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3 eCommerce marketing trend predictions for 2021

3 eCommerce marketing trend predictions for 2021 Headshot

By Camilla Bass, Content Marketing Manager

3 eCommerce marketing trend predictions for 2021 - featured image

It’s that time of year again. The nights are drawing in and marketers are summoning their psychic powers to predict upcoming trends for their 2021 marketing plans. 

But if the rollercoaster ride of 2020 knocked the crystal ball right out of your hands, we’re here to lend you ours. 

To help us summon our trend-predicting powers, we asked 10 eCommerce marketing experts to share their top trend predictions for 2021. 

Read on for a sneak peek into the strategies, tactics and technology they’ll be focusing on this year. 

Download the eBook to access all 10 trend predictions from eCommerce marketing experts including:

  • Komal Helyer, VP Marketing, Pure360
  • Kath Pay, CEO, Holistic Email Marketing
  • Chloë Thomas, Podcast Host & Author, eCommerce Masterplan
  • Jenna Tiffany, Founder & Strategy Director, Let’sTalk Strategy
  • Tim Watson, Founder, Zettasphere and Traction Six

Mike Austin
Co-Founder, CEO


2021 will be the year of D2C

Covid-19 has moved eCommerce forward by five years. I expect this massive increase in market share to continue, at the expense of bricks-and-mortar retailers.

Online retailers are now engaged in a well known battle for market share against the giants like Amazon and eBay, and that will continue and become even more competitive.

However, the most important trend for me is the rise of brands executing Direct to Consumer (D2C) strategies. For brands, cutting out the retailer gives them increased margin and a more direct understanding of their consumers. For brands with the ability to execute efficiently, going D2C opens up multiple new possibilities, including:

  • Subscription models
  • Access to a wealth of customer data
  • The ability to directly market to consumers via email, mobile app and other targeted, low cost channels, by passing the stranglehold of paid channels

So, my prediction is that 2021 will be the year of D2C.

“May you live in interesting times” - welcome to the fulfilment of that apocryphal curse

In 2020/21, your marketing plans are constantly in danger of being blown off course by the sheer number of rapid changes, such as travel bans and local lockdowns - all of which affect demand and hence require marketing changes.

Additionally, there are local legal changes such as privacy laws to take into consideration, which could require compliance statements, or a switch from personalization to personification. Then there’s the potential stress in your supply chain triggered by the impacts on your suppliers.

To quickly adapt your messaging to changing circumstances, you’ll need integrated marketing rules, with sophisticated personalization and personification. For example, if a region’s lockdown level changes, you should be able to extend the corresponding marketing experience to that region so affected customers will see appropriate content throughout your marketing.

And don’t forget integrated reporting and testing. Marketers need to preserve their time for creative work, not repeatedly setting up manual A/B tests.

Pete Austin
Co-Founder, CINO



Huriyyah Dhanse
Head of Account Management


The push to provide better customer experience will drive AI adoption

Due to the unexpected circumstance that we find ourselves in, the eCommerce business is proliferating.

Artificial intelligence is already commonly used in eCommerce to increase revenue with product recommendations based on the shopper’s unique interests, and the increasing use of AI is going to heighten customer experience further. In fact, it is predicted that businesses will spend $7.3 billion on AI by 2022.

The push to provide better customer experience is driving AI adoption and this latest eCommerce trend is going to force organizations to adopt new technologies and business practices that are believed to further improve online selling. It will be more important than ever to understand customer demand and correctly plan your eCommerce advents to ensure you are one step ahead of the game.

Who knows, AI might take over the full digital landscape and start sourcing your best customers for you.


2020 required eCommerce marketers to throw their marketing plans out of the window and react to ever changing circumstances with agility.

Download our 10 eCommerce marketing trend predictions for 2021 to prepare to come back stronger this year.  

3 eCommerce marketing trend predictions for 2021 Headshot

By Camilla Bass

Content Marketing Manager

As Content Marketing Manager at Fresh Relevance, Camilla manages, writes and edits user-centered content that helps marketers in the eCommerce and travel spaces get their jobs done.