The presence of ecommerce has taken on such a huge role in our lives over the past year as the pandemic pushed almost everything we do into digital.
Brands and retailers have either had to up their game when it comes to their ecommerce platform, or actually create their first ecommerce platform (yes, some big brands still don’t have their own ecommerce site – either due to legal restrictions from previous contractual agreements, or just because they “don’t do online”).
Either way, as a coherent group, ecommerce players set fire to previous sales records and created records that more than a year ago would look absurd. For example, Etsy’s Q2 2020 sales spiked 146%. These sorts of numbers have not been uncommon. Whether a brand’s weapon of choice is Adobe’s Magento, the popular and cheap Shopify, or premium ecommerce platform Salesforce Commerce Cloud,
With such forceful momentum from last year pushing its way through the beginning of 2021, where is ecommerce heading this year? And although vaccination campaigns have gotten underway, we still have no clear sight of the light emerging from the end of the tunnel. But retailers have reopened tentatively with limited capacity and health and safety regulations.
And so the key role that ecommerce has played over the last year is going to be just as significant this year. And with this in mind, we should take a look at some of the key ecommerce trends that are emerging in 2021, and are likely to be core throughout the rest of the year.
2021 is emerging as a year for voice commerce with its value set to skyrocket to $40 billion by the end of the year. Contrast that to 3 years ago when digital commerce from smart speakers totaled just $2 billion. With tech getting smarter and learning faster, around one-in-three American consumers are now talking to their robots to make purchases.
With that in mind, to give a greater edge to your brand’s ecommerce strategy, having a place for voice tech is an ideal link to customers who want the convenience of contact-free, and hands-free, commerce.
The digital square, consisting of those platforms where we gather to communicate, has undergone extensive transformation over the last five to ten years; an urban regeneration project in which the spaces for conversation and communication has been flanked by coffee shops, popup shops and malls inside of skyscrapers.
In other words, social media platforms have been redesigned to allow commerce to envelope our public interactions online. Facebook Shops, Instagram Shop, and TikTok all allow companies to advertise and allow consumers to buy via their platforms.
From now until 2027, social commerce is set to boom at a rate of 30% each year, smashing the value of $600 billion. According to one ecommerce director, Lucy Hawkes, “In 2021, forward-thinking retailers will embrace popular messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, which have been chronically underused as ecommerce channels.”
By the end of 2021 the sum of just over $7 billion is set to be thrown into developing artificial intelligence for ecommerce retailers. Accelerating into a default position are personalized recommendations to bulk up the capabilities of chatbots, which in turn frees up time for sales staff to invest their energies into more useful and creative tasks.
Take Salesforce Commerce Cloud as an example. It uses clever chatbots as first responders for consumer questions and queries (is Item A available? Where is my order? Can I change the address of my order?) but if the conversation gets too complex (whether it be from confusing language or a complicated query) then the bot transfers to a live agent who can bring a human touch to the proceedings to finalize a consumer solution.
The trends highlighted here stem from the meteoric growth of ecommerce that we witnessed and took part in from 2020. And with a good digital strategy in place, you may be able to forge a fruitful path to more customers in an era that has added millions more ecommerce shoppers.