5 E-Commerce Predictions And Trends For 2021
Perhaps the most anticipated year for decades has arrived. Unfortunately, on the stroke of midnight at the end of December 2020, when 2021 finally began, the world’s problems weren’t solved, and COVID was still with us. Whilst we don’t know how the pandemic will end, we can predict with a little more certainty the state of e-commerce for the year, so join us for a trip into the future of e commerce and our top 5 predictions for 2021.
1) Higher Competition & Costs For Customer Acquisition
Due to the COVID pandemic, global e-commerce sales soured during 2020. Retail e-commerce sales in the UK accounted for 27.5% of total retail sales, and this number will rise even more over the coming years. With more businesses vying for online trade, we’ve seen the cost for customer acquisition rise as well; this means those relying on paid traffic from the use of PPC (Pay Per Click) and ads on social platforms may need to rethink their strategies.
2) Smart Personal Assistants & Voice Search
Hey Google! Did you know that almost one-quarter of UK households now have a Smart Personal Assistant such as Google’s Home device or Amazon’s Echo? According to an EY report, the trend shows no sign of stopping, with 41% of households planning to own one within the next five years. If you haven’t optimised for voice search, you may find you’re missing out.
3) Product Fulfilment Matters
Want to compete in 2021 and beyond? Then take a big look at your e-commerce fulfilment. If your deliveries aren’t fast, free and sustainable, then you’re missing a trick, and we’re not even going to mention branded packaging (wait, we just did)! The majority of consumers in the UK say free shipping has a significant impact on whether they buy from a brand or not, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Consumers now demand fast, same-day or next-day delivery which must also be sustainable. When it comes to differentiating your e-commerce operation from that of your competitors, product fulfilment matters.
4) Marketplaces Continue To Dominate E-Commerce Sales
The trend of marketplace domination when it comes to online e-commerce sales continues to climb, and it’s becoming harder for brands to compete with these behemoths. In 2019 nearly two trillion dollars was spent globally across the top 100 online marketplaces, the big challenge for retailers is to differentiate themselves and woo consumers away to their own websites.
5) Personalisation Becomes Mainstream
With 3D printers becoming commonplace and customisation demanding a premium that brands can’t refuse, personalisation is becoming mainstream. From a personalised Toblerone to customised Nike Air’s, brands are realising the power of personalisation, and its ability to uplift profits.
Many of the current e-commerce trends and predictions have been fuelled by an increase in competition only exacerbated by lockdown. With the internet flooded with more e-tailers, higher costs for advertising were a given, add to this the dominance of marketplaces and the importance of brand and differentiating yourself from the competition come to the forefront.
The future of e-commerce is not an easy one for start-ups. Choosing the right online partner to guide your business will have the power to make or break start-ups.
2 Min Read
Published: 8 March 2021
Mat is the founder here at Actuate. His role focuses on strategy, culture, looking after our clients and every now and then getting stuck in with coding.