Top 10 E-commerce Trends to Plan for in 2021

21 December 2020

Voice search for e-commerce

In the past few years, the e-commerce sector has been growing like crazy. This results from the worldwide technological progress and the COVID-19 pandemic. Many retailers have found and followed the global e-commerce trends to increase their sales and revenue. In what follows, we will talk about the most attractive and practical upcoming 2021 e-commerce trends and how to benefit from them.

The statistics show how e-commerce is increasing with every hour. You can compare the years and the worldwide sales and the expected ones for the upcoming years on the graph below.

E-commerce trends 2021

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What Is Headless E-commerce?

Headless e-commerce

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Headless e-commerce is a growing trend that separates the front and back end of the e-commerce system from the customer experience and the marketing team. Headless e-commerce creates a framework to effectively customize your e-commerce store, where changes are immediately visible.  In summary, if you sell a lot of products and need scalability, headless e-commerce is an excellent option for you.

How Headless E-commerce Will Grow in 2021?

The transition to a headless trading system is likely to bring a significant change to your existing e-commerce architecture. If you are an emerging start-up building business architecture, headless e-commerce is one of the trends you should keep up to in 2021. So if you are a retailer, definitely think about it.

How Will Social Media Affect E-Commerce?

Social Media for e-commerce

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Although social media has not proved to be a method for many direct sales, it can gain popularity, increase customer loyalty, and many more. Yet, some business owners are skeptical about social media, and it is a worthwhile involvement in online marketing but has become one of the most popular marketing tools.

The ability to reach more customers and connect with your audience to build brand awareness is a positive social media effect for businesses and benefits e-commerce companies. Using social media for marketing offers the opportunity to learn about your target audience. Still, it can also improve your page traffic and help your business reach more customers.

Lately, some of the most common social media platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, have become the fastest way to start your online store. On Facebook, there is a section where you can upload offers, and everybody can see them. The marketing on such platforms can be easy and low-cost, depending on the audience that follows you. This trend grows as time passes and also is the best option to start without having a website.

How Can Small E-commerce Stores Compete With Big Ones in 2021?

Most small businesses operating online cannot track their online shops’ costs correctly and the profits they generate. Brick and mortar companies are uniquely positioned to solve this problem. They already have access to a sizable customer base, experience, and tools that e-commerce companies do not have. But the failure can be prevented by following the 2021 e-commerce trends that can expand your customer audience and raise your rank.

SEO-optimized Content in E-commerce

Having a short and straightforward description of your products is good, but the buyers are looking for insights, tips, and useful information. If they don’t find what they are looking for in your product description, they leave your online store by going to another seller. This means you lost a potential sale and the solution to this problem is to upgrade your content. Using the right words is the key to keep the customer attracted. That’s what SEO optimized content is. SEO-optimized descriptions are not designed only to rank for particular keywords but also to offer value to your e-commerce store visitors, reduce bounce rates, and help search engines rank your site higher by being user-oriented. Many small e-commerce companies are taking advantage of it and manage to increase their website traffic trifold in a few months with minimum investment. Tools like auto-tagging help e-commerce marketers generate SEO-friendly and accurate product descriptions.

SEO-optimization is of particular importance for DTC brands and single-product stores because the only way they can drive organic visitors to their websites is through optimizing their site content for relevant high-intention keywords. Building domain authority with high-value backlinks is another crucial step for e-commerce stores to outrank big and established brands.  Here is an example screenshot of a DTC e-commerce store that was able to grow their traffic from 3K to 9K monthly users only through organic SEO efforts:

E-Commerce SEO Success Story

New Payment Options

Payment options for e-commerce
Pay for goods by credit card through a smartphone in a coffee shop.

Most online customers now expect to choose from a range of payment methods in e-commerce. In the early days of e-commerce, payment options were often limited to card payments. Today, there are various credit cards, debit cards, and many e-wallet options. Until the end of 2021, many alternative payment methods will appear to meet any customers’ needs. We already see the emergence of such FIntech brands like Payoneer, Transferwise, Paysend, and many more. Customers will expect you to accept a variety of payment options, including cryptocurrencies, deferred payments, and installment plans.

Once you know which online payment method is best for your business, you must consider each option’s costs and benefits. Once you understand the many payment options available to you, you can decide what is best for your business and your customers.

