No business can last for long without evolving in line with the changing times.
Staying relevant requires not only innovation but also a constant pursuit of future trends in the market. The world is moving fast, and marketing strategies are becoming increasingly complex.
Various trends have emerged over the years, and e-commerce is no different. So, to help you get your bearings on e-commerce trends to set your sights on in 2021, read on to discover these ten hot e-commerce marketing strategies for the year to come.
1. Integrating Voice Shopping
E-commerce has altered the way customers shop. More and more transactions are taking place online. And the advancement of voice-enabled searches is only making digital shopping easier.
If you look at virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google Assistant, these platforms are tremendously successful with voice queries.
Voice search can be used to do anything from ordering your groceries to calling for a taxi and accessing any information you need. Plus, voice search tech is accurate. Google claims 95% accuracy in their voice search tech.
Customers these days expect the ease and speed of asking virtual assistants to complete a purchase in mobile shopping interaction. As retailers, you should make the cut to meet your customers’ expectations.
Take Domino’s Voice assistant, for instance:
Now, you don’t have to get up to fulfill your pizza craving.
You say, ‘Alexa, order me a pizza.’ Three minutes later, your order is ready. That’s the hyped future portrayed in TV commercials of Amazon’s Echo devices.
The trend of integrating voice search in e-commerce is only going to continue. As per Juniper, the voice search market will hit $80 billion in 2023. It is something you need to watch out for in 2021.
2. Leveraging Visual Search
Visual search is one of the hottest e-commerce trends. And it’s here to stay.
Visual search lets shoppers search for products just by taking a picture of them, reducing the amount of typing required. You can install images into your site and product pages that will display your product in a shoppable manner once clicked.
Witnessing the popularity of the visual search, even Pinterest conflated it within its platform in 2018. As a result, now, over 600 million visual searches are conducted monthly on Pinterest.
Pinterest’s visual search feature Lens lets you take any image and find similar ones on Pinterest. This takes Pinterest’s visual exploration to the next level – allowing you to find the things that look like what you originally saw.
The primary purpose of integrating visual search with social media and e-commerce apps is to make the shopping experience as seamless as possible.
Not just Pinterest, visual search trends are positively affecting other businesses as well.
For instance, when Forever 21 first introduced visual search in 2018, they ended up boosting their average order value by 20% within the first month.
When customers want to go shopping the whole look instead of buying a single object, visual search trends can bind the items together and make an aesthetic and genuine link between the items.
3. The Growing Internet of Things
Today’s most prominent e-commerce trends entirely revolve around the Internet of Things (IoT). In fact, pretty much all these e-commerce trends are closely related to the Internet of Things—from artificial intelligence to augmented reality and virtual reality.
The IoT has transformed the mode of interaction between intelligent solutions, such as home appliances and electronic gadgets, and improved people’s daily lives.
For instance, smart refrigerators can help a store owner to monitor the inventory, temperature and receive alerts automatically when some food item goes out of stock.
More and more e-commerce businesses are likely to see IoT as a valuable tool and adopt it in the coming years. As per Microsoft market research, approximately 94% of companies will implement some sort of IoT trend by 2021.
Other than smart appliances, IoT is also popularly used by companies to secure data, improve production procedures, make more informed business decisions, and more.
Here are some of the other primary reasons for the adoption of IoT:
4. Use of m-Commerce
For those who are new to the term, m-Commerce is simply doing your shopping or business transactions on mobile devices, either via a smartphone or tablet.
Mass adoption of smartphones with ever-improving Internet access has led to the tremendous growth of m-Commerce in recent years.
According to a report by Statista, mobile commerce is predicted to control 73% of the international e-commerce market share by 2021. As an e-commerce store owner, you must stay updated with the latest m-Commerce trends to keep up with the market.
In the age of e-commerce, convenience is king. With today’s busy lifestyles, it’s no surprise that many shoppers prefer mobile shopping while buying from an online store in stolen moments rather than sitting at a desk in front of a computer.
And even simple mobile-friendly websites won’t cut it anymore. According to statistics, mobile apps convert 157% more as compared to a mobile web session.
So, having an interactive mobile app has become a necessity for every online store owner.
Other m-Commerce trends you need to keep a watch out for in 2021 include social commerce, one-click checkouts, and mobile wallets.
5. AI Integrations
AI, an umbrella term for artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing, etc., is already widely used in e-commerce for many reasons. It is used to make intelligent product recommendations, assist customer queries, and also help consumers visualize products better.
For instance, Netflix leverages AI to provide personalized movie recommendations based on their watching history.
AI helps businesses gain more customers as well.
Using intelligent algorithms, you can study current trends alongside your products, consumers, sales channels, and buyer behavior and find out the best channels, price, and time to list your products.
