eCommerce evolved and grew tremendously in 2020. Experts say it reached these new heights in months rather than years. In fact, U.S. eCommerce had 10 years worth of growth in three months following the COVID-19 shutdowns. With 2020 being a year of change and disruption, what can eCommerce companies expect in 2021? Let’s look at some critical 2021 eCommerce trends you should have on your radar.
The boom of eCommerce in 2020 brought some new players into the mix, ones that traditionally had more sales in the bucket of in-store. Items not usually purchased online are now part of the mix. Add to that that many brands enhanced their eCommerce platforms to create more seamless user experiences, and competition for dollars will heat up.
How can you stand out amongst traditional and nontraditional competitors? Focus on the customer experience, easy and secure checkout, and delivering more immersive omnichannel experiences.
The pandemic accelerated buyer adoption of online channels. Consumers reluctant to go digital had to and now realize it’s a viable channel. An eCommerce survey found that 31% of buyers expect to make more purchases online in the future than they did pre-COVID.
That means that your eCommerce platform could be welcoming more new customers that either never purchased your product or service before online or only did so occasionally. Consumers demand convenience and immediacy, now more than ever. What’s continuing to drive this desire to purchase online? According to Statista, direct delivery to home, convenience, 24/7 availability, and better pricing were the main reasons to buy online.
What does this mean for 2021? You must meet your customers where they are and deliver on their expectations and what’s motivating them to shop online. For example, the convenience factor may include continuing with curbside pickup. Conversely, the direct delivery to home driver is satisfied by offering more shipping options. You’ll need to adapt; otherwise, you risk becoming irrelevant.
In the modern world, there’s a subscription for just about everything, from wine to clothing to coffee. Another newer example of subscriptions is offering a monthly payment option for larger purchases. eCommerce brands are adding options like Quadpay. Quadpay is a buy now, pay later option that doesn’t run a hard credit check on consumers and charges no interest. It simply breaks down the cost into four equal payments.
Subscription models are a big win for eCommerce brands because they indicate loyal customers and return incremental income. They also allow for more accurate forecasting. Providing subscriptions for your customers in either way described above creates options for consumers.
To leverage this trend, consider Quadpay or an alternative. Also, look at opportunities for subscriptions if you don’t currently offer this. If you do, strategize on how to make it more appealing.
Lots of eCommerce brands have their own apps. These apps may or may not deliver a better shopping experience, and businesses certainly try to push users to shop in app. Here’s the catch—shoppers are wearier about privacy now when it comes to downloading apps. They also don’t want to have an app-heavy smartphone. The answer to giving buyers an app-like experience—progressive web apps (PWAs).
A PWA is a website that acts like an app without the download. You can enhance the shopping experience without investing significantly in the development and improvement of an app. It has other benefits that are good for shoppers and companies, such as fast page loading, push notifications, automated updates, and integrations.
These 2021 eCommerce trends bring both consideration and opportunity. By staying ahead of these trends, you can develop strategies that delight customers and improve your operations and profitability.
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