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The Top Ecommerce Technology Trends Of 2021

A simple search for ecommerce technology trends is enough to make your head spin. You could spend days on end combing through all the search results and still only scratch the surface.

While there’s nothing wrong with keeping an open mind, you only have so much time to follow the “latest and greatest” trends. This is especially true if you don’t have the resources of an Amazon, Apple, Walmart, Target, or other leading retailer. And most of us don’t, right?

In this article, I share the top ecommerce technology trends of 2021 so you don’t have to search for them on your own time. 

It’s in your best interest to learn more about any ecommerce technology trend that could improve your online business. 

However, if you’re short on time and ready to take action, here are five trends that deserve your immediate attention. Following these has helped many ecommerce businesses and marketers excel at a higher level. 

1. Live Chat 

The ecommerce world is evolving, and with that consumers are interested in more efficient and effective communication. And that’s where live chat (and even chatbots) comes into play.

According to Zendesk, customer satisfaction ratings for live chat (85%) outpace all other forms—including email and social media—except phone support (91%).

Live chat is effective throughout (and after) the customer journey, with this technology helping to:

  • Answer customer questions to increase conversion rate 
  • Engage customers to keep them on the site longer
  • Provide post-sales customer support (such as how to use a product)
  • Provide information in real-time.

Without live chat messaging, visitors are forced to search your website for additional information or reach out via phone or email. This type of poor user experience has the potential to chase buyers away forever. 

2. Headless CMS

It might sound like something from Sleepy Hollow, but Headless CMS is one of the fastest-growing trends in the ecommerce space.

Here’s how Contentful defines headless CMS:

A headless CMS is any type of back-end content management system where the content repository “body” is separated or decoupled from the presentation layer “head.” Content that is housed in a headless CMS is delivered via APIs for seamless display across different devices.

If you’re struggling to understand the differences between a headless CMS and a traditional CMS—such as WordPress—this chart should answer most of your questions.

Differences between a headless CMS and a traditional CMS Chart
(Source: Contentful)

Here are some of the many benefits of using a headless CMS for an online store:

  • A headless CMS is faster across all devices
  • A headless CMS is easier to scale, such as when adding products to your store
  • Compatibility with any API-first stack
  • Advanced customization to suit your potential customers.

If your ecommerce website is running on a traditional CMS, consider if these benefits could save you time, money, and headaches in the future. 

3. Augmented Reality 

The biggest roadblock facing online retailers has been the same since day one: consumers can’t experience products before buying them.

For example, they can’t try on clothes, see how a new couch would look in the living room, or physically examine the components of mobile devices (such as smartphones). 

This is where augmented reality (AR) enters the picture. 

For example, consumers can do things such as place furniture within their homes, try on clothes, and closely inspect the inside and outside of a vehicle.

Carvana is a prime example of a company that’s on the leading edge of augmented reality. Its virtual vehicle tour technology gives customers the confidence they need to complete a transaction 100% online.

Carvana has no plans to operate traditional brick-and-mortar stores (just car vending machines!).

Carvana vehicle Image
(Source: Carvana)

Overall, the augmented reality market is expected to reach an estimated 2.4 billion users by 2023. And with that, you can expect a growing number of online retailers to take full advantage of this trend with the goal of boosting retail sales. 

4. Virtual Shopping

Virtual reality shopping goes hand in hand with augmented reality. Companies such as HERO are already making major waves in this space.

HERO is an all-in-one virtual ecommerce platform that’s currently used by more than 200 top ecommerce brands.

Through the use of shoppable video, you can bring your products to life. This is as close as your consumers will come to an in-store experience, without actually being physically present.

With virtual shopping technology, you can do things such as:

  • Tag products so shoppers can purchase on the spot
  • Make it simple for buyers to instantly connect with a live customer service representative
  • Instantly publish videos to the most relevant product and category pages
  • Make product recommendations based on metrics
  • Cater to both desktop and mobile users
  • Change pricing in real-time
  • Integration with your mobile app.

Watch this video for a better understanding of how virtual shopping works and how it can transform your ecommerce store.

In simple terms, virtual shopping boils down to providing a better online customer experience. And when that happens, shopping offline at physical stores is not nearly as appealing.

5. eWallet Technology

Go back in time 10+ years and online shoppers weren’t thinking much about eWallet technology. However, this is changing quickly, with eWallets picking up steam with each passing day.

According to Finaria, the digital payments sector was worth roughly $3 trillion in 2017. That’s a lot, right?

Well, it is, until you consider the fact that this number jumped to $4.7 trillion in 2019.

And if that’s not enough to convince you of the stability of this upward trend, transaction volume is expected to reach $6.6 trillion in 2021 and $10.5 trillion by 2025.

It’s simple: A growing number of customers are interested in digital payment technology. They’d rather make a mobile payment than use a credit card. Doing so is more convenient and more secure than traditional payment options and, for that reason, it has the potential to boost conversion rates and ecommerce sales. 

Conclusion

It’s one thing to understand the top ecommerce technology trends of 2021, but another thing entirely to take advantage of them. 

Think long and hard about the ways your online store can benefit from the tech trends detailed above, all while learning from other ecommerce sites in your space. From there, implement those that make sense and put the others on the back burner. 

A heavy focus on one or two of these new technology trends may be all it takes to move the needle and dominate your niche of the ecommerce industry. And even if that doesn’t happen, you’re doing your part in improving the online shopping experience of your target market. 

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