By doing so, you can save time that you spend on crunching numbers, creating graphs, and writing the report. It will naturally help you accelerate sales and increase profits and give you a competitive edge at the same time.
In addition, Artificial Intelligence SEO is also changing the way e-commerce sites can rank higher in search engines. AI SEO entails understanding search engine algorithms and aligning your content and website design to rank higher in your favorite search engines.
6. More Use of Chatbots
Chatbots are rapidly becoming a significant channel for customer service and managing the entire shopping experience — from browsing inventory to purchasing items.
For instance, Dominos’ pizza chatbot for Facebook Messenger allows customers to place orders from different devices. The bot remembers the customers’ order history, making reordering easy. Dominos’ pizza chatbot can also track orders and make an estimation of the time of delivery.
However chatbot technology has not fully penetrated the mobile world. If you look at the apps, most of them are not using chatbots.
But it is going to change sooner rather than later, and it’s the best time to take advantage of the technology.
Aside from shopping assistance, chatbots offer 24 hours service, allow you to provide an instant response, answer both simple and complex questions, resolve complaints quickly, and enhance the overall customer experience. In addition, you can opt for a live chat tool to connect faster and easier with clients on the site.
7. More on-site personalization
Imagine you already have a great store with thousands of items, but you also want to make it even better.
This is where on-site personalization comes into play. On-site personalization is the process of tailoring user experience based on prior behavior. It provides personalized recommendations, allows users to save personalized product lists and offers, and automatically suggests products that fit personas.
On-site personalization is also one of the best ways to nudge your e-commerce site visitors towards a conversion. Collecting individual data about your shoppers is something that companies like Amazon have been doing for years to provide just the right experience to each customer or potential customer.
That’s how Amazon is able to provide near-accurate product recommendations based on your browsing history and previous search trends.
As many as 72% of consumers state that they only engage with personalized messages from an e-commerce business.
Clearly, AI-powered personalization is going to be increasingly relevant in 2021. Brands will harness and leverage more data and create relevant experiences for shoppers that feel customized. You can consider using e-commerce personalization tools to personalize your content delivery as well as marketing experience and stay ahead of the race.
8. Increased Payment Methods
One of the reasons why customers abandon carts is because they can’t find a preferred payment option on your e-commerce store.
By offering multiple ways to pay, your business can reduce cart abandonment and increase conversion rates both on your website and on mobile devices. Allowing customers to save their payment info on your site is also a great idea. It makes checkout even faster when they buy from your brand the next time.
Amazon does it amazingly well. They provide multiple payment methods and let you save your preferred payment method for future use.
Increased payment methods are thus going to be a trend in 2021 and beyond.
Other than the payment methods, your checkout page should be interactive and make things simpler. Make sure to create attractive checkout landing pages and seamlessly provide online payment options within the landing page to drive more sales. It’s also a great idea to integrate with third-party gateways like Stripe and PayPal to quickly convert visitors into customers.
9. Big Data’s Importance Grows
Big data is already playing an important role in e-commerce, with rich and readily available data at our fingertips. However, this is only the start. Data will grow enormously as our lives become increasingly digital. And there will be an increased quantity of commercial insights.
By 2025, the data volume created by IoT connections alone is likely to reach about 79.4 zettabytes.
Simultaneously, advancements in machine learning, AI, natural language processing, and other analytical technologies will help businesses study and evaluate data quicker and more effectively.
And as the quantity of data available for analysis shoots up and the quality of the findings enhances, you can delve deeper into individuals’ actions, and emotions using big data analytics and offer valuable insights to individuals.
Also, segmenting big data analytics will help you to target marketing campaigns at a personal level. Big data is something that you need to watch out for in 2021.
10. API-driven E-commerce Experiences
API-led integration is improving the way users interact with new devices. The process entails moving information from one software to another and leveraging this data in a central user interface.
With API integration in e-commerce, you can integrate different functionality of the systems directly into online stores, streamlining the order fulfillment, shipping, and delivery processes.
It can enhance the e-commerce fulfillment processes via inventory management, multichannel selling, shipping, or by offering personalized experiences across multiple channels.
API-driven experiences are going to be popular in 2021, and not without reason. But it’s not something you can do on your own, with no technical know-how. When building your website and interface, consider hiring a web designer who is conscious of the benefits of API-driven experiences. It will help you enhance the customer experience even further.
Kickstart Your Business With These E-commerce Trends!
Whether you are just starting out with an e-commerce store or are well-established in your niche, these e-commerce trends can complement any e-commerce store owner’s strategy.
Trends come and go, and today’s trends won’t be tomorrow’s trends. However, as an e-commerce owner, it is essential to monitor current e-commerce trends in order to leverage them to grow your business.