E-commerce Marketing: What Will & Won’t Work In 2021

E-commerce Marketing: What Will & Won’t Work In 2021


As the end of the year approaches, we begin to see a lot of “what will happen next year” kind of articles.

Predicting trends is often a challenge during the best of times – but at the end of 2020, when uncertainty and chaos are still very much the name of the game, talking about what we can expect to see in 2021 is a bit like gazing into a crystal ball.

Except when it comes to e-commerce, which is expected to rise even further and experience some additional growth.

Let’s look at some of the tactics and strategies that are expected to dominate the landscape of e-commerce marketing in 2021.

Continued Growth of Mobile Shopping

Even though they were practically forced into it to an extent, consumers are becoming more and more comfortable with online shopping. In fact, customers who have never made an online purchase have done so during the coronavirus pandemic.

Predictions are that almost 73% of all e-commerce sales will be made through a mobile device by the end of 2021.

As an owner of a Shopify store, what you can do is ensure your mobile shopping experience is safe, secure, fast, and easy. As an example, Lush US does a great job with mobile e-commerce. The experience is pleasant, the pages easy to navigate, and the checkout process is efficient.

image source: lushusa.com

Omnichannel Marketing and Sales on the Rise

Omnichannel marketing means providing a consistent experience across all sales and marketing channels and across all devices. In 2021, it is expected to reach new heights.

As people spend more time online interacting with brands, the benefits of consistent and unified experiences will only grow in value.

While there are many aspects to running a successful omnichannel campaign, a vital strategy to keep in mind is to offer as much personalization as possible, in terms of offers and suggested items.

A great example for this kind of experience is Disney – from their mobile-friendly website to their My Disney Experience tool that allows you to plan your trip and use the app while in the park itself, and their Magic Band program that acts as room key and photo storage device, Disney is paving the way in omnichannel experiences.

image source: disney.com

Dynamic Pricing Remains Important

Staying on top of ever-changing prices in the world of e-commerce will remain a trend.

As the global market continues to struggle with the effect of a pandemic, lockdown, and the slow return to what was once normal, prices are expected to keep fluctuating. Your task as an e-commerce store is to keep adjusting.

This task is made easier by the use of repricing tools. If you also offer your items on Amazon, there are several tools, which will automate the process for you and save you plenty of strife.

For your Shopify store, you can use Shopify’s own dynamic pricing tools, designed to help you maximize your profit with intelligent and automated demand-based pricing, as well as the added option of creating flash sales.

Voice Search Still on the Rise

It is predicted that 75% of US homes will have smart speakers by 2025 – which is a clear indicator that voice search and tools like Amazon Echo, Alexa, and Google Assistant are all slowly taking over our worlds, helping us shop more easily.

To stay on top of this trend, optimizing your e-commerce store for voice search should be one of your priorities in the upcoming year. You’ll want to focus on enabling voice-based search and navigation on the website, as well as a purchasing flow guided by voice commands.

The Emergence of Cause Marketing and Corporate Responsibility

One of the things the pandemic has taught us is how important it is to give back. We already knew that charitable donations can boost customer loyalty – and modern consumers are looking to shop with brands who are making a change in the world and supporting the causes they themselves would like to back.

Think of it this way: when you support a certain cause, you are likely to attract the business of individuals who wish they could give to the cause themselves, but may not have the funds to do so. Through you, they feel like they are giving back too.

COVID relief is one of the trending causes of the moment. Companies like Elemental Labs are doing their bit to support frontline health workers, and they’re using social media to highlight their aid. And let’s face it – anyone who has a friend or family member working on the front lines or as an essential worker will truly appreciate every donation.

image source: instagram.com

Transparency Becoming Even More Important

As consumers are becoming more educated, the need for transparency increases.

2021 will certainly be a year where outdated schemes will see less and less traction, and where honesty, value, and consistency keep winning the day.

And that’s it – no magic tricks or silver bullets. All it takes for you is to actually be transparent about your products, shipping, prices, returns, and everything else in between.

If you would like to go the whole nine yards, you can even craft your brand name to emphasize how transparent you are – just like Transparent Labs did. In the world of fitness and nutrition, where gimmicks are too often the norm, this kind of branding can go a long way.

image source: transparentlabs.com

Payment Plans for Larger Purchases

As customer demand will more than likely continue to be impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic, e-commerce stores need to take into account their ability to pay for the product they want.

Offering payment plans for large purchases, which make it easier on the customer, can go an incredibly long way. Not only are you making a sale, but you are also inspiring trust, boosting your own authority, and actually becoming more likable. Also, you might boost your overall sales, as people will aim to spend more if they are granted a payment plan.

Demand for Essentials Remains on the Rise

Finally, the one thing we’ve inarguably learned in 2020 is how important toilet paper is.

All jokes aside, times like the present naturally shift consumer focus to essential items, largely including health and safety products, especially among the aging population.

Products like medical alert systems by a brand like Get Safe are in higher demand, and similar products in the industry will continue to be increasingly popular.

This does not mean you need to completely shift from luxuries to essentials – just that you might want to rethink the way you market your luxuries. After all, a little bit of extravagance and luxury is sometimes an essential – we do need to enjoy life, despite the chaos surrounding us.

image source: getsafe.com

To Sum It Up

Now is an amazing time to be working in e-commerce – despite the setbacks, the struggles, and the challenges, e-commerce is experiencing a surge it has never seen before.

Keeping in mind the strategies and trends we’ve outlined above, you should be all set to begin outlining your 2021 plan. Just remember to also leave room for the unforeseen.