The Top 5 Trends in Ecommerce Technology for 2021

In what’s been a tough year and a bit for businesses and individuals, it would be easy to forget that there is one industry which has seen something of a recent boom. Ecommerce has seen a sharp increase in sales since March last year and with more and more consumers realising the benefits of online shopping that trend looks set to continue. So, while some high street stores are looking at survival, in the world of ecommerce, the challenge facing business leaders is ensuring they’re following the right trends in technology to help them take full advantage of their ever expanding market - especially today.

So, let’s take a look at the top 5 technology trends in ecommerce for 2021.

1. E-wallet technology is no longer optional

Like all innovations, e-wallets came up against consumer reticence when they were first introduced. This attitude was never going to last and, like chip and pin and contactless before it, the e-wallet was always destined to be accepted. Covid, however, catapulted e-wallet technology into the public domain far quicker than would have been expected. This time last year people were sanitizing coins and notes. And the ecommerce boom was already well underway. Consumers had to make a choice between traditional credit and debit card payments. And it took little research to see e-wallets as the most secure method of online payment, hence its anticipated growth at a CAGR of 20.3% over the next 5 years.

Already, 12% of consumers globally are using e-wallets and this figure is predicted to increase as more and more brands join this digital revolution in payment options and consumers see the added security benefits that come with e-wallets. E-wallet technology is here to stay and it’s what consumers expect. So, for brands, it’s a case of adapt or be left behind.

2. Magento to cement its position as the top global ecommerce platform

The ecommerce boom has led to an inevitable demand for ecommerce software. Brands have been keen to find a platform that combines a high-quality customer experience with scalability and reliability. It’s this combination that has seen Magento chosen as the ecommerce platform for over 250,000 businesses worldwide. It has also given it a 16% share of the top 10,000 ecommerce stores on the planet. Magento is user-friendly as well as being fast and optimized which is why, even though they may not know it, consumers love Magento ecommerce stores.

First impressions are crucial and Magento sites look fresh and behave in very user friendly ways by constantly following up to date UI/UX findings. What follows may not even register with users. It’s the speed and usability that they expect. Fail to provide that and you’ll quickly see those users look elsewhere for a platform that meets expectations.

3. Online subscriptions to see membership growth

The subscription market has taken the world by storm in the past few years and, fueled by the pandemic, is predicted to generate 53% of all software revenue. And this shouldn’t come as a surprise. In a consumer society, it’s natural that people want new and interesting products regularly. The average spend in the US by those with food subscriptions is $74 per month. And why shouldn’t it be? Subscription boxes target exactly what consumers want – good quality products, convenience and affordable prices.

But subscriptions are now being used in more and more markets – fashion, alcohol, razors, in fact, pretty much anything you sell can be offered on a subscription basis. In the UK, vehicle subscription business Wagonex has seen a 10 fold increase in subscribers in the past year.

Subscriptions naturally lead to personalized packages which appeal to consumers. And for brands, there is the added bonus that if you get personalization spot-on, you increase customer loyalty and retention rates while also encouraging upselling and cross-selling to your existing market. If you’re wondering how successful this might be, it’s worth noting that 92% of consumers expect personalized experiences. Now, that level of faith in personalization is real evidence that brand loyalty is still alive and kicking. You just need to get it right.

The flip side, of course, is that if you get it wrong you’ll most likely lose subscribers with little chance of getting them back. That’s why it’s crucial that you carefully consider how to go about offering your subscription and make sure you use reliable software developers and engineering teams that will develop a platform that meets those all-important consumer expectations.

Broadly speaking, there are three types of subscription that have proven themselves to be the most effective and which are primed as the leaders for the upcoming years:

·         Replenishment – automates purchases based on regularity or usage

·         Curation – provide personalized experiences

·         Access – gives access to member-only benefits or reduced prices

The type of subscription you choose will depend on your business model and the product or service you sell so it’s important to think carefully about how it is consumed and which model best fits your industry and your offering. 

4. Customization furthers personalization

As we’ve already seen, consumers increasingly expect products tailored to their preferences. That is, after all, the primary focus of AI and machine learning in marketing – identifying sales opportunities and presenting them to an interested audience.

Customization talks things a step further and invites the consumer to take part in the creation of their product. And consumers are lapping it up. Who doesn’t want to design their own car? With Tesla you can. Who wouldn’t love to create their own sneaker design? With Nike By You, that’s exactly what you do.

Customization gets consumers emotionally invested in your products. Naturally, they cost more so you get a better return and, crucially, they’re a fantastic conversation starter. And not just among friends and family – because let’s be honest, nobody customizes their own sneakers but doesn’t post a picture on Instagram.

5. Gamification makes online shopping an experience

Ecommerce is all about CX and gamification makes the online shopping experience more than just a process. There will always be a place in the world for going to shopping malls with friends to have fun and max out your credit card.

Gamification is simply a way of injecting that same sense of enjoyment into online shopping to make it more than just convenient.

Three of the most common gamification processes are:

·         Promotional contests

·         Spin to win games

·         Tiered loyalty schemes

Promotional contests give customers the opportunity to win prizes or receive a free gift in exchange for contact details such as an email address. This is a great way to capture valuable data while introducing newbies to your brand.

Spin to win games typically offer consumers a discount on their purchase based on the spin of a virtual wheel. They’re all about engaging customers, guiding them through the funnel and encouraging them to complete a purchase.

Tiered loyalty schemes are perhaps the most effective gamification strategy and work by offering increased benefits for opening an account, adding information and making purchases.

Agile Fuel provides high-quality dedicated engineering teams to clients from across the globe. Remote teams based in Ukraine have been delivering software solutions tailored to each clients’ requirements to provide the best in outstaffing. Agile Fuel takes care of all HR and admin duties so clients can focus their time and effort on their core business while still enjoying the benefit of top talent working exclusively on their project.

Get in touch to find out how Agile Fuel can leverage the best in ecommerce software to grow your business in 2021.

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