Selling on Amazon? It has its challenges. Find out if you’re ready for the new year with our list of 21 e-Commerce Trends in 2021. It’s your go-to for fresh ideas, selling tips, design hints, Amazon forecasts, and emerging 2021 e-commerce trends.
Brick-and-mortar, automotive, and clothing retail are just some of the sectors that went through hoops last year to stay afloat.
But this year promises to be even better for online retailers, and especially for people selling on Amazon.
To help Amazon sellers pinpoint opportunities for growth, we came up with a list of 2021 e-commerce trends that are likely to impact the way they do business.
So, without further ado, here are 21 e-commerce trends in 2021 that every seller on Amazon should watch out for:
21 e-Commerce Trends in 2021
Sharing Prime Perks
Statista’s latest forecast estimates that, in 2020, US Prime membership grew by 15% to about 142.5 million. So, the global figure of 150 million from 2020 Q3 results could very well be edging towards 200 million by now.
When it comes to US households, Statista expects the growth to be halved.
But wait, Amazon Household is only just taking off abroad!
If Amazon extends the service to the other 18 countries offering Prime, more and more households will be able to afford the subscription this year. This could spell a new wave of exponential growth for Amazon Prime on European venues, for instance.
Beating the Brexit Blues
UK businesses are facing a double-whammy of border trouble.
They can’t raise their prices enough to cover cross-border shipping costs. And they can’t export if there are border delays.
So, as one EU logistics company explains, trucks are returning from the UK without cargo.
What does this mean for Amazon sellers?
As eMarketer predicted, UK/EU orders are dwindling.
So, most buyers are looking for local alternatives.
But some are scouting for cheaper and faster deliveries from other continents, including North America!
Remember the days when everyone was raving about incentives for product reviews?
Well, there are new ways to motivate your customer base: cryptocurrency.
Last year, social tokens became all the rage as musicians started rewarding loyal followers with crypto tokens.
This year, brands are taking a page from that book.
So, don’t be too surprised if you stumble across Amazon sellers and vendors who reward their loyal customers with brand tokens in 2021, whether it’s allowed or not.
Online retailers are expected to accommodate every customer who has something to say, on whatever platform.
But the most sellers can do is reply via Buyer-Seller messaging. They can’t call or live chat. So, it’s easy for a plug, suggestion, or complaint to go unnoticed.
This year, we expect Amazon sellers to build brand awareness with a stronger online presence.
For starters, they might try to stay in the loop and direct buyers to Amazon by working on a consistent social media handle that matches their Amazon moniker.
In the wake of the pandemic, buyers are wising up to the negative effects of impulse buying.
Mindful of their buying habits, online shoppers expect their favorite brands to acknowledge the impact of hyperconsumerism.
And there’s only one place buyers can check to see where a seller stands on this issue: the A storefront is the page Amazon u… More.
For sellers who list essential, hand-made or natural items, that’s all the more reason to mention why they think less is more and how the concept applies to their products.
Free & Fast Returns
Marketing Alternatives will tell you that buyers want their returns free, and they want them fast.
This year, perks like pre-authorized return labels, self-service return kiosks, on-the-spot label printing with QR code scanners, and returns using gift receipts are options all sellers should consider offering, even if they fulfill their own orders.
Polished Returns Policies
As online sales soar, so too do return rates.
This year, we expect most Amazon sellers to standardize and perfect their return policies, to prevent return fraud.
Remember: gift-wrapping isn’t refundable, deductions are allowed for personalized return labels, and expensive returns must be tracked and insured.
Services like Subscribe & Save, where buyers receive the same quantity of an item at pre-set times, will only grow in 2021.
Amazon’s Subscribe & Save Store is especially promising because it brings together the buyer’s coupons, favorite items, and Amazon Family perks.
People across the world are choosing to order online and collect in person. It’s something the eMarketer refers to as the click-and-collect phenomenon.
For some, it may be a way to prevent doorstep theft. For others, it’s more convenient than waiting for a delivery.
But the Amazon Hub Locker service is just as popular, especially since it doesn’t involve any human contact.
Sellers who anticipate more months of lockdowns and quarantines will probably turn to Prime fulfillment this year.
