That’s the best word to describe the year 2020. The effects of 2020 will surely trickle down to the next year, but we will also see a massive resurgence in the way customers behave and how eCommerce fares. What do you think? ECommerce’s future has changed drastically in the last few years, with artificial intelligence and machine learning spearheading it.
Here are a few trends in eCommerce for the year 2021 that will keep you prepared:
1. Omnichannel shopping will become a necessity:
Customers are hoping for a seamless shopping experience, and if there is one thing that enables that, it is omnichannel shopping. Customers use multiple channels when they are shopping. If customers are using their mobile phone after adding your items to the cart and don’t find it in the former, they will feel disappointed.
If you cannot provide them a smooth experience, they will leave for you another brand. Brands need to understand that they are easily replaceable. Businesses that have a strong omnichannel strategy will see a 9.5% increase in annual revenue.
Using an omnichannel method allows customers to switch between devices and channels and yet continue with their shopping as if it were the same. It becomes extremely important because the attention span of people is reducing. If they lose interest or are forced to continue the whole shopping process again, they might feel frustrated.
If there is one game-changer that customers love to have, it is getting personalized attention to what they are looking for. With artificial intelligence and machine learning, businesses can understand customers’ behavior and predict them. It will even be able to provide personalized interactions and recommendations based on previous behavior.
Such personalized attention to each customer will result in better experiences, which will make the customer grow close to your brand. According to Accenture’s Pulse Check report, more than 90% of customers are more likely to purchase from a brand that provides relevant offers and recommendations.
3. Brands should adapt to new consumer behavior:
The pandemic has changed the purchasing behavior of customers. They are looking for more convenience and safety. The best part about today’s retail is that with the help of augmented reality (AR), customers can shop from anywhere and check out the product with the help of AR before buying.
Here are a few interesting stats from Shopify’s ‘The Future of Ecommerce’ report, which focuses on customer behavior.
- 75% of customers say that they tried different online brands during the pandemic
- 60% of the customers were planning to use the new brands and stores post-Covid also
- Livestream shopping events in the US are expected to generate $25 billion by 2023
4. New payment options:
If customers do not find payment options that they regularly use while shopping, they are more likely to abandon the cart and go for a different vendor. Some of the most popular payment options available are Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, PayPal, Stripe, apart from debit and credit cards. We will soon find customers asking for cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin. Cryptocurrencies will become one of the most popular payment options for businesses because of low transaction fees and no reverse transactions.
5. Shoppable video ads:
We mentioned about Livestream shopping events; businesses are engaging with popular channels like TikTok and Instagram. You can expect businesses to create shoppable video ads on social media. Video is one of the most popular destinations that youngsters consume; by making shoppable video ads, you are most likely to grab their attention. Facebook has even launched Instagram ads, and Shopify has partnered with TikTok; that’s the kind of influence these platforms have on eCommerce.
If you sell your products directly to consumers, then create videos of your best-selling products and put them on these platforms. Use all the features of the said platform to leverage it fully. Let’s say you are using Instagram, then use pictures and videos of your products on stories, highlights, posts, and reels. Create unboxing videos, tutorials, explainer videos, etc., to gain their trust and interest.
2.5 quintillion bytes of data is generated in the world every day by people like you and me. Businesses themselves have truckloads of data, which, when used well, can make them get better at selling, understand what customers want, and they will be able to provide them with the right kind of solution. Brands that do not measure their numbers will have a tough time providing able support. If brands focus on the right metrics, they will get to know where most of their customers come from, which of their campaigns performed the best, which are the most-used channels for its customers, etc.
While data analytics is something that businesses have already invested a lot of money in, 2021 will show that those who don’t will fall way behind their competitors. Using data analytics will not remain a luxury anymore. With the help of data analytics, you will also be able to segment your customers properly.
Customers are growing conscious, especially with the pandemic wreaking havoc over our lives, making many of them look for ways to get closer to nature. There has been a substantial cultural change in terms of shifting towards sustainable resources that most brands cannot wash their hands off it anymore.
The eCommerce giant Amazon has taken a pledge towards sustainability. You will find many more brands following suit in the year 2021. Based on a report by The Harvard Business Review, more than 65% of buyers wanted to purchase from brands taking steps to be as green as possible.
Also known as second-hand commerce, it will see a massive revival in the year 2021. ThredUp’s 2020 Resale report predicts that the second-hand market will double in the next five years. Since many have lost jobs during this pandemic, buying second-hand products will be easy on the pocket. For those who look at it as a means of reducing their carbon footprint, they will feel pleased too. Brands can also use this trend in the second-hand market to create their own eCommerce platform to sell their goods so that they will stand to gain instead of losing sales because of the uptick in the second-hand market.
2020 was a revelation for almost all of us. No event in the recent past has had such telling global effects. Remarkably, there has not been an enormous downside in how consumers perceive eCommerce during this time. One can safely say that the importance of eCommerce has grown a lot during the pandemic. We are looking forward to 2021, which is great for the industry and everyone associated with it.
If you run an eCommerce store and are looking to retain most of your customers, then put them on a loyalty plan. The 99minds team will be happy to chart a plan to retain many of your customers by delighting them with offers.