For the past decade, eCommerce has grown exponentially. In 2021, it is expected to account for nearly 7% of all retail sales in the United States alone. As this trend continues to grow, a new challenge will emerge: maximizing profits and time in order to maximize success.
1. Trending eCommerce Growth Worldwide
According to Shopify, since COVID-19, eCommerce has boomed worldwide and has caused an accelerated online business growth. More people are shopping online than ever before. People that have never shopped online, are now discovering the ease of online shopping.
In 2021, retail e-commerce sales including digital services are projected to amounted to almost 843.15 billion U.S. dollars, representing a 6.1 percent increase from the previous year. The slight decline in growth due to the coronavirus-related economic downturn in the United States. However, growth of U.S. retail e-commerce revenues is projected to accelerate to an annual rate of 12.3 percent in 2024.
Retail stores have been forced to either start an eCommerce store or actually optimizing their eCommerce store to be part of the online explosion.
2. eCommerce growth worldwide by %
Top Twelve 2021 trends in the eCommerce world.
1. Create an omni-channel business instead of a multichannel business.
What is the difference between Omni-channel and Multichannel?
Omni-channel is a buzz word that has been around for over five years, but is still often confused with multi-channel when it comes to retail.
Most retailers are now multichannel, where they sell their products across more than one channel. Very few, however, are truly omni-channel.
Here is an excerpt from Shopify:
- Multichannel retail (i.e., “many” channels), revolves around your product and lets customers engage and purchase natively wherever they shop but often treats channels as silos independent from one another. Each channel in a multichannel strategy exists as a separate purchase opportunity.
- Omnichannel retail (meaning “all” channels) revolves around your customer and creates a single customer experience across your brand by unifying sales and marketing that accounts for the spillover between channels
Retail business have to optimized across channels like online marketplaces, social media, retail, and wholesale for a seamlessly shopping experience.
Your eCommerce and retail business will be on the same page so to speak. If your customers are in your retail store, they can check the availability of your products online.
2. Increasing multiple touch points
The competition is fierce for both retail or eCommerce stores. It used to take only 5 - 8 exposures of a brand per conversion. With the increasing competition, brands have to be increase consistent exposure.
This trend is part of the omni-channel experience for consumers. The demand for more relevant information is the impetus in this situation.
Increasing multiple touch points is important, but it also has to be consistent, relevant and entertaining.
3. Prioritize mobile shopping experiences
It is beyond a responsive site template and a readable display. Your shop must include fast page-load times—even on pages filled with product photos—as well as easy-to-navigate menus and the simplest possible secure payment options.
Shopping via mobile devices has become increasingly common among the online population. In 2020, U.S. mobile retail revenues are expected to amount to 339.03 billion U.S. dollars, up from 207.15 billion U.S. dollars in 2018. According to a February 2019 survey, 51 percent of mobile devices owners stated that they had used a mobile retail app to buy a product or service in the past month.
With mobile payments becoming increasingly popular among younger generations, however, and the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic visibly impacting shopping behavior in the United States, the shift from physical to digital financial systems is being encouraged at an unprecedented pace.
Think AMAZON PAY in your store. Amazon pay gives your shopper the opportunity to pay with the credit card they have on file with Amazon, a trusted shopping platform. This includes PayPal, Venmo, Apple Pay and Google Pay.
Apple Pay, Apple’s mobile payment app that boasted 441 million users worldwide in 2019.
4. Faster and cheaper options
Consumers need the choice between different shipping options, because shipping carriers, for instance UPS or FedEX, might not deliver in remote areas.
Here are some facts for shipping:
64% of consumers want their orders shipped for free
67% of U.S. consumers expect either same-, next-, or two-day delivery
72% of global consumers want brands to use sustainable packaging
A full 65% of consumers check free-shipping thresholds before adding something to their cart
And free shipping is just the tip of the iceberg: 39% of U.S. shoppers expect two-day shipping to be free, while the same-day shipping market in the U.S. is forecast to top $9.6 billion in 2022.
