In 2020, eCommerce around the world. All markets and sectors that were behind in developing online shopping platforms were forced to accelerate their digital transformation: the world, by emergency and necessity, was moving away from traditional face-to-face purchases and resorting to eCommerce. Undoubtedly, this scenario born of the COVID-19 pandemic is the main factor in finding new and different eCommerce trends by 2021. Jose Duarte, an eCommerce expert and entrepreneur from Costa Rica, discusses some of the top trends that will be seen in the eCommerce space over the next two years.

From the evolution of eCommerce to marketplace, to voice assistants, to new strategies to prioritize customer retention, 2021 will require companies to continue to maintain an accelerated pace of digital maturation. Learn below about the eCommerce trends that will define this year and the near future of online commerce. Asserts Duarte, “eCommerce operations looking to make the next leap in their strategy should generally look in the direction of a marketplace, a website or app where you can find different brands and people functioning as sellers and sharing the same online trading platform.”

To enjoy this evolution, you need to have a seller center. This is a digital platform that allows you to organize and maintain the day-to-day operation of a marketplace, where you bring all the sellers together in one place and you manage inventory and promotions, exclusive spaces and other sales strategies. Here, sellers can control, in one place, their entire operation. In 2021, taking the leap from eCommerce to marketplace is a possible competitive advantage with the implementation of a seller center.

The development and scalability processes of eCommerce platforms require code writing and a strict system of requirements; however, so-called low code development offers easy-to-use platforms that enable you to implement functionality and features quickly without further code adjustments. It’s about reducing the involvement of traditional code writing and replacing it with other intuitive processes (such as content managers). This translates to reduced development and deployment teams faster. In the midst of a competitive ecosystem, speed will be a definitive element.

As Big eCommerce points out, augmented reality is a major change for online shopping. “With this type of technology,” explains Duarte, “users can live a shopping experience close to the face-to-face, since they can better visualize the object they want to buy. Industries such as furniture production and home décor are an example of the sectors benefiting from this technology.”

Devices specializing in voice support, such as Amazon Dot or Google Home, continue to gain ground in homes. In turn, voice assistants on smart devices continue to refine their technology and become more accessible to the general public. All of this will make voice-assisted purchasing a priority to consider in the years to come. The main focus will be to have voice assistants as an aid for searching for stores and products, which requires companies to pay more attention in three fields:

Given the rapid digital evolution of many businesses, which enter the eCommerce world for the first time, customer retention becomes more attractive than attracting new ones. The scenario makes acquiring new customers more expensive, as platforms like Facebook, Google or Apple have made it difficult to distribute ads across different channels, as Shopify points out.

To combat this situation, the approach is to prioritize retaining, incentivizing and rewarding today’s customers to spend more. It’s no wonder that eCommerce’s market strategies are focused on acquiring new customers and leaving the delight stages for smaller efforts. But in the midst of a competitive scenario where the economy of attention is a battled terrain, the focus must change. Old customers must make new purchases, while getting new customers must give way a little of their priority.

When proposing new eCommerce developments or improving the current one, companies must take into account the future of this operation. It is not just about launching a website; it is about its continuous maintenance and administration, its review and evaluation and finally, a continuous improvement of the proposal. All this requires a significant investment for any type of business; therefore, it is ideal to resort to small equipment, which does not require high levels of specialization and with those conditions can maintain an operation optimally.

2021 requires eCommerce to think of intuitive platforms and low code to reduce their operation. The user experience will extend to voice assistants. Retaining customers should be a new priority for eCommerce marketing strategies. Augmented reality must enter among the innovations that businesses have considered on the horizon. A marketplace is an ideal choice for expanding your offering, but it requires a seller center to be included in your strategy.