2020 has come and gone, and it heralded big changes in the world of eCommerce. The spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus led to a huge rise in online shopping – and brick and mortar stores in many parts of the world suffered major losses.
As more people stay at home and work from home, what will the top eCommerce trends be in 2021? In this blog from Australian Internet Advertising, we’ll issue our top predictions – read on to get more insights about this year’s top eCommerce trends.
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More People Will Shop At Online Marketplaces Like Amazon
As opposed to individual eCommerce stores, online marketplaces like Amazon collect products from many online retailers into a single, unified website. While individual online stores will always have their place, many customers are realizing that these marketplaces can provide more consistent shopping experiences – and in the case of Amazon, very fast delivery times.
We think that many retailers will continue to offer online stores, but also sell their products separately on marketplaces like Amazon. This is a great way to diversify your customer base and make sure customers can purchase products however they want – directly from you, or from your store on Amazon or the MyDeal Marketplace.
eCommerce Entrepreneurs Will Continue To Use Self-Service Platforms
A new eCommerce brand doesn’t have the money to purchase a powerful, custom-built eCommerce store – so many entrepreneurs and small business owners are opting for self-service platforms like Shopify and Squarespace.
These tools provide a great user experience and allow new entrepreneurs to quickly build, launch, and manage basic eCommerce sites using pre-built templates. They are also quite flexible and scalable, making them a reasonably good long-term solution, too.
Because of this, we expect the trend toward self-service eCommerce platforms to continue as one of the top 2021 eCommerce trends.
Omnichannel Selling Will Become The “New Normal”
The outbreak of COVID-19 showed that there is a huge demand for omnichannel retail – meaning that customers want to be able to purchase products from the same retailers online, in person, and using every method in between. In 2021 and beyond, large retailers may offer a huge variety of omnichannel selling methods, including:
Online ordering and shipping from an eCommerce store (mobile and desktop)
Online ordering with pickup at a local store (Buy Online, Pick Up In Store or BOPIS for short
Online ordering with local delivery from a nearby store location
And more. In 2021, we expect many large brands and retailers to invest heavily in the infrastructure and tools that will empower them to offer a wider variety of online, brick-and-mortar, and “in-between” omnichannel user experiences.
Customer Analytics Will Become Even More Important For eCommerce
With the rise in online ordering and eCommerce, both large and small retailers have access to more customer data than ever before – such as demographic information, details about order times, the location of each customer, and dozens of more data points that can be highly valuable for appealing to new customers.
Using artificial intelligence and business analytics, this data can be collected, organized, and interpreted in numerous ways – empowering businesses of all sizes to learn more about who they’re actually selling to, and helping them develop novel strategies for selling their products more effectively.
Customer Service For eCommerce & More Moves To Social Media
It’s unlikely that traditional customer support – calling a phone number, sending an email, or filling out a contact form on a website – will ever go away. But there’s also more demand than ever for customer service teams to have a presence on social media.
This is likely tied to the rise in younger, digital-native consumers. They want to contact eCommerce retailers using the apps they use every day, such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter – and they may not be as comfortable sending emails or making phone calls.
According to Hubspot, 54% of people prefer social media over phone calls or emails for customer support – and 60% of customers who complain about an issue on social media expect to get a response within an hour.
Investing in social media and customer service is a powerful way for brands to meet customers where they are, thrill them, and exceed their expectations. This can turn a potentially troublesome customer into a loyal brand advocate!
Sustainability Will Continue To Grow In Importance
More than 65% of people want to make purchases from “green” brands, according to Harvard Business Review, and many people are willing to pay a price premium to work with a brand that’s sustainable.
eCommerce companies should keep this in mind, and if they are aiming for the “green dollar,” they should emphasize their eco-friendly values in marketing and branding materials, and take steps such as:
Using recycled boxes and paper packing materials instead of plastic
Allowing customers to send used boxes back to your store for recycling
Buying web hosting from a company that uses green energy
Keep An Eye On These eCommerce Trends In 2021 And Beyond!
As 2020 showed us, it’s never possible to completely predict the future. But given the state of eCommerce in 2021, we think these 6 trends are poised to jump in importance this year – and in the future. Thanks for reading, and remember – if you need web design in Sydney for your eCommerce store or for any other website, Australian Internet Advertising is here to help!