Ecommerce has proven to be one of the fastest-changing sales platforms of late. Over the past couple of decades, the use of the internet to sell goods to consumers has seen a huge shift in the marketplace, with E-commerce companies driving many traditional brick and mortar companies out of business, E-commerce companies becoming some of the biggest profit-generating businesses out there and the majority of brick and mortar retailers now having a strong E-commerce presence too!
2020 has seen Ecommerce take further dominance in the marketplace, with the coronavirus and Covid-19 pandemic seeing people follow social isolation and social distancing measures, so consequently ordering more products online to be delivered directly to their homes.
E-commerce Megatrends That Will Dominate The Market In 2021
It is estimated that by 2022, Ecommerce revenue will grow to an astounding $6.54 trillion. So, it’s best to keep an eye on upcoming Ecommerce trends in order to embrace them and make them work for you! Here are just a few anticipated E-commerce trends to keep an eye out for in 2021.
All Hail Voice Shopping
At the moment, the majority of us shop online using the keyboard and mouse on our computers and laptops, or by using touch screens on our smartphones. But voice shopping is set to be on the rise over the coming months and years. When it comes down to it, consumers value convenience.
The easier something is to use, and the less effort you have to put into completing actions to get desired results, the more likely consumers are to use it. Voice shopping provides this ease and convenience and its technology is only going to advance and get better. Already, some people are turning to use voice-activated devices like Amazon Echo and Alexa, or Google Home and Google Assistant, to shop online.
It’s expected that an astounding 75% of US households will have some sort of voice-activated device in their homes by 2025. This rise in voice-activated devices is expected to result in a rise in voice commerce sales. In fact, professionals predict that voice commerce sales will reach $40 billion by 2022. So, 2021 really should be the year of voice shopping!
AI + AR Make a Nice Pair
For years now, sci-fi novelists and filmmakers have been harping on about artificial intelligence and augmented reality. Now, these stories and films are often dramatized, depicting the fall and rise of mankind and other farfetched plots. But artificial intelligence and augmented reality in real life are actually pretty useful things and are changing the average consumer’s shopping experience.
Many E-commerce stores are now using artificial intelligence (or AI) to give you a more personalized shopping experience. It can give you guidance, recommendations, and personalized suggestions based on your previous activity and behavior - whether that’s your purchase history, your browsing behavior, or anything else!
But where does augmented reality come into this? Well, augmented reality can be used by stores to help you try out or try on different items that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to see yourself using when shopping online. Part of the tangible store experience that Ecommerce shoppers miss is being able to tell if items suit them before buying.
The returns and exchange process can be drawn out and many would rather avoid it. Augmented reality gives you a better idea of what you’re buying, how it will look, and whether it’s to your taste.
Artificial intelligence and augmented reality really do make the perfect pairing! It’s important to take them on board when selling online, as you can reduce the costs of returns, have more satisfied customers and these tools can even make the difference between making a sale or not in the first place!
Mobile Commerce Rules!
In the past, online sales most often came from devices like computers and laptops. But nowadays, people want even more convenience and the development of smartphones has allowed people to have the shopping power of a computer or laptop on their phone.
This means that they can shop on the go, as and when they please and as and when is suitable and convenient for them. It’s not all too surprising that mobile commerce really is coming to the rise and is anticipated to dominate the E-commerce market soon.
People can shop while they can commute. They can shop on their lunch break. They can shop when they remember they need something. It’s faster. It’s easier. It’s everything that consumers want. It’s not all too surprising that by the end of 2022, many believe that mobile sales will dominate 73% of all online sales.
As you can imagine, it’s consequently extremely important that all E-commerce retailers ensure that their sites are mobile-friendly. If your site is difficult to navigate on your mobile, you’re likely to see massive increases in abandoned carts and browse abandonment.
Smart Marketing Automation
Marketing automation is going to be the next big thing when it comes to marketing in 2021. This doesn’t necessarily mean that every business is going to get rid of their marketing departments. After all, human creativity and decision making are required to come up with marketing strategies, campaigns, and maximize profitability.
But there are many routine and repetitive tasks that could be automated to save your marketing department time that could be better spent on other projects and tasks. Put simply, marketing automation refers to software platforms or technologies that have been specially designed to help companies and marketing departments to effectively and profitably market across multiple channels. Often, marketing automation will help to automate repetitive tasks, streamlining processes, and saving time and money! Automated email marketing is one of such tasks, with email drip campaigns that reach the customers over a specific period of time, driving them towards making a purchase.
