Welcome back to our ongoing series in which we analyse Shopify’s report on Commerce Trends 2023 – and break it down into actionable strategies for your business, using the Alvio principle of moving data not products.

In the last few weeks we have already shared articles looking at the topics of Money, Marketing and Supply Chain.

This week, let’s see what the report had to say about Retail in 2023.

The Challenge: Showrooming

With the rapid rise of online shopping, the role of bricks-and-mortar stores has had to change over the years. The pandemic had a powerful impact too of course, in driving customers online… However:

The traditional high street store still has a role to play in modern commerce.

Retailer Insider reports that 37% more visitors search for a brand’s online store in the quarter after they open a new physical outlet.

Retail trends: 37% more visitors search for a brand’s online store in the quarter after they open a new physical outlet.


What we’re seeing is not simply a case of online stores making physical stores redundant. Rather, it’s an effect that some experts have dubbed “Showrooming.”

Consumers still want to touch and try the products they’re interested in… even if they ultimately prefer to make their purchase online. According to another study, 35% of in-store shoppers are there simply because they enjoy the experience.

Retail trends: 35% of in-store shoppers are there simply because they enjoy the experience.


This is how the internet has changed physical retail – it used to be that customers came to your store because you gave them access to the products they wanted. But today, you have to assume they already have access.

Stores need to think differently. They need to offer an experience.

“Before, customers went to brands. Today, brands must go where their customers are. Brands would be wise to start adopting this behaviour now.”
– Harley Finkelstein, President of Shopify

The most significant impact of the “showrooming” effect is being seen in physical stores… but we’re here to tell you that even 100% online businesses need to pay attention to this significant change in customer behaviour.

When customers visit your online storefront, you’d better believe they have other tabs open too!

The internet-savvy consumers of 2023 have a more lateral approach to commerce. They run their own price comparisons on products, and they search for alternative products elsewhere. They don’t need you.

But it has been shown that they do value a good shopping experience.

So what are you doing to make sure they stay in your store?

The Solution: Diversify and Differentiate In-Store Experiences

The Commerce Trends 2023 report says the relationship between online and offline shopping is changing. In many cases, physical stores become showrooms for business transactions carried out online.

“More demand for blended shopping channels is redefining the purpose of brick and mortar.”
Commerce Trends 2023 – p.52
“Online and offline are effectively one continuous experience.”
Commerce Trends 2023 – p.55

The solution then, is not to think in terms of individual sales any more… but to think about experiences.

Focus your energy on building meaningful brand relationships.

“If [brands] want more lifetime value from and for customers, it starts with incentivising them to buy in on the brand experience, not just the products.”
Commerce Trends 2023 – p.12

And how are you going to do that exactly? Well, we have some ideas we’d love to share. First let’s review the key points we’ve covered above, and then we’ll give you our Alvio plan for conquering the 2023 retail landscape.

The Current State of Retail

Let’s sum up all of the above – by taking a look at Shopify’s three key takeaways, when it comes to the current state of Retail in 2023:

The purpose of retail is evolving: Instead of being the ultimate destination, storefronts are now just one of several stops on a customer’s journey.
In-store experiences are trending: Competition is ramping up, so brands are captivating customers with one-of-a-kind, immersive interactions.
Happy employees mean happy customers: Today’s workers need more out of their role if brands want to keep the customer service bar high.”
Commerce Trends 2023 – p.53

Your Online Retail Strategy for 2023

As usual in these articles, we don’t just want to burden you with a list of challenges and problems. We want to empower you with a simple strategy guide for getting ahead in a fast-moving ecommerce world.

“The commerce and technology landscape is in perpetual motion. Brands need to respond in real time just to stay relevant.”
Commerce Trends 2023 – p.13

The Commerce Trends report suggested a four-point guide to maximising the power of your retail in 2023:

  • Design magnetic in-store experiences
  • Harness the power of tech
  • Attract and retain a team to deliver exceptional customer experiences
  • Customer service beyond the cash register
  • Now, here’s how an Alvio collaborative commerce model enables you to meet these challenges and redefine your retail approach.

    1. Design magnetic in-store experiences

    The Commerce Trends report spelled out the solution for us here:

    “Brands are using immersive retail to stand out from the competition.”
    Commerce Trends 2023 – p.52

    The advice they give is that physical retail stores need to be “adding the magic that just can’t be replicated online”... while your online store needs to work harder than ever to stand out from the competition.

    For example, Shopify suggests that you “facilitate options like virtual shopping, live chat, and appointment shopping.”

    On top of that though, they also stress the power of collaborations: “boost foot traffic by hosting collaborations with coffee chains, art galleries, or other brands.”

    We can apply that same logic to online shopping too – turn your ecommerce storefront into a lively market stall full of events, interactive experiences, and brand collaborations!

    On an Alvio partnership model, your storefront could feature products from a whole range of other complimentary brands. It could host partnerships and promotions, and limited-time events, bringing together the best in your industry to create a one-stop shop for your target demographic.

