Consolidation and live shopping: Four e-commerce trends to watch in 2023
As we launch into the new year, we’ve rounded up our top e-commerce predictions for 2023. While we’re expecting this year to see an acceleration of many trends that took off in the pandemic years, the consumerisation of B2B e-commerce is the sleeper of the 2023 season. Without further ado, here are four major areas for retailers to focus on in 2023. Social commerce and live shopping Social commerce is anticipated to grow three times faster than traditional e-commerce by 2025. Browsing and sh
and shopping directly on social media platforms has long been a hallmark of e-commerce in China, now, it’s finally coming to Australia.
Half of the GTV of e-commerce in China now comes from live shopping. During the 2022 Singles Day period, according to figures released by Alibaba, 62 influencer and merchant-run livestreaming channels surpassed CN¥100 million ($20.86 million) in gross revenue.
Live shopping is essentially the modern-day, more sophisticated version of TVSN. Born of social media, it can be an effective tool to build communities, while replicating the energy of marketplace shopping. Particularly overseas, platforms like TikTok and TalkShopLive are revolutionising social commerce and live shopping, helping small businesses connect with their customers and build communities.
Consolidation meets specialisation in retail
Across our network of 30 omnichannel and pureplay online retailers in Australia, we’re seeing a trend towards consolidation and specialisation, which are interrelated, as large and addressable markets remain underpenetrated.
When it comes to consolidation and specialisation, we expect to see more big retailers launch or acquire specialty marketplaces to capture the growing long tail of e-commerce.
This has already started unfolding in the Australian market, which has historically been much more supportive of specialty retailers. Pureplay online and bricks-and-mortar retailers both have an important role to play here in expanding the Aussie e-commerce ecosystem, bringing different skills to the table, from inventory management to customer loyalty programs.
Multichannel e-commerce experiences
In Australia, the battle lines between marketplace and direct-to-consumer (DTC) were drawn, and now, the battle has been won. It turns out, a truce has been called, where both are now recognised as compatible sales channels, not mutually exclusive. It marks a significant shift from the word on the street a few years ago.
DTC brands were reluctant to trade on marketplaces such as Amazon primarily because their business model is built around first-party data. But with e-commerce becoming so competitive, something has to give, and accessibility for many brands drives greater returns than exclusivity.
The numbers speak for themselves. More than 50 per cent of customers interact with three to five channels before making a purchase. Multichannel, and its closely related omnichannel cousin, becomes even more important in B2B commerce. According to McKinsey in 2022, the average B2B customer now uses more than 10 channels to engage with a company, up from five channels in 2016.
The rise of the B2B2C marketplace
It’s always the way, B2B follows B2C. In 2023, we’ll continue to see the ‘consumerisation’ of B2B retail.
Today, middle-aged millennials are the decision-makers in retail and e-commerce, and increasingly, starting their own small businesses with a desire for more flexibility.
As digital natives, millennials are taking their expectations of Amazon-like experiences into their roles, and B2B e-commerce won’t be spared. Over time, this will change traditional wholesale for the better. SMEs especially want speed and ease, and the dedicated B2B marketplace is the logical next step in business buying online.
With traditional wholesale suffering through the pandemic years, specialised B2B marketplaces started coming online to serve retailer and supplier needs. In 2021, B2B marketplace sales grew more than seven times faster than B2B e-commerce sales. B2B marketplaces are in fact the fastest-growing e-commerce channel.
This may be the beginning of the end for traditional wholesale, where retailers buy stock in bulk and hold it themselves. We’re looking at a future focused on optimising resources, where retailers and suppliers alike will look to focus on their own competitive advantages and make the most of what’s in their own wheelhouse.
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