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5 Commerce Tech Trends to Expect in 2021

(Annie Spratt/Unsplash)

Today, more than ever before, consumers are relying heavily on online shopping. As the global pandemic continues, e-commerce sales have risen 55% year-over-year for the first seven months of 2020, with $434.5 billion in online spending, according to Adobe. The pandemic has forced us into the future and introduced us to technologies that we were hesitant to try a few months ago.

While quarantined, we cleaned out our closets and earned extra money by selling our clothes on many of the resell marketplaces that are available. We explored virtual closet apps because the days of trying on clothes in fitting rooms are behind us. We downloaded countless shopping and fashion apps that provide us with a better, personalized shopping experience and simplified our lives.

Whether we like it or not, many of the shopping experiences we loved and used are in the past.

Consumers are becoming more tech-savvy and are seeking ways to simplify their lives. They want to enjoy all of these shopping experiences in a safe, contactless environment while in the comfort of their home. As we approach a new year, we will be introduced to more improved technologies which adhere to the new normal. Here are five commerce tech trends you can expect to rise in 2021.

Voice Commerce

Chatbots are so last year. Who wants to text when you can voice your command with devices like Amazon’s Echo, Alexa and Google Home? It’s projected that voice commerce will reach 75% of U.S. households by 2025, and voice sales are anticipated to reach $40 billion by 2022. Expect to see more fashion brands and e-commerce sites offer voice command assistants as part of their shopping experience.

Resale Marketplaces

Also known as second hand-marketplaces, companies such as Poshmark, Depop, The Hunt, Tradesy, Etsy and ThredUp allow anyone to resell their used clothes and earn up to 90% commission per item. These user-generated platforms are a favorite among millennials and Generation-Zers who are used to selling, trading and buying among their peers and who have made a full-time living by doing so.

Research indicates that the second-hand marketplace will double within the next five years. Consumers are not only becoming increasingly conscious about sustainability, but they are also becoming more entrepreneurial. This year was challenging for all of us. The economy has suffered, and most people are looking for new ways to generate extra income. Furthermore, many people are looking to make a positive impact on the environment. Resale marketplaces are still growing, offering sneakers, accessories, handbags, luxury goods and men’s apparel. Companies will continue to develop improved business tools for sellers while providing the modern-day shopper with more curated experiences and products at a significant discount.

AR Virtual Closets,

Showrooms & Apps

A few years ago, my company created one of the first augmented reality (AR) beauty apps, allowing consumers to try on any makeup product from their brand using a mobile device. With the global pandemic, consumers are unable to try makeup at a store. Online sellers are expected to spend $7.3 billion on AR in 2022, and more than 120,000 stores will be using AR technologies to offer customers a rich buying experience by 2022.

How convenient is it to try on clothes from home before making a purchase? This technology will soon be used by showrooms, beauty companies, fashion shows and fashion brands. Brands like Nike, Diesel and H&M have explored using this technology in the past and have already created immersive experiences for their fans.

Shoppable Live-Streaming

This is one of my favorite new trends to explore. I experienced my first live-stream shop while vacationing in Asia. Think Home Shopping Network (HSN) but on your mobile device — and you can actually interact with your seller. Viewers can chat, talk to each other, share suggestions or send the product as a gift to someone else. The best part is that you can go live at any time with your customers.

Sellers are becoming more creative, especially those on social media. This is an effective way to create an emotional connection with your customer, thank them in person, get their opinions and interact with a community of people who are curious and excited to try your product.

Mobile Commerce Apps

Most people are on their phone throughout the day. As more consumers navigate through new online shopping experiences, they will feel more comfortable and confident making purchases using their mobile devices. Why wait until you get back home to shop when you can do it anywhere, anytime?

By the end of 2021, mobile devices are expected to make 73% of total e-commerce sales, and mobile will play a dominant role in your customer’s shopping journey. From my experience as a developer, signs point to mobile commerce as the top method for making a purchase. Mobile apps will be more prevalent as checkout integrations become easier for the consumer.

To prepare, businesses should develop for mobile first. Shoppers tend to choose a brand’s app over a mobile web experience. Invest in making your customer’s user journey simple, accessible and instant. Look into integrate omni-channel strategy to optimize conversions and to keep up with your customers at all times.

The pandemic has forced us to think outside the box. Business owners must learn to pivot and rely on technology more than ever, so if there is ever a need, they can be ready to take customers from offline to online in a matter of minutes.

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