5. Sustainability and brands
Today’s shopper wants shipping to be not only fast and free, but also environmentally conscious. Three-quarters of U.S. consumers are more likely to buy a product packaged sustainably. Many will also pay a premium.
But demand for green packaging must also be balanced with the consumer’s desire for custom or branded packaging. The unboxing video era almost guarantees your packaging will be seen by shoppers researching your brand and products.
Packaging influences purchasing decisions, inspires customers to recommend your product, and can increase customer retention. It must simultaneously impress consumers and meet their desire for sustainability.
Consumers globally report a greater propensity to buy from companies with a reputation for environmental responsibility
Percentage of respondents agreeing to the statement “I would be more likely to purchase products or services from a company with a good reputation for environmental responsibility”
6. Personalized Shopping Experience
Shopify surveyed buyers leading up to Black Friday and found that 59% said they welcomed personalized product recommendations. Brands targeting millennials have an even bigger potential—that number jumps to 78% within this segment.
Think of going to your local store, the owner knows you, and knows what you want. This experience has to be recreated for your customers to feel special and to come back for all their purchases.
In the midst of a global pandemic, face to face experiences has been erased. Consumers love to feel special and valued.
7. Enhanced Content for more engaging experiences
8. Location-based marketing
Location-based marketing puts the possibility within reach in a way it never was before. You can push out an offer or CTA (call-to-action) to your audience when you know they’re within a close range of your store – right when it’s most convenient for them to take advantage of it.
Improve fulfillment capabilities
So if you are local, include curb-pickup or local deliver which you can make a more of a brand experience and actually meeting your customers F2F! HUGE!
9. Speech enhanced search
Smart speakers have become a normal household item. Google, Alexa and Siri have changed the worlds as we know it. Mobile shoppers are searching the internet via voice commands.
Top Voice Search Statistics for 2020
- Google reports. External Link. Opens in new window. that 27% of the online global population is using voice search on mobile.
- eMarketer predicted. External Link. Opens in new window. that over a third of the US population (111.8 million people) would use a voice assistant monthly in 2019, up 9.5% from 2018.
- ComScore reports. External Link. Opens in new window. that more than half of all smartphone users are engaging with voice search technology in 2020.
- A Gartner study. External Link. Opens in new window. predicts that 30% of all browsing sessions will include voice search by 2020.
- Voicebot.ai. External Link. Opens in new window. reports that over half of all adults have used voice search, with 33% using voice search monthly in early 2019, jumping up from 25% in 2018.
- A 2018 study from BrightLocal. External Link. Opens in new window. found that 58% of consumers used voice search to find a local business in 2017, and 46% of people using voice search daily are searching for local business.
10. Automate inventory management
Inventory management is key to building an efficient fulfillment network. Your inventory management system should accurately forecast demand so that inventory can be purchased, replenished, and managed effectively. If you’re managing inventory in multiple locations, your inventory management system should also use automated rule-based order routing to match orders with stock in warehouses closest to the customer. This saves time, expedites fulfillment, and reduces shipping costs.
11. Streamline your return process
The investment makes business sense when 96% of consumers will shop with a retailer again based on an “easy” or “very easy” return experience.
Put returns on autopilot with:
Instead of returns, consider incentivizing customers to exchange products or accept store credit. This saves on restocking fees, retains customers, and reduces shipping expenses in cases where customers keep damaged or used items that can’t be resold.
12. Create a central Digital Asset Management process
The Shopify Experience
Power your entire online and offline experience on today’s most agile commerce platform. No more workarounds, patches, or hacks: With Shopify Plus, you can run your online store and retail locations with hardware, software, and payments that were made for each other. And unlike marketplaces, you own your brand and customer experience across every touchpoint, synced right in Shopify.
With analytics at your fingertips, stay on top of growing trends in your business across in-store and online sales. And manage your orders, products, inventory, and customer data in one place, so you’re always up to date. Powered by Shopify POS, you have all the tools you need to manage your business, market to customers, and sell everywhere.