The pandemic paved the way for an ecommerce boom. And it’s not stopping.

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In the 90s, online stores were not the norm. Today, you would be hard-pressed to find a business that does not have an online component. Because of this tremendous popularity of ecommerce, it’s no surprise that several ecommerce founders are among the world’s richest people.

Ecommerce has been more amplified over the past year. Restrictions due to the pandemic meant that many of us were forced to shop online. Restrictions in personal movement due to Covid led to a boom in online retail throughout just about all sectors. With so many people filling their online carts, many entrepreneurs have started building ecommerce sites, with platforms like Shopify seeing a 57.11% increase in their stock price compared to an 8.1% of the general market.

This favorable trend will continue in 2021 as the market has many new converts. And with so many exciting things expected in the coming years, you should work now to identify the top trends that will shape the future of ecommerce in the coming year.

Related: These Are the Retail Trends in Ecommerce for This Year

1. Boom in competition

If you were in a niche market before the pandemic, you probably aren’t now. Entrepreneurs have had their eyes opened to the power and potential earnings of ecommerce outlets and the rush to fulfill demand has led to new names in every market.

Look out for a rise in competition. Get ahead now with a fresh look at your site and targeted ads.

2. Change in consumer behavior

Those consumers who have crossed over from the high street — many who had previously shunned online retail — are a different breed from your usual customer. They expect one-to-one communication, a personalized experience and faultless customer service. Personalization and big data are key here, dynamically showing users what they are more likely to buy based on their navigation history and previous purchases. 

Now is the time to up your game if you are looking to make inroads into the market.

3. Authenticity standards

The online world is fraught with counterfeit designer handbags, jewelry, clothing and any designer product that can be made cheaply yet look the part. 

Counterfeit items can be very convincing, which is why top designer brand resellers follow strict authentication standards and publish guides so the consumer can get a better idea of what is genuine and what is not. 

This is a positive development for ecommerce as it gives everyone involved a greater understanding of authenticity, as well as peace of mind for buyers.

4. Customer fulfillment

Customers want to feel they are getting the right treatment. They want to feel their demands and needs are fulfilled by the ecommerce outlet. This will become not just something they want to see at the end of the transaction, but it will become a selling point. 

If you cannot convince a consumer they will get the fulfillment they want at your place, they will go somewhere else. This is a good time to brainstorm your marketing campaigns and attend to your social trust levels.

Related: Ecommerce Is Booming. Here’s How to Take Advantage

5. Brand building

Brand building is nothing new but it has suddenly become so important. Your brand needs to reflect you and your product and its trust and authenticity more than ever, simply because the competition is growing. People make the first purchase on your site because you probably have a nice product and you can beat your competitor’s prices, but they won’t be back on your site unless you tell them a story. An ecommerce brand is more than just a logo and a tagline, it’s how people perceive and feel about your business.

Big names are making waves in many markets, and you want to be able to keep your seat at the table. Get your team together and see how you can build a stronger brand.

6. Retention over acquisition.

Finally, greater competition means more rivals looking to steal your customers. Retention of existing customers may well be the main aim in 2021 as high streets begin to reopen and people are tempted to go back to their old ways of doing business. Tech has helped greatly to increase retention over the last few years with sophisticated remarketing and automation platforms that continually remind users of a brand they’ve visited or where they’ve made a purchase. And without a doubt, tech will move further in this direction improving retention techniques.

Do all you can to keep the new customers you have gained by giving them the attention they deserve.