15 latest e-commerce trends to watch out for in 2021

latest ecommerce trends

From trading livestock with your neighbour to now buying stuff online, commerce has changed tremendously over the years. So much, that according to the reports, there would be 2.14 billion global digital buyers in 2021. It is important for businesses to keep a track of the latest e-commerce trends to stay competitive.

The industry has come quite a long way since the incidence of the first-ever online sale on August 11, 1994, when a man sold a band called Sting’s CD to his friend through his online site NetMarket.

Since then, e-commerce has evolved to simplify customers’ online purchase journey through various retailers and platforms.

Latest e-commerce technology trends in 2021 for business growth

We have researched and listed 15 e-commerce trends that can help you drive sales in 2021:

1. AI Chatbots

AI-based chatbots have been around for a while now. These automated programs can stimulate conversation with humans to answer specific queries and execute tasks. They use Natural Language Processing (NLP) to understand human queries and then reply accordingly.

Following is an example of a chatbot – eBay ShopBot, that can converse in real-time and helps website visitors find the best deals from over one billion product listing on eBay.

AI chatbots

Source: eBay

In the coming times, chatbots and virtual customer service agents might become more accurate in understanding the emotional state of people with whom they are conversing.

This clearly means, if you are not using chatbots on your online shopping platforms, you should definitely give one a test run.

2. Infusion of Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) is the best thing since sliced bread. It will see more adoption in the e-commerce industry. More and more eCommerce platforms are integrating it to improve buyer experience. How? AR tools help consumers try or test homeware products or clothes and accessories before final purchase. For merchants, a satisfied customer translates to repeated sales.

E-commerce sites like Lenskart allow 3D trial of eyeglasses for users with simple camera access. Simply pick, try, and purchase.

Infusion of Augmented Reality

Source: Lenskart

Being able to see what you are trying or how something will look on you, from the comfort of your home, will be a game-changer.

Related read: Virtual Reality Development Trends in Coming Future

3. Attraction towards video content

We are living in a world, where everyone is on a tight schedule, caught in meeting personal and professional obligations. Most of us don’t have the time to crawl through an entire page to know about a product, hence we prefer a 2 or 3 minutes video that engages us and fills us with the required product information.

e-commerce trends

Source: Glossier

Online cosmetics store – Glossier, uses different videos to help customers understand their product in detail.

Related read: Top 3 software to convert online videos to MP3 format

4. D2C revolution

The direct-to-consumer revolution is taking over the market. The D2C model allows a direct link between the manufacturer and the buyer. It is often enabled via mobile or digital channels. Companies want to find ways to reach customers directly and control all aspects of that experience. Removal of middleman translates to higher margins for the manufacturer and lower cost for the end customer.

5. Environmentally friendly packaging

Now the consumers are becoming more aware of the various environmental hazards that can be caused due to packaging. Large-sized boxes used for packaging result in wastage of environmental resources. Companies will use more efficient packaging solutions with messages to reuse, to win over customer consciousness.

Ship your product within minutes 

You can start using materials like cardboard, paperboard etc. that can be reconstituted and made into new products. Materials build with corn starch are biodegradable and hence can be a good option. You can also contact the provider of eco-friendly product packaging like Green Packaging Group, Earthpack etc.

6. Growing scope for influencer marketing

Influencer marketing – driving key leaders/people to drive a brand’s message to a larger user subset, is topping the digital marketing strategy of marketers. Per an infographic by Invesp, it delivers 11X higher return on investment (ROI) than other traditional forms of digital marketing. 48% of US marketers who are already using influencer marketing can increase their budget for influencer marketing.

7. Voice-assisted search

The market for voice search is expected to grow to $15.8 billion in 2021, per a report. Almost all e-commerce websites and their web apps now have a voice search console, that helps users to say what they are searching for. Not to mention, the Google voice assistant can instantly generate numerous results based on your voice search. Here, the user can also put queries that are longer than the typed search. In fact, with technology grooming every day, voice-based assistants can also read out your product description. So, remember to put the best description.

8. Continued growth of analytical platforms

Data is of no use if it can’t dive you through insights. As e-commerce platforms grow, the demand for data analytics will also continue to grow. In 2021, we can see a data analytics platform proving highly beneficial in improving product development, customer satisfaction, bounce rates, returns and many more such elements. Platforms like Google Analytics and Facebook Analytics can help you manage your sales funnel and innovate.analytical platforms

Related read: Top data analytics tools comparison: Alibaba Cloud, AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, IBM

9. Accelerated B2B e-commerce growth

As brands figure out ways to squeeze their margins in the B2B environment, digital channels will continue to open up new markets to reduce difficulties in reaching the target customers. Per a study by Forrester, US B2B eCommerce will reach $1.8 trillion and account for 17% of all B2B sales in the US by 2023.

