3 E-Commerce Trends That Will Influence the E-Commerce Industry in 2021
2020 was a highly anticipated year; several institutions and governments hoped that 2020 would bring so much progress but the year turned out to be one of the toughest years in the century. Now, while it seemed like the world was coming to an end (if we can exaggerate), e-commerce benefitted immensely from the events of 2020. The e-commerce industry saw a 30% growth in sales in 2020, and many stakeholders believe that e-commerce grew by five years in 2020 alone due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Seeing that there is no actual cure for the virus, and vaccines cannot get to everyone right away, the world will continue to stay at home, maintain social distance and mask up. Not to mention that scientists do not know whether the vaccines will eliminate the virus. Therefore, the e-commerce industry will enjoy the same benefits as last year’s, with more entrepreneurs making their transition to the e-commerce space even.
As a result of the continued rapid growth of the e-commerce sector, these three trends will define a lot of the decisions e-commerce stakeholders and entrepreneurs make this year. The three trends are reimagined shopping behavior, increased digital advertising competition, and high demands for home-related products.
Reimagined Shopping Behavior
Well, the ultimate purpose of e-commerce is to bring the market to the buyer’s reach without having buyers going through inconvenient processes such as going to physical stores, waiting in a queue at the checkout. While young people; Gen Z and Millennials, make the highest population of e-commerce buyers, 2020 showed us that there is a need for every purchasing age group to have more faith in online shopping. Indeed, we now have more older people shopping online, the need to buy their essential items is more important than their preference for physically visiting a store. We also see that several brick-and-mortar store owners transitioned to e-commerce even, which are more used by the older demographics. At this point, every purchasing age group is shopping online, and whatever happens this year considering the virus will not have that much influence on consumer behavior.
This consumer habit will become more prominent in 2021, even when more countries ease lockdowns and more physical stores open. Buyers are already used to the convenience and will continue to shop online.
Increased Digital Advertising Competition
E-commerce growth is good news to e-commerce entrepreneurs, but they should also know that increased growth leads to increased competition. Simply put, there are way more players currently in the e-commerce space than was envisioned prior to 2020. Seeing the increased competition, companies are having to increase their advertising budget. The competition is not only between regular small-to-medium scale e-commerce businesses but also with large e-commerce brands and companies that transitioned to e-commerce in 2020. While this means that e-commerce marketers will be the biggest gainers, it is important for e-commerce companies to produce digital content — interesting and effective digital content that will stand out from the rest. Even giant companies, e-commerce companies, and brick-and-mortar will increase their spending on e-commerce advertising in 2021. So, do not hesitate to increase your marketing budget.
Besides the “arms race” that you must keep up with this year, what you should take from this as an e-commerce entrepreneur is that the population of e-commerce buyers has also increased. Therefore, when you make the right decisions, increase your marketing budget, and target your niche, you will increase sales this year as well.
High Demands for Home-Related Products
Another important e-commerce trend that will define the sector this year is the increased demand for home-related products/services. Buyers are staying at home, even though many countries have eased lockdown, and are choosing to social distance, people are spending more time home than out. Remote working has also become more prominent, alas, human beings are beginning to learn that making a journey to work every day can be avoided. All these have caused a spike in demand for home-related products such as entertainment, sanitation, home office products, etc.
With the vaccines coming to our rescue, we may also gradually stop social distancing this year. However, we have all already experienced the convenience of staying indoors and getting things done workwise and education-wise, so, the culture will remain. Since people will choose to stay home more, it is only logical that we will spend more on products and services that will serve us at home and make our days more enjoyable and better. One of the effects of the pandemic is making people see some products and services in a different way, e.g., tissue paper, hand sanitizer, and nose mask became highly sought-after products in 2020, and still are.
This is a good opportunity for e-commerce entrepreneurs who are looking for the right verticals to target, or those looking to expand into other niches.
Over to You
If you paid attention, you would notice that the 2020 pandemic is a big influence on the predicted e-commerce trends for 2021. However, this year will also go through its unique e-commerce changes and new trends might emerge towards the end of the second quarter of the year. E-commerce will experience new opportunities and challenges this year. As an e-commerce entrepreneur who wants to grow this year, you must seize opportunities as they present themselves rather than wait to see what the year holds. Therefore, you must start by aligning your business strategies for the year with the predicted e-commerce trends that will define 2021 to avoid getting left behind.
Remember, you do not have to try too hard or jump on every e-commerce trend marketers preach, make sure you weigh the prospects of the trend in relation to your business goals.