E-commerce has long since ceased to be a trend - but an integral part of everyday consumer life. In 2019, online retail celebrated its 25th birthday. Since its birth, e-commerce has seen unstoppable growth and was initially described as the antagonist of brick-and-mortar retail.
E-Commerce can’t be considered a trend anymore – it is an inherent part of our daily consumer behavior. 2019 online commerce celebrated its 25th anniversary. Since its emergence electronic business has experienced inexorable growth und became offline retailers’ strongest opponent. A strong structural change took its course as more and more consumers started enjoying the convenience of shopping from home. Predictions for 2020 confirmed another boom, and the outbreak of COVID-19 was certainly a conducive factor. Whilst offline retailers experienced dropping sales revenues, many online entrepreneurs benefitted from the pandemic. The governments’ regulations as reactions to the virus’ spread significantly influenced consumers’ purchasing behavior. When lockdowns inhibited offline shopping, e-commerce represented an entertaining and easily accessible alternative. In order for you to live up to last year’s success we have put together the most important e-commerce trends 2021!
E-commerce trend 1: safety first
Retail shops continue to be a valuable complement to e-commerce brands in the wake of hybrid commerce. Brick-and-mortar retail can still offer shopping experiences that are difficult to replicate online. However, the outbreak of the Corona pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have clearly left their mark. Offline shops had to and still have to close at times, customers avoid unnecessary contacts.
Retail businesses still represent a valuable outlet as part of hybrid commerce strategies. Offline commerce still provides those shopping experiences that online commerce can’t compete with. The outbreak of the corona virus and consequential lockdowns left less than positive marks. Offline stores had and have to close temporarily, customers avoid unnecessary contacts. Almost all industries were forced to unresolve and rethink their former strategies: if feasible, buying and logistic processes should be designed contact-free. Following the principle of ‚click & collect’, products and services should be delivered to the customers – contactless. This applies to the production, delivery and purchasing process likewise. This is where e-commerce comes into play: numerous products and services can be found, configured and ordered online. Customers benefit from it as much as companies do. Many of the latter could significantly optimize their work flows, logistics and reduce costs at the same time. Benefits which you do not want to miss in 2021!
E-commerce trend 2: social commerce
While the shopping process was first optimised for desktop, e-commerce companies are now focusing on mobile devices. First, shopping experiences are improved for mobile users, only in a second step for desktop users. Because some studies prove it: Even at home, the majority of consumers use a mobile device to research products and ultimately make a purchase. The concept of social commerce plays a major role here. This enables a seamless shopping experience on a wide range of devices, with a special focus on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
The buying experience has been optimized for desktops, whilst now e-commerce businesses’ focus is on mobile devices. In the first instance, shopping experiences will be optimized and improved for mobile users, and only in a second step for desktop users. In fact, studies show: even at home the majority of consumers will use their mobile devices for product research and purchase. With that said, social commerce looms large. It enables a seamless shopping experience on different devices, especially mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Social commerce connects the social element typical for social networks such as Facebook or Instagram with product research. Subsequently, the product or service can be purchased via the social media platform at hand. This eventuates in a seamless and shorter customer journey. On social media, the majority of potential customers spends a lot of their time anyways, being targeted and inspired by influencers. If customers like a product or service, it can easily be acquired via product stickers leading them to an integrated web shop and avoiding the detour via the website link in the profile description. Other platforms enable the creation of your own shop or product catalogs with an integrated checkout.
E-commerce trend 3: voice marketing
Alexa & Co. are conquering our everyday lives. Because who wouldn't like to benefit from a (virtual) assistant? It not only wakes you up at the desired time, but also provides information and even takes care of purchases! Numerous companies have already recognised the e-commerce trend in 2021. By enabling voice-based navigation on their websites and mobile apps, you too can take advantage of this online trend.
Alexa and similar devices are conquering our everyday lives. Who doesn’t want a virtual assistant? She wakes you up at a requested time, delivers information and dispatches your grocery shopping! Numerous companies have already realized this e-commerce trend 2021. Enabling a voice based navigation on your websites and mobile applications, you can capitalize on this trend just as much. Program your websites and channels in a way that allows purchases via voice command. By expanding your online presence by an informative blog area, you can increase site traffic, too. By integrating informative content concerning your products and services, potential customers will take notice of your company. Answer frequently asked questions in this area, too – more and more users ask their virtual assistant via voice search. If she identifies congruent keywords and answers on your website – this is the entering wedge.
E-commerce trend 4: B2B becomes B2C
Another e-commerce trend you should not miss in 2021? The increasing fusion between B2C and B2B. There will always prevail a difference in their content. The B2B business focuses on the facts, whilst private consumers are being addressed primarily on an emotional level. Nevertheless, business clients do product research – increasingly online. This requires an appealing layout and design of your website, as well as high usability. The implementation of tools is essential, which simplify the usability of your website. Amongst them are filters, reviews, product and service suggestions, as well as a smart search functions. You should aim at rebuilding the B2C shopping experience, its usability and design – maintaining the former information density.
E-commerce trend 5: content marketing
Content marketing is a trend. Decision makers in the B2B business as well as private customers find and look for information online. They search via search engines, online magazines or social media platforms: the perfect frame to communicate your brand’s personality, share interactive content and infographics regarding your product portfolio. These measures do not only provide additional information, but increase brand awareness. Build a community on social media that engages with your content and attracts attention of more and more clients and users.
Optimized content is key for your website’s successful performance. By implementing relevant keywords, your online presence will rise in search engines’ rankings and its visibility. Offer interesting and informative articles and blog posts to increase retention times users spend on your website. Studies show that users build a stronger bond with brands by spending more time scrolling through their websites.
Voice search marketing, content marketing or social commerce: 2021 comes with these and many other relevant e-commerce trends. Analyze from which trends your company can benefit the most – and then implement them! We would love to support you!