Ecommerce Trends to Look Out for in 2021 & Beyond

In today’s mobile-dominated, digital world, participating in ecommerce has become a must for many brands. Just last year alone, mobile spending increased by 18.1% in North America. Consumer behaviours rapidly evolved due to COVID-19 lockdowns and retail closures, and offline spending shifted online. These changes will likely last long after the pandemic comes to an end. 

Going forward, setting your brand apart in a crowded ecommerce space will be a major competitive advantage. Keeping a close eye on these three ecommerce trends will help you accomplish just that!

Changing Customer Expectations Around Digital Experiences 

Not surprisingly, customer expectations have significantly changed over the past year. With consumers all over the world purchasing items rarely bought online pre-pandemic and ecommerce sales reaching an all-time high of 16.4% of total global retail sales in 2020, digital experiences are more important than ever before. 

Consumers have come to expect user-friendly, intuitive digital experiences across various channels and devices. Brands that have an omnichannel strategy in place are seeing the greatest returns. In fact, retail merchants with omnichannel capabilities were able to replace 94% of the point-of-sale purchases they lost in the first month of the pandemic with online sales. Converting traditional shopping experiences into virtual ones that work on numerous platforms can help your brand meet modern-day customer experience expectations. 

Fulfillment as a Competitive Advantage

While a strong digital presence and providing an omnichannel experience are important in this day and age, they won’t get you very far if your fulfillment capabilities aren’t up to par. In the first half of 2020, ecommerce caused a 51% increase in large fulfillment centre demand. Brands have been partnering with third-party logistics providers to get their fulfillment network needs met and keep costs at a minimum. They’ve also started offering innovative fulfillment options, including click and collect and curbside pickup.

Now, brands are turning their attention toward streamlining inventory management processes and improving fulfillment productivity. To gain a competitive edge and give customers the fast, free, and sustainable shipping they want, consider outsourcing your fulfillment operations, automating inventory management, streamlining return processes, and offering local delivery.

Marketplaces Are Making Personalization More Difficult

With $2 trillion being spent on the top 100 marketplaces annually, marketplaces are dominating brands in the digital space. More and more consumers are beginning their purchase journeys on Amazon and searching for benefits, categories, and reviews instead of actual brands. While this news can be discouraging for smaller businesses, there is another phenomenon occurring that is giving brands a way to connect with consumers via personalization – technology fatigue. 

Consumers are increasingly turning to organizations that humanize the buying journey due to technology fatigue brought on by the pandemic. By providing personalized experiences, retailers could unlock $2.95 trillion this decade. Letting consumers play a more active part in the purchase process, delivering unique branded experiences, and rewarding customers with things like discounts and free gifts can all contribute to growth and get your brand recognized for all the right reasons. 

In 2020, years of change happened in a matter of weeks. Companies had to swiftly adapt to our “new normal” and surviving was the name of the game. Now that ecommerce has emerged as a channel that consumers will continue to choose for the foreseeable future, focusing your efforts on digital experiences can help your brand rise above the competition – and Arnold Street Media, Inc. can get you from where you are to where you want to be. Check out our services to see how we can help you improve your digital presence in 2021!