December 30, 2020

Ecommerce Trends to Watch for in 2021

Sierra Jackson

We can all agree that 2020 was an interesting year, to say the least. The ecommerce industry experienced explosive growth this year and is projected to account for $4.88 trillion dollars in 2021, according to research from Statista. Technology is developing by leaps and bounds from smart home assistants like Alexa changing the way customers shop to sustainability and green consumerism now being a determining factor for customers to purchase from your company.

Since the everchanging ecommerce industry isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, its important to stay on top of which trends to watch for and implement in the coming year:

1. New Payment options: Buy Now, Pay Later

Lately, “Buy Now, Pay Later” options have become increasingly popular as a new method of payment for online shoppers. New payment options like QuadPay and Sezzle allow customers the option to buy now and pay later by stretching out the total cost of items into smaller payments that are due over several weeks or months.

Like anything else, there are advantages and disadvantages to “new” methods. However, this latest payment option definitely helps increase cart conversion and results in customers making larger online purchases since they now have the opportunity to pay at a later date.

2. Voice-activated shopping/Smart home assistants

I’m sure you’ve heard of smart home assistants like Amazon Echo’s Alexa, Google Assistant, etc. According to an article from eMarketer, consumers are depending on voice-enabled home assistants for more than the current time and weather these days. Online shoppers are using these devices to purchase items from their favorite stores and marketplaces as well.

The pandemic has surely boosted the use of voice-controlled devices with more people being at home throughout the day, however, a survey from Microsoft shows that over half of the respondents believe that digital assistants will help them make retail purchases within the next five years.

I think its safe to say that digital assistants aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, which is why you should start optimizing your ecommerce site for voice-enabled shopping.  

3. Omni-channel selling

What is omni-channel selling, you ask? Omni-channel selling is an approach to sell across multiple platforms cohesively. Basically, you are providing shoppers with a seamless, consistent customer experience across different channels.

Customers love the convenience and efficiency that online shopping provides, so showing up where your customers hang out makes it easier for them to buy. But here’s the key: don’t focus on trying to be everywhere, on every platform. Strive to show up on the channels where your customers already are and sell to them there. (No reason to reinvent the wheel).

4. Brands working with influencers

For the last few years, more companies have been hopping on the influencer marketing train to promote and sell their products. Influencer marketing is an ecommerce strategy that uses social media influencers to inform their followers and social communities about your product. So instead of you working to promote and get fresh eyes on your products, the influencer does this for you by organically interweaving mentions of your company and products into their social media content (blogs, Instagram, Facebook). According to the Association of National Advertisers, 86% of marketers today use influencer marketing to fuel their content marketing strategies, 88.5% of whom find the influencer content to be a valuable part of their marketing plan.

Companies can leverage this type of marketing to their advantage, because customers tend to look at influencers as “credible sources” versus the company itself. Collaborating with an influencer that has an engaging and loyal community is a sure way to gain credibility, boost brand awareness and ultimately increase your company’s revenue.

5. Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence technology is a big deal nowadays as its constantly being utilized with more ecommerce businesses to enhance the customer experience and also customer service.

For example, Kit, Shopify’s free virtual employee exclusively for Shopify merchants, guides businesses to improve marketing strategies like promoting your products for you and sending personalized ‘thank-you emails’ to generate repeat purchases. Other advantages of artificially intelligent assistants are the guidance they offer with the inventory management, operations and analytics. You basically have a virtual employee that offers personalized suggestions and recommendations for your customers based on your products, visitors and customers. Sounds like a win-win, right?

6. Personalization in the customer experience

Unlike brick-and-mortar businesses, you don’t have the capability to know your customers by name and face to physically offer them a personalized experience. However, that doesn’t totally eliminate the opportunity to learn more about them and their buying habits online to provide a great shopping experience virtually.

As online shopping continues to advance, it’s clear that customers prefer a shopping experience that is tailored to their needs. By using technology that remembers specific details then offering product recommendations based on those details, this helps to boost customer loyalty and your bottom line at the same time.

For instance, remembering the type of items a customer purchases or the last time they actually made a purchase can help you offer product recommendations based on their past purchases. By providing this personalized shopping experience, this makes customers feel “seen” and mutually benefits both parties.

7. Product customization options

In addition to personalizing the customer experience is customizing the product itself. Customers love options, especially options that allow them to put “their touch” on a product.

For example, some ecommerce shoe stores now offer the option of customizing the product color and adding a name or logo to the product. This type of strategy increases sales and improves customer satisfaction by providing exactly what the customer wants and desires.

8. Green consumerism  

Sustainability is becoming more of a determining factor as customers continue to shop online. Do you use recycled shipping products? Does your company use sustainable materials to make your products? Lots of companies are now using their influence to not only benefit the environment, but their bottom line as well.

Research from Nielsen showed that sustainable-minded shoppers will spend up to $150 billion on sustainable products by 2021. In everything from product packaging to order processing, it’s obvious that sustainability sells. If you are looking for ways to preserve the environment and reduce waste in your ecommerce business, here are some examples:

  • Inform your customers of ways to recycle products and packaging when they’re done with them.
  • Decrease the amount of packaging materials included in the package.
  • Think beyond the product itself and see how your company can implement sustainable resource management (renewable energy, water conservation, cruelty-free processes).

9. Fulfillment

Now of course, it wouldn’t be right if we wrote a blog on the rising trends of ecommerce without including the emergence of ecommerce order fulfillment. Several leading ecommerce companies are now utilizing third-party logistics (3PL) carriers into their fulfillment strategies for supply chain efficiency.

As a top ecommerce fulfillment company, Fulfyld works with various companies to handle all of your ecommerce needs like timely delivery, warehousing, inventory management and more. Our robust technology and skilled team of experts help relieve any stress you may have from the fulfillment process. It is our mission is to make everything easy for you and take care of your ecommerce needs so that you can focus on the good stuff: building your brand, marketing your products, and scaling your business.      

The Wrap Up

We’ve shared a lot of ecommerce trends to implement within your business in the coming year from new payment options to helpful fulfillment resources. Now it’s time to actually hop on these trends and dominate your market to increase the success of your ecommerce business. If you need assistance, we’re here. Contact us today and let’s take your business to the next level.

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