For many of us, 2020 has been a year of endless monotony. However, it has been a year of tremendous upheaval for businesses, and perhaps no industry has had to adapt to new consumer behavior faster than retail.
Looking ahead to the New Year, we can expect even more change as consumers test new channels for discovery and purchase as brands and retailers try to position themselves where they expect buyers to.
We asked analysts for their predictions on how retail and e-commerce will change in 2021. These are the five trends that they saw in their crystal balls.
1. Live streams galore
According to Matt Moorut, lead analyst at research firm Gartner, livestream trade was $ 60 billion in 2019. But there is still room for growth: only $ 1 billion of that was spent in the US, while the “vast majority” was spent in China.
Audrey Low, managing director of international accounts at media agency Mindshare China, stated that the e-commerce trends for 2020 “can be summed up in one word: live streaming”. This is because live streaming at shopping festivals like 6.18 and 11.11 has increased dramatically across China after the country recovered from the pandemic, especially for beauty brands.
In 2021, expect a more meaningful expansion of the live stream beyond China.
“What happened [in 2020] Once everyone was locked up they had a lot more time and wanted more content, so they actually turned to livestreams, ”said Moorut. “And then brands again turned to livestreaming to offer product discoveries to consumers using that medium at the time.”
As a result, he sees live streaming as a potential growth area for platforms like Instagram and Facebook, which “have innovated quickly this year and are actually adding more options”.
A technology manager, who asked not to be named because he wasn’t allowed to speak on the file, pointed to new virtual experiences like Amazon Explore, which customers use for virtual one-on-one tours like 45 minutes Can pay at a Wildcat rescue center in Costa Rica or shop for cookware in Tokyo.
“It’s mental for me that there is currently no more sponsorship,” he said. “It’s not live streaming, of course, but it could be, and I think video live streaming will enable new ways of interacting between brands and buyers. You just haven’t figured out the platforms yet. “
In fact, the market is fragmented among players like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Amazon. However, these platforms have a vested interest in cracking the nut, as live streaming helps brands connect with consumers.
“Whoever is closest to the consumer controls the conversation,” he added. “So if you can be closest to the consumer with a live stream in a moment of need, then it’s done. That is the transaction. “
2. Shopping on social
After Walmart’s debut on TikTok this month and the launch of Facebook Shops and Instagram Shops earlier this year, we can expect more social commerce in 2021 as well.
Media company GroupM’s first e-commerce forecast found that social commerce is “an increasingly important part” of retailers’ digital strategies.
“In 2021, we’ll see a world where your favorite influencer is your personal buyer, walks the aisle of your favorite store, and you’re on your phone and basket with all of the products you recommend,” said Jeff Malmad. Executive Director and Lead at Shop +, a unit that focuses on retail and e-commerce at Mindshare.