What you should expect from ecommerce in 2021?
We have all had first-hand proof of the growth of ecommerce in 2020. Due to the pandemic, you probably did more of your shopping online than you ever had before.
And it is almost certain you know a lot of other people who also used their computers or smartphones as shop windows and payment counters much more often than they did in previous years.
It’s likely then that the following statistics will come as no surprise to you: according to an eMarketer study, 18.0% of all retail sales last year took place via ecommerce, which means an astounding 27.6% ecommerce growth rate compared to 2019.
Very well, but — that was last year. What are the ecommerce trends for 2021?
Let us look at a few of them and how they might impact your business.
1. Ecommerce will continue to grow, but at a slower rate. Many businesses massively pulled forward their move into ecommerce to 2020, doing in less than one year what they planned to do in one, two, or even three years. Therefore in 2021 ecommerce will not grow as much as it did last year. But “not as much” still means a lot — the same eMarketer study cited before forecasts a 14.3% ecommerce growth for 2021.
This means that you probably will not expand your online business as much as you did last year, but that you can still grow it to some extent.
2. The geographical area where ecommerce grew most in 2020 was Latin America — 60% more products were sold online there than had been in 2019. According to an Euromonitor survey cited by Forbes, this trend will continue into 2021, with a 16% increase in online sales.
So, if you are considering expanding your ecommerce into Latin American markets, you are certainly on a promising path.
3. That same Euromonitor survey says the product category that saw the highest ecommerce growth in 2020 was food and drinks, where there was a 53% increase from the year before. This ecommerce trend is expected to continue, though with a much more moderate figure — 8% growth is expected in 2021.
If this is you, chances are you have already grown your ecommerce massively last year. Now you can probably optimize it by investigating new delivery methods to decrease last-mile costs.
4. Social ecommerce is on the (rather steep) rise. Ever more businesses are using social media platforms to reach out to prospects, build a relationship with them and allow them to do their online shopping without leaving the social media platform.
According to this study, the global social commerce market is estimated to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 31.4% in the next seven years.
Of course, social commerce, being inextricably linked to social media, is subject to the same controversy as the latter is — how ethical is it to keep your prospects and customers bound to their screens, unceasingly looking for the next dopamine hit caused by new likes and messages?
So, social commerce is definitely a meaningful trend in the future of ecommerce. But you might want to draw a careful strategy and make sure you follow this trend in a way that benefits not only your business, but your customers also.
Because for socially aware companies, people matter as much as profit.