Posted: Monday 1st February 2021 in Changemakers.

As we all know, 2020 threw plenty of curveballs at us and it was hard to predict some of the trends we saw last year. Now that we are getting used to pandemic working life and we are beginning to better understand the digital retail landscape, it is important to know what some of the 2021 trends are likely to be. Last week a few e-commerce industry experts got together at Yotpo’s “Amazing Women in E-Commerce” webinar to discuss their thoughts on what we could see in 2021. 

I wanted to share some of the interesting discussion points raised in the webinar as there were some really great women attending who offer a strong perspective on the e-commerce landscape today. The panel included speakers from a variety of retail industries such as beauty, homeware and clothing. So, let’s see what they think we can expect from 2021… 

Acquisition vs. Retention 

An important thing to consider, and a topic that has been on many retailers’ minds, is whether we can expect a shift in focus from acquisition to retention in 2021. 

With increasing pressures placed upon businesses financially, it makes a lot of sense to place a bigger focus on retaining those existing customers than splashing out on high-cost acquisition activity, right? Well, while it is of course important to be careful with spend and maybe even reduce customer acquisition costs, it is going to be best to focus on both at the same time if possible. 

Retention and acquisition can in fact work hand in hand. By creating a great customer acquisition journey, this will in turn lead to more satisfied and loyal customers. So, it is essential that retailers get the basics right in the first instance. This will create loyalty in a more organic way and can even reduce customer acquisition costs in the long term. 

Plus, your existing loyal customers can in fact do your acquisition for you. The best way to offset high acquisition costs is often to get your existing customers to endorse your business. If you provide quality service, this leads to company endorsement, which ultimately results in new customers who will trust the opinions of their friends and family. 

D2C is vital 

High quality D2C is going to become increasingly vital. COVID has sped up the pressure for brands to innovate and be creative in an ever-more crowded online environment. More businesses than ever have an online presence and it is likely that this will continue to grow. Brands must be able to offer a unique approach and create special experiences for their customers to keep them coming back. 

Opportunity in social commerce 

Social commerce is definitely a growing opportunity. We have already seen social take off in 2020 with Instagram marketplaces and social influencers. But, personally, I would like to see social commerce really come to life in 2021. It offers a different shopping experience for customers and allows businesses to connect with their customers on a more personal level. 

Ugly Drinks discussed how they’d been using social media to their advantage and making business decisions off the back of it. They stressed the importance of customer feedback and focus groups for product development and how using this feedback ensures product development is in the best interest of the customer. Revolution added that they use social media to form a close relationship with their loyal customer base, and that their customers are becoming like a fan base who help to promote and “hype-up” the brand on social channels. They are constantly having conversations with customers to get feedback, and then importantly, acting on that feedback. 

Moving offline to online 

And finally, how can retailers get the offline shopping experience into the online space? This year, brands will need to consider how they can offer the same quality shopping experience that customers are used to in stores and transfer it to the online experience. Made.com discussed how they are going to be using AR and technology to improve customer experiences including viewing their products within your own home. Utilising new technologies and innovations is going to be a key to determine who will be the winners and who will lose out in 2021. 

If you want to discuss how you can maximise online retail opportunity for your brand in 2021, have a chat with one of our performance marketing specialists today. Drop us an email at [email protected]