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10 ecommerce trends and predictions to watch out for in 2021
2020 was a year that most of us can't wait to leave behind. However, the unprecedented restrictions caused by the pandemic have also resulted in a significant boom in e-commerce, highlighting many of the pre-existing challenges that traditional and online retailers alike are facing.
While we all hope 2021 will be a year of rapid recovery, it is important to prepare for long-term uncertainty. After all, that was also the world we lived in long before the pandemic. Ecommerce businesses need to look to the future by keeping up with the biggest trends in the market.
Here are some of the biggest ecommerce trends for 2021:
#1. Omnichannel shopping
Omnichannel shopping is about delivering a consistent and seamless shopping experience across all channels. For example, a customer can browse products using a mobile device but actually make the purchase using a desktop. In another case, a customer could shop online but pick it up in-store or choose home delivery.
Now more than ever, it is more important than ever for online retailers to understand how their customers interact with them throughout the buying experience. Then they need to offer the seamless experiences and purchase options that accommodate those habits.
# 2. Intelligent voice assistants
Voice-controlled intelligent speaker systems such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home are becoming an important part of their daily life for many people. One study predicts by 2025 an adoption rate of 75% in the US. It is only a matter of time before people will start using them to buy products online too.
As technology becomes more precise and widespread, online retailers need to think about optimizing their operations for voice queries. They need to ensure that their products are easy to purchase with the help of a simple flow of voice commands.
# 3. New payment options
The availability of a customer's preferred payment option is one of the most important buying factors. If you don't offer their preferred payment method, they run the risk of abandoning the purchase.
Some of the biggest concerns for today's consumers are security and privacy, which is why cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are becoming so popular. More and more retailers, both online and on the street, are now offering these payment methods to the extent that it is likely to soon become a commercial necessity.
# 4. Dynamic pricing
Dynamic pricing has been standard in industries like transportation and hospitality for years, but it's now making its way into the retail world too. By introducing flexible pricing models, retailers can maximize their price competitive advantage and attract more customers.
You can automatically adjust your prices using dynamic pricing software that takes into account factors such as competition, timing, demand, and sales goals. Thanks to electronic shelf labels, it is even possible to use this software in traditional shops in the shopping streets.
# 5. Augmented reality
Probably the oldest criticism of online trading is the fact that people cannot physically inspect the product they want to buy. In some retail sectors, such as apparel and fashion, this is still a significant barrier to growth, but things are changing thanks to augmented reality (AR).
While retailers have been using 360 ° product previews and high-resolution graphics for a number of years, AR goes much further by showing customers what certain items of clothing would look like on them, for example. AR's sister technology Virtual Reality (VR) is also having some profound implications in certain areas of retail.
# 6. Artificial intelligence
Online retailers were among the first to see the benefits of artificial intelligence (AI), primarily through the use of interactive recommendation engines. Technology has come a long way in the past few years, so it is now helping companies to improve their workflows and processes and to make meaningful use of ever larger amounts of data.
For e-commerce businesses, AI-powered solutions can help tackle scale challenges by automating routine operations and helping sales, marketing, and support teams make more informed decisions. Dynamic pricing systems are based on AI, for example.
# 7. sustainability
Almost three quarters of millennials are ready to make more money for sustainable products to spendthat can be supported by a strong corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy. As concerns about the environment, social causes and the sustainability of product life cycles continue to grow, the focus on green consumption is likely to increase.
Adopting green practices isn't just about saving the planet - it's also about making your products more compelling and keeping up with the competition. Amazon, for example, has committed to reducing its carbon emissions to net zero by 2040.
#8th. Shoppable TV
Last year NBCUniversal brought the worldwide first shoppable television advertising to market that enables viewers to purchase directly from their phone the product featured in the program they are watching. This was achieved by scanning a QR code displayed on the TV.
Buyable TV advertising is still in its infancy, but the advantages are obvious for buyers and online retailers alike. By combining television and shopping into one seamless experience, retailers can add a whole new dimension to their omnichannel sales and marketing.
# 9. Autonomous fulfillment
If there's one area where e-commerce has been impacted by the pandemic, it is the fact that supply chains and logistics have struggled to keep up with demand. Fortunately, Autonomous FulFilment can help solve the problem.
Autonomous fulfillment, which includes new solutions such as autonomous deliveries through self-driving vehicles, blockchain tracking, digital twinning and smart sensors, will help overcome the burden of scaling, lower fulfillment costs and shorten delivery times.
# 10. Offline trading
Talking about offline retail in an article on ecommerce trends may seem counterintuitive, but it's important to conclude with a reminder that “classic” retail is far from dead. In fact, once everything opens up again and people are confident enough to go out again, the chances are that offline shopping will see a sudden, noticeable boost.
In fact, some retailers who were previously purely online have chosen to incorporate traditional street shopping into their omnichannel experiences. Amazon, for example, recently opened a chain of physical bookstores, convenience stores, and electronics retail stores.
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