eCommerce 2021: 6 Trends to Watch Out for This Year

Written by Harry Bray

January 12, 2021

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2020 has been an absolute roller coaster of a ride and depending on which side of the fence you sit on you’ll most likely have different feelings about the year Coronavirus changed everything.

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Experts estimate that the pandemic has sped up eCommerce development by 5 years or more


It’s been a tough year for independent retailers who have endured the iron fist of lockdowns come down on their industry with restriction after restriction. Last year saw an influx of indie retailers expand their horizons and transition from their tradition brick & mortar environment towards eCommerce.

While 2020 has been a breakthrough year of innovation for indie retailers, 2021 will pose more challenges and opportunities to grow their businesses further!

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the 6 eCommerce trends to watch out for in 2021 so that you can be ahead of the curve!

An Increase in Flexible Payment Options

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With more people opting to shop online in a post-pandemic world, it’ll be no surprise when a host of new payment options become widely available to consumers. 2021 will see an increase in retailers offering an alternative, third-party payment options to take full advantage of their spending customer base.

The ability to make purchases via e-wallet and BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later) programs will add a whole new dimension towards customer convenience, satisfaction and cart conversion rate.

BNPL provides a host of benefits for the consumer and business. It allows customers to affordably spread the cost and increases cart value by encouraging larger purchases!

Social Shopping

Social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok and YouTube have a huge audience available at their fingertips, 24.7. So, it comes as no surprise that companies such as Instagram and Facebook have announced their intention to add new business features this year.

Independent retailers can already link their Shopify store with social media platforms to promote and tag products from their store into their social marketing content. Throughout 2021 we will see this trend grow along with an increased focus towards shoppable video ads.

Consumers Prefer Environmentally Friendly

Over recent years there’s been a cultural and social change towards how, as consumers, we impact on the planet. Several years ago “eco-friendly” was reserved for a handful of premium brands who could afford the luxury.

However, with a massive upturn in many countries’ environmental policies, due to popular demand, it has started reverberating down towards businesses. Expect to start seeing a conscious effort towards marketing sustainable, eco-friendly products and schemes throughout 2021!

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87% of people would buy a product with a social and environmental benefit if given the opportunity and 88% would be more loyal to a company that supports social or environmental issues


Omnichannel Retail

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Customers want to be able to browse their favourite stores and shop on various devices and platforms. In a digitally-fuelled era, consumers want everything available at a click of a button wherever and whenever!

The concept behind Omnichannel is simple, to combine multiple devices and platforms to market and sell your products. Integrating your online store, mobile app, email marketing, and social media is a perfect example of how Omnichannel retail can be effectively used as an indie retailer.

Omnichannel retail is what the Excellent Zephyr team specialise in, so why not drop us a message to see how we can help your business!

The Independent Retail Market Continues to Grow

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The rise of eCommerce platforms such as Shopify has allowed small-medium sized retail businesses to delve into the online world successfully. In the past, these tools were only available for larger corporate companies but for the first time, everything an independent retailer could ever need is available at an affordable price!

Additionally, there has been an increase in interest from the public towards supporting small local businesses. Yes, the pandemic has forced people to turn their heads. Still, the impact is far from temporary, and it’s here to stay for the foreseeable future!

Personalisation Will be Key

Customers want to feel special when purchasing from a store, and personalisation goes a long way to building a bond between business and consumer!

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Marketers see an average increase of 20% in sales when using personalized experiences” – Monetate


It’s never been more accessible to send out personalised marketing material via email campaigns and tailored product recommendations through a customer’s online store account. Mobile app push notifications and online store personal messaging are an invaluable tool that helps improve customer satisfaction and prospective sales!

As we soar through 2021, expect to see independent retailers turn their focus to developing a personal shopping experience that makes the customer remember why they chose to shop with them and not Amazon!

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