Retail and Ecommerce Trends That Will Shape 2021

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Retail and Ecommerce Trends That Will Shape 2021

If 2020 was filled with challenges, 2021 is filled with fresh opportunities for growth and success. These retail and ecommerce trends will set the pace this year. Find out how your business can capitalise on these trends for the best results.

A Snapshot of Australian Retail and Ecommerce

  • Global ecommerce sales are expected to increase to $4.5 trillion USD in 2021 
  • Australia ranks 10th for ecommerce sales worldwide
  • Australia’s retail turnover increased 13.3% in November 2020 compared to 2019 ( 
  • 200,000+ new online shoppers entered the market in April 2020 with 1 million more Australians shopping online every week compared to 2019
  • Seasoned Aussie shoppers increased their online shopping frequency in April 2020 by 52.6% and purchasing online >3x over the month
  • 91% of all deliveries in April 2020 went to homes, up 9% in share compared to 2019 
  • Sales peaked at 135% year-over-year during the holiday weekend of Easter 2020 and set a new record as Australia Post’s busiest period in the country’s online shopping history 
  • Australia Post activities in the three months leading to May 2020 helped generate an additional $2.4 billion in ecommerce sales compared to the same period last year, with remote and regional communities accounting for nearly 1/4 of business 
  • Online shopping will account for 16% to 18% of total retail spend by 2025 

The Best Performing Retail and Ecommerce Categories of November 2020 in Seasonally Adjusted Terms

  • Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (+26.7%)
  • Department store (+21.1%)
  • Household goods retailing (+12.7%)
  • Other retailing (+7.9%)
  • Cafes, restaurants and takeaway (+6.7%)

Retail and Ecommerce Trends for 2021

  1. Shoppertainment – Livestreaming and other forms of media content are driving the shoppertainment trend, which merges shopping experiences with entertainment. In 2021, more marketers will  engage consumers via virtual product demonstrations, reviews, live Q&As, and more. 
  2. Personalised Shopping Feeds – With Instagram giving the Shopping tab a more prominent position on the app’s main navigation bar, retailers can expect other social channels to follow suit and roll out their own personalised shopping feeds. When this happens, the products consumers see on social media will become hyper-curated based on the products they’ve already browsed as well as who they follow and interact with the most. 
  3. Click & Collect – Woolsworth was among the first local retailers to launch a click & collect initiative in 2017. Since then, it has turned into an industry standard as an increasing number of Aussies now expect seamless, ultra-convenient and personalised shopping experiences. 
  4. Social Commerce – With leading social platforms like Facebook and Instagram offering in-app shopping via Shops and launching the highly anticipated in-app shopping event called InstaNight Shopping, social commerce is expected to make an impact in 2021. Read: How to Use Facebook Shops for Sales
  5. Purposeful Retailing – It’s no longer enough for retailers to sell quality products in 2021 with purposeful retailing becoming an important factor in consumers’ decision to support a brand. Shoppers want authenticity and inclusivity that are reflected in retailers’ offerings and messaging. 
  6.  Re-Commerce  Australia’s second-hand economy grew to $46 billion in 2021 with half of consumers buying second-hand goods to save more money for bills while 42% saying they are now more likely to sell used items than before. Re-commerce will continue to trend in 2021 as it allows Aussies to buy on-demand and sell with ease. For retailers, it presents the opportunity to generate new trends and promote sustainability 

How Businesses Can Capitalise on These Trends

  • Flexible payment options – Most retailers now offer multiple Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) options in order to appeal to different demographics now that more than half of Aussies have at least one BNPL account. It’s also important for retailers to have PayPal and credit card offerings that can receive currencies that consumers would like to use. 
  • Delivery and shipping – The shift in consumers buying habits and increased volumes of online orders forced Australian Post and other carriers to scale and adapt quickly . Through most of 2020, late-night and weekend deliveries become the norm. Increased lead times can have a negative impact on consumer experience and force buyers to look elsewhere for better service. 
  • Convenience – The rise of Click & Collect orders shows that an increasing number of consumers now pre-purchase goods and spend less time in-store. Offering a smooth and seamless Click & Collect program will help your business grow in 2021. 
  • Human capital – Ecommerce platforms typically need large teams with the skill and experience needed for efficient set-up and day-to-day operations. As the industry evolves, and with the development of new tools and technology, it is now possible for smaller teams and even sole proprietors to complete most day-to-day tasks. These include tools for making real-time page design updates and changes without the need for coding. Either way, you’ll need a solid team to help you meet changing consumer demands and expectations. 
  • Purpose – It’s important for retailers to have a clear understanding of their purpose for being in business especially now that consumers expect brands to be more authentic and make contributions. Identify topics that matter and make sense for your business, and communicate them clearly to customers. Just keep in mind that your business can’t do everything and be everything, so focus is key. 
  • Integration – Is your ecommerce platform connected with other systems? As your business grows, it can become harder to manage sales volume. That’s why most retailers use other systems aside from their ecommerce platform to streamline and manages processes. Ecommerce integration allows merchants to connect their ecommerce sites to other online sales channels and back-end systems such as a POS or ERP system. The allows for a more seamless, bidirectional flow of data between different systems.

Work with a leading digital agency

Contevo is a Shopify Partner and digital agency with more than 15 years’ experience in ecommerce and social media marketing. We’re passionate about helping Australian businesses grow and expand. Call us if you’d like a consultation. 

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