Top 3 ecommerce trends to watch

First, the integration between on- and offline shopping

“E-commerce and traditional retail have been largely separate channels. Going forward, the hallmark of successful merchants will be deeper integration between online and offline assets. This includes distribution of real-time product inventory online. Roughly 40% of online purchases will be picked at local stores. The ability to search for a product, buy it online and pick it up the same day or next day locally will become a permanent feature of the customer experience for major retailers and a key success factor,” said Greg Sterling, VP of Insights, Uberall. “Following a record 2020 holiday quarter, I believe that e-commerce will stabilize at 20% of total retail sales in 2021 in the U.S. If the pandemic persists well into next year, I think the number can reach 22%.”

Second, higher ‘conversational’ commerce adoption

“Voice search and virtual assistants continue to gain adoption and usage. In the U.S., smart speaker adoption will surpass 100 million users. In 2021, we will start to see meaningful usage of smart speakers as a marketing channel by enterprises and as a commerce and buying channel by consumers. Messaging and chat adoption continue their gains as critical tools for both sales and customer service across consumer platforms,” said Sterling. “Social media will become a major e-commerce channel in 2021. Buying on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, YouTube and even TikTok will grow in 2021. I expect messaging to become a key aspect of some of these experiences, and significantly compress the funnel.”

Third, look for more from Google My Business

“Google has offered online booking and food ordering for a few years. But seeking more ways to help local businesses and solidify its position as mediator between online and offline experiences, Google My Business will continue expanding e-commerce offerings and enabling local merchants to sell products directly through their local business profiles on Google. In addition, commerce and online fulfillment options for service businesses will expand in 2021,” said Sterling.

Feb 08, 2021 | 03:02 am


Kristina Knight is a freelance writer based in Ohio, United States. She began her career in radio and television broadcasting, focusing her energies on health and business reporting. After six years in the industry, Kristina branched out on her own. Since 2001, her articles have appeared in Family Delegate, Credit Union Business, and with Threshold Media.