Master retail trends in 2021: Supercharge your product feeds

Master retail trends in 2021: Supercharge your product feeds

April 21, 2021
The shape of retail is always changing, and never so rapidly as it has during the past year.
Over the course of 2020 and the first part of 2021, shoppers have changed their buying habits for good - making more of their purchases online and settling into the “new normal”.
More shifts in behavior are coming along all the time, and to stay ahead of the curve, ecommerce marketers need to react fast, and export their feeds to sales and marketing channels on a dime.
Modern, agile feed management is your ticket to ecommerce success in 2021 and beyond. Here are four of the retail trends you’ll want to optimize your feeds around - to stay relevant and drive sales. 01 Consumers shopping online

Enjoying the luxury of choice

Consumers have always liked having options, but events of the last 12 months have only accelerated the trend toward compelling, multichannel experiences. More people shop online for more types of products than ever before, and these new behaviors are here to say post-pandemic.
Physical and digital shopping are getting increasingly blended, so both primarily online and traditionally offline retailers need to embrace elements of both. For ecommerce brands, this can mean adding augmented reality content to allow shoppers to try on clothes or view furniture in their homes, turning in-real-life retail experiences into virtual ones, and making the most of ecommerce features on social platforms like livestream shopping events.
Click-and-collect, BOPIS, and curbside pickup offerings exploded in 2020, and they continue to be popular this year as people continue to value ease, immediacy, and shopping on their terms. What this shows is that brands and retailers need to be accommodating to the way shoppers want to buy in order to match or exceed their expectations - and the competition.
Key takeaway: Give your customers what they want and expect: a seamless experience across all touchpoints.
02 Retailers offering curbside pickup

Shopping sustainably, but also for convenience

Consumers love low prices, convenience, and product choice. But there is also an overlapping segment of people who are willing to spend more to buy local, and from brands with purpose or eco-friendly values at their hearts.
Marketplaces like Amazon, Taobao, and Walmart are dominating ecommerce, with over 50% of online sales taking place on sites like these. Consumers tend to search for product types over brands here, and also click on platform-recommended products, so it’s time to optimize your titles, keywords, and other content accordingly. There’s so much competition around, you’ll want to make your product pages stand out through tips and inspiring creative.
At the same time, local shoppers are keen to support trustworthy and transparent businesses, as well as to reduce their carbon footprint by shopping from local, sustainable brands. Local doesn’t have to just mean in the neighborhood though. It can also mean state-wide, country-wide or continent-wide. To reach and engage the environmentally friendly types, humanize the buying journey and offer rich experiences elsewhere than the marketplace. However, the exact channels and direction you take should be informed by your vertical, customers’ behavior, and goals.
Key takeaway: Stay connected to, maintain relationships with, and inspire customers while understanding them and how they want to shop.
03 Shop closer home

Social commerce, social discovery, and direct comms

All of the big social players are getting onboard with ecommerce and social commerce, From Instagram to TikTok, they’re capitalizing on and bolstering the consumer trend toward searching for, discovering, researching, and buying products via social channels.
An estimated 8% of all product searches globally now take place on Facebook alone, while 89% of Pinterest users use the platform for purchase inspiration. Over the next five years, the global impact of social commerce is predicted to grow at a rate of more than 30% per year, driving $604 billion in sales by 2027.
What started with the testing of new features has turned into global roll-out. The likes of Dynamic product ads, Shops, Checkout, and shoppable video should be part of any ecommerce marketer’s considerations when it comes to new customer acquisition tactics to exploit. Stay tuned for in-app purchasing on Whatsapp and Messenger, and be ready to capture the opportunities that are right for your company as they arise.
Key takeaway: Use an agile feed management solution to help you control what your customers see, ensuring your content is in line with your brand and reflects what’s on your site, from product imagery, to pricing and stock volume.
For more of retail's current trends, feed optimizations to action today, and golden rules for success in 2021, download our guide, Supercharge your product feeds and drive sales.
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HP
Hayley Pearce
Senior Content Writer