TechDogs-"5 Ecommerce Trends To Watch For In 2021"


5 Ecommerce Trends To Watch For In 2021

By TechDogs

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In the past year, consumers have molded and reshaped the digital commerce landscape into a glorious (and monstrous) digital-physical multiverse. They bought items online that they traditionally only purchased in physical stores. They demanded flexible omnichannel shopping options, expecting stores to seamlessly connect online and offline channels into one glorious physical-digital shopping megastore. They demanded safety, choosing options like buy-online-pick-up-in-store (BOPIS) and curbside pickup. They abandoned loyalty to long-time brands in favor of retailers that successfully had their Ecommerce ducks lined up in a row. The retailers that are rising to the challenge of this new Ecommerce landscape are meeting customers at exactly the right time and place during their shopping journey. They’re the retailers who will thrive in 2021 and beyond. Here are trends five trends that are paving the way for the future of Ecommerce.
TechDogs-Eat Sleep Shop Online Repeat-"5 Ecommerce Trends To Watch For In 2021"
In 2020, online shopping dominated the retail landscape, with the US realizing 10 years’ growth in 10 weeks—a phenomenon that McKinsey calls “The Quickening.”

TechDogs-“The Quickening”-Graph Showing US E-commerce penetration, %25 - Bank Of America; Forrester Analytics; ShawSpring Research; US Department Of Commerce; McKinsey Analysis
2021 has ushered in a new era for retailers who must adapt to a variety of changes that directly stem from rapid shifts in consumer needs and preferences. Below, we cover five key Ecommerce trends for 2021 that are a direct result of the apocalyptic changes that came out of 2020. As Willy Wonka once said to a wide-eyed group of children, “Strap yourselves in tight! This time I'm going to open her up and see what she can really do!”

Trend 1: People Are Buying More Stuff Online Than Ever Before

Sometimes we wonder, how would Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory perform in today’s world? Would we be able to get Wonka's Whipple-Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight on Amazon Prime? Just something to wonder about. Back to Ecommerce trends, last August, McKinsey reported that consumers were flocking to online channels to buy everything from medicine to groceries to alcohol. In fact, every single retail category saw growth that ranged from 4% (Entertainment) to 44% (OTC Medicine). Consumers expanded both the amount of stuff they bought online and the categories of products they purchased, with McKinsey reporting a 15-30% growth in consumers who purchase online for most categories.

TechDogs-Trend 1: Report Showing The Statistics Of People Buying More Stuff "Online"-Consumers Using Online Channels For Purchase Before Covid-19
TechDogs’ Opinion: In 2020, consumers learned how to leverage digital channels to purchase necessary household items, groceries, medicine and just about everything else but unfortunately not Swudge- the grass made of soft, minty sugar. While the need to stay safe combined with stay-at-home orders, limited store hours and out-of-stock items motivated this change, the new behaviors are likely to stick around. Thus, retailers who haven’t retooled their Ecommerce approach so that it meets the new demand for everything-always-all-the-time-online will get left behind.

Trend 2: Global Ecommerce Sales, Fueled By US Shoppers, Are Skyrocketing

In case you’re wondering if the pandemic-inspired surge in online shopping will start slowing down now that vaccines are curbing the spread of the virus in some countries, we’re here to say that doesn’t appear to be happening at all. A recent Adobe report predicted that global Ecommerce sales will exceed $4 trillion in 2021. US shoppers account for a quarter of this spending, implying that US consumers are getting more comfortable purchasing products globally. Should we order our lickable wallpaper now?

TechDogs’ Opinion:  Many consumers across the globe dipped their toes into Ecommerce spending for the first time ever in 2020. There’s no looking back. Consumers, having grown comfortable with shopping from global retailers, will continue to do so. Global retailers can capitalize on reaching newly engaged digital shoppers by connecting the physical and digital shopping experience through technology such as unified commerce platforms, mobile apps and loyalty programs that turn the online and offline shopping experience into one seamless shopping journey. 

Trend 3: The Click And Collect Method Of Ecommerce Is Here To Stay

One of the biggest trends that emerged in 2020—and that we’ll continue to see throughout 2021—was the consumer embrace of Click and Collect shopping methods. What if we could click and collect a mug of hot chocolate from the chocolate river? The Click and Connect approach enable consumers to purchase something online and collect the prepaid order in person. eMarketer reports that US Click-and-Collect Sales grew by 107% in 2020 and will continue to sustain double-digit growth over the next four years.