This may lead to a rethink of their packaging practices so that their products are locker-friendly and accessible to people of all abilities.
Employees are the lifeblood of the company. Amazon knows this, and that’s why it developed perks like Amazon Incentives.
But the Amazon A to Z app also enables employees to engage more. They can punch in at work, get time off, book extra hours, and generally bypass the HR department with a few taps of the phone.
Not every Amazon seller can afford to develop or buy an app like that. But with so many people working from home, isolating, quarantining, etc., a self-service HR and rapid deployment app is something to think about.
Another way to boost engagement is employee equity. Instead of pay cuts, furlough, or even bonuses, some employees might readily accept shares, stock options, or warrants.
And why not bring up your strategy on your A storefront is the page Amazon u… More to build brand awareness too?
Online retailers across the world are using tech to forecast sales peaks and troughs.
As sales forecasting and analytics tools improve, sellers will be able to plan inventory and staffing levels better.
So, streamlined sales may determine which sellers gain and keep their competitive edge in 2021.
From Eco-Friendly to Eco-Positive
Some businesses are moving beyond a net-zero goal and toward the idea of eco-positivity.
Through regenerative farming, companies like Walmart are trying to use waste to enrich the soil and help regenerate nature. It’s something to watch for if you’re catering to eco-progressive consumers this year.
Transcycling vs. Recycling
Speaking of regenerative, Transcycling is a movement that’s building up momentum. It involves recycling a company’s waste and maximizing the lifespan of recycled products.
And thanks to these technologies, companies can repurpose basic items and turn them into treasures.
Swedish Stockings creates designer tables out of hosiery, for instance.
With people working and studying at close quarters, family homes are starting to feel like lunar habitats.
And if they can’t go out in nature, people will try to bring nature to them. Animal themed, floral, and nature-inspired furnishings and decorative products are already taking over the market.
The pandemic is driving most restaurateurs out of business. But some have managed to forge a way for themselves online.
So, digital restaurant marketplaces like Uber Eats and Grubhub will continue to grow this year, eMarketer forecasts.
But large family meals and office dinner parties will be out of the question. As people’s dining habits and companies’ catering budgets change for good, it’s out with the lunch box and in with restaurant coupons. This may affect Amazon sellers with Food & Beverage products.
2021 is the year that lab-grown meat becomes accessible.
And as soon as cultured meat hits the menus, the livestock industry is in for an overhaul. Merchants selling ‘farm-fresh’ meat products on Amazon may see their customer base shrink, especially if Amazon gets in on the action.
The WHO reports that over a billion people worldwide live with some form of disability. Underestimating the need for accessible products is something online retailers and brand owners can no longer afford.
So, 2021 may be a year of creative solutions for everyone.
Take, for instance, pregnancy tests. The RNIB recently prototyped one, so that visually impaired women can be the first to know if they’re pregnant.
Major issues affecting eBooks, such as copyright infringement and poor digital rights management, will only get worse.
The Bookseller reckons amateur sleuth novels, AI fiction, and titles about the natural world will dominate the best-seller lists in 2021. Optimistic novels and escapist fiction are also heralded as this year’s pandemic palate cleansers.
Mental well-being is the theme of the year 2021. As vaccinated people emerge from their ‘lunar habitats’, personal growth will take on a new meaning.
Buyers will be looking for products and services that boost mental health and enable them to have more ‘me time’.
Concepts like ‘virtual commute’ and ‘emotional check-in’ are gaining traction. So, remote workers will be looking for products to help them unwind daily, quickly, and without even thinking about it.
Without the thrill of in-store shopping, buyers look to online sellers for a memorable shopping experience.
So, the unboxing event is something all brand owners and sellers must master in 2021, because buyers will expect to be impressed.
Add a few small personalized touches, such as brief messages, loyalty perks, or notes welcoming feedback and suggestions.
This concludes our list of 21 e-Commerce Trends in 2021. What it shows is that the experience of selling on Amazon may never be the same again for some sellers. But the customer is king. So, instead of fighting the change, all growth-oriented Amazon sellers should embrace and adapt to these inescapable 2021 e-commerce trends.
Melanie takes an active interest in all things Amazon. She keeps an eye on the latest developments and keeps Amazon sellers up to speed.