Business Analyst Lead
What the internet did to the computers, eCommerce has brought the same revolution to the retail industry. eCommerce has come a long way from the days of fragmented policies and operating limitations, but not anymore. The eCommerce trends have constantly evolved over the years to meet the ever-changing preferences & demands of the customers.
1 COVID-19 has reformed eCommerce
2 Mobile Shopping will keep rising
3 Role of Social Media
4 Artificial Intelligence and eCommerce
5 Environmentally Conscious Shopping
6 Augmented Reality in eCommerce
8 Subscription-based eCommerce
9 Voice eCommerce
10 Omni-channel Presence
The year 2021 will be a divide of pre and post COVID days of business. It has completely changed how people did business, and the role of technology has become more mainstream than ever. The new and seasoned players need to keep a close watch on these eCommerce trends. The online retail space was already crowded, and now it has become even more competitive. The eCommerce trends of 2021 are proof that this surge and popularity of eCommerce will continue to grow, and may end up reshaping the retail business industry for this decade.
No eCommerce trend has made more noise than COVID-19. The effects of COVID-19 will not be short-term. It will have a lasting impact on the industry, and undeniably the eCommerce industry will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the pandemic. With retailers forced to shut doors of their brick-and-mortar shops, they are compelled to explore new avenues to run their business. And eCommerce isn't just an option for businesses to stay afloat, rather an opportunity for retailers to grow their business more than ever.
People are not going to trade their safety for experience anytime soon. Shopping malls, supermarkets, and restaurants will have to wait to get back to their full run until a vaccine is invented. And this leaves an immense room for eCommerce to grow. This surge in eCommerce business is no fluke and it will continue to grow and open new roads for online retailing..
"As per the study by Statista, 73% of online shopping will be done through mobile by 2025."
There has been a continuous surge in the number of users shopping from their mobile. With 5.16 billion mobile users in the world, eCommerce retailers are sitting on a gold mine that's waiting to be unearthed. People are spending more and more hours of their time on the internet, and pretty much of that traffic is through mobile phones. All ECommerce businesses must have a mobile-optimized website or application to not to lose out on this opportunity. Mobile shopping will remain an ever-evolving eCommerce trend, and quite possibly the most popular one.
Social Media will be an omnipresent eCommerce trend. With social media integration on eCommerce sites and the "Buy" button on Facebook / Instagram checkouts, social media and eCommerce are now more or less unified. Social Media is a major force that is shaping our lives and businesses in ways unimagined. It is more urgent than ever for eCommerce businesses to position their brands well on social media. Social Media offers businesses a platform to get discovered and engage with their target users. Social Media is an excellent marketing tool, offering endless strategies and possibilities to increase your brand visibility and sales.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning(AI/ML) are proving to be the biggest business improving technology for eCommerce. The retail spending on AI is expected to reach $7.3 billion by 2023. AI/ML brings a hoard of tools to the table to
create engaging marketing strategies,
understand customer behavior
identify potential customers
improve supply chain management
turn spreadsheet data into actionable insights
The list can go on. AI/ML can give your eCommerce business a great edge against the competition. eCommerce giants like Amazon and Walmart are already using it for their product recommendation services, upselling, and reselling strategies. Adopting Artificial Intelligence will be one of the most influential eCommerce trends of 2021 and the decade. Watch out for this eCommerce trend how it is going to evolve and revolutionize the retail industry for good.
More customers are opting for products that are conceived in eco-friendly ways. Green consumerism is real, and it is greatly influencing the customers' purchasing habits and choices. It's time for eCommerce businesses to push for sustainable practices and products. People are more concerned than ever on how their shopping habits and the products they buy impacts the environment. The demand for organic products and free-range meat is on the rise and will continue to do so. Consumers are feeling an increased sense of responsibility towards environmental causes, and businesses must align their business strategies in favor of this eCommerce trend of going green.
COVID-19 has further pushed the cause of new-age concepts such as virtual trial rooms. Augmented Reality is enabling online shoppers to visualize their products better. For example, IKEA is already using augmented reality to help its customers envision how a piece of furniture will look in the interior space of their home. Augmented Reality will push the online shopping experience to a level closer to in-shopping experience.
The modern consumer knows what he wants, and until he is not engaged right, he will not buy-in. Personalization has emerged as one of the most potent eCommerce trends that ensure higher conversion and customer loyalty. People doing online shopping want to see relevant product recommendations. Poor product recommendations can cost businesses dearly in terms of sales, revenue, and customer churn. Businesses should invest in Personalization strategies such as
Personalized messages and emails (customer communication)
Personalized promotional offers and discounts
Recommend product recommendations based on browsing history
Use geo-location targeting
Use style finder
Personalization is all about offering an engaging and satisfactory experience to the customer, and customers value a personalized experience.
The Subscription model of eCommerce is becoming one of the increasingly popular trends. In the Subscription model, a customer receives the same products on repeated purchases. The frequency of this may vary from daily, weekly, or monthly. One of the reasons why subscription services are gaining popularity is due to personalization. Customers receive an assortment of personalized products often at low-cost.
The popularity of voice assistant devices such as Alexa and Siri has made voice commerce increasingly popular. Since voice commerce doesn't involve any visual interaction and browsing of products, voice commerce covers products that don't excite customers such as toilet papers, groceries, etc. In the case of Voice commerce, the customer has already made up his mind on what he wants to buy. Businesses will have to take note of the ease and comfort with which a customer can remember and order their product verbally.
As per the Harvard Business Study, 73% of online buyers use multiple channels for shopping. Whether the customer is shopping via mobile, laptop, or in a brick-and-mortar shop; It would be an ideal proposition for businesses to have a multichannel presence for the customers to have a seamless experience. This creates higher brand value and customer loyalty for the business. The businesses with an omnichannel presence are more likely to get recommended by friends or family.
Technology and customer behavior is evolving in tandem. Businesses must always keep a watch on the changing trends to align their strategies as per the trends. These eCommerce trends of 2021 will have a lasting impact on eCommerce, more like a foundation for the eCommerce of the future.
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