Looking back into the history of eCommerce, you would discover that the first item ever sold on Amazon was a book. And then, about two decades later, the eCommerce industry has witnessed tremendous growth and advancement, with over 2 trillion sales in US dollars across the world. This shows that there is no time to look back as eCommerce has come to revolutionize the world of retail trade.
From inception till now, eCommerce has continued to evolve on a larger scale bringing about drastic improvement with the much-needed convenience brought to the world of online shopping, especially for 21st-century customers. When it began about 20 years ago, there were several limitations in its capabilities. But the story has changed drastically at the moment.
Whether it is enhanced return policies, functional integration, or customization, eCommerce has undergone several changes. It seems like it took the world of online shopping by storm. The year 2021 is here to witness a more significant transformation in the world of eCommerce businesses.
Undeniably, the year 2020 has brought about numerous economic challenges attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic succeeded in accelerating changes in the entire online shopping space across several verticals, and this is expected to continue at the same pace as we take a step further into the second quarter of the year 2021 and even beyond.
In this piece, we’ll be taking a look at the importance of eCommerce trends and the top eCommerce trends you should watch out for in 2021. Sit back and relax while we get started:
Why Is It Important to Monitor Ecommerce Trends?
Without equivocation, the eCommerce world has continued to show massive competition. Staying ahead of the competition requires studying and monitoring the changes in trends as the year goes by. Regardless of the level of your eCommerce store in terms of relevance and maturity, you need to be updated with the eCommerce trends. Without that, you stand a chance of falling drastically behind.
Constant monitoring of the changes in the eCommerce world plays a significant role in ensuring your future success. As we move into the second quarter of 2021, you should make plans to monitor these trends and take good advantage of them for the success of your business. Apart from that, you also stand a chance to drive your eCommerce brand forward and stay ahead of the competition.
Wondering about the future of eCommerce? Do you want to take a look at the eCommerce trends that will shape the future success of your online store? Here are the top eCommerce trends you should watch out for in 2021:
Online Buying Will Not Be Limited to B2C Products
Disruption wasn’t an understatement when it comes to describing the events of 2020 originated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The global economic realities of 2020 brought about an accelerated digital transformation across many businesses. Consumers that were left with no choice remain connected to eCommerce stores for their purchases on a daily basis.
Suddenly, necessities of life such as food, gadgets, and fashions weren’t the only materials that could be purchased online and have them delivered to their doorsteps. Other materials such as furniture, groceries, and vehicle parts were also purchases and delivered to their respective doorsteps.
Of course, the changes in the consumer’s buying habit might reduce as people continue to return to their regular routines, but it won’t stop completely. This shift of eCommerce translates to the fact that brands and businesses need to tune up their strategies to bring absolute convenience to their customers.
How do you take advantage of this?
Are you a manufacturer? Or are you into B2B? It’s high time you venture into the Direct 2 Customer (D2C). This is because you are selling a product that can be purchased online. Customers want to be convenient when purchasing your product. So, you need to adapt your business to bring absolute convenience to your customers.
Build an online catalog that features all your products. And then, you can also create a user-friendly buying experience by showcasing relevant content on that catalog. And Voila! You’ll boost your brand exposure and stay ahead of the competition while also making more sales.
Shoppable Video Ads on Social Media
Instead of slowing down, social media consumption has continued to gain the attention of billions of brands and businesses. With the advertisement on social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram, there are a plethora of different channels to showcase your products or services to your audience.
In the report of Eduard Klein, a Digital Growth Initiator, “Zoomers spend hours scrolling Instagram and TikTok feeds. Merchants are in seventh heaven; video is the perfect channel for reaching the curious young target audience.” Similarly, he also said that “Gen-Z can make buying decisions literally from their social media feed, and videos let them shop straight away.”
When you open your Instagram and Snapchat feed, you’ll be overwhelmed with the number of different ads from different brands and businesses. This is to show that video ads is the next step in the evolution of social media selling.
In 2020, Facebook announced its launching of Instagram Shops, while Shopify also partnered with TikTok. These changes will project the image of many brands in 2021 only if you can take the advantage to boost your business.
Want to take advantage of this trend?
You see. Video provides an excellent avenue to attract your audience and market your products and services. If you offer products or services directly to customers, you can record a short video featuring the top-performing products and place these videos on your social media pages, especially where your target audience dwells the most.
