A life-altering event like COVID-19 has changed everything including the retail world as a whole. To remain relevant in the ever-changing retail world and compete with online marketplaces and company giants, it is important to be aware of emerging trends in ecommerce and capitalize on them.
While the whole business world is suffering leading to countless companies going bankrupt, retail giants like Amazon are still thriving with sales overload.
There is only one way to survive this huge shift in buying habits – adapt. Drive more traffic and convert that traffic into customers by knowing the recent trends in ecommerce.
Let’s explore these trends closely with you can use for ecommerce development:
1. Booming Ecommerce worldwide
According to McKinsey, 10 years of economic growth happened in 90 days. Ecommerce accounts for a record 16.4% of total global sales. This ecommerce supercycle was not only driven by Gen Z and millennials but also older generations. As 84% of consumers shopped online during the pandemic. Including 150 million people who shopped online for the first time.
Ecommerce sales annual growth rate forecast for 2020-2024 (source Statista):
Turkey- 20.4%. (Country with the highest estimated growth)
United States- 6.2%
Global average- 8.1%
While the post-pandemic world is expected to recover slowly ecommerce is the sweet spot that will keep growing as seen by the statistics.
Ecommerce usage to purchase product normally bought in-store due to COVID-19 (source Statista):
Vietnam- 57% more frequently
India- 55% more frequently
China- 50% more frequently
US- 23% more frequently
Cross-border ecommerce has also accelerated, increasing competition even more which isn’t likely to subside. Cross-border ecommerce saw an increase of 21%.
AD costs saw an increase due to record competition. AD cost per click in 2020 rose to $1.00 in July (latest). It can now cost companies $30 to gain a new customer.
During the outbreak, DTC (direct-to-consumer) brands with thriving established ecommerce experiences adapted quickly and pivoted their marketing and company message easily.
What all ecommerce features should my website have?
- Apply omnichannel strategy
Omnichannel strategy replaced 94% of point-of-sale (POS) purchases that were lost during the beginning of the pandemic with just online sales. Optimize commerce across online marketplaces, social media, retail, and wholesale.
- Improve your mobile shopping experience
Why? 50% of all global eCommerce growth happens on mobile devices. Furthermore, research shows 53% of consumers will abandon a site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Design your site to be responsive by configuring the website to match the device’s display.
2. Change in consumer behavior
In a survey, asked to choose which of these do you consider a good reason to buy an item online (source Statista):
63% said direct delivery to my home
57% said cheaper prices
54% said more convenient way of shopping
Brands must understand buyer mindset and adapt accordingly or become irrelevant. 75% of consumers tried different online brands during the pandemic. 60% of these consumers expect to integrate these new brands into their post-COVID lives.
According to the Global Web Index, 48.8% said they would shop online more frequently after the outbreak is over.
How to assimilate emerging trends in ecommerce to better your brand?
Create a digital experience that adds to customer experience and makes their life easier.
- Make it easy as well as fast to buy from you anywhere.
Connect your online checkout to POS systems. Enable popular fulfillment options like local delivery, local pickup, or “ship to customer”. Shoppers enabling local pickup are 13% likely to checkout and spend 25% more than customers using regular shipping.
- Checkout experience
Allow your customers to save their shipping and payment information to make it fast for them to buy from you. Allow pay in installment option to capitalize on instant gratification of the customers.
- Automate promotions and shipping costs
Offer buy-one-get-one-free offers, free gifts, and discounts. Pre Calculate shipping costs. Offer local delivery and curbside pickup. Make your loyal customers feel special by offering free shipping for VIP customers.
- Covert physical experiences into virtual ones
- Offer step-by-step or how-to content to simplify customer life
- Show BTS (behind-the-scenes). Virtual tour of labs, factory, office, or test kitchen.
14% of buyers purchased a digital version of an in-person experience.
3. Fulfillment of consumer expectations
The future of ecommerce 2021 is the 4 pronged fulfillment mandate: fast, free, sustainable, and branded.
Globally 64% of consumers expect free shipping. 65% of users check free shipping before adding an item to cart. 39% of US shoppers expect even same-day delivery to be free when the same-day shipping market in the US is expected to be $9.6 billion in 2022.
Consumers are also likely to buy a product packaged sustainably. 50% will pay a premium for it. This includes zero-waste packaging where all materials are used, reused, or recycled. 41.8% of consumers want brands to be more socially and environmentally conscious (source). As a result, 67% in China are more likely to purchase from a company with a good reputation for being environmentally conscious, as sourced from World Business Council for Sustainable Development.
This doesn’t mean that consumers don’t want branded packaging. The unboxing trend ensures that your product and packaging will be seen. Therefore, for consumers to prefer it, it must be sustainable and simultaneously impress.
The rising cost of shipping has put pressure on brands with FedEx announcing an average 4.9% rate increase in 2021, excluding spike rates during holiday seasons.
42% of retailers say navigating custom compliance is a major challenge they face in helping retail customers with cross-border ecommerce (source Statista). 35% said customer experience and 32.5% said managing expectations. Furthermore, customers expect free returns. When total return cost worldwide topped $1 trillion.
