What the Future Holds: Here’s What E-Commerce Business May Look Like in 2021

e-commerce business

This year turned the world upside down in ways we could not imagine just before the start of 2020. Think about it for a second.

Did you think that the world would shut down because of a global pandemic? That kids would have to learn at home or that you needed to wear a mask in public places?

One of the ways people needed to adapt to such dramatic changes was to shop online. E-commerce sales jumped by over 30% in the third quarter of the year. If you have an e-commerce business, that’s great news.

The level of sales reached this year wasn’t expected until 2022. There are sure to be more eCommerce changes before then.

Read on to find out what to expect in 2021 in the world of e-commerce.

1.Mobile Domination

In 2019, it became clear that mobile devices were the future of e-commerce. That trend accelerated in 2020 as well. On Black Friday, retails purchases with mobile devices made up 40% of all online spending.

That’s a 25% increase from the year before.

It wasn’t just Amazon and big retailers seeing online sales jump. Consumers wanted to support small businesses that struggled to stay open during the pandemic. Small businesses e-commerce sales surged 545%.

How will that impact your e-commerce business in 2021? Your site has to be ready to accept mobile sales, even if you have a small retail store.

You can expect to see a change in how people use mobile devices to find your business. They’re going to turn to voice search instead of typing inquiries.

You can prepare your site by thinking of the most common questions your customers have to find your business online. The content on your site should answer those questions.

2.More People Sign up for Subscriptions

Consumers are turning to subscription-based e-commerce businesses because of convenience. They get a steady stream of their favorite products at a discount.

Your customer retention rate jumps because customers are tied to subscriptions. You don’t need to work as hard to get new customers. This can help your business because you can easily predict your income and manage your cash flow.

You can take advantage of this trend by offering a subscription for the products customers buy often.

3.AI Takes Over

Artificial intelligence is taking over e-commerce. The trend started over the last couple of years with automated chatbots and personalized recommendations.

How can you use artificial intelligence in your business? Take a look at the customer journey. Look at how your customers interact with your brand before and after making a purchase.

There are opportunities to use artificial intelligence in marketing, customer service, and sales. You can look at multiple tools to use for each department, or you can use one solution like Sitecore.

This is an e-commerce solution that creates a customer experience. You should read more on Sitecore commerce to see how it can work with your business.

4.B2B Ecommerce Increases

Consumers weren’t the only ones that had to adapt to a new shopping environment. Businesses had to make significant adjustments, too. Most businesses went remote, which transformed the purchasing process.

Stakeholders in an organization couldn’t meet with sales reps in-person, so everything had to be done online. B2B e-commerce sales reached over $6 trillion in 2020 and that will continue into 2021.

The pandemic isn’t the only thing fueling this trend. Millennials have a lot of input when it comes to purchasing decisions. They’re more likely to buy online than their older counterparts.

B2B businesses have to use digital marketing tactics like content marketing to reach decision-makers.

5.Visual Promotion Matters

Do you have a brand presence online? In other words, do you use the same type of visuals in your marketing collateral? You should have the same colors, fonts, and style in your marketing materials.

This isn’t a tip for influencers, but for all e-commerce businesses. Why? Brand consistency increases revenue by as much as 23%.

Once you have a consistent look, you can leverage it to create online sales. You can create visual ads on social media channels like Instagram and Pinterest to drive traffic to your site.

6.Increased Adoption of Dynamic Pricing

One of the pitfalls of e-commerce is that it’s easy for customers to find the same product at a lower price. That’s why large e-commerce retailers started to use dynamic pricing.

This is where the price that a customer sees fluctuates based on what a business thinks customers are willing to pay. This is used in the airline industry, where prices for flights change on a daily basis.

More businesses are using dynamic pricing strategies in an attempt to gain market share. If you decide to use dynamic pricing, you have to make sure that your business remains profitable.

7.People Shop by Their Values

Your customers are savvy and self-aware. They have a deep understanding of their values and they shop accordingly. About 71% of customers want to buy from companies that share their personal values.

As an e-commerce business, you need to know what you stand for and communicate that regularly. That makes your business more attractive to shoppers.

Know What to Expect for Your E-Commerce Business

A lot has happened in the past year, and the future is uncertain. What we do know is that e-commerce won’t be the same.

Your e-commerce business needs to be ready to meet customers’ needs at every step of the buyer’s journey. Your business has to be mobile-friendly and deliver personalized recommendations to buyers.

Customers demand a lot from e-commerce businesses. If you’re positioned to meet these demands, your business will soar.

Head over to the Business Skills section of this site to sharpen the rest of your business skills.

About the Author: Mike

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