While 2020 has seen a yet unprecedented ecommerce expansion, 2021 is set to further diversify some of the trends we’ve seen emerging and solidifying in the previous year.
And even though the pandemic is expected to die down by the end of the year, this is not likely to affect the reliance of the modern customer on ecommerce – nor is it expected to dampen its further growth.
Read on for some of the most prevalent ecommerce trends set to dominate 2021.
1. Voice Search Still on the Rise
People are naturally relying more and more on their smart devices when shopping online. But they are now controlling them with their voices, not just their fingertips. Alexa, Amazon Echo, and Google Assistant are all becoming increasingly more intelligent and able to help their users find what they are looking for online with more ease.
Voice commerce sales are expected to reach $40 billion by next year, making this an emerging market you want to be a part of.
To embrace this trend, you need to explore (and perhaps alter) the way products can be purchased from your website via voice command. You also need to (re)optimize your content for an increased chance of appearing in voice search results.
2. Omnichannel Shopping Becomes the Norm
Providing shoppers a seamless shopping experience across all devices and channels will also become an expectation rather than the exception.
Voice search, social shopping, and ecommerce giants like Amazon continue to rise steadily. In this landscape, you can no longer expect your single channel (most often your website) to cut it when your competitors are already branching out.
Aim to offer customers plenty of touchpoints: on social media, offline, in-store, across all devices. Ensure the quality of the shopping experience is the same as well. If shopping via your website is a very pleasant experience but shopping on your socials is not, you are missing out.
3. Don’t Shy away from Branching out
Having a platform you are 100% in control of is always one of the best ways to sell and market products online.
However, this does not mean you can’t branch out and use other platforms to your advantage. Just because you have a website and are promoting it successfully doesn’t mean you shouldn’t also sell your items on Amazon, for example.
As the absolute biggest ecommerce store in the world, it can offer the benefits of an organized delivery and inventory system, to name but one. You can also rely on tools like InventoryLab to help you stay on top of your stock, ensuring a seamless shopping process for your customers.
Some shoppers will simply prefer Amazon over a brand’s website. That’s especially the case when they’re buying from a lot of different brands across a wide range of products and are able to get them all delivered at the same time.
Instead of competing, take advantage of what Amazon has to offer and increase your sales even further.
4. Expecting New Payment Options
The payment options you offer can hugely influence whether a shopper makes a purchase or not. If you don’t offer an option they trust and prefer, they might as well just make their purchase somewhere else.
Digital wallets are already being more widely offered, while credit cards have long ago become the norm. Cryptocurrencies, however, are still not accepted by most ecommerce stores, even though they’re becoming more popular among a certain category of shoppers.
If you’re looking to pioneer this ecommerce trend, you may want to look into partnering with a platform that enables cryptocurrency payments, such as Coinbase.
5. Mobile Commerce over Desktop Commerce
Mobile commerce is set to account for over 70% of all ecommerce sales in 2021. As the smartphone becomes an even more integral part of our lives, we can’t really be surprised it’s most people’s preferred way to shop.
As an ecommerce retailer, your job is to ensure every customer has the best possible mobile experience. In order to do that, focus on navigation, website speed, and the checkout process. These three factors play the most important role in mobile shopping.
Don’t just trust a tool to tell you the website is optimized for mobile. Test it out yourself. Examine how easy it is for a visitor to browse, add items to their cart, and ultimately check out.
6. Visual Commerce Taking over
Visuals have always played a major role in ecommerce and ecommerce marketing. Visual commerce takes things a step further, placing the visual identity of your store front and center.
The staples of visual commerce include:
- high-quality images showcasing your product from different angles
- the ability to zoom in on the finest details of these images
- the clever use of images to elicit a specific emotional reaction from your store’s visitors
To jump on this trend, examine your current use of imagery and consider what you could improve. Is there a 360-degree view available? Can you add it? Are your image file sizes too large and slowing your website down? Are your images unique, and do they stand out?
You also want to make good use of visual social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest to enhance your visual presence online. Leverage the power of user-generated content as well, to help demonstrate to your potential shoppers what your items look like in real life and how they will benefit them.
These six trends are set to rule the world of ecommerce in 2021. However, working with all of them might prove to be quite the strain on your resources.
You don’t have to immediately act on all of the massive changes we’ve discussed here. If there’s a trend you’re already working with, focus your energies there.
However, if you’ve noticed your website appears to be out of date and none of these ecommerce trends have affected it yet, now is the best time to consider how you can tweak it to attract more attention in 2021.