Four things every growing ecommerce brand should do in 2023
Every New Year produces a sea of eCommerce ‘trend’ articles: what to expect in the new year, which new technologies will be most disruptive (again.) But in their focus on novelty, these articles often forget that the fundamentals of growing an online business are actually very consistent across time.
Rather than predict what the next 12 months have in store for founders, we want to look at larger on-going trends – and what founders can do about them.
Here are five things every growing eCommerce brand should do in 2023:
1. Invest in owned channels
With the ‘death of cookies’, founders will soon find themselves unable to rely on targeted ads based on third-party data. But given that custom acquisition costs – and performance marketing costs more generally – have been increasing rapidly of late, this may not be the monumental loss it first appeared.
eCommerce brands that develop their owned channels – email lists, blogs, social media profiles – will have a huge advantage. Not just because they’ll have access to more customer data, but because those channels will grow in significance in the coming years. Ultimately, they will be the only way to truly build a community around your brand.
For some, this will mean building these channels from scratch; for others, it will mean taking their existing approach to the next level. The key is to prioritize growing these channels over the next 12 months – and watch them pay dividends in the following years.
2. Gather and analyze more data
Whether you’re looking to sell your business or simply make more objective decisions, a high volume of quality data is important. But many eCommerce founders are so focused on simply keeping things running, they don’t have time to think about optimizing the data they gather.
As a result, many are missing out on key opportunities – and that will only become more apparent. From expanding popular product lines to demand planning, data can unlock major avenues of growth. Many of the technology trends we are already seeing will rely heavily on data on your specific customer base.
Founders should focus on two things: generating more data and developing the capacity to effectively analyze it. The former might involve improving their website’s backend, utilizing their email list to ask for feedback or enlisting two-party data. The latter will require either specialized training or support from expert partners.
3. Improve payment options
The last few years have seen new and alternative payment methods proliferate. Trend reports going back several years have noted that this is the year [insert payment type here] will take over. But the reality is, this is less a trend than the new normal.
Buy Now, Pay Later options have become increasingly popular in recent months, with inflation pushing consumers to find new ways to cope with costs. But there is no single way consumers want to pay today – and that means eCommerce brands should focus on diversification rather than trend chasing.
Making it easy for consumers to pay exactly how they want is imperative, and 2023 is the perfect time to focus on this.
4. Diversify supply chains
Another ongoing trend: supply chains have been troubled since the start of the pandemic. This is particularly troublesome for eCommerce brands, given that their basic business models rely heavily on strong logistics. All of which is compounded by growing customer expectations: consumers demand fast delivery, seamless reverse logistics and consistently great customer service.
Diversifying means several things here. Founders should look to accommodate multiple last-mile partners and third=party logistics providers. But they should also consider how they source their products and the platforms they sell from.
There are a few ways diversifying your supply chains will set you in good stead. First, it will reduce the risk of disruptions causing backorders and delivery failures. While 75% of consumers experience such failures, they are less and less forgiving. A single bad experience may lead customers to look elsewhere.
Second, a more diverse range of suppliers and third-party providers will enable you to keep costs low. Overreliance on a handful of providers often means costs skyrocket during peak festive; Amazon sellers found this out the hard way in 2022.
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