    The big takeaway here is that if your storefront consists of little more than a list of products and prices, then 2023 is going to hit you hard.

    You need to be delivering an experience.

    Don’t give your customers a reason to shop anywhere else… or to browse for products in multiple different tabs at once… and most importantly, make it fun.

    2. Harness the power of tech

    Here’s a fascinating prediction – the Commerce Trends report suggests that more than 130,000 stores will be using augmented reality tech by 2023.

    Whether its virtual visualisations of how a product will look in the customer’s home, or AI-powered shopping assistants… innovations are coming thick and fast these days, and if you’re not implementing them in your store then you’ll pretty soon get left behind.

    So in 2023, the way you sell needs to change. Online shops need to change. Our stores need to work harder, do more, and reach more customers.

    For example, take a look at what our tech partners Oasiis Insights are doing – 

    Oasiis Insights are all about personalisation.

    Their state-of-the-art system unlocks meaningful insights from user wallets, and uses these to create exciting, bespoke online experiences. Meanwhile, they can deliver you actionable business plans based on deep dives into the web3 data.

    The result is an online store that hooks customers in through a first class experience – and in the process Oasiis Insights have been able to deliver as much as 90% boosts to engagement, and a 9x increase to ROI.

    3. Attract and retain a team to deliver exceptional customer experiences

    The Commerce Trends report stresses the importance of customer service – and the challenge here is twofold. Not only does your team need to make the customer feel special, but in order to retain that team, you need to make them feel special too!

    “At least 60% of consumers purchase from specific brands because of excellent customer service in the past … Brands that attract and keep exemplary teams are the brands that provide flexibility, good pay, and competitive benefits.”
    Commerce Trends 2023 – p.58

    This is one of the areas where an Alvio collaborative commerce model shines.

    We believe in only partnering with the best. But more than that, we believe that a strong partnership is one that leaves everybody better off – you, us, and every party from the manufacturers to the customers included.

    Think of it as a co-op model.

    Alvio helps you turn your online store into a living, breathing market stall – where your own products can sit side-by-side with those of your partners. The customers enjoy more choice and variety as a result, which gives them less reason to abandon carts and visit the mega-commerce corps instead.

    As orders are fulfilled directly from their respective warehouses, we’re significantly cutting down on fuel miles too – which is good news for both your bottom line, and for the environment.

    We believe that this model – blending co-op marketplace values with the latest in cutting-edge commerce tech – makes for happier sellers and buyers alike. And we would love for you to be a part of it!

    4. Customer service beyond the cash register

    According to the Commerce Trends report, successful businesses will be those that look beyond just the sale itself. You need to stop thinking about transactions… and start thinking about relationships.

    “The human touch of clienteling across channels – including messaging apps, virtual shopping appointments, and home deliveries – will become a more popular trend in the future of retail.”
    Commerce Trends 2023 – p.59

    And here’s where we play the ace up our sleeve…

    Alvio has partnered with Prove Anything to deliver the ultimate innovation in product life cycle tracking.

    Using blockchain technology, we’re making it possible to follow the story of a product from creation, to sale, to years of subsequent use. This has the potential to revolutionise post-sale customer service. With blockchain-backed proof of ownership, purchases can become keys to further rewards – competitions, membership, extra content, or interactive experiences.

    We already talked about thinking in terms of relationships, not transactions… And here is the ultimate evolution of that idea.

    A traditional retail scenario ends at the transaction. On an Alvio + Prove Anything model, a purchase is only the beginning.

    The Commerce Trends report tells us that we need to focus on delivering experiences to customers, rather than simply selling to them… so what about a model where each sale was another new point of connection between consumers and brands, forging ongoing relationships, that connected them into your brand’s virtual family through new experiences and reward programmes?

    Say for example you buy a T-shirt from DJ Mickey Finn… then you get a blockchain key along with your receipt, and this key then serves as digital proof of ownership, it earns you access to an exclusive new track, and maybe it’ll get you into concerts in future! The potential is endless.

    And that’s just what we can do in 2023.

    Are you ready for the incredible commerce opportunities of the metaverse? Because Alvio and Prove Anything are… and in the next few years, we predict that new tech innovations are going to reshape the commerce landscape all over again.

    So partner up – and let’s take on the future together.

    Sign Off

    And there you have it! Thanks for reading this, our fourth article in a series of five, looking at the changing face of ecommerce in 2023. In case you didn’t catch them, do also check out our previous articles – in which we discussed what the Commerce Trends 2023 report had to say on the subjects of Money, Marketing and Supply Chain.

    If you have thoughts and comments to share, or questions about how an Alvio partnership will help you to prepare for the ecommerce challenges of 2023 and beyond, then we would love to hear from you! Reach out through our website or drop us a message on LinkedIn.

    We have one more article to go in this series – so next week we’ll be talking about Ecommerce.

    Be sure to check back in then! And remember to subscribe here, to get these articles and more delivered directly into your inbox.

    Commerce trends 2023