At Select, it’s our job to be on top of all the latest news in shopping and products. To start 2023, we spoke with experts across the commerce and product industry, discussing new trends, upcoming products and what to keep an eye on this year.
The beginning of 2023 will likely be very promotional as retailers look to clear excess inventory.
Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at the NPD Group
Combining expert insights with our own observations, we highlighted four trends we expect to make a big impact in 2023. From extended sale events to more secondhand goods, 2023 looks to be the year where consumers take control of the entire lifespan of their products, from purchase to disposal.
Prediction: Sale events will grow to cover months, not days
“Sales to entice consumers will be a key driver for 2023,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at The NPD Group, a global market information company. “Retailers tend to anniversary sales, so expect more sales with earlier Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals in October.” Cohen also explained that most months of the year have a major holiday to base sales around—including Presidents Day, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and more. Expect month-to-month sales based on those holidays in 2023.
Economic turmoil and rising inflation put a damper on earnings across most shopping categories in 2022. In an attempt to drive spending, retailers and manufacturers increased promotion and sale activity throughout the year, especially in categories like apparel and footwear. “The beginning of 2023 will likely be very promotional as retailers look to clear excess inventory,” said Cohen.
Prediction: Secondhand goods will see increased interest, investment and profit
The past year was huge for secondhand goods — and there are no signs that this interest will slow down. According to data from resale retailer thredUp and GlobalData’s 2022 Resale Report, the secondhand market is expected to grow 127% by 2026. A combination of growing resale marketplaces, rising inflation, environmental concerns, and unique value is driving consumers, particularly Gen Z shoppers, to secondhand marketplaces like Depop and TheRealReal.
Brands and retailers are starting to invest in resale opportunities for their consumers, putting more time and resources into what is now being called “recommerce”. According to thredUp’s 2022 Resale Report, nearly three in four retail executives say they have or are open to offering secondhand goods to their customers. Of all brands surveyed, brands offering second hand resale have increased by 275% since 2020.
This interest in secondhand goods isn’t limited to clothing brands. According to the 2022 Recommerce Report by OfferUp and GlobalData, 76% of secondhand items bought and sold were in categories like electronics, furniture, home goods, outdoor equipment and more.
Prediction: Electronics will become easier to repair
Going hand in hand with the rise of secondhand goods, the repairability and replaceability of products, particularly electronics, will increase in 2023. As it stands now, consumers have very few options when it comes to repairing items like smartphones, TVs and other gadgets. According to a 2021 report by the FTC titled “Nixing the Fix”, manufacturers are guilty of using tactics like inaccessible product designs, unavailable replacement parts and non-existant repair information to limit customers’ ability to repair products. But recent pushback against this type of manufacturing has coalesced around the phrase “right to repair.”
“Right to repair is a movement with the idea that if you bought something, you should own it,” said Elizabeth Chamberlain, director of sustainability at iFixit, a popular online repair community. “You should have the right to repair it however you want, whether that’s repairing it yourself or taking it to a shop of your choosing.”
The past year saw more interest in “right to repair” than ever, driven by consumer interest in both saving money and reducing environmental impact. Legislation focusing on consumers’ right to repair electronics and farming equipment made headlines, and increased visibility on the issue. New York state passed the Digital Fair Repair Act, a first-of-its-kind comprehensive right to repair bill that guarantees consumers more options in digital device repair.
“We’re seeing a lot of manufacturers being willing to talk about repair in ways they haven’t before,” said Chamberlain. “Those manufacturers are making parts, tools and repair information available to customers when they weren’t before.”
Retailers like Apple, Best Buy, Amazon and GameStop already offer store credit or discounts in exchange for trading in old, functioning products. But in 2022 brands like Apple also started offering consumers ways to repair their own products, albeit with overly-complicated tools and instructions. We expect to see increased interest in the reparability of products in 2023 and beyond.
Prediction: Smarthomes will become more accessible than ever
Many of the top purchased tech products of 2022 among Select readers were smart home devices like garage controllers and smart plugs. This isn’t a coincidence — data from Research Markets, a global research distribution network, predicted the smart home device market would grow by about 17.9% in 2022.
Still, according to an end of year report from PR Newswire, more than one in three Americans have received a holiday gift they have never used because it was too complicated to set up or use. Smart home gear absolutely makes up some percentage of these gifts.
“The biggest barriers to entry for smart home devices are that they're too difficult to set up, their setup processes often do not work reliably, and it's too confusing for consumers to figure out what products work with each other,” said Dan Wroclawski, a content creator at Consumer Reports.
That last barrier, smart home products working with each other, is about to change. In late 2022, a new smart home standard launched, with the aim of making almost all smart home devices compatible with each other. This standard is called Matter, and it was developed in partnership with “Amazon, Apple, Google, Samsung and almost 300 other companies,” according to Wroclawski. Products compatible with Matter share a common setup process and communicate through one smart home controller, like an Amazon Echo or Google Nest Hub.
“Matter closes the gap of some of the previous standardization protocols,” said Patrick Miltner, the director of software product management at GE Lighting, a Savant company and smart home brand. According to Miltner, Matter is a big step in closing the “confidence gap” for smart home users. Matter will help give consumers confidence that their new smart home product will not only work, but work simply, be easy to set up, and work with all their other smart home gadgets. Technologies like Matter will help users upgrade from having a “smart room” to a “smart house”, said Miltner. Expect to see increased smart home adoption in 2023, especially as brands adopt the Matter standardization.
Meet our experts
At Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also take steps to ensure that all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and with no undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.
- Marshal Cohen is the chief industry analyst at the NPD Group, a global market information company.
- Daniel Wroclawski is a multimedia content creator at Consumer Reports.
- Elizabeth Chamberlain is the director of sustainability at iFixit, a popular online repair community.
- Patrick Miltner is the director of software product management at GE Lighting, a Savant company and smart home brand.