If you’ve been following holiday ecommerce trends in 2021, you are aware that consumers have been shopping online in increasing numbers. Before the pandemic, ecommerce was already popular and growing steadily. Busy people could shop from anywhere with an internet connection and receive their purchases at home without ever stepping foot into a store.

The pandemic pushed ecommerce into overdrive. People living in changing circumstances could rely on ecommerce to purchase necessary items that they couldn’t find locally. People who preferred to avoid crowds could easily get their shopping done at home.

These 2021 ecommerce trends are continuing during the holiday season. More shoppers than ever are accustomed to the convenience of online shopping, having already built trust in their favorite vendors.

What does that mean for holiday ecommerce in 2021?

It means that ecommerce holiday readiness for 2021 is crucial for any business that wants to be competitive for this holiday shopping season.

In 2021, over 2.14 billion people worldwide are expected to buy goods and services online, up from 1.66 billion global digital buyers in 2016.

In 2016, 209.6 million U.S. people were online shoppers and had browsed products, compared prices or bought merchandise online at least once. These figures are projected to reach 230.5 million in 2021, positioning the United States as of one the leading ecommerce markets based on online shopper penetration.

Where Customers are Shopping

While in-store shopping has begun to reopen, online shopping is still growing. Beyond just buying products online, shoppers are using online searches to learn where they can find items in stock before they make a purchase. They are also using the internet to compare pricing, research product details, and read customer reviews. Providing customers with an omnichannel retail experience will result in the best customer interactions.

The omnichannel experience is marketing, selling, and serving customers on all channels to create an integrated and cohesive customer experience no matter how or where a customer reaches out. The experience should be the same for customers regardless of the platform or method they choose to use.

Shopping on Mobile Devices

Online shopping statistics 2021 show that consumers will be shopping using mobile devices this holiday season, but on-the-go shopping sprees may result in higher cart abandonment. Retailers can improve these statistics by creating a frictionless mobile shopping experience, and offering a discount when customers shop using a mobile device.

However, don’t assume that customers will always prioritize buying online. Some consumers may prefer buying in a brick-and-mortar store once they’ve confirmed online that a product is in stock.

Early Shoppers

Before the pandemic, who thought much about the supply chain? Most people took the supply chain for granted. Oracle found that:

Almost half of Americans surveyed (45 percent) admit they never thought about the supply chain, or about how products were delivered, before the pandemic. Now nearly everybody (91 percent) considers it when they’re buying something—especially if they’re buying for someone else.

The pandemic has changed the way consumers think about the availability of products they want to buy. This is true for weekly grocery shopping and buying holiday gifts.

Ecommerce holiday readiness should be prioritized on your holiday season checklist. Shoppers want to make sure they get their gifts on time. Having an item in stock will trump customer loyalty. While regular customers may prefer to buy from you, they will most likely be practical and buy from someone else if the item is in stock. Customers have changed the way they buy in other ways and plan to:

  • Buy in bulk and stock up on items to avoid running out (49%)
  • Pre-order whenever possible (39%)
  • Shop more in-person than online (31%)
  • Buy more subscriptions/services/experience than physical products (21%)

You need to be ready for these early shoppers and offer holiday incentives earlier than you have in the past.

Social Media is Booming

Social media usage has boomed with the increase of online communication in business and at home. Two years ago, how many of us had heard of Zoom? Now, a Zoom meeting is just one of the ways we have to get together with other people.

While this has opened more doors to global online communication, it has also increased the time we spend online and use social media sites like TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to interact with and purchase from brands. To be part of this trend, you need to have a robust social media marketing strategy.

Reviews are Very Important

According to Inc., “91% of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews, and 84% trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.” Reviews have become one of the most trusted forms of social proof for many industries. Reviews influence how visitors see your ecommerce store. Reviews can:

  • Drive Sales:  Reading reviews convinces a buyer that they are making the right choice.
  • Build Trust: Buyers trust that your ecommerce store has high-quality products.
  • Improve SEO: Reviews rank in SERPs for keywords and link to your website.
  • Help with Decision-Making: Customers come to understand your product better through reviews.
  • Aid Problem-Solving: Bad reviews bring problems to your attention to fix them.

You can use reviews to better understand holiday ecommerce trends, and maximize other benefits, including:

  • Increasing brand awareness from adding places your brand is mentioned
  • Identifying new keywords for your products
  • Highlighting positive reviews through marketing campaigns

Why Consumers Abandon Their Carts

How do you turn ecommerce visitors into customers? You can start by learning why consumers start an order and then abandon their carts. Think of how great it would be if just half of your abandoned carts turned into orders!

According to the Baymard Institute, the average cart abandonment rate is 69.82%, and 49% abandon their carts due to high extra costs. Extra costs include any costs added to the purchase price like shipping, taxes, and other fees. There are a few ways you can combat this problem, such as offering free shipping by bundling the shipping fee in with the product price, or by telling customers upfront the total amount, including additional costs.

Other reasons that buyers abandon carts are:

  • Websites require them to create an account
  • Slow delivery times
  • Long, complicated checkout process

You can calculate your own shopping cart abandonment rate by

. . . dividing the total number of completed transactions by the total number of transactions that were initiated. This rate will identify what percentage of a site’s users signal purchase intent by adding an item to the cart but don’t complete the purchase.

Prepare for 2021 Ecommerce Trends with Ordoro’s Tools & Resources

You can prepare for holiday ecommerce trends by creating an Ecommerce Holiday Checklist to help you with holiday shipping deadlines, readiness for holiday shoppers, and frictionless fulfillment for every website visitor. Odoro has several resources to get you started or fill in any gaps in your ecommerce strategy.

  • Holiday Shipping Deadlines
  • Ecommerce Holiday Checklist
  • Increasing Average Order Value
  • Prepare for Holiday Shipping
  • Frictionless Holiday Section (Part 1) – Customer Experience
  • Frictionless Holiday Section (Part 2) – Merchant Workflow
  • Shipping, Fulfillment, and Inventory Guides

If you’re interested in learning more about holiday ecommerce trends, contact us at info@ordoro.com.