Ecommerce Trends In 2021

by Lucy Robinson

If there's one thing we can all agree on, it's that 2020 has been an absolute shambles from start to finish...

But, despite all of the bad that occured this year, 2020 was a great year for eCommerce and innovation. Businesses around the world have adapted the ways in which they operate, found new ways to meet customer needs and quickly created solutions to problems that never existed before.

To name a few things that happened in 2020, this year saw a rise in businesses going online, largely forced by a global pandemic and high street closures. There was an increase in demand for online takeaway services such as JustEat and UberEats, as well as food retail services such as Ocado, who formed a new partnership with M&S. Online booking systems became more prominent, as did food ordering apps for restaurants and bars. Online retailers such as Amazon thrived, whilst in-store only retailers such as Primark took a dive in profits during lockdown. Tik Tok surfaced as a fantastic opportunity for advertisers and other social media platforms became more 'shoppable'.

With a new year, comes new possibilities and there is a lot that we can expect in 2021. In this article, we will discuss some of the top eCommerce trends expected for next year!

Voice Search SEO

With the rise of new mobile/tablet technology and home assistants such as Google Home and the Amazon Echo, more users are conducting internet searches via their microphones rather than their keyboards.

This means that in additional to traditional SEO, websites need to be optimised for search queries that are likely to be spoken, rather than written. For example, as well as 'Nicest restaurants Lincoln', you need to optimise for phrases such as 'where is the nicest place for food in Lincoln?'.

If you aren't optimising for voice searches, then you could miss out on being found by customers.

voice search seo

Shoppable Social Media

In November, Instagram confused users when our camera and activity shortcuts were replaced with reels and a shop tab. It is clear that this move is pushing towards a more 'shoppable' social media which makes it easier than ever for users to make in-app purchases. This follows other updates, such as product tagging and the 'swipe up' story feature.

Social media channels need to be careful in balancing customer experience and advertising, as a drop in users could decrease the platforms value to businesses. However, it is expected that platforms are moving further in this direction. 2021 may also be the year that Facebook Shops is introduced to the UK, as this is only currently available in the US.

Shoppable social media

A Rise In Buy Now, Pay Later

According to Finder, Buy now pay later (BNPL) is the fastest growing online payment method in the UK, growing at a rate of 39% year on year! Klarna is currently the most popular buy now pay later platform, with over 450,000 UK users.

Not only BNPL offer your customers convenience and make a purchase that they might not have been able to make without,  but it also sets you apart from competitors who aren't offering BNPL. Finder found that nearly 9.5 million Brits said they wouldn't buy from retailers that don’t offer BNPL options at the checkout!

Iocea are partners with Klarna, which means that we offer Klarna checkout to all of our website customers.

klarna website

Extended Reality (XR)

In 2021, we may see more use of virtual reality and augmented reality technology in business.

XR can be used to allow customers to experience a product or service without even needing to move! For example, IKEA introduced IKEA Reality Kitchen Experience which allows users to visualise how their kitchen would look with particular decor and furniture. It offers a level of customer convenience that hasn't been offered before.

VR can also be used for special experiences, such as virtual museums, as well as training for staff. It can also be used in communications, allowing meetings to take place virtually.

virtual reality in 2021

A Further Increase In Mobile Traffic

If you thought we all spent too much time on our phones already, then get used to it as this is set to rise even more! According to Finances Online, sales from mobile commerce are predicted to rise by 15% by the end of 2021. 

Mobile sales are expected to account for 73% of all ecommerce sales in 2021, which is huge! So, if your website has poor mobile site speed or isn't responsive to all mobile devices, then you are restricting your business potential. 

Iocea offer full responsive and mobile-first website design, so that your customers don't have to miss out or shop elsewhere.


Iocea: Leading eCommerce Innovation

Things are changing faster than ever and for us, simply helping our clients to keep up with this isn’t good enough. Innovation is the driving force behind our business, which is why we want to make sure that we are consistently one step ahead of the game, thinking of new ways for businesses to evolve online, without needing to be prompted by change to do so.

We offer a variety of services for both eCommerce and in-store businesses, including digital marketing, transactional website development, static website development, design and software such as our Konvert exit-intent technology and our Olive order management system.

Click here to visit our website and find out more about how we can help your business to grow.