As if the e-commerce market wasn’t growing fast enough in recent years, during the pandemic it has reached unprecedented heights. Without a doubt, the pandemic is reshaping the business sector in a very big way.
The best part? The current momentum will see e-commerce continue to grow and build market value rapidly in 2021 and the years to come. This is a great trend for business leaders and established brands, but it doesn’t mean that success is guaranteed for newcomers and even popular online stores.
The sheer number of competitors and the fact that e-commerce is currently oversaturated means that companies need to fight to obtain and retain every customer. It is therefore imperative that you create a strategic plan for your business and act on the current e-commerce trends in order to capitalize on every opportunity and future-proof your brand.
With all of that in mind, here are the five leading trends that you should use to your advantage in 2021.
Capitalizing on omni-channel sales
It used to be that customer touchpoints in the online and offline world were lead generators and a way to establish a line of communication with the prospect. Nowadays, though, almost every customer touchpoint is a potential sales channel. The modern customer wants and needs to buy online on their own terms, and that means buying products when and where they like.
You can’t force a customer to go to your website and buy something if they want to place an order through your DMs, or order something via email. That’s why omni-channel selling is so big nowadays, and why you need to create an omni-channel sales approach for your store.
To do this and make it sustainable over the long term, you need to have an ERP system at your disposal. Enterprise resource management software allows you to organize and manage multiple sales channels for your business and handle everything from a centralized cloud location in real-time. This helps avoid ordering and inventory overlaps and errors and allows you to process an order from any digital channel.
Boosting store visibility with voice search
Now more than ever before, it is important for e-commerce leaders to invest heavily into online visibility. It’s not just about paid advertising anymore and appearing in the sponsored search results, it’s about ranking on the first page of Google consistently and in the organic search results. While there are some key ranking factors in 2021 that will set businesses apart, it’s important to note that voice search will dominate the e-commerce market.
Now that more and more consumers are using AI-assisted tools like smart home hubs and smartphone assistants to search for products and services, it’s important to optimize your content and keywords for voice search. Shifting to question-based keywords and phrases will be instrumental, and providing content and landing pages that answer questions rather than respond to longtail keywords will enable you to rank higher in 2021 in organic search.
Long-term success through delayed payment
The fintech industry is all about payment innovation nowadays, with the focus on delivering seamless payment experiences to customers all around the world. Much like people want to buy on their own terms, they also want to pay in a way that best suits their needs, plans, and goals. That’s why the buy-now-pay-later concept has kicked off so much in recent years and is now dominating competitive e-commerce markets like Australia.
In the Land Down Under, credit card companies like Mastercard are teaming up with popular platforms like humm90 to give customers an opportunity to pay zero interest fees on products and buy them immediately without having to pay right away. For companies as well as individuals, this is a great opportunity to protect their cash flow and budget while getting the products they need.
This trend is not only popular in Australia, but is rapidly growing all around the world, including the US, Europe, and other regions where e-commerce is currently booming.
Leveraging AI to boost the shopping experience
Advanced technologies are revolutionizing every industry in the business sector, Ecommerce included. Ecommerce businesses are increasingly leveraging artificial intelligence to gain a competitive advantage through automation and big data analysis. And so should you.
Combined with AI, big data analytics allows leaders in Ecommerce to collect and collate vast amounts of industry and customer data, and generate accurate forecasts and reports. For data science and the entire Ecommerce organization, this is an indispensable tool that allows online stores to make the right decisions at the right time and further personalize the shopping experience.
Mobile commerce will continue to dominate
By the end of 2021, mobile commerce is expected to make up 72.9% of all e-commerce sales. Think about that for a minute and consider the opportunities here for business growth and financial gain. One of your top priorities for 2021 should be to optimize the shopping experience for mobile devices and mobile users around the world.
Use accelerated mobile pages to optimize for all handheld devices, simplify the shopping process, remove unnecessary steps, log-ins, and clicks, and guide the mobile user to a desired outcome. Intuitive mobile design will be paramount to success, so make sure to optimize every step for mobile browsing and sales.
The e-commerce sector is a more lucrative playing field than ever before, but not for everyone. Only those who act on the relevant trends will come out on top this year, so be sure to make these trends a part of your growth strategy for this year.
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