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The Future of eCommerce- 4 Trends To Look Out For In 2021

07th January, 2021

2020, as volatile as it was, wasn’t the first year of widespread uncertainty for the eCommerce industry. Between the year-on-year transformation of online retail solutions, technology, consumer behavior, and new product trends, 2021 was likely to bring a similar wave of changes, albeit more amplified than before.

The course, however, took a drastic turn with the Coronavirus pandemic. Beyond 2020, the future of eCommerce hinges much on all that happened this year. Businesses worldwide felt the tremors of COVID-19 in various ways. Traditional selling mediums suffered where the digital space became synonymous with new and improved opportunities.

  • Sales grew; Spendings shrank.
  • Offline spending transitioned online.
  • Buyer expectations redefined worldwide.
  • Speed and convenience became the top demands.
  • World-class customer experience is now a strict prerequisite.

The eCommerce landscape is more crowded than ever at this moment. Standing apart and selling successfully in such circumstances requires a well-informed strategy. Let’s take a quick look at the top four predictions and product trends for 2021, which may help expand and sustain your online retail store in 2021.


Tougher Online Competition

  • Traditional retailers were forced to change selling strategies or face losses.
  • Total global eCommerce sales reached an all-high of 16.4%.
  • 84% of all consumers shopped online, including Gen Z, millennials, and boomers.
  • Nearly 150 million people shopped online for the first time in this pandemic.

All in all, about five years’ worth of eCommerce growth took place within a few months. Of course, it is necessary to remind ourselves that a part of this growth is temporary, to be washed away as soon as the physical retail market bounces back from the impact of COVID-19 in 2021. Consumer product trends, for example! However, a few trends, like curbside pickup or swift delivery, might stay.

Therefore, even if temporary, this eCommerce boom should be capitalized on as much as possible. That will help sellers stay on top of their competitors and the market.


Key Recommendations

  • Prepare and implement omnichannel sales strategies for multiple online retail marketplaces and social media.
  • Create immersive, engaging, and unified customer experiences across various target checkpoints.
  • Create targeted, fast, and responsive mobile experiences.
  • Adopt a single-point management system for inventory, order, and process management.

2. Transformed Consumer Behavior

The pandemic directly hit lifestyles and hence consumer preferences. In 2021, eCommerce product trends are likely to reflect the same.

As per Hana Abaza, Global Director of Marketing- Shopify Plus, the eCommerce penetration we see right now will not roll back completely post-pandemic. Consumer-defined competitive differentiators like convenient delivery, mobile payments, contactless shopping, and greater product ranges are here to stay, although their extent might vary post-COVID. Understanding that buyer mindset and delivering on it will help sellers retain their customers and business.

Key Recommendations

  • Build new, targeted, and creative digital experiences for your buyers.
  • Make it easier, faster, and super convenient to buy and navigate your online store from anywhere.
  • Utilize popular fulfillment options, quick delivery sources, and advanced payment methods.
  • Enable one-click checkout systems.
  • Automate promotions, discounts, and deal management.
  • Convert users via virtual events.
  • Sync your brand and customer experience across all touchpoints.

3. Fulfilment- The New Competitive Differentiator

Demands and values primarily dominate the market at present, more than requirements. Consumers are increasingly attracted to products that deliver on their expectations while aligning with their ethical ideals.

  • Nearly 67% of US consumers expect same-day, next-day, or two-day delivery.
  • 72% of consumers worldwide expect their choice of brands to use sustainable packaging.
  • Consumers also agree to pay more for a product if the seller/brand uses sustainable packaging.
  • Curbside pickup went mainstream this year, with nearly 44% of retailers offering the services, up from 6.9% in 2019.

Such complex prerequisites have come to define market competition in 2020. They have also raised the cost of shipping. And yet, not conforming to this trend could backfire for sellers.

  • Nearly 60% of customers abandon carts due to the shipping rates.
  • The total cost of returns worldwide recently topped $1 trillion.

Considering everything, online retail businesses have to creatively reimagine fulfillment if they wish to sustain themselves in the market.

Key Recommendations

  • Outsource your order fulfillment to a third-party vendor with strategic reach in your target regions.
  • Manage your inventory and warehouse combinations concerning order and product arranged by favorable regions.
  • Invest in systems for accurate demand forecasting.
  • Streamline the return and exchange process.
  • Offer local delivery and pickup.
  • Utilize 3PL fulfillment channels that can support your business while enabling you to offer free shipping to customers.

4. Retention and Acquisition Costs

The cost of acquiring customers kept rising in 2020. The 2021 retail trends are likely to follow a similar path with not only higher acquisition expenses but also increased uncertainty around advertising via market dominators like Google, Apple, and Facebook.

  • Pre-pandemic search ad spending estimate for 2020 was at 14.4%, expected to hit $63.92 billion.
  • Post-pandemic, search ad spending is expected to reach higher limits, with a projected figure of $99.22 billion by 2024.
  • Mobile will claim nearly two-thirds of search ad spend in the next three years, as projected right now.

Simultaneously, Big technologies and related companies are under scrutiny for violating consumer privacy. Modern shoppers discredit intrusive digital ads and search history-inspired buyer targeting. There has been an erosion of trust amidst internet users and brands looking to capitalize on that opportunity. Add to it the increasing market competition, rapidly transforming consumer behavior, and high order fulfillment expectations; it is no surprise that customer acquisition costs have gone up.

The questions for brands who’re looking at third-party cookies and user-generated data to unravel trending products to sell in 2021 is: How can you reach more customers across multiple channels while producing recurring revenue?

Key Recommendations

  • Instead of relying on advertising for a major part of your sales, establish frequent and direct communication with your customers.
  • Adopt email and text marketing methods in larger ratios.
  • Identify and target customers via consumer lifestyle journey mapping and conversion path analysis.
  • Launch loyalty programs to earn consumer trust.
  • If your products can be sold using subscription models, adopt a similar recurring revenue generation plan.
  • Accelerate the time to next purchase for customers by predicting their shopping behavior.

How Can Go4amazon Help?

Reaching new customers is important. Doing so in the near future of eCommerce is critical. The industry is metamorphosing at a previously unimaginable rate while demolishing most projections made last year regarding its upcoming five-year growth.

At Go4amazon, dedicated developers, marketers, and eCommerce specialists can help you make the most of this wave of transformation with completely managed solutions, round-the-clock assistance, and the best technological support. Reach out to us for more information at sales@nscportalservices.ae