The eCommerce industry has been on the rise since increasing dependency on technology, but it got its biggest push in 2020. The year may have been catastrophic to several businesses, but it proved to the world the benefits of moving to online selling.
With more retailers and shoppers moving to adopt eCommerce, the industry will grow from $3.53 trillion in 2019 to $6+ trillion in 2022. However, along with the growth, the eCommerce industry has also seen several new trends making headway.
With the push to digitize and make online experiences seamless, retail news in 2021 will see significant use of emerging technologies. Read on as we share the top retail trends and eCommerce news you need to watch out for in 2021:
In a world where smart speakers and home automation devices are a big hit, voice commerce will play a big role this year. Voice commerce is the technology that simplifies the process of digital commerce to be focused on voice search, minimizing the need for hardware or software dependencies.
By 2022, 55% of households are expected to own a smart speaker, which is bound to impact the use of voice assistants to buy something.
The world of retail and eCommerce has already seen how AI-based insights can help provide targeted and specific recommendations. With the increase in digital, retailers and online shopping will see further personalization thanks to the easy availability of data.
By tracking user behavior, actions, and other available data, AI-based recommendations are only set to get more personalized and accurate.
AI will also use past purchase history, browsing behavior, and other data points to create better user experiences and accurately recommend products that the users are looking for.
Despite the popularity of online commerce, customers still prefer real-world experiences to virtual ones, given the lack of trust and uncertainty regarding buying something online. With advancements in technology, these experiences are set to get more realistic and enable users to make smart decisions.
VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality) allow brands to create realistic 3-D virtual experiences to help users gain the next-to-real understanding of online products. With AR and VR, users can compare products, understand the shape and size, and even predict accurately if it is the right fit.
As per predictions, over 120,000 stores will be using AR to offer a richer buying experience by 2022, and the future is set to be more realistic, even in the virtual world. You can explore how some of these features are being leveraged by the top Amazon sellers.
To make online experiences easy and straightforward, retailers need to embrace processes that allow customers the flexibility to make payments in their preferred mode.
If the brand does not offer multiple payment methods or the preferred payment method is not available at the store, there are high chances the customer won't purchase from the e-commerce store.
Retailers and eCommerce businesses should offer support to multiple payments via digital wallets (Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, PayPal, and others), credit card/debit card, online banking, and other payment options. In 2021, we may also see businesses start accepting cryptocurrency for transactions.
Retailers and sellers may increase their digital footprint, but several users prefer to shop at a physical location. The new normal ushered in a new term, phygital, meaning the amalgamation of digital and physical commerce to provide a seamless service to customers.
Phygital stores are cropping up everywhere, enabling customers to explore products or services online and getting the opportunity to buy them in a physical store.
Other processes are also being automated in phygital stores. For example, given the restrictions during COVID-19 times, customers could select their products online and try them on at the store, ensuring their health was prioritized while they got the benefits of shopping as in a physical store.
Although most of the eCommerce trends in 2021 are focused on the digital, the use of phygital will see an increase as global economies open up but with limited interactions.
The number of social media users has grown exponentially in the last few years, and it was only time that marketers and brands started to use social media to reach their target audience. But it's not just the brands using social media for awareness or promotion; social commerce is growing in leaps and bounds.
Social commerce means selling products or services directly to customers on social media. Apps like Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram are allowing retailers and merchants to use the platform to this end.
With many potential customers available on these platforms, social selling will be one of the biggest trends this year.
The smartphone is not just the primary device for checking emails, viewing websites, or other apps. By 2021, analysts expect 73% of eCommerce sales to happen through mobile devices.
Mobile commerce will continue to gain momentum, and improving customer experiences for mobile users will be key for retailers and online stores. 30% of online shoppers are likely to abandon carts if the website is not mobile-friendly.
Since customers spend a lot of time on their phones, mobile-friendliness will be a key retail and eCommerce trend in the future. Stores that have mobile apps or mobile-friendly websites are likely to succeed as customers can add products to their cart, explore, bookmark, or save it for later.
These eCommerce growth trends have benefited greatly from COVID-19, and the future looks promising as per the latest retail news.
This shift from physical to digital will impact shopping experiences, and ultimately the way retailers reach out to their customers. Sales reps can also make the best of eCommerce leads to identify the top brands that embrace these trends.
The innovation in this industry will continue, and this is just the beginning of more to come in the world of retail and online commerce.