Shopping is All About the Visuals
Of course, when people shop online, they only have the digital content you provide them with to determine whether they want to purchase what you have to offer or not. This isn’t like a store where people can walk in, browse, and pick up and try out whatever they want. Instead, you’re going to have to put a whole lot of effort and investment into the visuals on your website to ensure that the customer buys into your brand and knows what they’re getting.
First and foremost, you need to focus on the branded visuals of your page. This is your chance to weave a brand aesthetic, establishing what your company is like and who you are targeting. This could include elements such as brand colors, brand fonts and typefaces, minimalist vs. bold and brighter themes, and more. Secondly, you need to focus on how you’re presenting your products, and this is where video marketing and the like come in.
High-quality product photography and videos are going to be absolutely key to your sales. You need to make sure to show your products in their best light. This means using the right lighting, the right positioning, the right angles, and more. It’s almost always best to invest in the services of a professional product photographer to get the best results. A variety of shots will be important too. Where possible include lifestyle shots to show your products in use.
Pricing Is Flexible
Pricing is a huge point of interest for buyers. The company offering the best price often wins, bringing customers in and dominating the share of the buyer market looking for the goods that the company sells.
As you can imagine, you could have a perfect product, perfect marketing, perfect advertising, and perfect placement on your website. But if the price is wrong, people simply aren’t going to buy it. It’s anticipated that going forward, pricing is going to become more and more dynamic.
To maximize profits from your dynamic pricing, you’re going to have to offer a price that is low enough to secure sales, but high enough to make the maximum profits possible without pushing consumers away. Market research is a good investment when it comes to pricing your products. This will give you a better idea of how much your target audience is willing to pay for what you have to offer. Keep in mind that price isn’t always just about the products themselves, shipping and other secondary costs are a big factor in the minds of customers. Something as simple as offering free shipping by lowering your shipping costs can go a long way to securing sales.
Chances are you haven’t heard of omnichannel shopping before. But if you’re unfamiliar with this concept, it’s a good idea to get familiar with it as soon as possible, as it’s about to take over! Put simply, omnichannel shopping is the process of providing your customers with a seamless experience between platforms.
For example, you want to make sure that your customer gets the same experience with you when they shop on your site when they shop through your social media when they shop using voice assistant, or when they shop in any other way. You should be consistent in your branding, your tone, your images, your style, and various other elements of your company.
A recent survey published in the Harvard Business Review found that around 73% of people use multiple platforms when they’re shopping now. People tend to use the platform that is most convenient for them at the given time, or that has drawn their attention through marketing or advertising efforts.
You need to make sure that every means your customers have of buying your products is consistent with the rest of your brand and provides them with a seamless experience. This will allow people to switch between different platforms easily as and when suits them, maximizing potential sales.
It’s All About Being Green
Nowadays, people are becoming increasingly aware of the impact that humans are having on the planet. Not only are people focusing on altering their own, personal behavior and actions to minimize their impact on the planet, but they’re looking to shop with companies who respect the environment and operate in an eco-friendly manner too!
Sustainability really will begin to impact whether shoppers opt to spend their money with you or not. People are turning away from companies that use excessive levels of plastic, companies that do not recycle, companies that encourage waste (such as fast fashion), and companies that have unethical practices in regards to staff welfare.
People want to shop with green, ethical brands and you’re going to have to adapt to this if you want to keep loyal customers on board. In fact, 65% of consumers note that they want to buy their products from brands that are actively working on sustainability and providing environmentally friendly products - that’s over half of the market. There are a number of ways that you can make your business greener. A few includes:
- Recycling waste
- Producing recyclable products
- Using eco-friendly packaging (no plastic wrap, bubble wrap, plastic bags, or more)
- Sending receipts via email
- Reducing energy consumption
- Using green energy suppliers
- Using sustainable materials or ingredients in products
- Actively encouraging sustainability through campaigning, blog posts, emails, and more
Ecommerce has been constantly changing, developing, and evolving since it first became an option for companies and retailers. So, it’s not all too surprising that this is set to continue throughout 2021. With consumer behavior set to change, technology set to further develop and better techniques coming to the forefront of the marketplace, there are bound to be megatrends that rise to the surface and become unavoidable.
The changes outlined above are just a few that are anticipated to completely dominate the market in the upcoming year. So, keep an eye out for them, implement necessary changes into your own business and operations, and benefit from them as best possible! As always, it’s absolutely essential to move with the times, and these simple changes really could make all the difference when it comes to your business’ profits and overall long term success!