2020 was a big year for eCommerce, thanks to retail closures forcing consumers worldwide towards buying online instead of in person. It is a year that has changed the market completely, and whatever happens in 2021 will be doing so in a radically different landscape. What will happen in eCommerce over the next year? Here are 10 of the trends that the experts think will be the most important things to consider in 2021.
1: Influencers are starting to replace advertising
Over the last few years, most eCommerce brands have done at least some sort of work with influencers online at some point. This is starting to replace standard advertising, as the reach of influencers can be incredibly high, and their audience is already very engaged. Building lasting relationships with influencers and allowing them to create content using your products is a great way to produce unique marketing content.
2: Personalization isn’t optional any more
It is well known that customers generally prefer their experience to be personalized to their needs. Studies indicate that the majority of customers only ever engage with personalized messaging directed at them. This used to be limited to email campaigns, but new technology is making it much easier to personalize every aspect of the experience your customers receive. But be careful, as it is very easy to go too far and personalize so much that your customers start to find it invasive!
3: Sustainability is for everyone
Going green is no longer a rare thing reserved for only a few brands. More and more consumers are environmentally conscious, and the increasing climate crisis makes it clear that this is a vital direction for brands to take in future.
Larger brands like Amazon or Payday Deals have started to move towards sustainable methods, and you can expect more and more eCommerce brands to follow that lead in 2021. Consumers are also trending in this direction, with more than half of buyers preferring to make purchases for brands with publicly stated sustainability goals and ambitions!
4: AI is starting to become useful
As ideas like machine learning or chatbots start to enter the mainstream, AI products are starting to become useful for businesses. AI systems already provide recommendations for customers based on previous habits, and leaning hard into the burgeoning AI market can help you stay ahead of the curve. AI tools are increasingly valuable for gathering data on your customers, and interpreting their metrics, providing better analytics than most dedicated sites or services are capable of.
5: Analytics makes all the difference
Customer data is very valuable, and keeping a close eye on all of your metrics will make a huge difference to your eCommerce performance in 2021. Keeping track of click-through rate and conversion metrics will help you to focus your efforts onto the campaigns that really matter for your sales. You will want to know everything you can about your customers in order to tailor your services to your audience as far as possible.
6: Omnichannel selling is the new normal
Customers like the same experience between all of their devices and channels and facilitating that as far as possible is a great move. To create a cohesive buying experience across all possible channels, you need to look into using headless commerce architecture such as Amazon Pinpoint and Amazon Personalize.
7: Shoppable video advertising on social media
With everyone stuck inside all the time, social media use isn’t likely to slow down any time soon, and staying up to date with social media use is vital to success in 2021. TikTok and Instagram, and other similar video platforms, are a huge deal at the moment – particularly with Gen Z! Video ads are the perfect way to reach engaged, interested young people, and shoppable video will allow them to purchase straight from their social media feeds with maximum convenience. Recently, Facebook has launched Instagram Shops, and Shopify has partnered with TikTok, making it easier than ever before to sell your products via social media video platforms.
8: Self Service platforms are the future
Things are moving so fast in 2021 that one of the most important considerations is the speed with which you can get up and running. Related to this is the speed with which your customers can wrap their heads around the services or products that you offer.
While you could hire a legion of developers to get you a great looking site, the affordability and accessibility of self-service web design platforms are worth bearing in mind. Using a self-service platform means that you can easily get your eCommerce site up and running very quickly, and design it around templates with which your customers are already familiar.
9: Online buying has diversified
Traditionally, online buying has been largely restricted to products such as fashion, food, gadgets, and entertainment. 2020 upended that paradigm, though, and now eCommerce is the best option for a vast range of products. Regular groceries, furniture, car parts, and many other products are now regularly bought online, and that leaves a much wider space that your eCommerce store can occupy.
This is an opportunity, and you can take advantage of it. The old paradigm favouring B2C stores has broken, and now is a great time to start selling D2C or D2B. You just need to make it as easy as possible for your customers to buy directly from you!
10: Marketplaces overshadow small eCommerce stores
The events of 2020 have pushed many businesses to eCommerce, but customer behaviour does not support new arrivals well. Many smaller businesses struggle with the sudden demands on their infrastructure, creating a poor customer experience.
Larger marketplaces such as Amazon, Etsy, and Payday Deals have the infrastructure needed to cope with the demands of current customers, and that stability is rewarded with customers consistently turning to these quicker, easier options.
The eCommerce market may be constantly changing, but reliable sites like Payday Deals can ride the changes, and you can too with the right information. Bear these top 2021 trends in mind to stay ahead of the competition throughout the year!