What will force Ecommerce Businesses to change their Digital Strategy in 2021?


Due to the pandemic most commerce businesses have recently been forced to speed up the process of their Digital Transformation. In addition, existing ecommerce businesses have been facing an advanced level of competition and the Digital Commerce Market environment is frequently changing to an extent that business leaders struggle to keep up with the new changes.

EICOM’s mission is to support C-Level Managers to guide their companies through Digital Transformation we would like to give you an outlook about some upcoming trends and again highlight the relevancy of our Executive Education Programme in Cambridge.

1. Shopping on TV

 Shoppable TV is a term we have been coming across more and more over the last two years.  Customers can already use QR codes from TV advertisements to land on the exact product page and complete the checkout on their smartphone. The next trend we are waiting for now is clickable streaming advertisements. Providers such as Amazon Prime or Netflix would therefore be able to include clickable products in streaming content.

 How often do we find ourselves watching TV/streaming services and thinking ‘This is the shirt, dress, shoes or even kitchen item, decoration etc. that I have been looking for for…’


2. ReCommerce 

Consumers have become more aware of the environment than ever and the commerce industry has been responding to this trend. Second Hand Online Shops are on the rise and may be a different level of competition that should not be underestimated.


3. Distribution

 Distribution Channels and their efficiency need to be a 100% when retailers aim for satisfied customers. Fast and safe delivery needs to be guaranteed as well as easy return processes which are now all digitalised. For many ecommerce retailers there is a strong need to update the processes, software and even team structure.


4. Product Rentals

 The fashion industry is a sector where product rentals could become a larger opportunity in 2021. As people are more concerned about the downward trend of the world’s economy caused by the pandemic, trends would indicate that certain consumers would rather focus on essential goods. With the vaccine being in the last trial stages, all postponed event plans will be picked up again. Whether this is corporate events, trade shows or private engagements like weddings, birthday parties or music festivals; people will get back into non-essential activity again.

The wedding industry has already been experiencing a great interest in ‘wedding dress rentals’ but there are also Online Shops that offer clothes to rent (e.g. Cocoon, MyWardrobe HQ, Rotaro, etc.). We could come across this commerce strategy with a number of luxury brands but also medium tier lower cost brands who focus on the environmental factor of ‘reusing’ products.


5. Advanced Customisation

Advanced Product Customisation is a trend that we have been seeing for years now with certain brands and it is steadily on the rise.

Consumers can make design changes to their Coca-Cola Bottle or their Nutella Jar with a name/wish and have their Adidas Superstars made in their own colours and patterns.

As a result, retailers can not only reach the consumers who are not yet convinced by the current collection; but they can also increase the product’s price as the additional charge on ‘personalised items’ seems to be widely accepted. 

The trend of ‘customising products’ is expected to spread across all industries in 2021. Whether it is clothes, confectionery, glassware, decorations, stationery articles etc. certain consumers like to ‘create their own’ design. 


6. Intelligent Algorithms 

Many companies are already using intelligent algorithms to track their shoppers’ journey and buying behaviour. This will give you a great insight into their buying behavior and buying decision making processes but it is mainly based on past-purchases.

In 2021 these algorithms could be used in a smarter way to predict potential buying journeys on new products and services.

It will also effect the way companies communicate with their customers. The set of information, based on past buying decisions and predictions can help creating content that is more relevant to the individual shopper. We expect loyalty programs, customer acquisition campaigns and regular communications to change.


7. Ecommerce goes Offline

It does sound like a contradiction but retailers such as Amazon have already started to set up offline stores starting in 2018. Even if people use digital market places they still do some product research and try to get a ‘look and feel’ of the product in other stores which could then, lead to an ‘easy-purchase-option’. 

There is no radical On- or Offline Customer unless it is someone without internet access or the ability to use it. Most people are used to have and use both shopping channels and businesses will need to define a strategy that works with the new requirements.


The ongoing Trend: Environmental Friendly

We have already been through a lot of changes when we think about retailers ‘going green’. But this will go beyond packaging and an environmental friendly production. You will need to understand the ‘Ethical Consumer’.

We have therefore incorporated a new module in our programme and we are pleased to introduce a new professor,  Dr. Charles Hancock to our team. He will add his module ‘The rise of the ethical consumer’ to our programme.
This session aims to provide an insight into the what consumers value when making their purchase decision. Consumer are becoming increasingly conscious of where products are manufactured, how they are manufactured and from what material. Disrupting the incumbent brands, smaller agile upstarts decouple the value chain by listening to their customers desire, and destabilising old practices.