Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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The year 2020 was an exceptional year for the e-commerce industry. The pandemic struck different industries with significant difference – while some businesses had to shut shop, many others struggled to stay afloat and the companies that had a strong tech or digital streak flourished like never before. E-commerce was one such industry that received an unprecedented boost globally due to accelerated adoption of the digital.

In 2021, economic recession, increased thrust on adoption of automation, Big Data and design trends are expected to further alter the game for e-commerce and retail businesses. In the current year maximum consumers have shifted to online channels for shopping. As a result, most businesses had to swiftly put their products online to ensure business continuity. The shift was so huge that Amazon struggled to deliver products even after substantially adding to its workforce.

Nelia Kovbasa, the CEO of GTM Plus, shared ten e-commerce trends of 2021 that she expects to gain momentum. 2021 is going to be very crucial for all businesses but even more for e-commerce, so, you better pay some attention, to be better prepared.

  1. Change in consumption patterns

Travel, restaurant and sales of luxury products will continue to be low and might even decrease after the holiday season. Healthcare, online services, FMCG and sales of products of daily use will increase significantly as people will avoid going out until the pandemic is fully eradicated.

  1. E-Commerce will flourish

The Covid-19 pandemic compelled people to embrace e-commerce at a holistic level and hence it is predicted that people will continue with this buying habit due to several benefits it has to offer. Hence e-commerce will flourish faster in 2021. The same had happened in China at the time of 2003 SARS epidemic – in the aftermath of which Alibaba grew by over 50% and Taobao became world’s number one e-commerce platform.

  1. Cost of online advertising will rise

The whole world has now shifted attention to online channels. If you look at the volume of data generated every minute you will see how busy people are online. Reaching the apt customer through online marketing is now easier and faster. The demand for online marketing is thus on the rise and as is the rule – when there is a rise demand, the price rises.

  1. Marketing will get smarter

Use of automation and Big Data analytics will increase in order to make marketing more personalized and to target precise consumer segments. Email marketing, chatbots, social media and remarketing will be used voraciously by e-commerce companies.

  1. Focus on design will increase

For an e-commerce company the look and feel of their website will gain utmost importance. Companies will focus on simpler, minimalist designs and reduce distractions so that consumers can give more attention to the products.

  1. Convenient delivery will win customers

In this era of increasing online shopping, customers shift loyalty as per convenience. The service of delivering products at customers’ doorstep will help companies sell more products and win more customers.

  1. Cost of entry will reduce

More companies will want to enter the e-commerce zone as the business will be more affordable and faster to establish. Website designing companies are expected to cut costs and offer swift delivery in order to win more clients.

  1. Offline stores will go online

A lot of offline stores will need to mark their presence online in order to survive and serve their loyal customers. More products that were usually sold offline will transition to online.

  1. Giant marketplaces will shrink to “single-brand online stores”

Large and established e-commerce platforms will start charging more commissions while huge physical stores will become tough to maintain due to the cost. As a result, single-brand online stores will gain more popularity among small and mid-size companies.

  1. Online sales will increase globally

Consumers have brought the genie of online shopping out of the bottle and there is no going back. A huge number of consumers shopped online for the first time in 2020 and in 2021 until the vaccines hit the shelves, they will continue to buy online. Breaking that habit and convenience is simply deemed impossible. Online is the next normal and it will stay beyond.


Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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