Trends like voice interfaces, subscription services, hyperpersonalization, and omnichannel will reshape the online sales landscape. Brands and retailers can either adapt to the changing market of the pandemic era, take advantage of the trending shopping methods and stay competitive – or ignore the technological revolution and watch their businesses slowly shrink and sink into technological oblivion in 2021.
#1 Voice interfaces
Did you know that in 2025, it is estimated that about 130 million Amazon Echo will be sold globally, with the Echo Dot being the current top seller on Amazon? What makes these devices a perfect, but still largely untapped marketing channel, is the voice-based technology behind it. It’s only a matter of time, though, before e-commerce businesses more often adopt smart speakers and wearables that recognize and analyze human speech to offer customers voice interaction options to browse and buy. They can significantly improve the customer experience, especially as speech-enabled search technology becomes smarter, more accurate and reliable.
While intelligent voice-recognition technology is currently most commonly known from smartphone-based assistants such as Siri and Google Now, Tractica expects similar solutions to be used in many more devices going forward. Amazon’s Echo, an intelligent speaker capable of performing several tasks, is just one example of how such devices could shape our homes in the near future.Digital Assistants – Always at Your Service
#2 Subscription-based everything
We know in October 2019 23 percent of e-commerce decision makers revealed that their e-commerce companies were planning to offer product subscription services in 2020 (source). We don’t know how many succeeded yet, but without a doubt, this trend will get even hotter in 2021. A subscription offers a longer, more profitable relationship with the customer and improves a company’s cash flow through automatic payments.
Some experts even believe that anything that requires continuous, frequent purchases will eventually shift toward the subscription model, from private health care to computer repairs.Voice interfaces, subscriptions, personalization, and omnichannel - these trends will fuel the e-commerce industry in 2021. Click To Tweet
Personalization will be another major trend this year. With recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI), it’s possible for a brand to deliver one-to-one personalization and serve an individual experience to each of its customers across all touchpoints. In practice, this means that online retailers will make product suggestions based on past purchase history, geographic location, and individual preferences.
Also, personalization means that more and more companies will be updating their prices several times a day based on margins, supply, and demand. An interesting fact is that big players such as Amazon or Walmart do this already. Other brands will follow this approach, no question about it.
#4 “Anywhere” conversion
Up to now, the idea of having a seamless customer experience across multiple sales channels has been more of a best practice. However, in 2021 “anywhere” conversion will have become the new standard for the entire e-commerce industry as 48 percent of global e-commerce companies perceived it as being very important in 2020 (source).
Because consumers expect to interact with brands across many touchpoints, including web, voice, mobile, in-app, SMS, social, and, less so because of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis but still, offline in-store experiences.
Therefore, customer interactions must be choreographed under a single brand experience. Such hybrid customer journeys, when a purchase is researched on a mobile, but finalized on a voice-enabled device may become more and more frequent. And trust us when we say it, there can be no successful multi-channel commerce without having unified product-related content in all sales touchpoints.
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