2020 was the year of ‘from home’ for many – working from home, socialising from home, and shopping from home. The retailers who fared best were those who invested in their ecommerce offering. Now 2020 is finally behind us, we thought it would be good to look at the ecommerce trends to expect in 2021.
Rise of ReCommerce
One ecommerce trend we can expect to see more of in 2021 is the rise of second-hand ecommerce or ‘ReCommerce’. There has been an increased interest in sustainability over the last few years and with so much of shopping moving online, especially with the pandemic, more consumers will be looking for the second-hand sale of items online, particularly designer or luxury pieces.
Whilst sites like eBay have thrived on this premise by giving private sellers a platform, we could see more retailers launching a ‘ReCommerce’ line as well. Vestiaire Collective is an example of a successful online pre-owned fashion store for luxury clothing, while Depop, an app which targets shoppers who are conscious of saving money and saving the environment, is also doing very well in the current climate.
It’s hard to resist the speed and convenience of Amazon but we believe 2021 might see consumers looking for more socially-conscious methods of shopping online. Recently, for example, we saw the launch of Bookshop.org, a website which allows readers to buy books online while supporting their local independent bookseller. Hopefully, more will follow in its footsteps!
Wider use of smart home assistants
Smart home assistants aren’t new, but more people are using them now than ever. Instead of just using home assistants to play music, set timers or check the football scores, people are increasingly using their home assistants for more sophisticated errands, such as shopping online. This trend is only becoming more popular, so your ecommerce site needs to move towards being voice search-friendly if it isn’t already.
Autonomous deliveries take contactless deliveries and transactions to a whole new level. Amazon have been teasing customers with drone deliveries for a while now, with Prime Air delivery promising to deliver certain packages within 30 minutes of the order.
Now that Prime Air has received its FAA approval, this future might not be that far away. In addition to Amazon, trial runs of drone deliveries have been conducted all over by companies such as DHL, UPS and even Tesco.
Continued demand for a personalised customer experience
Another ecommerce trend we expect to see in 2021 is a continued demand for a personalised customer experience, which can be achieved through the use of AI.
AI systems allow ecommerce sites to make better product recommendations for individual shoppers rather than simply making these recommendations based on what other people have bought. For the same reason people prefer the personalised touch offered by independent retailers, they will value ecommerce sites that give them a bespoke service.
Potential for new payment options
The mainstream buzz around Bitcoin seemed to fizzle a while ago, but 2021 could see the cryptocurrency establish itself as a legitimate payment option. A recent Twitter exchange between Elon Musk and Michael Saylor has sparked speculation that Tesla may be converting some of their balance sheet to Bitcoin.
Moreover, in October 2020, Paypal announced that it would be supporting Bitcoin, allowing its account holders to buy, sell or hold cryptocurrency, or use it to purchase at 26 million merchants.
Now Paypal has made a move towards legitimising cryptocurrency, it won’t be long until everyone is trying to get a piece of the action.
Mobile commerce will dominate
Ecommerce sales made via mobile devices have been increasing for years and 2021 could be the year they eclipse desktop sales. The sales made from mobile devices already account for about half of ecommerce sales and around two-thirds of all ecommerce traffic.
With the rate at which smartphone technology is improving, the UX gap between mobile and desktop has closed significantly and people change their phones a lot more frequently than they do their desktops. Because of all this, by the end of 2021, mobile devices could even reach ¾ of all ecommerce sales.
That concludes our round-up of ecommerce trends to look out for in 2021, but there’s likely to be many changes as we (hopefully) come out the other side of the pandemic and people try to find a new balance between ecommerce and in-store shopping.