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E-Commerce Trends and Best Practices 2021

March 19, 2021 | 3 minutes to read
Summary:Although 2020 did not exactly turn out as planned, it led to an explosive growth in e-commerce and fueled the future of direct-to-consumer retail. Consumers across demographics changed their buying habits and turned to the world of online purchases.

Keeping Pace with the Dynamics of Direct-to-Consumer (DTC)

Although 2020 did not exactly turn out as planned, it led to an explosive growth in e-commerce and fueled the future of direct-to-consumer retail. Consumers across demographics changed their buying habits and turned to the world of online purchases. Products rarely bought online are now e-commerce staples. Businesses adapted to the stay-at-home and work-from-home phenomena and those that had minimal, or no online presence invested heavily in e-commerce channels to ensure seamless product or service deliveries to their end users. Whether it was user research, client communication, or consumer shopping behavior, 2020 accelerated a shift in channels and packed decades of e-commerce growth into a single year.

Today, many consider this the ‘new normal’ and experts believe that the current e-commerce trends are here to stay. Immediacy, convenience, speed, safety and efficiency are the top factors driving the growth of e-commerce, which is expected to touch a staggering 5 trillion dollars USD in 2021 (about 30% of the annual global retail sales). In light of this potential growth, now is the time to adapt certain e-commerce best practices that will not only help your business stay afloat but put you a step ahead of your competition.

Top Five E-Commerce Trends to Set Your Business Apart from the Rest

Whether you are working on your company website, a mobile app, an exclusive online store to bring the physical to digital, or overall brand building, here are some best practices to consider:

  1. Scale your Omnichannel Strategy: Ride the e-commerce boom by adopting a customer-centric approach and optimizing e-commerce across multiple channels. This would mean synchronizing your product inventory and information, integrating sales and supply data, making your site mobile responsive and converting it into a progressive web app. Unifying your product and customer data will enhance your SEO, generate more top-of-funnel traffic, and improve site conversion rates and overall user experience.
  2. Technology Matters: Building a solid technological foundation will free up bandwidth for creating an immersive, unified, and enhanced customer experience. Invest resources in tracking capabilities that can follow your targeted customers throughout the buying journey and attribute market performance to specific programs, campaigns or channels that you launch.
  3. Focus on Fulfilment and Personalized, Immersive Experiences: In the fiercely competitive space of e-commerce, fulfillment can be your competitive differentiator. Consumers gravitate towards brands that offer fast, free and sustainable shipping, automated returns, and other flexible options, such as curbside pickups. With new and evolving search and purchase habits, consumers are looking for solutions and not brands. In fact, most user journeys begin on Amazon, where 70% of searches do not include a brand name. Only the brands that create unique and personalized user experiences will truly stand out in the minds of the consumer.
  4. Become a Value-Based Differentiator: One critical factor that may drive shopping habits is value-based shopping. Purpose-driven consumers are willing to spend on products and brands that align with their beliefs. For example, brands that ably demonstrate sustainable sourcing, recyclability, upcycling potential, cruelty-free product development, reduced environmental impact, and other corporate social responsibilities gain better mind share among today’s value-conscious consumers.
  5. Encourage User Generated Content (UGC): Shoppers listen to other shoppers and devour UGC in the form of ratings, reviews, comments, photos on social networks, videos and more. Consider discount codes, loyalty points, or rewards to encourage UGC, which can in turn help you establish credibility, generate traffic, and drive user engagement.

Hire a Full-Service Digital Marketing Company to Stay Ahead of the Curve

 The turbulent economic shifts and uncertainties around the ongoing pandemic have made it difficult to plan for the future. Yet, the evolving consumer search and purchase habits, rising customer acquisition costs, and dynamic e-commerce space make it imperative to adopt some of the best practices to gain a competitive edge in the digital world.

As an award-winning, full-service digital marketing company, Expert WSI eMarketing (WSITM) can help you enhance your e-commerce capabilities through tailor-made digital marketing strategies that generate the maximum ROI for your business. Take advantage of our experience and global expertise in brand management, lead generation, website design, and online reputation management. We can help you stay on top of your e-commerce game.

Let’s talk about a robust, sustainable and winning e-commerce strategy that solidifies your online presence during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Call us at 713-338-3488 or contact us online

About the Author

James R Alexander, Principal Digital Marketing Consultant, OMCP, PE, MBA at Expert WSI eMarketing, General Manager for Expert WSI eMarketing’. He and this office is an integral part of WSI’s global team.

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