Preparing for 2021: eCommerce trends that you need to keep an eye on

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Today, as the eCommerce industry grows gradually, COVID-19 changed the entire industry and shifted it to a whole new level. The game has changed. Many new eCommerce trends and updates occurred.

In this article, we will take a deep dive into 5 eCommerce trends that you need to keep an eye on. But first, let’s explore how COVID-19 changed the eCommerce industry?

How COVID-19 changed the eCommerce industry?

There are a lot of factors that were affected in the eCommerce industry such as technology, products, inventory, payments, and logistics. Also, the changes forced a lot of companies to succumb to the shift towards digital transformation and have an online presence through eCommerce solutions.

One of the reasons it forced these companies to shift to the eCommerce industry during the pandemic is the fact that all shopping malls and retail stores were shut down. Transforming online was their only chance of survival to keep up the revenue level as their offline stores are out of the picture.

Related articles: 10 ways for small businesses to weather the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic

What to keep an eye on; eCommerce trends for 2021

1- eCommerce Platforms

Behind the scenes, eCommerce platforms were having an ongoing struggle as each one tried to provide the best solution and facilities to hand to their users with the quality they deserve.

Mainly top eCommerce platforms were involved in this competition. eCommerce CEO website created a list of top 10 platforms with grading points along with pros and cons for each platform.

GoDaddy has launched an e-store tool to help small businesses and entrepreneurs launch their online stores easily. You can try the GoDaddy E-store for free here.

Related articles: How to install Woo Commerce on WordPress: A quick guide for new users

2- Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Augmented Reality (AR)

Ecommerce trends and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

The development of technology is expanding to include different areas which we use in our daily lives and this includes digital marketing.

One area of this technology is Artificial intelligence (AI) which is now being used for a variety of purposes. Here are some examples that involve AI in the eCommerce industry.

  1. inVia robotics worked on their Robotics-as-a-service (RAAS) using AI technology to develop smart automation solutions for eCommerce warehouses and supply chains. Their end goal is to provide accuracy and efficiency in storing and retrieving items in eCommerce warehouses.
  2. Google is also using AI to filter its search results and provide its users with the highest quality that answers their user’s queries.
  3. Google bot is smart enough to identify the user’s search intent without displaying random results. I.e., a user is searching for an “iPhone”, the intent behind this query can be anything such as specs, purchases, news, or even reviews. Here’s where AI comes in handy: it identifies the results that users are more likely to click on and provide similar pages within search results.

Have you been on an eCommerce website searching for a product and on the website, some products show up on the side as recommendations to buy or items that go with the product you are shopping for? Sometimes these products were bought before by users, but it can also be a machine learning software that studies purchasing behavior for specific products to cross-sell different products.

3- Customer Service and eCommerce trends

Even this part is predicted to peak in 2021 as customer service or after-sale services is one of the main elements that make your customer loyal to your product/brand.

For that reason, many companies for the past two years started to develop what we call “Chat Bots”

ChatBots are used to save time and effort for customers to ask their questions and get instant answers for their inquiry. This is more efficient than scrolling through the FAQ section or even calling the customer service number to get an answer.

On the other hand, I don’t recommend removing the FAQ section from the website as it will be useful in terms of SEO, and it will help Google to rank your website in the “Zero Result”.

For more, you can check the customer service survival guide for small businesses from GoDaddy.

4- Content

Content is considered the most important factor that can affect the user’s decision to make a purchase, submit a form or take an action that serves your business goals. And it can be text, images, videos, or audios. You can know more about this by reading GoDaddy’s guide “How content marketing is used to drive growth in startups”.

There are some elements that can be taken into consideration that will help users make their decision easily such as:

  1. Quality Content: “Content is King” is a phrase that has been on the internet for some time now since Google launched a panda update to make users focus more on high-quality content.
    AliExpress is playing it smart. They ask their customers to submit detailed reviews with pictures for the product(s) they bought, and for that, there’s a rewarding system. This user-generated content (UGC) helps other users to read more about the product and see it in action. If you need help, check Hootsuite’s Marketer’s Guide to Using User-Generated Content on Social Media.
  2. Green Purchase Intention (GPI): According to a study that was done by macrothink involving 150 students, Green products do have a high impact on purchase behavior.
The more green products you’ll be working on the more chances you will be selling more.

5- Payment Options

Since the pandemic accelerated these ecommerce trends across different areas, you should definitely keep an eye on this trend: payment options. The payment systems became trendy especially due to the rise of eCommerce within 2020.

  1. Payment Gateways: Payment gateways companies were on the peak as this duration was their time to shine and highly regarded as their season. All these companies were trying to acquire the largest base of customers.

Here’s a good example: PayPal, the famous secured payment system had its stock prices growing steadily from 2015 till 2020 (from $34 to $118). Once the pandemic happened and many users started using it, its stock prices peaked from $89 in Mar-2020 to $217 in December 2020.

Ecommerce trends PayPal stock prices

2. eWallets: in some countries in the MENA region, many phone operators and banks activated and started promoting eWallet and how it can be useful for users to send and receive money with it, pay bills, and even generate a temporary debit card for online purchases. All you need to know about eWallets in MENA is in the “How to offer a best-in-class Mobile Wallet experience for MENA?” guide.

Related articles: MENA Digital Payments Markets 2020-2025 and the Post-Pandemic Industry Scenario of COVID-19

Final words about eCommerce trends

These are some of the trendy highlights that we kept an eye on in 2020 and probably will be seeing a V2.0 of these within 2021. Hence, get prepared and happy new year!

Image by: Markus SpiskeviaUnsplash.

Selina Bieber
Based in Dubai, Selina heads up MENA and Turkey at GoDaddy, overseeing the growth of the business and brand in this exciting region. Before joining GoDaddy, Selina headed up media relations across Europe for a large-scale energy project headquartered in the Netherlands and was on the agency-side leading marcomms activities for the likes of Facebook, Verisign Inc and Euler Hermes. Selina grew up in Australia, studying international studies and media at the University of Adelaide before moving to Istanbul and completing a Master’s Degree in Political Science at Boğaziçi University. She also holds a CIM Level 6 Diploma in Professional Marketing. With English as her mother tongue, Selina additionally speaks Turkish and German.