2023, you can implement new ideas and solutions to grow your business. This will help to impress users and buyers, increase loyalty and remain ahead of competitors. 

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