In the past two years, the eCommerce market has experienced unprecedented growth, enjoying billions in sales, mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the increase in consumers shopping from the comfort of their own homes.
As we enter the last quarter of the year, let’s take a look at the eCommerce trends for 2021 and what you can expect to see in the year ahead.
From increased competition to new consumer behaviors, discover six key eCommerce trends that you need to know about in 2021 so that you can get your e-commerce store ready for the holiday season – Christmas. As Shopify Developers, we recommend learning about today’s trends in the article below.
1. High levels of online competition
As you would expect in a booming industry, competition in the eCommerce sector has never been more fierce. While a surge in customers is always a good thing, we have seen many businesses struggle with the increase in demand, with many not having the practices in place to be able to accommodate so many eCommerce sales.
This has allowed relatively unknown business models that deliver direct to consumers to be able to compete with more established brick-and-mortar stores.
As we go into 2022, businesses need to make sure that they are able to offer omnichannel retailing if they are to remain competitive. They also need to ensure that they are being responsive to their online shoppers’ needs and that they are willing to adapt to meet these demands.
If you need help embracing omnichannel retailing, a Shopify developer is just what you need to get your online store ready for the festive rush.
2. New consumer behaviors
Consumers have been forced to adopt new shopping behaviors in the past few years. Namely, they have had to embrace online shopping more than ever before. In response to this, businesses have had to improve their online user experience and find new ways to engage with their target audience and improve their overall shopping experience.
Furthermore, as digital marketing has become more sophisticated, customers expect more from their favorite brands than ever before. With the huge increase in eCommerce, transactions are taking place on your website every minute, so you need to make sure you are taking every opportunity to connect with your customers.
In 2022, businesses need to focus on how they are going to offer round-the-clock support to their customers. This could be through the use of chatbots or another customer service automation tool.
They should also look to utilizing other new technologies such as augmented reality AR and virtual reality VR to help improve the user experience. For example, retailers can create a virtual changing room so their customers can see what they would look like in items without having to visit a physical store.
3. Demand for faster service
Not only do customers want a more engaging online shopping experience, but they also expect to get their products quicker. When asked, most customers today expect a minimum two-day turn around with many actively seeking out companies that offer next-day delivery.
This demand for speed has seen many online retailers look to improve their logistics processes so that they can compete with the likes of Amazon and Walmart.
Going into 2022, businesses need to take the time to strategize on how they are going to best serve their customers. Many will turn to online marketplaces such as Amazon and Best Buy who have developed business models specifically to offer logistical support to smaller online retailers.
While it may seem impossible for small businesses to compete with bigger eCommerce sites, it can be achieved with the help of strategic partners within their industry.
4. Rise of personalization
While businesses have previously focused much of their marketing efforts on building brand awareness and brand recognition, in 2021, we saw a shift to delivering more personalized experiences.
To deliver a personalized customer experience, marketers need to work closely with consumers to better align their brand with the personalities of each individual consumer. While this may seem like a huge task, if smaller eCommerce brands hope to compete with more established websites, they need to ensure they offer a superior, customized experience.
For example, Nike have embraced personalized shopping and allow their customers to design their own shoes, and Tesla have a feature on their eCommerce store that enables consumers to design their own car.
For fashion retailers, the obvious step is to allow your customers to design and customize their own clothes. Or beauty sites could enable their customers to create their own eye shadow color palettes.
Either way, going in 2022, personalization will remain a key trend, and online stores will need to adopt a more personalized approach to customer service and experience if they want their eCommerce business to flourish.
5. A focus on retention
Due to the changing regulations around data privacy and the increase in costs associated with running a multi-channel digital marketing campaign, many businesses have turned their efforts to retaining their existing customers rather than trying to acquire new ones.
One of the most popular ways to increase customer retention in 2021 has most certainly been the use of a loyalty program. Offering a simple way to encourage long-term brand loyalty, reward-based loyalty programs can also help to introduce customers to new products and services.
In 2022, businesses should continue to leverage loyalty programs to encourage brand loyalty and look for more creative ways to engage customers in their brand.
6. Social media as a sales tool
Social commerce exploded in 2021, with many businesses allowing users to buy products without having to leave the app. In 2020, Instagram launched the Shopping tab as a way for users to explore new products, and Facebook now pushes retailers to use its built-in storefront.
In 2022, live shopping is set to be big, with social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram already having their own live streaming features. To cater to the social media shopper, each of these platforms now allows brands to link directly to the products they are talking about.
With over 90% of social media users accessing their favorite platforms via their mobile device, businesses also need to ensure that their eCommerce sites are responsive, meaning that they can be viewed and used on a mobile device in the same way as they can be on a desktop computer.
Do you need help building or upgrading your eCommerce site? Get in touch with our Shopify experts here and let us help you create an online store that guarantees to convert.
** As always thank you for visiting our company we invite you to read these other great articles such as How to Create an E-Commerce Home Business or learn if you should get extra help. and learn more about what we can do for you.
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