Throughout 2020, we saw the e-commerce landscape grow and transform amid the COVID-19 pandemic – perhaps even more so than we’d previously predictedAs more consumers turned to online shopping, we saw many brands thrive, riding the wave, while others with little e-commerce strategy in place struggled to keep their heads above water.

The year ahead will be about more than just surviving, though. In 2021, brands will need to thrive! Let’s take a look at three e-commerce trends we think will rock the boat this year. 

Online shopping

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic taught us all how to shop online – and how to get the most out of it. We’ve seen age groups shopping online who had never done so before, with eMarketer’s ‘US Ecommerce 2020’ report revealing a 12.2% growth in new buyers aged 65 and over joining the online retail space.

Last year, eMarketer predicted e-commerce to reach an all-time high of 14.5% total retail sales, and it’s looking as though this shift in consumer behaviour will continue into 2021 and beyond.

1. Focus on user experience

Providing your website visitors with a flawless user experience is a great way to increase conversion rate and gain more sales. Don’t torture your customers who are trying to reach a ‘buy’ button, instead, make it easy for them to navigate your website, provide detailed product information and create a simple path to purchase.

2. Keep customers engaged

Nurture your customers through funny/interesting/educating marketing campaigns to keep them engaged and ensure you stay top of mind. Our personal favourites are product quizzes created with Typeforms, and Instagram lives with influencers, celebrities or faces behind your brand.

Social commerce

With social media platforms like Instagram beginning to put shopping at the forefront, we believe social media commerce will accelerate in 2021. Data from Instagram reveals that 70% of shopping enthusiasts turn to the app for product discovery and that 87% of people say influencers have inspired them to make a purchase.

How to use this to your advantage?

1. Get on social media!

There are various social media channels you can utilise to reach and engage with your target audience. Just keep in mind, users have different mindset when going to social media channels, so content needs to be tailored accordingly:

  • Facebook: Keep in contact with close friends.
  • Instagram: look at visual content, stories, influencer advice.
  • Pinterest: Inspiration.
  • LinkedIn: Professional content and contacts.
 

Facebook and Instagram are not just communication channels, but e-commerce channels, too! You might think, “I don’t need this! I already have a great webshop!”

Here is an example:

Products by MAY-LI JEWELS

This brand sells beautiful, hand made jewellery and they have their own web shop as well.  All users have to do is click on the product, view the price, make a decision and buy it – all in the same platform!

Whether it be a spontaneous purchase or something the user has been contemplating for months, within just five minutes and little effort, the sale is complete.

If you’re new to social commerce and don’t know where to start, both Facebook and Instagram provide support for businesses.

High customer expectations

PWC found that 73% of people believe customer experience to be an important factor in their purchasing decisions, highlighting the fact that customers have higher expectations than ever before.

Consumers also now rate convenience above all else when shopping online, according to data from Google. Figures show that 86% of people agree that convenience is important to them, and 48% say an option for home delivery is also a key factor in deciding where they shop.

Alongside high customer expectations, the coronavirus pandemic has given rise to people shopping with smaller businesses – and they’re happy to pay more, too. In a survey of more than 1600 Americans, Red Egg Marketing revealed that over 82% of shoppers would rather support a local business than a large corporation, with 8 in 10 saying they’d spend more money if it were going to a local shop.

How to use this to your advantage?

1. Focus on your customers

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, make sure your customer experience is on point! Impress your customers by making it easy for them to buy your products, and, in turn, they will talk about you. Remember, as humans, we love to brag! 

2. Embrace omni-channel

Don’t forget about your offline channels! Will you be ready when local stores open their doors again? Merging your sales channels and offering an omni-channel experience is vital! This is something our ‘Where to Buy’ solutions help customers with everyday.

While we saw e-commerce reach new highs in 2020, we believe it’ll grow even more in the year ahead, making 2021 the perfect time to expand your business and market share.

What’s the worst that can happen? As our Marketing Manager likes to say, “You just never know!” so always be prepared and start today.

If the ever-changing e-commerce landscape confuses you and you don’t know where to start, why not fill out our demo form and allow us to help? We can align your sales channels (including social commerce), perfect your customer experience and provide detailed insights to your customer journey. Think it sounds too good to be true? We suggest you challenge us!

For more information about Hatch’s services, get in touch today!