Writes eMarketer, “Of the nearly $200 billion in new Ecommerce spending in the US in 2020, $37.44 billion came from click and collect. Even though click and collect was only 9.1% of total retail Ecommerce, it accounted for nearly 20% of Ecommerce’s growth.”

TechDogs-Trend 3: The "Click And Collect Method" Of Ecommerce-Graph Of US Click And Collect-Sales 2019-2024 - %25 OF Retail E-Commerce Sales
TechDogs’ Opinion: Over the past year, consumers became experts at leveraging Ecommerce channels for local purchases, embracing Click and Collect methods like BOPIS (buy-online-pickup-in-store), curbside pickup and app-based food ordering at chains like Starbucks and Taco Bell. This is an interesting phenomenon that will continue to eat away at sales from pureplay Ecommerce retailers (we’re looking at you, Amazon!) because it enables consumers to enjoy an Ecommerce experience, while shopping locally.

Trend 4: Consumers Are Increasingly Becoming Multi-device Shoppers

The story of multi-device shopping is the story of mobile retail commerce which, along with all other forms of digital commerce, grew a whole lot in 2020. Mobile retail sales were up 31.5% last year and are expected to increase another 29% in 2021 with mobile retail revenue expected to surpass $432 billion by 2022. Way back in the before times of 2017, customers were already using multiple devices to complete one purchase, with DeviceAtlas reporting that 65% of shoppers started the buying process on a smartphone versus just 25% on a PC/Laptop and 11% on a tablet.

TechDogs-Trend 4: Consumers As -"Multi-device Shoppers"-3D Image Of Multi-Device Path To Purchase
TechDogs’ Opinion: Multi-device shopping is a natural evolution in Ecommerce. It speaks to the larger trend of unified commerce where the physical and digital worlds meet. Consumers access the internet across multiple devices, buy what they need and select the best way (for them) to obtain their merchandise. This means that retailers must have mobile-friendly websites and a connected omnichannel approach to communicating with their customers. While retailers may see the shopping journey as fragmented, scattered across multiple devices, channels and touchpoints—consumers see it as one journey from intent (e.g., “I could really use a new set of cotton sheets”) to purchase (e.g., “I’ll use my Target app to browse their selection and order my new sheets”) to pick up (“I’ll have Target deliver my sheets to my door or “I want my sheets today, so I’ll go pick them up in the store”).

Trend 5: Social Media + Ecommerce = Social Commerce

Social media platforms are increasingly integrating shopping technology directly into the social feed, thus creating a Frankenstein-like convergence of two trends—the rise of social media usage and the rise of Ecommerce purchases. In 2020, about 18.3% of Facebook users made a purchase on the platform via Facebook Shops, a feature that enabled small retailers bring their storefronts online.

TechDogs-Trend 5: "Social Media + Ecommerce = Social Commerce"-Facebook Launched Facebook Shops—A Mobile Platform Where Businesses Can Create Online Stores For Free
Instagram Shopping, launched in 2019, facilitates retail purchases directly from within Instagram. Instagram’s unique ability to attract shoppers and influencers makes it the perfect Ecommerce destination for its users. Now retailers can create an Instagram storefront that showcases some or all of their products and enables users to make a purchase without leaving the Instagram app. Instagram has over 800M monthly active users, 60% of whom say they discover new products via the app. It’s a natural progression for people who browse the top social media platforms to begin—and now end—their shopping journeys.

TechDogs’ Opinion: The days of having one Ecommerce destination (e.g., your website) are numbered for retailers who want to reach the full gamut of online shoppers. Ecommerce-enabled shops on social platforms like Facebook and Instagram present an easy and convenient way for consumers to browse and purchase products from whatever device they happen to be using. Like other Ecommerce trends that grew exponentially in 2020, social commerce is being embraced by consumers and will continue to thrive throughout 2021.


Just like the numerous options of candies, chocolates and gum at Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, the top five Ecommerce shopping trends listed above all share one common theme—they’re all about options. Consumers want choices (and convenience)—in where they shop, how they shop, what devices they use and how they collect their items. The pandemic pushed consumers past their online shopping comfort zone but an understanding of all their options is what’s motivating consumers to embrace new Ecommerce approaches throughout 2021.

Shoppers are also beginning to view local retailers from a global, Ecommerce lens, purchasing items on store websites, shoppable social media storefronts and retail apps that allow them to pick up their items at a store location with little or no waiting. As the 2021 holiday shopping season approaches, consumers will continue to leverage their newly honed Ecommerce shopping skills to drive what will likely be a very busy (and lucrative) Ecommerce holiday shopping season.

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