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Quick summary: What has changed in the relationship between e-commerce and the COVID-19 pandemic? What can e-retailers be projecting for 2021? In this article, we outline the main e-commerce trends. Check them out! 

We thought we knew the internet until COVID-19 arrived and revolutionised our digital relationships. Suddenly, everyone was forced to be isolated at home, and Wi-Fi has never been as high on the pyramid of essential human needs as it is now. In this unprecedented scenario, the dynamics between customers and brands changed, and there are new characters in the scene that will set the trends for 2021. 

The economic and political uncertainty and mobility restrictions are some of them. Concerns such as the security of payment methods, fraud, theft of credit card data, as well as generational barriers, were reduced in the first months of lockdown imposed in many countries in March when online shopping became the only possibility to purchase certain goods.

This new normal will influence what we will see for e-commerce in 2021.

E-commerce in 2021
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Here are some of the trends to focus on:

Shipping becomes more crucial than ever

Give up a purchase because of the shipping fee. Who never did that? If there is one thing that the pandemic has taught brands, it is when buying over the internet, it becomes a necessity. It is better to make consumption possible than to stop it with exorbitant shipping rate or long delays. The trend of online stores in 2021 is to continue with the “free shipping on orders above $X” scheme. Other than that, with the delay in delivery, brands with more creative delivery ideas stand out and take consumers out of the virtual store environment with the traditional shopping cart. Also, being clear about the cutoff dates or shipping options will continue next year. 

Click and collect is an advantage

The click and collect, previously only used in fast-food chains, has reinvented itself, and some companies are adopting the new feature to overcome the impossibility of opening their stores. It works like this: the store offers the consumer its mobile app with its products. The consumers choose the products they want, make the payment, select the store and a time for pickup. It is a way for the store to sell and for the consumer to get the product quickly since shipments via traditional e-commerce are taking longer since the border restrictions imposed due to the pandemic outbreak.

Cashback and loyalty

A widespread marketing strategy that we have seen lately, which are booming during the pandemic, is the famous cashback. The client receives a credit or a discount for your next purchase. This is a very common strategy in cafes, where after ten coffees you get one for free, for example. Between marketers and entrepreneurs, the old rule of thumb is that acquire a new customer can cost five times more than to keep an exciting client

Offering cashback or any other loyalty related advantage creates a sense of recognition for your favour in choosing that service to spend your hard-earned money, and at the same time, an advantage of the brand to competitors. With e-commerce getting more popular, the trend is for the market to fight for clients’ preference.

Support locals

Local business is also a trend that affects the opening of stores by major retailers. All over the world, retail chains are opening new stores in smaller suburbs- which may even help in the distribution of fresh products for e-commerce. The opening convenience stores close to home or work is a trend across America, with a mix of convenience and price.