The 5 e-commerce trends that will make or break your store in 2021
The e-commerce space is changing rapidly – blink and you might miss the next big thing that customers are looking for. Trust us – we build e-commerce solutions on a daily basis and even we are sometimes taken by surprise by just how fast this space is evolving.
Things that seemed unimportant, unimaginable, or just plain unnecessary just a few years ago are now the things that your customers expect and what drive revenue. So, what are the 5 big things that you should keep in mind when speaking of the near- to long-term future of e-commerce?
People like to feel important, there’s no question about that. This means that marketers have realized that utilizing a personalized approach to e-commerce is something that can really boost a business. There are a million different ways to personalize a shopping experience for a customer, so it’s important to figure out what works with your client base.
Personalization can be quite simple: marketing automation is the first step in that direction. Sending your customers offers that are tailor-made with their needs in mind is a lot more effective than just sending the same offer to your entire mailing list. However, to truly create well-functioning marketing automation solutions you need data and systems to make sense of that data, so do keep that in mind.
But personalization is not just about sending newsletters that are addressed to the customer, it is so much more. Many large brands have taken the approach to offer tailor-made websites based on their customers’ attributes: if you are a 30-year-old male visiting a clothing retailer’s web store then you’ll see products modeled by other 30-year-old males. If you are a 23-year-old female, then you’ll see products and models that best resemble you.
And then there’s also the middle-ground: the webstore the customer is visiting tries to understand who they are and show them the products they are most interested in. However, keep in mind that it’s not as simple as showing the person who has previously bought a frying pan more frying pans – they already bought one, so probably they’d now like to buy a spatula or some olive oil.
Some years ago, it was totally fine to offer your customers the option to pay either via credit card or via bank link. Today, however, the customer expects a lot more. With Apple, Google, and several other technology companies actively developing payment solutions, more and more people expect to be able to use them.
As such, it’s worth keeping in mind that the easier you make the payment process for your customers, the higher the chance that they will complete the purchase and not abandon their cart. Today, you should consider adding options for both Apple Pay and Android Pay, but in a year or two, you should also consider the possibility of accepting payments in cryptocurrencies. Today the crypto space is still evolving, but at this moment it seems that it’s not disappearing.
Headless CMS and headless e-commerce are some of the biggest buzzwords of the 2020s. In essence, it means that that the front-end and back-end are decoupled from one another, and information is relayed between the two via APIs.
The headless approach enables some unique options that standard e-commerce solutions just cannot offer. For example, it makes becoming an omnichannel solution a lot easier, it allows bigger freedoms with front-end development, and it opens new avenues for marketing and personalization.
But to be honest, headless e-commerce is a whole separate can of worms that would take a few too many words to accurately describe within this blog post. So, stay tuned!
VR and AR
VR and AR were the big buzzwords of 2015-2018 but have died down a little for now. However, the biggest players on the market haven’t given up on the concept so it’s highly likely that we will see a resurgence, and for good reason. VR and AR offer e-commerce operations unique options to offer their customers the same experience they’d get by visiting an actual brick-and-mortar location.
Do you like these glasses? Try them on with AR! Want those shoes? See how they’d look on you. That’s a nice couch – let’s see with AR how it’d look in my living room.
So, for now, we’d recommend keeping your eyes open. Poorly executed VR and AR solutions are dreadful and scare the customer away, but once it really hits the mainstream, it’s worth to hop on the hype train.
You heard that right, influencers are still around, and they aren’t going anywhere, so it’s about time to include them in your marketing plans and create the technical solutions needed to maximize your gains from affiliate and influencer marketing.
The bare minimum you should have is a system for tracking inbound traffic from influencers (e.g., with specialized links) and a system to attribute sales to them (e.g., discount codes), but it can be so much more than that.
Nothing’s stopping you from creating nearly fully automated analytics tools to analyze the profitability of your campaigns, systems to administer the payments to your influencers automatically, and basically whatever else you can imagine to make your life easier.
Bonus: foldable phones
Foldable phones are coming, so it’s now time to start thinking about how to use this trend with your store – what information to show, how to display various elements, and what kind of custom experiences you could create with this additional screen real estate.
Need some help? We’d love to work with you. Opus creates engaging online stores that enable you to sell your products and services online. Using intuitive design and easy-to-navigate functionality not only increases customer purchases within your web store but expands your revenue and customer base. Contact us, we’re waiting to hear from you.