When industry leaders predicted the top Shopify trends in 2020, a pandemic striking the globe was not taken into account. Yet, strike it did, and while brick-and-mortar businesses struggled to stay afloat, the e-commerce industry flourished. Online businesses hosted by e-commerce platforms like Shopify increased due to demand when consumers couldn’t go outside to shop.
As the new year begins, what does the future hold for Shopify store owners like you? How do you stay on top of your game as competitions continue to rise? Before we dive into the top Shopify trends of 2021, let’s take a look at two major factors that shape most of these trends: sky-high competition and consumer behavior.
Shopify Trends #1: How Stiff Competition and Consumer Behavior Affect Shopify Trends in 2021
Because of the global pandemic, the pace of change in e-commerce accelerated. According to Shopify, growth that could have taken 10 years to accomplish only took 90 days to happen. The lockdown became the main fuel of the e-commerce boom. With brick-and-mortar businesses closed because of the virus outbreak, consumers shifted to online stores. Although this sounds like a positive change, it also means that competition became fierce and the online market became more saturated.
Moreover, retail store giants exerted more effort in their digital marketing campaigns, putting smaller online store owners at a disadvantage. Then, there’s also cross-country competition, with consumers buying goods from countries other than their own.
Aside from the competitive online landscape, brick-and-mortar businesses are also expected to rebound. Naturally, some consumers will choose to shift back to in-person shopping, but many people have become online shopping advocates and might not return to brick-and-mortar stores. That means there’s a whole new market of online shoppers up for grabs and it’s anyone’s game.
Shopify Trends #2: What Are The Top Shopify Trends To Expect in 2021?
If you want to future-proof your Shopify store, you must consider these trends when making your marketing plan for 2021 and beyond.
Rise of Omnichannel
With skyrocketing online competition, you need to find new ways to grow your customer base and increase sales. Thus, consumer satisfaction should be prioritized, which means meeting increased expectations. To overcome the challenges, adopting an omnichannel approach to doing business proves to be one of the best options.
Omnichannel provides customers a seamless experience across all devices and marketing and sales channels. There are over 100 marketing and sales channels integrated with Shopify, and you can use those to your advantage by pinpointing where your target customers are and introduce your product to them through there.
If you have a physical store, you’d benefit even more from this omnichannel approach. You’d be able to reach both customers who prefer in-store shopping and those who want to purchase online. With Shopify, you’d be able to manage all these marketing channels and serve your customers better.
Augmented reality lets customers see products in their homes before they make a purchase. ( Source)
Integration of Augmented and Virtual Reality
A Nielsen Global survey back in 2019 revealed that 51% of respondents are willing to assess products through augmented and virtual reality. Back then, consumers’ main reason for the consideration was shopping ease amidst their hectic life. This reason has changed in 2020 when the pandemic hit the globe, and lockdowns were implemented. Now, many consumers don’t have the option of going to the store to see future purchases, so AR and VR must do.
Either way, the integration of augmented reality in retail stores will become part of the new way of shopping. Online businesses that will adopt such a change will have a better edge.
This will be most helpful to you if you sell products that consumers like to get the feel of before buying, like clothes and shoes. The main reason consumers prefer in-store purchases for such things is that they can try them on before buying them. If it’s possible to have such an experience in online shopping through AR/VR technology, there are higher chances for mere product browsers to turn into buyers.
Video marketing continues to be popular for e-commerce. Source
Marketing With Videos
It has been proven in the past years that video marketing can increase conversion rates and turn lookers into purchasers. Smartphones are dominating web browsing, and most consumers find videos more appealing than imagery. This gives a great opportunity for online businesses to reach their target audience whether they are at home or on-the-go. Google even explained how mobile video will be the driving force on brand marketing in the future .
Shopify acknowledges the important role videos play in online marketing. In October 2020, the company formed a partnership with TikTok , giving its merchants new means of connecting to their audience. If you haven’t leveraged this privilege Shopify has given to its merchants, 2021 is the time to do so.
Influencers as Brand Ambassadors
With brands sometimes failing to balance their marketing strategy and content creation, collaborating with influencers is a great way to even things out. Influencers can take care of the content creation and then use their immense following for promotion.
If you’re struggling to create content for your brand, you might want to look into a partnership with influencers. Don’t partner with just anyone though, seek someone that will be a great match for your brand. Also, make sure your content is as natural and authentic as it can be. Consumers are smart, and they will detect content built for the sake of promotion alone. It might be a futile pursuit if you use this route the wrong way.
It’s more important than ever to make sure your products don’t have a negative effect on the environment. Source
Buyers Gravitating To Sustainability-Focused Brands
The recent global turn of events has made an impact on consumers’ decision-making process regarding item purchases, with an increasing emphasis on brands that sell sustainable products.
A Shopify survey revealed that 50% of respondents answered they will most likely pay more if they know that the products are environmentally friendly. 25% totally agree, 14% tend to disagree, 6% don’t know, and 5% totally disagree.
Taking this into account, make sure you know the products you’re selling. Are they made of sustainable materials? Are there sustainable processes that are undergone when they’re being made? If there’s something sustainable about the way your products are made, then let consumers know about it. It might just be their deciding factor in choosing your product.
Retention Overtakes Acquisition of Customers
When online market competition skyrocketed, the price of customer acquisition followed. That’s why retaining existing customers became imperative. It doesn’t mean acquisition is no longer important; It has only taken a close second to retention.
With such fierce competition, it’s more important to cultivate a relationship with existing customers. They can turn into buyers again when you have an ongoing relationship with them. Research in the past showed that maintaining a customer retention rate of 5% will increase profit by 25% to 90% . So, make sure you don’t let them slip away after one purchase. Offer subscription, loyalty, or VIP program so that they keep coming back.
Shopify Trends #3: How Product-Specific Sales Funnel Can Future-Proof Your Shopify Store
Understanding not only your product but also the ongoing Shopify trends will help you survive the stiff competition. Ultimately, however, it is the consumer behavior that will dictate your business’ staying power.
The first step is making prospective customers aware of your business. If you use advertisements as a tool for consumer awareness, consider your costs. A paid advertisement that does not attract prospective customers is a waste. So, make sure you know your target audience well and how to grab their attention. A sales funnel can help you understand your prospective buyer and mapping out their buying journey will help you decide how to better use advertisements to make them aware of your business.
Furthermore, don’t use one route to reach your prospect. There are a lot of marketing channels you can use. You should scale those to have better chances at overcoming the competition. Your sales funnel will come in handy here too, as you can optimize and use it across all marketing channels.
A properly mapped-out sales funnel that is specifically-made for your product will help you streamline your marketing process. If you know the path that your prospects take from meer onlookers to buying customers, you’ll be able to optimize your funnel for a more accurate marketing drive. You’ll also figure out what part of the funnel your prospect drops out and rectify whatever holes exist.
Shopify is one powerful platform, and top industry leaders continue to provide the latest trends year in and year out. With this information, you as a Shopify merchant have a solid guide on mapping out a sales funnel aimed to deliver the most profitable result for your business in 2021 and beyond.