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Key Findings from Top Ecommerce Trends in 2021 [Divante report]

The era of eCommerce is in full swing and we have all noticed the rise of online shopping. Even supermarkets are rapidly expanding their online stores and want to encourage customers further to purchase. People are searching and exploring products online definitely more than before, so it is worthwhile to dive into the world of eCommerce and discover the trends that occur in 2021. 

So, since eCommerce has taken over, it’s important to consider what trends have been key to this market or which ones have greatly impacted its growth. Therefore, we encourage you to read this article, or the entire report from Divante on eCommerce 2021 trends.

The most important trends in 2020

Let’s start from 2020. There were so many trends in 2020 but the 12 most important ones were about:

  1. Artificial Intelligence – implementing software that reasons and learns
  2. Social commerce – Shopping directly through social media
  3. Mobile apps – Online stores on mobile devices
  4. Mobile payments – Encrypted payments without cash or cards
  5. Security – Protection against the bad guys 
  6. Internet of Things – Data from millions of digitized devices
  7. Content marketing – Standing out online with superb content
  8. Marketplaces – Multi-vendor stores and sites
  9. Cryptocurrencies – Distributed ledgers and blockchain design 
  10. Big Data – Mining data for competitive advantage
  11. Virtual Reality – Novelty visual experiences with genuine potential
  12. Augmented Reality – Showing shoppers a different perspective

All of these trends affected 2021, but not to the same degree. Some of them had more impact and some had less. Let’s see how that played out.

What about trends in 2021?

It does not surprise some trends became more critical in 2021 than in 2020.

source: eCommerce trends report from Divante

AI and social commerce have been identified as the hottest trends. Since AI and Big Data make up two of the top five trends, information has become king. It was more important than ever to protect that information as the global pandemic has created new opportunities for cyberattacks. 

On the other hand, some trends became less important. 

source: eCommerce trends report from Divante

Cryptocurrencies and virtual reality lost the most popularity in 2021, followed closely by mobile apps. Only a small percentage of respondents thought security and social commerce would be less critical in 2021 than in 2020.

Therefore, the essential trends were identified as:

  • Social commerce
  • AI
  • Marketplaces
  • Security

source: eCommerce trends report from Divante

Social commerce

Social commerce has been one of the most important trends. It was in the spotlight because it changed the way consumers shopped. Many facts support its importance. For example, the total value of social commerce sales in China was 10x higher than in the US. What’s more, 1 in 4 business owners sold through Facebook, and 87% of e-commerce shoppers believed that social media helped them make a purchase decision.

Marketplaces

Marketplaces have been a lifeline for many retailers and have been among the top trends for the last few years. Here are just a few examples of why.

  • Smaller retailers were facing huge declines in in-store sales, so they moved online to stay afloat.
  • The very high availability of products encouraged the use of, for example, Allegro, which was the largest IPO in Poland when it went public.
  • Because sales reps couldn’t visit their customers, marketplaces connect manufacturers, distributors, and end users.

AI

AI is, of course, a must-see trend item. As a result, more than 42 percent of enterprises used at least one AI technology in 2021. Moreover, 18 percent of them planned to implement it within the next two years. In turn, 63 percent of business units that have implemented AI have seen an increase in revenue.

Security

The theft of valuable customer data, ransomware hacking attacks on businesses large and small, business disruptions… so many threats exist. That’s why a massive shift in the way we work in response to the global pandemic was needed. Security has long been among the top priorities for companies building e-commerce. 

Fortunately, more than 76% of online consumers a year ago already considered data privacy and security to be top priority factors when deciding where to shop.

Priorities in 2021

While trends for 2021 were clearly outlined, some priorities also emerged. We can point out, for example:

  • Faster deliveries – Offering home delivery was a must. However, it was not about the deliveries themselves, but also about their speed, so that customers would not wait for, say, three weeks. 
  • Retain current customers – Fashion companies in particular need to build loyalty through experiences, events and brand interactions. Therefore, the priority was to retain current customers and maximize CLV. 
  • Sell online – Only 1% of car sales in 2019 were via eCommerce. Therefore, manufacturers needed to identify why people didn’t choose eCommerce for their automotive needs and solve these problems.
  • Support healthcare – It was also a priority to support telehealth and telemedicine to ease the burden on GPs and health centers.  App development is a big opportunity, for the future.
  • Perceive being online as an advantage– The priority for 2021 was also to continue to create buzz around major releases even if industry events are forced online.
  • Easy buying – Students should be able to buy supplies, such as textbooks, stationery and learning materials, with a single click, directly from the school’s website or learning platform.

In conclusion

2021 brings us many challenges, trends, and new priorities. The focus was on unique aspects, and some of those went away.

source: eCommerce trends report from Divante

There was a definite focus on developing social media sales and indeed, we all saw an uptick in online sales and the development of marketplaces. There has also been an increase in the use of AI technology, and those who have not used it have at least made plans to implement it in the future. 

We have become more aware of the risks online and have focused a lot on security and enhancing data privacy. Besides, we were accompanied by mobile payments, big data, content marketing, AR, IoT, mobile apps, VR, and cryptocurrencies. 

In a nutshell, this is what 2021 looked like.

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