Direct to Consumer, Augmented Reality and Sustainability: The Key Ecommerce Trends for 2021.

Following a year like no other that saw eCommerce hurled five years ahead of its time, 2021 is set to see emerging eCommerce trends that will centre around preparing for the unpredictable, says global eCommerce platform provider Kooomo.

"If 2020 has taught us anything, it's that nothing is out of the realm of possibility as far as the future goes," says Ciaran Bollard, CEO of Kooomo. "Bricks and mortar retailers were forced to place digital transformation at the top of their agendas and online retailers have had to respond to the immediate, and unprecedented changes to consumer behaviour at the hands of COVID-19."

With this in mind, Kooomo outlines the key trends it expects to see in retail and eCommerce in 2021:

More brands will go Direct to Consumer (DTC).

More and more brands will experiment with Direct to Consumer eCommerce, as sales are expected to grow by 24.3% this year to $ 17.75billion[1]. While third-party distributors (for example supermarkets and multibrand outlets) are likely to always play a part in the consumer goods sales mix, there's a lot to be said for brands owning everything from logistics to supply chain and everything in between. That, paired with the fact that a large majority of bricks and mortar stores have had to close this year, be it temporarily or permanently, makes DTC a very attractive option for brands.

Sustainability and belief-based buying will be top of consumers' list of priorities.

No huge surprises here. Sustainability has been at the forefront of retail in recent years, but with online being the main channel for sales in the wake of the pandemic, excess packaging, and the environmental impact of deliveries are going to be highlighted even more in 2021. Not only that, the lockdown has sparked a movement of belief-led buying among the masses--opting to buy and support local as much as possible. Now, more than ever, consumers are pledging to vote with their wallets--a trend we fully expect to stretch into 2021--and beyond.

Social commerce will continue to grow (but will it take over completely?).

Removing friction from the online shopping experience has long been a topic for businesses to consider, with the primary focus being on the checkout user experience (UX), but more recently on the browsing experience also. By 2021, the global social commerce market is predicted to grow by 34%[2], and more channels are hopping on board the eCommerce train--most recently with WhatsApp adding a shopping button to...

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