Demand for third-party logistics providers (3PL) will double to $408 billion in the first half of the decade. This is because fulfillment networks are expensive to set up and brands are as a result partnering with 3PL.
How to improve your fulfillment capabilities?
- Outsource your fulfillment operations
Choose 3PLs with a vast network of strategically placed fulfillment centers in regions you want to ship to.
- Use machine learning to automate inventory management
Machine learning can help you accurately forecast demand and tell you exactly when you need to stock. Use automated rule-based order routing to match orders with stock in warehouses closest to the customer to ensure fast and cheaper shipping.
- Make return process easy
Offer store credit, pre-fill return labels, and support self-serve returns. 96% of consumers will shop with a retailer again based on how easy their return experience is/was. Incentivize customers into exchanging products or accepting store credit instead of returning a product.
- Offer local delivery
Offer fulfillment options like “click and collect”. 95,816 brands globally offered curbside pickup during the pickup and 31% of people used it between March and June, according to Shopify.
4. Brand building, personalization, and marketplace
Consumers search for solutions, not brands, they search by categories, benefits, and reviews. 70% of Amazon searches don’t include a brand name.
Furthermore, Gen Z now the largest consumer group is willing to change shopping habits to be environmentally conscious and show a desire to support independent businesses. 65% of consumers support independent brands.
Consumer’s main reason for shopping at a large corporately owned business:
- Good product selection (57%)
- Lower prices (51%)
- Reliable (34%)
Consumer’s main reason to shop with independently-owned businesses:
- Supporting entrepreneurship (33%)
- Unique products (33%)
- Good customer service (31%)
Sourced from Shopify
What all ecommerce features should my website have?
- Emphasize on personalization
Personalization will unlock $2.95 trillion this decade for retailers. Use a combination of new technology (like Artificial Intelligence) and old customer service to humanize your brand. Consumers reward brands that humanize the buying journey.
Automate repetitive tasks so employees can spend more time building a personal one-to-one connection with the customer.
Allow your customers to personalize products, design custom packaging, or mix and match custom assortments.
- Re-evaluate branding potential on marketplaces
Virtual marketplaces are one of the fastest ways for smaller businesses to reach a wider audience and fulfill orders more efficiently. Getting customers from marketplaces to your site is how you build a relationship with them that lasts over time.
One way to do this is by updating marketplace product pages with relevant images that add personalization and humanize your brand image.
- Gather insights to optimize your marketplace presence
When asked about their primary challenges for implementing and growing personalization techniques, 42% said it was their inability to track targeted customers through their customer journey (source). While customer data may be harder to come by on the marketplace, utilize other channel data to tailor product pages and optimize performance.
5. Customer retention a priority
62% of brands rely on third-party cookies to recognize target users across channels. One-third of consumers think digital ads are intrusive, reporting they get annoyed when advertisers use their search history to target ads.
Because of such consumer response, Google announced plans to phase out cookies completely from its browser by 2022 (source).
Voice commerce will top $40 billion in the US by 2022. The majority of voice activity occurs on mobile devices through virtual assistants. By 2024, 84% of all US households will own a connected TV.
Video commerce is also growing on other screens. Instagram is buying new ecommerce functionality into reels.
This ecommerce future trend entails retaining customers through other means than advertising like communicating directly with existing customers by email or text messages. Personalized email campaigns are useful as they drive 18 times more revenue. 90% of all text messages are read within 30 minutes of being sent. Through different trends one thing that stays consistent is email.
What to do in 2021 to rule the ecommerce world?
- Target your best customers
While gaining new customers is important, retaining customers is just as important if not more. Improving customer retention by even 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%. Start by identifying your most valuable customers, convert paths they took and map their customer lifecycle journey. Build a typical customer profile and answer what’s their typical order.
- Take steps to earn loyal customers
Integrate rewards that are easily redeemable at checkout. Offer VIP access, exclusivity, and early access for new products to your most loyal customers.
- Utilize subscription models
Subscriptions can help boost retention and produce recurring revenue. There are three typical types of recurring revenue business models: replenishment, curation, and VIP access.
How can Atlas SoftWeb help?
Our Ecommerce experts assist you in your website analysis, help identify areas of improvement in design, development, and performance tuning. Our developers are skilled in customization and making your brand stand-out with personalization. We constantly evaluate competitive analysis, reviews, and actions.
We start from scratch by setting up & configuring the store, categorizing inventory, product creation and management, image optimization, and setting up payment & shipping gateways.
Then we aid in app development for custom features, app Installation and configuration, and 3rd Party app integration.
Engage and attract your audience with our PSD to responsive Shopify theme development and theme optimization for mobile devices.
Hire Shopify developers for multi-Channel listings and inventory management solutions and e-Commerce Plugins including email marketing, Facebook, & affiliate rewards, etc. for your online store.
We help complete your website audit and suggestions for improvement, quick troubleshooting, and error resolution help you to be on top of your game. Hire web developers that work like your dedicated team!