Since the dawn of the internet, we have seen many significant changes in the evolution of eCommerce. Not only changes as far as technological functionality but as a utilitarian need that has reshaped our culture in so many unique ways, increasing freedom for consumers. Retail, like so many other industries, was forever changed by the internet. Let’s explore emerging eCommerce trends in 2021 to increase sales.
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The most significant change of the internet has been access. Not only information but the ability to now access products from all areas of the planet from our keyboards. Now we can do it from our phones and with voice search technology.
Just in the last couple of decades shopping has moved from local to international. Shifts in technology continue to innovate so that shopping online is quicker and more convenient. Choosing and receiving our products from anywhere has changed global commerce forever.
3pl logistics and b2b partnerships have advanced the ability of 24-hour final mile delivery service, increasing rapid delivery. What was once unfathomable is now a reality.
The capability of shopping through social media apps with virtual shops is easier than ever as well, and brands are starting to be more front and centre, reaching broader audiences and gaining loyal followers.
With these rapid changes and developing technologies, we are always on the lookout for the next best integrations to increase choice and convenience.
Understanding eCommerce trends in 2021 to increase order fulfilment will have a positive impact on your sales should you implement them.
Voice Search Ecommerce Trends
There has been a rapid increase in Bluetooth and smart speaker devices in homes, especially in 2020. The global market for this technology reached £3.29 billion in 2020 and is expected to increase to £4.92 billion by the end of 2021.
If you’re one of the minorities who are not too familiar with this yet, the definition of voice search means using speech to ask questions and give commands to compatible devices. Some of the most popular smart speaker devices in homes are currently the Google Nest, Apple Homepod, and Amazon Alexa.
Consumers appreciate the freedom to multitask while having easy access to information at the ready. The most popular places for smart speakers in the home include the living room (52%), bedroom (25%), and kitchen (22%).
A recent survey has discovered that nearly 50% of people are now researching products using voice search. This statistic includes both smart speakers as well as smartphone devices. When someone asks for a particular product on smartphones, 70% of voice search results are HTTPS websites. So, what does this mean for retailers and marketing?
This means that optimising your site for “questions” as opposed to keywords will garner better results for search queries in 2021 and beyond. Keywords are singular whereas questions are much longer.
“41% of people who own a voice-activated speaker say it feels like talking to a friend or another person”
Because people can easily engage with a smart speaker as they would with a friend, they are more comfortable asking questions as opposed to simply searching popular keywords on Google. They also prefer it because it is quicker than typing.
So, it’s time to get creative. It is time to come up with longer keyword phrases that are more conversational. For example, someone on a desktop at home might type “make chocolate cake” or “chocolate cake recipe.” Now, if they use voice search, they are more likely to say, “Hey Alexa, how do I make a chocolate cake at home?” Therefore, it would be prudent to start coming up with longtail keyword phrases that best suit your specific industry.
The difference matters. A recent “engine watch report” confirmed that search queries have increased 61% over the past year with the phrases who, what, where, and how.
Voice search is going to accelerate at an even more rapid rate over the next couple of years. Make sure your business is prepared for this very important eCommerce trend.
Virtual Reality Retail Trends
Many may only think of virtual reality as a means for gaming, however, the evolution of VR technology will completely transform the retail industry. Virtual reality is going to raise the bar for online sales, attracting customers with a more immersive and unique shopping experience. It already is in fact.
Cart abandonment online continues to be one of the biggest problems for eCommerce stores. 41 different studies have found that the average cart abandonment rate is just under 70%. What has been learned from this is that companies need to do more to create a better online shopping experience for customers. One that allows them to better interact with products.
Virtual Product Ecommerce Trends
Many big companies like Sony and Samsung along with many other private companies are battling to take over the virtual reality space. Their goal is to serve the thriving community of gamers and virtual enthusiasts alike, but also to serve both the eCommerce and improve the in-store buying experience as well.
One such company that has already embraced using this technology is IKEA, the Swedish furniture giant. On Ikea’s app they have built-in VR that allows users to test IKEA’s products in real-time. Customers can select a range of products that are sold in the store. When the customer selects their chosen item, the app scans the room and creates a 3D visualisation of the item.
Courtesy of IKEA
This way the customer sees precisely how the item already looks in their home. This could be anything from couches to lamps or beds. This is ground-breaking technology and has helped IKEA to benefit monetarily from this tech. As of this year, IKEA is valued at £12 billion. So, how about eCommerce stores?
Ecommerce companies are increasing partnerships with VR & AR companies to improve the user experience for testing their products. One such company that has embraced this technology is Speedo. They sell everything from swimwear to swim accessories and swim toys. As you can see below, their app allows the user to select the item they want (in this case, swim goggles).
This capability now brings the customer directly to the product. An interaction that is cutting edge and prolific, adding immense value to the customer’s buying experience and eventual decision.
“VR is going to become ubiquitous to the point of becoming an integrated expectation of the buying experience. Brands that want to connect with customers today and tomorrow need to move now on AR.”
-Ben Houston, Founder, Threekit
Visual Ecommerce Trends
Finally, one of the biggest eCommerce trends that will be increasing in 2021 is visual commerce. Isn’t all commerce visual? What does that mean?
Well, yes, using high-quality imagery and video to sell products is nothing new. However, every field has its innovations.
Visual commerce is broad terminology that communicates a diverse number of creative ways to employ visual media. The concept is to leverage compelling visual content to enhance products. This means combining pictures, videos, and even virtual and augmented reality to help consumers connect better with products. This assists in boosting conversion rates and revenue with smarter visual solutions.
Online companies can use modern software tools for both 2D and 3D images to increase the overall look and feel of their offerings. This includes AR product configurations, 3d product visualisations, and web configurations.
You can amplify your brand in more creative ways such as this example from Bugaboo. The option allows users to change the product colour while also allowing extreme zoom features. The control and easy personalisation make seeing the product a more interactive experience.
Another good example is Under Armour. A shoe company that prides itself on its high-quality manufacturing. Rather than simply showing a shoe, they broke a part the layers, giving complete transparency to the customer.
Simple and effective solutions like this can easily boost your brand’s impact on customers.
360 Degree Images
Innovation in visual commerce has expanded with the implementation of 360-degree images. One such company known as Webrotate helps eCommerce businesses and marketplace platforms to create stunning mock-ups and designs for their products. Their publishing and maintenance workflow is designed for a product photographer, 3D designer, marketing manager, or web developer.
It is available as a software program. It has free plugins for Shopify, Magento, and WordPress.
One such company that also helps eCommerce platforms visually in a unique way is Adsmurai. They process user-generated content for marketing campaigns to help with social proof for social commerce. Their high-quality cutting-edge picture quality helps brand websites to stand out.
Presenting products these ways are more alluring and are a key driver of visual eCommerce. Customers will be more enticed to buy without the necessity to see the items in person.
In 2021, things are rapidly changing. If you want to keep engaging your audience as much as possible, your brand needs to adapt and get your message across in extremely eye-catching ways. Being aware of these eCommerce trends should take top priority when deciding your marketing strategy.
Success in eCommerce requires embracing technology. Great products sell themselves but only if your audience sees them. Make your visuals just as good as your products. If you’re interested in how Selazar can help you with your product fulfilment needs with our tech-first forward approach, set up a discovery call with us.
Matt is the writer for Selazar where he provides useful content on logistics, technology, marketing, and strategy for eCommerce businesses. His goal is to help business owners and retailers stay updated on the latest trends while also learning the best practices to expand their operations. If you are interested in getting in touch with Matt, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org