2022 was another wild year for ecommerce and Amazon. More and more, we’re seeing sellers come to Amazon with big ambitions, even as consumers have tightened spending to address concerns around recession. Despite this, Amazon remains the top retailer of choice for consumers in the U.S., and is undoubtedly heading into another big year where a lot can happen.
A year ago, we predicted what would change in 2022 for Amazon sellers — particularly those who use Fulfillment by Amazon or FBA. We’re back for another round, this time for 2023.
Let’s look to the future and make new predictions for how running an FBA business will differ in 2023. Then we’ll see how Jungle Scout’s 2022 forecast held up to what happened this year.
Amazon FBA Predictions for 2022
1. More consumers will purchase products from social media platforms
Social media platforms have increasingly evolved to allow consumers to purchase products they’re seeing in social media posts, videos, and ads. With news of TikTok planning on opening warehouses in the U.S. and consumers displaying increasing interest in social purchasing, it seems that certain social media giants are in a competitive position to challenge Amazon’s dominance in this area of ecommerce. And our experts agree. “The term ‘social commerce’ seems to be getting more popular each year as younger generations trust people’s opinions on what to buy more than they do big brands,” observes expert seller Jake Zaratsian.
Lenny Smith agrees, and takes it a step further: “Social media will become an even bigger driver of ecommerce in 2023. The giants like TikTok and Meta will continue adapting their offerings, but I suspect we’ll also see new social platforms emerge that will also try to tap into the ecommerce space.”
Of course, this doesn’t mean existing Amazon sellers are being left in the dust. Jon Elder, an Amazon expert, seller, and influencer sees influencer marketing on Amazon booming; “‘Amazon Influencer’ will be a job title,” he predicts. Zaratsian agrees, and sees another upside: “With influencer marketing picking up, I think the Amazon Attribution feature and video campaigns will take off on Amazon. I think Amazon will find new placements that open up more opportunities for sellers to win bids on and expand their sponsored brand video campaign spend.”
2. Virtual reality will play a bigger role in ecommerce
Virtual reality has been a hot topic for years, but in 2023, we predict it will break into ecommerce in a big way. In 2022, Walmart invested in AI-powered “try it on” technology to allow their shoppers to swap clothing items on virtual models based on their own bodies. As far as customer experience goes, this is a huge step for ecommerce, and Amazon is not far behind.
“Expect to see a dramatic increase in innovation related to ‘trying it on virtually’ in 2023,” said Elder.
3. Advertising off Amazon will be more important than ever for Amazon sellers
Advertising is already one of the best ways to drive traffic to your Amazon listing, but in 2023 it’s going to be more imortant than ever to have diverse, far-reaching ads to stay ahead of competitors — both other sellers on Amazon and retailers on other platforms altogether. We predicted a rise in ecommerce on social media, and advertising is going to have to follow suit; Zaratsian predicts that more ad dollars will shift to influencer marketing on social media to help sellers keep ahead of new trends.
Smith doesn’t think this will be so difficult. “I think 2023 will bring more advertising platforms for ecommerce sellers, and I think we’ll also see more maturity in the existing platforms, offering more features to help sellers.”
Of course, if every seller raises their advertising game, standing out from the competition becomes that much more difficult. Elder has an idea of the solution: “Brands will not be able to survive without headline ads and video ads,” he says. “ They will become the norm going forward.”
A key way sellers can adapt to more compeitive advertising in 2023 is by advertising off-platform, noted Mike Scheschuk, expert Amazon seller and Jungle Scout executive. “One of the biggest advertising trends is going to be marketing off Amazon and pointing things to your specific listing on Amazon.”
4. “Customers ask Alexa” will become an invaluable tool for sellers
In September 2022, Amazon launched its “Customers ask Alexa” feature, allowing select brands to provide helpful answers to questions commonly posed to Alexa devices by consumers, including references and links to problem-solving products. In 2023, this feature will undoubtedly expand, eventually becoming available to all registered brands on Amazon.
Already, Amazon sellers are thrilled by the feature’s potential. “I’m excited to see how the ‘Customers ask Alexa’ feature evolves,” says Smith. “I think seeing these frequently asked questions from customers will be invaluable data for sellers — not just getting your voice and answers in front of them, but also applying these insights to your listings and other product marketing.”
5. Sourcing will continue to move closer to North America
Supply chain issues originally caused or exacerbated by the global COVID-19 pandemic continue to threaten businesses of all sizes, and lockdown protocols in China continue to strain the system. With so much ongoing uncertainty, and so many businesses still recovering from financial hits in 2021, we predict sellers will look to suppliers closer to home to provide them with a sense of stability in 2023.
“I think (and hope) we are getting closer to more sellers seeing the benefit of sourcing closer to the United States,” Zaratsian remarks. “If we experience another Covid-like shutdown in China, I believe this could be the tipping point that pushes brands to think outside of the box in order to avoid manufacturing their products there.”
Even experienced sellers are changing their approach to shipping and stocking, according to Elder. “China’s Zero-Covid policy will continue to be a threat to the supply chain in 2023,” he explains. “Sellers have pivoted to holding more inventory in third party warehouses instead of relying on Just in Time Delivery for their goods to Amazon.”
Summary of our 2022 predictions and the outcomes
Now that we’ve made our forecast for 2023, let’s see which of our 2022 predictions became a reality.
In 2021, we predicted that:
- Sellers would source more from domestic manufacturers, owing to supply chain issues that were slowing down businesses in North America
- We haven’t seen much hard evidence that this happened, but we’re still confident enough to predict that these changes are still coming — especially after another year that’s included supply chain troubles owing to the ongoing pandemic.
- Amazon would begin spotlighting secondhand and refurbished products to rival competitors like Facebook and eBay
- Amazon has not highlighted second-hand products more, but it has revamped the Amazon Renewed page, making it easier and more comfortable for buyers to find used and refurbished products.
- We would see an increase in tools and programs catered towards brand owners, such as A+ Content and virtual bundles
- The profit-and-loss dashboard we predicted did not appear in 2022, but new features, such as opening Amazon A+ Premium content to all brand owners, indicates that Amazon is looking to expand the tools available. Already it’s easier to find data about brand keywords, purchases and more.
- That Amazon would create more social media-like features, such as the Amazon Live program
- Amazon has focused on influencer marketing to sell more products. We’ve seen increased visibility for Amazon Live as the year’s gone on, and these are the kinds of changes we can probably expect to get comfortable with in 2023.
Here’s to a successful 2023!
I don’t know what exactly will happen in 2023, but I’m confident in the predictions my fellow Amazon experts and I have made. All of us are excited to see what the new year — and Amazon — bring us, and we hope you are too!
What are your predictions for selling on Amazon in 2023? Let us know in the comments below! Also, if you haven’t done so already, make sure to join our exclusive Amazon FBA Competitive Edge Facebook group, where Amazon sellers can get advice from fellow entrepreneurs, including Jungle Scout’s experts.