4th January 2021 - 8 minutes

2021 Ecommerce Trends

Covid-19 has pushed ecommerce trends forwards 5 years

The pandemic has acted as a catalyst for ecommerce growth. 2021 ecommerce trends have been sped up by 5 years. With the global restrictions affecting the brick and mortar stores, adopting ecommerce methods is no longer just seen as desirable, but essential for all businesses’ 2021 survival.

In 2017, globally ecommerce sales were responsible for generating $2.3 trillion. This figure has been predicted to double by 2021, with worldwide ecommerce sales for 2020 equating to over $3.9 trillion.

The new year will already be tough for a lot of businesses – on average UK businesses have lost out on a total of £900 million a day. Though the transition online has opened up the opportunity to reach more customers, the online competition has only grown fiercer.

“Add to this: increasingly demanding users, new digital channels and disciplines, ever-evolving automation features, fiercer competition between platforms and accessibility and privacy considerations.” (Impression, 2020)

The ecommerce world is ever-changing and growing. So, how do you stand out from the noise in 2021? In order to stay ahead of your competition and at the forefront of your customers’ minds, it is important that you monitor and adapt to the latest ecommerce and customer trends.

“It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in the ecommerce business because if you don’t keep up with the latest trends, you can easily end up falling way behind. That’s why looking ahead is the key to your future success.” (Digital Marketing Community, 2020)

Mobile shopping: ‘the new norm

As most of you will already know, mobile commerce is growing – and it is growing fast. Majority of the current generations now have access to smartphones or handheld devices that allow them to perform, practically, any online activity that they wish by the click of a button.

According to Statista, 72.9% of all ecommerce sales will be made via a mobile phone by the end of 2021 (Digital Marketing Community, 2020).

This is a huge figure that cannot be ignored. Businesses need to prioritise optimising their online store to be fully responsive for mobile. This is essential to ensure that there isn’t an opportunity for a missed sale.

Enhancing user experience (UX) for customers isn’t a new trend, however it is definitely something that should be top of all businesses’ New Year’s resolution list as they face the biggest pool of online competition yet.

To summarise mobile commerce and UX is a big must for 2021 – but don’t worry we cover this in more depth further down!

Voice commerce: the next big thing?

Everyone has heard of Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri, right? Well, it is my pleasure to introduce to you the upcoming trend – voice shopping. Although voice commerce is in its early stages of development, it will be the trend to watch out for in 2021.

Using voice command over the years has become a popular activity – predictions have been made that voice commerce will be a big future hit.

The Digital Marketing Community describes voice commerce as “a non-visual shopping experience”, where customers have the ability to select their desired product by providing a verbal description and/or instruction of the service or product they desire.

“Customers usually use it as a sales channel, meaning they use it when they’ve already decided what to purchase. Items purchased via voice search are usually low-cost products such as food, homewares, and electronic devices.” (Digital Marketing Community, 2020)

Social media in ecommerce

The first social media platform, SixDegrees, was created in 1997. Since then, social media has embedded itself in our everyday lives. We now have Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tiktok and many more that help us stay connected with the world.

Social media has become an important tool for everyday life and businesses – not only can businesses utilise social media to market products but also to now directly sell them too.

The social media commerce trend began when the King of social media, Facebook, added the ‘buy’ button to Facebook and Instagram Checkout.

“Instagram also recently launched a new ecommerce checkout feature to tackle the on-going challenge of delivering an end-to-end in-app ecommerce experience for users. This new Instagram checkout allows users to complete product purchases without ever having to leave the app, and removes friction by saving purchasing information for future payments.” (Impression, 2020)

Instagram, owned by Facebook, is now one of the most popular social media platforms. In 2019 active Instagram users reached nearly over 900 million per month, with that number now reaching over 1 billion active users per month.

Though Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are still very popular amongst billions of users, there is a new social media platform on the block – TikTok. The 2016 Chinese video sharing platform has recently become a global hit with the younger generation and business owners throughout lockdown.

