The eCommerce industry has been a rapidly growing market for years. The profitability of eCommerce is continuing to grow. Global B2C eCommerce sales were approximately $3.53 trillion in 2019, which is expected to nearly double by 2023. We’re likely to see a much larger increase in sales than these pre-COVID-19 estimates. eCommerce sales have experienced massive growth and transformation since the beginning of 2020. The Ecommerce trends you need to get your attention
The pandemic has had an immediate impact on buyer behavior and sellers that has accelerated digital transformation for many businesses.COVID injected nearly $107 billion in eCommerce sales within theUS alone, with a 169% increase in eCommerce purchases coming from new or previously infrequent users.
COVID-19, in >addition to a shift towards online shopping behavior, has seen a rise in the use of digital and mobile media. The demand for personalized shopping experiences is increasing as people turn to digital devices to fill the social gap. Many of the eCommerce trends that we will see in 2021 are a result of consumer expectations for value.
While figuring out how to capitalize on this rapidly changing customer space, it’s worthwhile to consider the trends we’re seeing in digital commerce today.
eCommerce Trends for 2021
1. Sustainability Concerns
Sustainability means balancing today’s needs with the future environmental and social impacts. Today’s customers want to know more about the environmental impacts of their purchases. They aren’t just interested in packaging. According to Nielsen, 73% of customers will change their consumption habits to reduce their environmental impact.
Although sustainable practices may increase costs for businesses, consumers will pay more to have them.
- Product ingredients or source farming practices: Non-GMO organic, no artificial, preservative-free and antibiotic-free, paraben/sulfate-free
- Packaging: Instructions on how to recycle or reduce packaging
- Returns: Transparency in returns practices is important given the increased scrutiny. Return products being destroyed
- Manufacturing: Support of local businesses and ethical or sustainable manufacturing practices
- Shipping: To reduces packaging and environmental impact, products can be shipped together or as readily available.
- Values: Brands that are committed to giving back to the community (ethical or environmental) or who demonstrate strong values and ethical responsibility in their marketing.
- Transparency: To help customers make the right choice and reduce returns, we provide product details (dimensions. Weight. Materials).
Brands need to be aware of the dangers of “greenwashing” their marketing and to be able to defend their practices.
2. The Global Consumer Base
Local companies can reach a global audience of customers thanks to the ease of shipping and currency services and the global nature search. Internationalizing your product/service can bring you many benefits and help you expand your customer base.67% of online apparel buyers have recently made cross-border purchases, with global eCommerce expected to grow at a CAGR of nearly 20%to succeed in$18.89 trillion by 2027.
A global customer base is complex because of the desire to provide live customer service, language barriers, and compliance with data security laws. None of these are impossible, but they must all be addressed thoughtfully.
3. Use of Video and Interactive Content
Interactive videos and shoppable photos are the future of eCommerce. These interactive marketing elements (“shoppertainment”) are gaining popularity on social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube. They allow viewers to buy featured products through pop-ups.
You can present shoppable content with a “swipe-up” or embedded links to product pages overlaid on videos. However, interactive content and videos are available for use anywhere in your marketing.
Interactive content can include quizzes, polls, interactive emails, webinars, contests, interactive product demonstrations, product customization features, or calculators.
4. The Rise of B2B eCommerce
Since its inception, eCommerce has been primarily B2C. However, B2B eCommerce is growing rapidly. In fact, Global B2B eCommerce sales were estimated to reach over$6.6 trillion by 2020 — nearly double the estimate for B2C.
B2B eCommerce is moving away from the heavy use of sales reps and introducing more self-service options. There will also be greater growth in cross-selling and up-sell products. To meet consumers’ expectations, B2B eCommerce experiences must mirror those of B2C as the Millennial workforce ages.
5. Selling through Social Media
A staggering 72% of Americans use social media. 60% of those who discover new products through Instagram are part of that group. In fact,130 million Instagram users tap on shopping posts to learn more each month.
Brands are shifting to where their customers are spending their time: on social media. Social discovery is helping to create new paths to growth that don’t depend on search rankings.
We are moving beyond “social media marketing“, which is paid and unpaid social media marketing, to “social commerce”, which allows for more direct selling of goods or services via social platforms. PlatformslikeInstagram and Facebook can hook up with your eCommerce platform to start out tagging products in your posts for direct purchase
. It’s easy for customers to buy your products by clicking on the “Buy” button on Instagram and Facebook.
6. Omnichannel Ad Spends
Multichannel retailers are common today. They sell products through multiple channels such as online, retail, and social media. Each channel can be supported by its own staff. In 2021, retailers are shifting toward an omnichannel experience that shares a single inventory and buying platform and customer support experience. Omnichannel’s purpose is to ensure customers are moving along the buyer journey regardless of where they may be at any given moment.
Omnichannel advertising is a way to ensure the same experience for your customer. If a customer abandons their shopping cart on your eCommerce site, for example, you can target them with Omnichannel advertising. This customer can be targeted on Facebook by you with a coupon or incentive for re-engagement. Omnichannel advertising creates a seamless message that adjusts to your customer based on the behavior of the sales funnel, providing a personalized experience.
7. Customized Packaging
The trend towards customized packaging is a way to differentiate your products from your competitors, in addition to the necessity for green packaging. You can customize your packaging to reflect your brand, or you could even tie it to your customer by adding personal touches. Subscription boxes are a great way to bring a premium experience to your customers.
You can increase your brand’s value and draw attention to sustainable practices. Or, you can encourage “unboxing” online experiences that lead to social proof.
8. The Rise of Voice Shopping
People are now able to shop online using voice commands, thanks to digital assistants like Shop with Alexa (Amazon). It is projected that voice shopping will reach$40 billion in the US by 2022, a number still in its infancy. Voice searches are already a significant step towards omnichannel shopping. 30.7 million Americans will be able to shop with a smart speaker by 2020.
9. Minimalist Design
Customers are reacting to the increasing amount of online clutter by wanting products (and product pages that are clean and simple). Most of the top 9 Winning eCommerce Designs for 2020 included a minimalist design, with 2021 introducing minimalist color palettes that include white, tan, grey, and other neutrals. Minimalist design focuses on:
- Neutral backgrounds
- Centralizing the navigation menu rather than a hero image
- Plain text and simple graphics
- Minimal navigation items
- Central search
- Clean product pages with pop-under descriptions
10. The Growing Importance of User-Generated Content
Marketing has been driven by word of mouth. Online reviews and other user-generated content, including photos, can directly influence buyer trust and confidence. Many online shoppers won’t buy a product if they don’t have access to user-generated reviews.
Types of user-generated content include:
- Organic social photos & content boosted by brands
- Online reviews (text, photos, ratings)
- Embedded social photos on product pages
- Influencer marketing
- FAQ forums and discussion boards
Also read: Top 18 Hottest B2B Business Ideas
11. The Need for Mobile eCommerce Sites
Mobile eCommerce is gaining popularity among consumers. It is expected that mobile eCommerce will account for 73% of the global eCommerce market by 2021. This compares to 59% in 2017. This growth means that eCommerce must be more mobile-oriented in design and not as an afterthought.
Many brands are now investing in mobile eCommerce apps to overcome the limitations of mobile browsing. These apps can be used to increase conversions, revenue, and loyalty.
Get Ahead in 2021
eCommerce is more important than ever. To unlock the potential of your brand’s ability to attract new customers and build brand loyalty, it is crucial to understand the retail eCommerce trends, consumer preferences, design trends, technology, and other trends.
Net Solutions has a team that includes programmers and designers who can create shopping experiences that are both comprehensive and simple for your customers.