In January, Shopify released their report on Commerce Trends 2023. Last week, we shared our first in a series of articles unpacking the information from that report, and showing you actionable insights that will help you get ahead of the curve in 2023.

Last time we looked at Money. And this week, we’re going to be unpacking what the Shopify report had to say on the theme of Marketing.

Let’s take a look.

Brand Collaboration is Key

The report points out how unstable markets cause customers to shop around. After the pandemic, 41% of consumers tried new retailers.

But how do you get your products or services in front of these potential customers?

According to Shopify, Collaboration is key.

“…converting these potential customers is challenging: Already-high customer acquisition costs are on the rise as return on ad spend (ROAS) declines. On top of this, tighter privacy regulations are forcing brands to rely less and less on third-party data to get in front of the people most likely to buy. In response, brands are turning to collaborations. 

“Brand-to-brand collabs, where non-competing brands co-create products or experiences to tap into each other’s audiences, allow for reciprocal exposure at a low cost.”

Commerce Trends 2023 – p.10

So here’s some good news:

Alvio’s fundamental core functionality is about building brand collaborations – we help brands to work together directly, not just through marketing, but by allowing merchants to share their products with each other.

Let’s say you’re a sunglasses brand… and you want to collaborate with a non-competing brand, such as a swimwear retailer. 

With an Alvio partnership, your products will appear in your partner’s online store. Alvio makes this happen without a single line of code, and can be set up in minutes… not days, or weeks. 

In 2022, we delivered our product suppliers an average ROI of 1060%. Meanwhile, the partner retailers who sold those products earned 20,000% ROI!

That means we’re driving down customer acquisition costs for both parties. Everybody wins!

The Power of Influencers

Here’s another great takeaway from the Commerce Trends report:

“Collaborating with influencers will also benefit brands in 2023 and beyond. 

“Lockdowns catapulted the popularity of influencer marketing. In the absence of being able to touch, feel, and test products in store, consumers watched live streams of unboxings or product reviews to experience products by proxy. Now, more than seven out of 10 businesses expect online influencers to become even more important in the future.” 

Commerce Trends 2023 – p.10

Alvio allows for an entirely new influencer model in combination with Shopify. 

It used to be that an influencer had to direct would-be customers to the brand’s website elsewhere. But with Alvio, that influencer can simply open their own Shopify store – point their social feeds at it – then fill it with all the products they endorse.

Alvio then connects these products to the brands’ own websites for fulfilment and delivery. 

In this way, Alvio actually gives even more weight to the words of product ambassadors. Your influencers are not just making “shill videos”… they’ll have their own branded Shopify stores, linked to all their socials!

For influencers, it makes it easy to work with multiple brands, to drive more sales, and to prove that those sales are coming from their endorsement. 

A Collaborative Approach to Data

The core of Alvio’s philosophy is this: We move data, not products.

As it turns out, Shopify agrees that this is the path to success in 2023.

“Sharing audiences helps brands reach new customers and win trust.”

Commerce Trends 2023 – p.33

Alvio is designed from the ground up to allow this kind of collaboration between ecommerce stores – with no code implementation, and with the scalability to handle millions of requests. 

Alvio puts the power of collaboration into the hands of marketers… not developers. 

Here are some more key data takeaways from the Commerce Trends report:

Cookies are out: Data privacy regulations tighten as acquisition costs continue to climb.

First-party customer data is in: Instead of looking to big data, brands are using first-party data to engage their audiences with more relevant and personalized content.

Brands are working together: Collaborating with other brands and creators opens up new audiences and customer bases.”

Commerce Trends 2023 – p.34

A Changing Attitude to Ads

The Commerce Trends report tells us that in 2023, consumers’ relationships with ads is changing. Improved data privacy (not to mention the widespread use of ad-blockers) means that ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) is getting worse.

Just take a look at the data:

Commerce Trends 2023 – p.35

Shopify tells us:

“More than 26 million ecommerce sites compete for their target consumers’ limited time and attention, with more retailers joining the competition daily. But the advertising tools brands used to rely on are getting less dependable. Since the peak of lockdowns, ROAS has continued its decline as the costs per click on the biggest advertising platforms seem to be in a race for the top.” 

Commerce Trends 2023 – p.35

This data clearly shows that consumers’ attitudes to ads are changing. So in 2023, your attitude to ads needs to change too. But here’s the good news –

Your Alvio partnership has the power to reinvigorate your Return on Ad Spend.

Here’s how it does that:

Share the Gains: Building partnerships with related brands allows both parties to benefit from the same ad spending.

Sidestep the Race for the Top: Why compete when you can collaborate? Instead of fighting other retailers for buyers, simply join forces with them instead.

Eliminate Risk: Ad spend becomes more affordable when you eliminate risk and costs elsewhere. For example, with Alvio you can introduce whole new product lines at zero risk.

Leverage Your Audience: So you’ve already found an audience through ads? That’s a valuable marketing asset – so boost your returns, by filling your storefront with new products those customers want – all at zero risk.

“…the challenge is finding new ways to replace the role of third-party data in marketing.”

Commerce Trends 2023 – p.35

“Challenge Accepted.”
- Alvio.

Shopify Spells it Out: Collaborate to Win

Perhaps the single biggest takeaway from the Commerce Trends 2023 report is this: Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate.

Shopify make it clear time and again:

“...there’s still one big question first-party data can’t answer alone: How do brands find and attract these new customers? The answer that’s emerging for forward-thinking brands is collaboration.” 

Commerce Trends 2023 – p.36

Hello Alvio! A forward-thinking platform built to quickly and efficiently enable direct collaboration between brands.

Check out what Alex Danco – a major thought leader in the ecommerce space – had to say about it:

“Not competitors but cooperators”... that’s the Alvio ethos in a nutshell.