Future Commerce Indonesia event that took place recently, discovered various e-commerce trends and growth prospects for digital commerce. A study by Accenture Research revealed key drivers of APAC digital commerce growth:

B2B e-commerce growth

Source: Accenture

10. Inclination toward customer engagement and personalization

Customer engagement will be the topmost priority for organizations. Companies will try to find out more opportunities to integrate with the customers at a more personal level. Building experiences for the customers is the first step towards maximizing customer satisfaction and eventually driving more sales.

Consumers prefer personalized experiences while buying a product. Even addressing the customer from their name when they login into your site, is a personal experience for them. Giving them discounts on their birthdays, anniversaries, etc. add a personal touch to sales and make customers feel important.

These days, clothing brands have started giving size chart to help customers find the right fit within seconds.

“If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful” – Jeff Bezos, Founder, Amazon

11. Rise of ethical e-Commerce

Customers values play a crucial role that influences their purchasing and buying behaviour. Consumers are becoming more aware of their environment and the real and hidden impacts and cost of e-commerce.

Brands are using digital to appeal to customer values. Societal and environmental impact is putting pressure on customer choices and preferences. They have reservations for buying any product or service that poses a threat to the environment. This may be the reason why we see herbal products finding a way into larger consumer markets.

12. Social media will become more transactional

There will be times when customers will be able to buy directly from social media platforms. Though, it is not entirely a new thing, as in China nearly 55% of the social app users are buying goods directly from the social apps. With this, social media messaging platforms like Snapchat, Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger can also become transactional, with the number of engagements running into billions.

We all have heard about Instagram Shop, Snapchat’s Shop and Cop section, etc. The former allows users to directly buy products through a link that leads to the main merchant website. While Snapchat’s Shop and Cop section allows a user to search merchandise and then buy the product directly from the app without being redirected to any other website.

13. QR code detection to help provide instant product information

Technology upgrades have brought significant changes to how product information can be accessed. QR codes are a much familiar concept. Anyone can scan these codes to know about a particular product But now, their dependency on the application is reducing.

QR code detection

Anyone with the latest smartphone can now use their in-built camera to detect QR codes and know about product description, pricing and other information. By making the QR code as a native part of Android and iOS, mobile manufacturers have removed the main challenge to adopting QR code and its dependency on apps to read.

14. Rise of micro-marketplaces

Micro marketplaces or micro-markets provide opportunities to buy any product from outside of an e-commerce platform. Many of us have already experienced this while surfing through our Facebook feed, Google or Instagram. These platforms are listing products within their consumer’s search and social experiences. These micro-markets can evolve into completely new technology in the times to come.

15. Flexible payment options

The lack of flexible payment options can demotivate a buyer from making the final purchase. Not every user is comfortable sharing the credit card or debit card details while making purchases online. Customers might want to look for more flexible payment options that do not include sharing critical card details. Even some retailers might want to shift towards more smart payment options, like extending credits to separating buying from paying.

Online shoppers have high expectations but little to no patience. At the end of the day, what matters most for the end customer is – experience. All the above e-commerce trends in one or the other will improve the buying experience of the end customers. They want to know the maximum about the product before they make the final purchase. Keep a close watch on these and many other e-commerce trends and gain a competitive position in the market.

If you think we have missed out on any latest e-commerce trends, let us know via the comments below.

This post was last updated on 21st April 2021.

Read Next: How tech giants are tracking our emotions with AI?

Share This Post


  1. Conversational commerce isn’t just a cool-sounding concept — user research shows that buyers are more ready and willing than ever to shop online with bots.

  2. Best for e-commerce technology trends in 2020 for business growth I am wondering this from long time Thanks for your post.

  3. Really very useful tips.Thanks for sharing.

  4. Great article you’ve posted here.
    To keep updated ourselves as we are in this industry, we have to know the current trends of eCommerce and have to be ready and make changes according to the market needs.

  5. I do recommend these tips to most of my clients. Thanks anyway..

  6. Good job done. Very helpful article

  7. Thanks for sharing great information.

  8. This content is well-detailed and easy to understand. Thank you for creating good content.

  9. Good work. Thanks for sharing.


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