Online businesses saw an incredible rush of new customers last year, and the trend will continue into this year and beyond as there are more online shoppers than ever before.
ECommerce is not going anywhere, but that does not mean the industry will stay the same as it is now. With the rise of new technology, the online space will continue to change, and ecommerce businesses must be ready and willing to adapt to the sometimes rapid changes. Online trends and best practices shift quickly as the industry does not evolve in a vacuum. While the future is not set in stone, there are some trends everyone should be aware of as we continue into 2021. Below are just a few predictive trends every online business should keep in mind for 2021 and beyond, as the industry will not stop changing any time soon.
Mobile Business Will Overtake Desktop
When it comes to everyday customers, more and more people are joining the ecommerce world through mobile devices rather than traditional laptops or desktop computers. It has been convenient for businesses to assume desktop is still the majority of users, but with a microchip shortage that has left many people unable to buy larger computers, more people are accessing the Internet through smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. Successful businesses cannot ignore mobile users any longer or risk losing a significant proportion of available customers. Mobile optimization takes time to ensure your site works on various screen sizes, but the reward of more customers and more potential sales is worth the investment.
True Sustainability Matters
The green movement has been around for a while but is gaining more traction in recent years. For a long time, businesses were able to perform sustainability without making any significant changes but still getting the excellent PR for small donations or superficial changes. However, the thin veil of pretending to be green will not cut it anymore. Customers want to see your genuine green initiatives if you are claiming to be an eco-friendly company. Make an effort to create eco-friendly or biodegradable packaging. Even switching your warehouse shipping order packaging materials from styrofoam to recycled paper is a better green step than trying to slide under the radar.
Invest In Your Back End And Network
The central point of failure for online businesses is the network and the Internet itself. Without a solid network and stability protections, your business can be at risk every time there is a service fluctuation. You do not necessarily need a redundant off-site backup server, but investing in your back end is always a good idea when your entire business relies on connections. There are even programs that will automatically monitor your systems and alert you to any arising issues or troubleshoot common issues. Whether you go with a complete Cerner Citrix package or hire a personal IT specialist to keep an eye on things, taking some steps to protect your network is better than nothing.
More Payment Options Are Coming
For years, businesses only had to accept credit cards and direct payments for online business, but PayPal and other payment methods have forced some businesses to adapt. However, more payment methods are rising and coming into widespread use. Cryptocurrencies are a new trend that has been around for years but is only entering the public vocabulary and attention now. Adding the ability to accept crypto payments is easier than you might imagine, as multiple companies have set up simple processes for online stores. Depending on the type of currency you want to accept, it can be as easy as pasting in some new code or adding a plugin.
There Will Be More Competition
You may think there are a lot of online stores and businesses already, but there will only be more as time goes on. For every group of people that join the Internet, a percentage of those people will go into business on the Internet at some point. The noise ceiling is already thick and hard to break through, but that ceiling will continue to grow. If you want your business to stay relevant and noticeable, you will need to keep adapting and evolving to suit the market or risk being left behind.
The world of ecommerce was built on growth, and so the industry will continue to grow over time. However, for businesses to stay in the space, they need to grow and change alongside recent trends. Invest in mobile optimization, proper sustainability efforts, and your network at a bare minimum to keep your company competitive. Accept new payment methods and be ready for even more change in the future so you can keep fighting in an ever-growing industry.