1R’s 2023 Trends and Predictions
With the new year in full swing, 1R touches on the biggest digital trends, predictions, and must-haves for 2023.
6 TRENDS TO SEE GROWTH IN 2023
Innovative business models. To remain competitive, brands should focus on their speed to market and their ability to iterate quickly, building on a variety of platforms that can move fast. SaaS-based tools are becoming more nimble, affordable, and accessible, allowing midsize brands the ability to move rapidly while spending less (for example headless solutions). Brands will no longer need a big budget to break out into a market and be a trendsetter. Older, slower, expensive Saas-based systems will start to fade out as faster, affordable, and more nimble options continue to rise.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) / Augmented Reality (AR). It’s imperative to have virtual try-on capabilities to leverage confident sales and avoid returns online. The beauty industry is leading the charge in digital innovation and setting the tone for other industries. The AR experience has existed for a long time but brands are more likely now to start to adopt it. Here is an example of a 3D shopping experience on Shop the Scenes. It’s this immersive experience that marries the in-store experience with a digital one. Other brands like Coach and Crocs have adopted this experience for the holidays to target those eager to tap into the metaverse.
Content. In 2022, brands leaned into their content in order to stand out from their competitors. That is why 1R offered a new creative services studio - to not only guide brands visually but to help them produce it. Shopify 2.0 also allows for more and flexible content.
Server Side Tracking. Server-side tracking is on the rise. With the constant changes to how data is tracked, cookie restrictions, and ad blockers, it’s been increasingly hard to gauge the true value of a brand’s digital channels without a unified data solution. Most businesses are working with inaccurate data. Implementing server-side tracking allows brands to accurately monitor each channel to make more informed business decisions. Server-side tracking will only become more and more important, and the sooner brands get ahead, the better advantage they’ll have as cookies continue to phase out over the coming years.
Pay Installments. There are already so many options out there - Affirm, Klarna, Afterpay, etc. Most brands 1R works with have an easy integration to one of them to offer payment installments. As shoppers continue to battle inflation, brands should keep it as an option for consumers.
Omnichannel Approach. Brands will become more innovative with the return of brick-and-mortar as long as their focus on a brand’s ecosystem. There is a new hybrid of brick-and-mortar and digital, and those that think brick-and-mortar will return to being king are wrong. The new consumer experience is driven by a brand’s ability to move forward, using all channels to get the brand out there and integrating systems to work across all channels. Some brands are seeing their brick-and-mortar stores differently as they reopen. Its main purpose can be used more for marketing than direct sales, or to maximize exposure in more localized places to gain new audiences. Online now informs brands, so it would be remiss of a brand to ignore or underutilize their DTC business to focus on brick-and-mortar. Brands are using online data to make informed decisions about offline experiences. Coming out of a pandemic, brands relied on their digital business. Now they are using all that data to leverage and retarget customers across all channels including in-store and wholesale. Going forward, they will leverage channels working together as a more holistic ecosystem. It won’t be singular like it used to be. It’s not brick-and-mortar vs online. They now complement each other.
3 MUST-HAVE COMMERCE COMPONENTS FOR ANY BRAND
Having a strong conversion rate is key. If your site's conversion rate is below the benchmark, you’re leaving money on the table. Focusing on small tweaks to your e-commerce site and measuring results will help to incrementally boost efficiency and profits. This could look as simple as A/B testing a call-to-action (CTA) on your homepage or adding new navigation options. These are usually low-investment tweaks that can make a big difference.
CRM is more important than ever. Boosting loyalty and increasing lifetime value (LTV) has a profound effect on the longevity of a brand. It also ensures a business has legs to stand on if one of its key upper funnel channels disappears tomorrow. Focusing on email, SMS, and customer service not only increases return on investment (ROI) and LTV but also has a halo effect on brand awareness and trust higher in the funnel. This directly translates into more brand advocates, customer reviews, and user-generated content (UGC) which should be integrated throughout a brand’s site and digital touchpoints.
Get clear data. A brand’s e-commerce and marketing data should inform every business decision they make. It’s better to invest in what’s working than to waste resources on channels, content, and tactics that don’t have a tangible impact on the bottom line. For example, a lot of brands are investing in TikTok, but the profitability of the channel hasn’t been proven for most businesses, especially those with higher AOV. While there’s definitely value in trying new tactics, if efforts don’t outway returns it’s better to put these channels on the back burner and double down on channels that show the most opportunity.
To learn more or geek out over the digital world with our 1R experts, contact us at [email protected]