TikTok has currently 800 million active users worldwide. It is now 9th in terms of the most popular social network sites, ahead of competitors such as; LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Snapchat.

The TikTok hype has worked wonders for marketing businesses and selling products. Using TikTok for video commerce allows you to express and engage with your audience on a more personal level. Videos are the one of the most effective ways of demonstrating a product and/or a service and its benefits to your audience.

Even Facebook sees TikTok as a threat and has tried mimicking their fast paced video content by creating ‘Instagram reels’. However, many have reported that this new Instagram feature is less user friendly and the algorithms are biased towards paid advertisements.

Is TikTok a social media network that you could adopt in 2021?

Video commerce taken to the next level

Speaking of voice commerce the new Shoppable TV ads are said to merge viewing and purchasing into one.

TechCrunch reports that NBCUniversal  have been testing a new concept that allows viewers to buy, directly from a handheld device, products that are advertised on the screen that they’re watching.

“The company is using QR codes to achieve this. An ad with the code will pop up on the bottom of the screen during relevant moments of the show. If you’d like to purchase the product, you can point your camera at the code and you’ll end up following an affiliate link to the sponsor’s e-commerce site.

So far, NBCU has tested this with sponsors like Lacoste during the French Open, Walmart on Today, Roli on NBC’s “Songland” and Zwift during the Tour de France. In some cases, the announcers are explicitly pointing viewers toward the ad. In others, it just shows up in the bottom-third of the screen.

Now NBCU is officially taking the ad unit out of beta testing and plans to start using it across its unscripted programming, including Sunday Night Football.

The company also said it has already been reaching tens of millions of viewers with the unit, resulting in an average conversion rate that’s nearly 30% higher than the ecommerce industry benchmark, and in 10% growth rates on social media.” (TechCrunch, 2020)

The importance of user experience (UX)

It is simple in 2021 your customers online shopping experience needs to be better than ever. UX is something that could distinguish you from your competitors, increase your average order value, determine whether the visitor becomes a loyal customer, plus many more – the list is endless.

According to UX statistics, 61% of customers will quit browsing a poorly designed website which shows irrelevant products, which is why every dollar you invest in UX is worthwhile. It connects users with your products, and while it fulfills your customer’s needs, it also helps you achieve your goals.” (Digital Marketing Community, 2020)

“The longer a webpage takes to load, the more its bounce rate will skyrocket. A high bounce rate tells search engines that users don’t find the page content useful, so its rankings will slip. And ecommerce sites will inevitably lose customers if their checkout page is even a little bit slower than those of the competition.” (Website Builder Expert, 2020)

Research shows that 1 in 4 visitors would abandon a website after a 4 second plus loading time and 46% would never return – making it absolutely essential to ensure that your sites are optimised for all devices in 2021.

Top tips for ensuring the best UX across the use of your site;

Ecommerce personalisation is a must in 2021

Personalisation, whilst not exactly a new trend, is on the rise due to the recent events of 2020. Ecommerce businesses have had to adapt their websites to become more personalised for the individual, to ensure that they stand out from their competitors.

Though personalised products are very much on trend at the moment, featuring personalised recommendations, dynamic content and banners are the things businesses need to get their size ‘in shape’ for 2021.

With the aid of an award-winning software, like PureClarity, ecommerce personalisation can be made simple, affordable and flexible to your business needs.

By name by nature’. PureClarity – we make ecommerce personalisation simple.

We know that happy customers equate to a prosperous business. That’s why our product delivers a seamless, unforgettable and unique personalised online experience for all your customers, to ensure that we increase every shoppers basket value every time.

Benefits of using PureClarity:

  • Improved customer loyalty and repeat buyers
  • An increase in your average order value
  • An increase in online sales
  • Better customer reviews
  • An increase in engagement with your content
  • Better insight into your customers buying behaviours
  • Full support and advice to optimise your websites performance
  • Gives you more time to focus on other things

The only question left now is, what will you do with all your extra time?

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