Where is Ecommerce Going? 8 Predictions For The Future

Written by
Isabel Edwards

How will ecommerce change in the next coming years? In these unprecedented times businesses need to be innovative in how they can gain the attention of new customers. In this article we delve into the emerging online shopping trends that consumers can come to expect from online companies.

Sustainability Through C2C Marketplaces

The growth of second-hand commerce, or re-commerce, isn’t slowing down anytime soon. As the pressure of climate change builds and the damage of the fast fashion industry becomes apparent to many consumers, the demand for sustainable clothing options will continue to increase.

Brands will build their own C2C (customer-to-customer) marketplaces to facilitate the sales of their products on their own platform. Consumers want sustainable options from their favourite ecommerce companies and can also benefit from the lower prices of second hand products.

Dropshipping Will Evolve

Typically, dropshippers source their own suppliers, manually add the products to their ecommerce stores and place an order with their supplier once a sale has been made. But, this isn’t scalable for hundreds of individual orders a day, let alone thousands.

Take the benefit of this method, not having to hold any stock, but remove the manual ordering, and that will be the future of ‘dropshipping’.

The Mercarto model allows business owners to add products to their stores from a marketplace of handpicked quality suppliers. Once a sale has been made, the supplier is automatically notified and the items are shipped straight to the customer.

Given the scalability, time saved and growth opportunity this method presents, the old way of dropshipping will soon be on its way out the door.

Ecommerce Will Continue to Outgrow Retail

Although the global retail market ($25 trillion) is still outperforming ecommerce ($3.5 trillion) when it comes to sales, it can’t compete in terms of percentage growth.

From 2019 to 2020, retail sales have seen a percentage increase of 4.1%, whereas ecommerce has increased by around 18% and is expected to double by 2023.

This will continue to grow as our demand for online shopping has massively increased and brick and mortar stores become less accessible in the current climate.

Brands Will Optimise Their Mobile Commerce Experience

72.9% of ecommerce sales will take place on a mobile device by the end of 2021, Statista predicts. Brands who haven’t put their mobile shopping experience as a priority will soon lose out in a big way if they fail to optimise.

It can be pretty hit or miss as to whether an ecommerce brand provides an experience that is as good as (if not better) than desktop.

The future of ecommerce will see consistency in the user experience across desktop and mobile, making shopping just as frictionless as it would be on your laptop. This will pave the way for mobile shopping to take over the ecommerce landscape.

Ecommerce Companies Will Develop Their Own Marketplaces

As we’ve seen with the colossal success of Amazon, the world's second largest retail business in terms of revenue, marketplaces are in high demand.

Customers are looking for the convenience of shopping for everything in one place, the ability to compare products from multiple retailers and the vast choice that a marketplace brings.

More and more brands will rely on marketplace technology to add products from multiple retailers to their online stores and become the marketplace of their industry.

Business Will Use Services to Tackle Customer Worries

I think we can all agree the biggest issue with online shopping is ‘will I like it?’. It is more difficult to gauge what a product is really like when looking at an image on your screen, and this is why many consumers prefer brick and mortar shopping to experience the product before purchasing.

This can be an even bigger issue for sensory products, such as perfume. The Perfume Shop has tackled this by introducing their ‘Try Me Samples’ service, so customers can try a sample of the perfume without opening the bottle, allowing them to return it if they don’t like the sample.

ASOS have also introduced a ‘try before you buy’ type service, with ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ which is a partnership with Klarna.

These types of services take away the anxiety of shopping online and allow brands to cater to the benefits of shopping in-person whilst shopping in the comfort of their own homes.

Embrace Social Commerce

With 48% of consumers aged 18 - 34 having purchased through social media and the average order value amounting to just over $79, it’s no surprise that more and more ecommerce brands are uploading their product inventory’s to social platforms.

As for the future of ecommerce, it’s not just Generation Z that will seek out the convenience of shopping whilst browsing their favourite content on social media.

As brands optimise their content to increase conversions, more users will take the natural progression to purchasing whilst scrolling.

Products Will Be Upsold Into Subscription Services

One of the biggest online product subscriptions that blew up this year was Pasta Evangelists, the fresh pasta company that deliver to your door.

Consumers are seeing the benefits of subscription services, including saving a lot of time and great value for money, and popularity is rising as a result. It’s a simple way for ecommerce businesses to offer their customers convenience, which is what shoppers are demanding now more than ever.

Want your name on the Mercarto blog? Write For Us

Recommended Reads

Finding Your First 100 eCommerce Customers

Download this free resource to get expert tips and advice on how you can sell more products. Learn about social strategies, PPC ads, SEO and lots more ways to get ecommerce customers.