The Future of eCommerce in 2021

ECommerce is at an all-time high. Lockdowns, travel bans, and retail closures forced the consumer online, and the world’s largest retailers soon followed, in some cases selling direct to consumer (DTC) for the first time.


To better compete with marketplaces and retail giants, brands are also investing in richer, more personalized experiences. Humanizing their brand also aids in customer retention, now a top priority as acquisition costs rise, along with uncertainty in digital advertising. What are the main eCommerce trends that are going to change the market scenario this year?


CONTENT


There is a need to support the product proposition, not only with cold data but by also developing a storytelling component. This means integrating into the product offer a descriptive component made up of text, interactive videos, and, increasingly, voice content. Rich content helps to give a more detailed perception of the product, making it better known to the customer and contextualizing it within a certain purchasing experience.


The certainty of the purchase is linked to the fact that the conditions of return in online purchases are not always optimal. The consumer wants to ensure that the product they purchased is what they want, so they do not have to return it and perhaps pay extra for doing so.


SOCIAL COMMERCE


Social media is a very powerful marketing tool, and, for some time now, brands have understood the potential of these touchpoints as an additional sales channel.

Although Facebook and Instagram have not yet integrated the ability to finalize purchases directly into their platforms, the path has been laid out. Instagram, for example, has recently extended its one-click functionality to shopping in reels, the short videos lasting up to 15 seconds that are very popular among Generation Z users.

TikTok, on the other hand, has sharpened its tools in this sector, thanks to its partnership with Shopify that integrates the technological elements that encourage impulse purchases: links in bio, fast checkout, and integration with social payment tools.


AI & ANALYTICS


The option to track customers during their purchase path in real-time, through machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies, ensures an increasingly effective personalization of the ad. The analysis of the huge amount of information these touchpoints produce, implemented through mathematical algorithms, allows marketers to operate toward the greatest efficiency. This data helps in identifying and anticipating sales trends in different geographies and targeting the brand’s marketing messages.


RETARGETING


The conversion path is almost never linear. More often it is a highly varied and heterogeneous path, influenced both by the stage of the funnel where the brand intercepts the user and by the different ways the user experiences the advertising message. Retargeting effectiveness lies in the brand’s ability to intercept the needs of a user who has already interacted with the company, through one or more contact points, in various moments preceding the actual purchase.


LOCAL INVENTORY ADS


Locally available product listings use digital channels to target the potential customers nearby. Local Inventory Ad campaigns include the availability of a product in a given store and the location of a use near that store. Local Inventory Ads offer an excellent possibility of conversion, as they are created on the basis of explicit user behavior. In the past, a user searched online for a specific product, or using implicit behavior, because they, at that moment, are in the catchment area of the store and the product could actually be of interest to them.


Marketplaces are standing out for their ability to attract users and offer services that many brands alone would not be able to support. Today, 50 percent of eCommerce revenue from the sale o products is generated through marketplaces. Food, design, home furnishings, and fashion are the most active sectors on these platforms, with the use not only of generalist online stores but also niche marketplaces that, especially in the world of luxury and fashion, are having great success.

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