From unboxing videos to explainers and tutorial videos, there are lots of ways to win the hearts of your target audience with your videos. You can also convert your product images into a slideshow. Similarly, you can also repost your user-generated content to leverage the video frenzy.
Omnichannel Selling Will Be The New Normal
There is one truth about your customers. And it’s the fact that they want to view your content from multiple devices. Some of these include desktops, mobile phones, laptops, and tablets.
As mentioned earlier, the year 2021 saw many brands and businesses looking for ways to market their products and services on social media platforms. The two Amazon Web Services that allowed brands and businesses to enhance their customer experience and foster multichannel communication with their customers are Amazon Pinpoint and Amazon Personalize.
How do you utilize this advantage for the future success of your brand?
Take a deep dive into your customers. Understand their likes and dislikes. Gain insights into the things that matter most to them and the platforms to frequently visit.
No doubt, many of the 21st-century customers are constantly in search of a cohesive purchase experience. In order to facilitate this, brands and businesses like you need to utilize a headless commerce architecture. This ensures the prompt delivery of products or content to any screen across the multiple available channels using APIs.
The fact that you get your brands represented everywhere is enticing. However, it is important to shift your focus to the channels that house your customers the most and get your products or services to reach them there.
Influencers Will Become Brand Partners
Admittedly, influencers have a vast range of audiences. And many eCommerce brands have significantly leveraged the power of these influencers. Influencer Marketing Hub reported that the influencer marketing industry was projected to exceed $9.7 billion in 2020.
Have you ever thought about the power of influencer marketing on eCommerce businesses? Here are the words of Jordie Black of ZINE,
“Many eCommerce brands have problems with their content. This makes them highly unable to create a sufficient amount of content at a scale to support their business marketing efforts. In 2021, a trend that will dominate the whole marketing space is brands that are looking for influencers as content creators to support their content creation process in lieu of a content agency. We’ll also see brands add paid media spend to this content so that they can control the reach and audience.”
Now that you clearly understand the view of Jordie Black, how can you leverage this?
One way to boost your business with influencers is to reach out to them and get them engaged to create content for your brand and business.
Firstly, you should create a list containing the micro or local influencers that share the same value with your brand.
After this, you can then establish a robust relationship with them. How can you do this? Help them grow their audience and provide free merchandise.
Lastly, you need to give them the much-needed freedom to create content that suits their values.
And here’s a pro tip
Social media platforms are constantly evolving with new and advanced features. Take advantage of them. For instance, Reels on Instagram can get your more organic reach than the regular Instagram stories or posts. So, every time these platforms roll out new features, endeavour to experiment and make use of them for your brand.
Artificial Intelligence Will Be Less Artificial and More Beneficial
Over the years, many of the potential benefits of artificial intelligence were not entirely recognised or realised in eCommerce, but that is already changing in 2021. This is because discoveries such as machine learning, automation, chatbots, and more are becoming the spotlight. Brands and businesses now have the floor to utilise AI to impact the bottom line of their business.
For instance, AI can be a functional tool to recommend other products that customers may like to purchase. They can also help recommend products that customers would like to purchase next based on their history. There’s also voice search that brands can utilise to position their products and services in front of their target customers. Artificial intelligence will also be more beneficial in the aspects of helping brands and businesses make inventory predictions.
AI should be more beneficial to your business; how do you take advantage?
Desist from seeing AI as the future. Now is the right time to buy into it. With AI tools, you can streamline your marketing, enhance your customer experience and perform critical business tasks much faster.
Take a look at SparkToro, for instance. This AI tool crawls social media profiles to determine which social profiles or podcasts are more popular with your audience. Now is the time to gain the maximum benefit of Artificial Intelligence. And many brands are already gaining these benefits in 2021.
AI can help with numerous tasks. You can even replace hiring a virtual assistant with using AI tools. While you achieve your aim, you also stand the chance of putting your human resources into more creative roles.
Over to You; Take Control
The year 2020 will never be forgotten in human history. If you run an eCommerce business and you are looking forward to dominating the market, you must be prepared to adapt your strategies to these latest trends as soon as possible.
With the advancement in technology and customer's behavioural changes, there’s a great need to keep a tab on these eCommerce trends. Regardless of the eCommerce trend you would like to adopt, you should focus on one that aligns with the sole aim of enhancing the shopping experience of your customers and creating a robust long terms relationship with them. As we dive deeper into the remaining parts of 2021, your business should stay ahead of the competition.