Collaborations give brands access to new audiences while crushing conversion costs. Like meeting someone through a mutual friend versus a cold call, the customers that brands reach through collabs are potentially more willing to start the sales conversation.” 

Commerce Trends 2023 – p.37

This is the founding idea behind Alvio, and our entire platform is dedicated to making collaboration easier, more effective, and more profitable for ecommerce businesses.

Just look at the numbers –

In a traditional Adwords PPC model, brands might expect 200% ROI and a CPA of £36.44.

With Alvio partnerships, those brands are seeing a 1060% ROI at only £1.29 CPA.

For retailers, Alvio is delivering a staggering 30,449% ROI at a mere £0.34 CPA.

And by working together to fulfil orders – by moving data, not products – brands who partnered through Alvio are enjoying up to 16% reductions in shipping mileage.

This is the power of collaboration.

A Collaborative Plan for 2023

So what does this all look like in practice? How can you turn collaboration to your advantage in 2023? The Commerce Trends report gives us three pointers for bringing collabs to life in 2023:

  • Collaborate with other brands
  • Work with creators
  • Rethink loyalty programs

Now let’s take a look at each in turn.

1. Collaborate with Other Brands

We have already talked about how an Alvio collaboration can put your product in front of new audiences. But consider this as well:

“The buzz around a collab creates new excitement for long-time customers and ripples into hard-to-reach markets. Brands get new eyes on their products and a fresh take on their brand.”
Commerce Trends 2023 – p.38

By making your collaboration an “event,” you can generate real excitement amongst the audiences of both brands. So when you sign on with Alvio, don’t just quietly populate your ecommerce store with a few more items – share your excitement! Talk about what it means for both brands… make some noise!

Take this case study for example:

“New Balance used collabs to completely transform its brand image from dad shoe to highly coveted hype shoe. After more than 100 years as a sneaker brand all about function, actors, rappers, and supermodels are now spotted rocking the footwear. 

“Partnerships in diverse markets, from music to acting to sports, give New Balance the clout to tell stories that resonate with more fashion-conscious audiences. In the United States, it’s only behind Nike and Adidas as the top brand in the performance footwear category.”

Commerce Trends 2023 – p.38

Alvio allows you to deploy your partnerships quickly and easily across any sector. That leaves you free to target your new audiences with stories that people will want to talk about.

Let’s generate a buzz together!

2. Work with Creators

We already talked about the importance of influencer marketing and brand ambassadors above – and Shopify return to this idea in their guide to collaborations in 2023.

“Consumers want to connect with people, not just businesses. Almost one-third of shoppers say influencer recommendations are more important than recommendations from friends and family, and 71% of businesses expect online influencers to become even more important in the future.”

Commerce Trends 2023 – p.38

Let’s say that again: Consumers want to connect with people, not just businesses

We all know that influencers have been a big deal in marketing, since the dawn of social media. But according to Shopify, you ain’t seen nothing yet… and particularly if you want to target Gen Z consumers, the best thing you can do is a collaboration with popular internet personalities.

Here’s another case study they share in the report:

“To capture Gen Z users, short-video platforms are the most popular places to partner with collaborators. Almost 40% of Gen Z use TikTok and Instagram for search over Google, and 61% say they’re even more influenced by user-generated content since COVID. Gucci is making bold strides to attract younger, eclectic audiences through social media. Train enthusiast and TikTok star Francis Bourgeois is one of the newest faces of the Gucci x The North Face collection, and social media is loving the collaboration.”

Commerce Trends 2023 – p.38

Once again, Alvio is perfectly positioned to help your brand capitalise on the power of influencers in 2023.

Alvio’s ecommerce solutions allow influencers to interact with the brands they represent in an entirely new way. Any influencer or public figure can simply launch their own Shopify store – then Alvio will enable them to populate that store with products from a variety of different sellers.

Alvio’s solution is cleaner, more efficient, and more authentic than affiliate links… and it makes it easier than ever for you to bring exciting brand ambassadors onboard.

3. Rethink Loyalty Programs

Here’s another bright idea from Alex Danco, this time on the topic of rewarding customer loyalty:

The Commerce Trends report adds:

“...loyalty programs take many forms. It’s more important than ever to choose a model that meets current customer needs while paving the way for the future of brand customer relationships.”
Commerce Trends 2023 – p.39

And guess what? When it comes to customer reward programs, Alvio offers answers that will propel your brand ahead of the competition in 2023.

Gone are the days of cumbersome affiliate links. Alvio’s innovative ecommerce approach makes brand-customer relationships more transparent than ever – while third parties can also earn rewards when they introduce another brand’s goods to their own audience.

But if you think that’s impressive, just wait until you see what we’re building with Prove Anything.

Alvio has partnered with Prove Anything to deliver immutable proof of authenticity and ownership, using powerful blockchain solutions. This means that even after point of sale, you can continue to track the entire product life cycle.

This technology is going to take brand loyalty programs to the next level. Any purchased item can become a key to unlocking more benefits down the road – transforming your customers into a community, and building long-term relationships between brands and consumers.

So if you’re a brand, a manufacturer, a reseller, or an influencer… watch this space. We have big things to show you in 2023.


Sign Off

Thank you for reading this second instalment in our series of articles on Shopify’s Commerce Trends for 2023. We hope it has been useful! We would love to hear from you, if you want to chat about any of the ideas above – you can always contact us through our website or via our social presence on LinkedIn.

And in case you missed it, don’t forget to check out our previous article looking at what Shopify’s Commerce Trends report had to say about Money.

We will have another of these articles ready for you next week – and if you want to have the whole series delivered directly to your inbox, you can subscribe here.

Commerce trends 2023