Dynamic Pricing in E-commerce

Dynamics pricing software enables retailers to understand what is happening to their assortment and react to market changes. Successful dynamic pricing depends not on the speed at which prices change but on a company’s ability to make price decisions. Dynamic pricing eliminates the guesswork and automates the process by providing accurate data to determine optimal product prices.

Dynamic pricing is at the core of revenue management used by hotels, airlines, golf courses, and some stadiums and venues. It originated in the 1980s when American Airlines introduced a new pricing model with airfares changing depending on the demand, season, lead time, etc. Initially, the idea behind dynamic pricing was to maximize revenue of perishable products, like airline seats or hotel rooms. However, this model can be successfully applied in e-commerce stores. For example, offering higher prices for winter clothes during the season and lowering them as demand slows down. Many e-commerce stores already use this model in the form of discounting. However, dynamic pricing allows to optimize revenue by managing base prices for each product instead of offering flat discounts.

Personalization

The key to personalization in e-commerce marketing is to increase conversion rates by personalizing your existing customers’ experience. The same approach can also be extrapolated to bring visitors back to the retailer’s website and use this approach to improve their returning customers’ experience. Most marketers believe that personalization is the future of e-commerce, regardless of the type of in-store product.

Companies interested in creating personalized shopping experiences should integrate personalization software into their webshop to collect data on the sale process and customer preferences.

Voice Search

Voice search for e-commerce

Voice search can support your e-commerce strategy by reaching a percentage of your audience that uses a voice assistant to search for goods or services online. As voice search technology continues to improve, consumers will find the products and services they are looking for faster and easier. Voice search will only grow, and e-commerce sites should optimize their content to be discoverable in the voice search. Special attention needs to be given to naming image and video files and Alt text so that search engines are able to identify your products in the image and video search results.

AI-powered Visual Search

The increasing adoption of machine learning and the rising use of chatbots in e-commerce is expected to drive the growth of the global visual search market.  When we say “visual search,” we mean that a visual search engine can identify objects, images, and videos and find the same or similar. Instead of asking the buyer to describe the item, he scans the pictures he provides and returns a selection of visually similar items. Visual search allows your customers to search for specific images rather than names or styles. The likelihood of finding the product they are looking for increases with the chance of a successful sale.

Importance of AI in 2021

Artificial Intelligence in e-commerceThe growing demand for ethical AI is one of the emerging technology trends we can expect in 2021. Technology experts have recognized the potential of AI in several areas, including health care, education, finance, and e-commerce. Still, in 2021, use cases for AI will increase for sure.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are one of the hottest topics these days. Combined with IoT, AI can help personalize and streamline the shopping experience across multiple channels, whether offline or online.  For example, smart cameras in your brick and mortar store can gather data on age, gender, and other attributes of your typical customers that are most likely to purchase from you. This same technology can be used to understand what people usually purchase together with the other products. You can then use this data to personalize your website experience, target your social media ads, and design smart recommendations. As companies seek to cut costs and become more efficient, automation and artificial intelligence will only increase. Embedded AI is also a top trend as companies focus on improving the dynamics of digital transformation and AI innovation by simplifying their capabilities.

Augmented Reality

From an e-commerce standpoint, augmented reality is already a great tool to help buyers imagine what a product might look like. There are many augmented reality apps, and consumers now have many more options than they used to.

Augmented reality will give you an innovative and competitive edge on the market. Mixed augmented reality has proven to be a way to connect with brands and interact with products like never. Implementing virtual and augmented reality has proven beneficial for many e-commerce companies such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft, making them leaders in e-commerce. If you want to be one of those leaders on the market you should think of implementing augmented reality software to your website.

Behavioral Analysis

Collecting data on each step of the individual customer journey can help e-commerce companies develop and adapt personalized marketing strategies. Analyzing a customer’s buying history and behavior over time can be one way to predict and increase buying probabilities. For example, with behavioral analysis, you can show the most relevant offers for a particular customer. By analyzing consumer behavior, you understand what consumers think and feel about your brand, what influences them to choose one of the two, why and how they shop, how their environment affects their behavior, and much more.

Conclusion

The mentioned trends above are just a few of many, and many will appear as time passes. The important thing here is to find the things that will suit your business and your target group the best. This decision can be made by in-depth research and analyses of the fast-changing e-commerce environment where every seller tries to stay competitive.

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