2020 has transformed the world, and businesses have been forced to move and evolve with countless new eCommerce procedures. This evolution is only the beginning, and agile businesses that continue to adopt new strategies in 2021 will stay ahead of the curve. Here are the top trends tipped to affect eCommerce in 2021. 

SMS Marketing

Texting is cool again, but it’s businesses, not teenagers making the most of this simple form of communication. Many businesses have noticed SMS marketing yields higher open and click-through rates compared to classic email marketing. 

SMS marketing helps shoppers feel more connected with a brand, rather than being inundated with countless marketing emails. Texting has always been reserved for friends and family, and it’s this historic connection that will bring value to SMS marketing in 2021.

Omnichannel Marketing

Omnichannel marketing refers to the process of providing customers with a seamless experience across multiple channels and devices. This is the absolute future for eCommerce in 2021.

Online retailers will want to diversify and not just into Instagram shopping. They will use more pop-up stores to allow customers to shop in-person and enjoy the full brand experience. Thinking shoppers only want online experiences is a mistake, and pop-up stores help satisfy this need, especially after in-person shopping was so limited in 2020.

On the other hand, those stores that are brick and mortar will diversify into online shopping platforms like Google Shopping, Facebook, and Instagram Shopping to allow customers to make purchases outside trading hours.

Top tips to optimise omnichannel marketing:

  • Optimise your website for mobile devices.
  • Personalise the web experience where possible.
  • Offer various purchase options such as ‘buy online, pick-up in-store,’ ‘buy in-store, get home delivery,’ or purely ‘buy online, get home delivery.’

Customers will shy away from dropshipping

Dropshipping (when a retailer doesn’t hold their inventory) has become popular but it doesn’t allow for a high level of product control. Companies that keep their inventory and fulfill orders themselves can enhance the customer’s purchasing journey and control the experience; elements that are vital for premium brands. With so much competition, customers will gravitate towards these brands who have a higher quality experience from start to finish.

Shoppable TV

Have you ever watched a TV show and wished you could own the gorgeous shoes on the tall redhead? While this isn’t yet an option, direct shopping from smart TV ads has already been trialed by NBC using a smartphone app. The ease of use and access for customers makes this platform appealing for both shoppers and retailers in 2021.

AI algorithm analysis

Your business is probably already utilising AI to help present products more effectively. In 2021, AI will be able to analyse the results of more complex algorithms around buyer behaviour and points of sale to help you know the best time, price, and channels to use when listing your products. Not only will this optimise your sales, but it will also save you countless hours of analysing data. 

Ecommerce logistics will be transformed

2020 has turned logistics on its head, and the lessons learned will filter into 2021 in a big way. Better blockchain tracking, as well as autonomous deliveries and smart sensors, will continue to move and evolve in 2021 to enhance the shipping process. These developments will make the delivery experience better for both customers and business owners. 

Customisation options on more products

Something as small as a customer’s name on their skincare bottle or an embossed leather wallet can make your product so much more coveted. With 3D printer capacity improving every day, it’s likely customised 3D products may become more popular too. If you haven’t considered customisation, now is the time.

Smart home assistants

Voice-activated assistants like Alexa and Google Home are handy for daily tasks like managing your lights and playing music, but they’re also convenient shopping tools. Directly linked to the internet, smart home assistants can be used for eCommerce shopping, including everything from making purchases to creating a reminder and tracking deliveries. 

In 2020, around 20% of smart home assistant owners used their assistants for shopping. In the next four years, this is predicted to jump to 52%. If you’re keen to optimise this trend, ensure your website is ready for voice activation by:

  • Offering voice-based navigation on your mobile app and online store
  • Ensuring your checkout process can be completed with simple voice commands
  • Optimising your online store’s content to increase your chances of being found via voice searches.

Ecommerce has been transformed via necessity in 2020 and these developments have sparked new ideas for 2021. Preparing your business for these changes is important to increase the visibility of your brand plus create a whole new and more meaningful customer experience.