The Future of eCommerce: eCommerce Trends To Watch For In 2021

If you're hoping to get more traction for your eCommerce brand, drive more traffic and convert that traffic into buying customers, then it's important to know the latest trends shaping the industry.

The year 2020 was a massive one for eCommerce given the effects of COVID. The pandemic sped up changes across several verticals, and that acceleration is expected to continue in some capacity as we move into 2021 and beyond.

Here are 10 eCommerce trends that you need to be aware of in 2021:

  1. Customers will shop in marketplaces rather than eCommerce stores

  2. Online buying will not be limited to B2C products

  3. Self-service platforms will continue to rise in popularity

  4. Shoppable video ads on social media

  5. Omnichannel selling will be the norm

  6. Analytics will flourish

  7. Influencers will become brand partners

  8. AI will get less artificial and more beneficial

  9. Personalization will go beyond making a purchase to making a bond

  10. Green consumerism will grow in popularity

1. Customers will shop in marketplaces rather than eCommerce stores

Businesses that didn't even have a website before 2020 have suddenly come online. However, consumer behavior continues to favor convenience. Many newer eCommerce businesses lack the backend infrastructure to cope with an increase in traffic and the requirements of shipping currently being placed on them.

On the other hand, companies such as Amazon and Walmart have the experience and infrastructure required to satisfy today's customers. Other niche marketplaces such as Etsy continue to grow to accommodate new digital entrepreneurs.

Nick Hayes of RANDYS Worldwide explains,

"As shoppers realize the ease of shopping in a marketplace is easier and more convenient than shopping on multiple eCommerce stores - with the mental satisfaction of 2-3 day shipping and free returns on most items and most marketplaces, consumers will expect the same from all other eCommerce sites. The bar has been set. Big eCommerce companies offer the best of both worlds: they provide value to consumers, low barrier to entry for brands to sell online, and user-generated content that perpetuates both product and content relevance as well as search rank."

How to take advantage

Think of it as another channel and diversify your brand by listing products on marketplaces.

While it's important to grow your digital presence through a website or eCommerce store, the most critical thing is your customer's convenience.

If you're just starting out or have a brand with low exposure, become a seller on your industry's top marketplaces. This way, you can take advantage of the high traffic reach, swift shipping and overall experience of these larger companies.

However, be careful not to only rely on these marketplaces. You don’t own the customer data when you sell your products on sites like Amazon which can be a limit for your brand growth. The solution is to drive visitors to your site by offering them limited edition products that create urgency and scarcity.