8 e-commerce advertising trends to boost results in 2021
E-commerce advertising trends for 2021 could be the saviour for many for brands. Especially as 2020 swept the rug out from under many brands’ feet! Making them realise just how important a good e-commerce offering is.
Indeed, those who were not prepared suffered when it came to sales. Consider Primark, for example, with no online shopping offering it lost an eye-watering £800m over the first Covid-19 lockdown.
The trend and preference for online shopping has been growing in recent years but the pandemic has proven the need for it.
But it’s not just those ‘treat yourself on payday’ purchases that consumers are shopping online for. Today, everything from food shops to prescriptions are now available via e-commerce platforms. You could get everything you need and never leave the house again – but we definitely don’t recommend that.
Instead, this poses a question for marketers: how do we improve our e-commerce offering to keep consumers coming back?
In this article, we consider the e-commerce trends we expect to witness in 2021.
What 2021 e-commerce advertising trends will we be considering?
- Bigger focus on dynamic display ads
- Adapting your e-commerce advertising post Covid-19
- Mobile display advertising
- Personalisation across platforms
- Reusing content
- Focus on key shopping days
- Niche e-commerce marketplaces will rise
- Shoppable TV is coming
1. Bigger focus on dynamic display ads
Today, every brand understands the need for an all-singing, all-dancing e-commerce platform. Yet, it’s also important that you stand out amongst the crowd when it comes to your display advertising.
Online shopping allows users the opportunity to research what they’re looking for and compare prices. Personalised and dynamic display advertising enables you to draw them back in if they’ve strayed. Marketers who put this to use should see customers return and hopefully make those all-important transactions.
What are dynamic ads?
Dynamic ads reduce the number of cart abandonments and in most cases, offer a consumer something that they’re actively looking for. You can also factor in A/B testing so you can determine which approach works best for the consumers you want to target.
Perhaps a potential customer is shopping for a new pair of winter boots? A dynamic ad featuring a data feed link to those very same boots will pop up on other websites and social media they visit, enticing them back.
It’s a tactic many will still be employing in 2021 – as long as it is done in such as way to continue to comply with GDPR laws.
2. Adapting your e-commerce advertising post Covid-19
Many of us came to rely upon online shopping to get what we needed during the pandemic. Supermarkets saw an incredible surge in online shopping orders – so much so that they struggled to keep up with demand. In fact, online supermarkets witnessed a 102.7% increase year on year in consumer spending and online clothing stores also enjoyed a 24.3% increase.
In 2020, it’s predicted that shoppers in the UK will spend £88.54 billion with retailers. And while this number is the lowest since 2015, these sales will be predominantly online. E-commerce sales are expected to increase by 16.7% and this trend is sure to continue into 2021 if the pandemic doesn’t ease off.
As we navigate this tricky Covid focused world with ever-shifting goalposts and guidelines, it’s important that your e-commerce advertising adapts and that you embrace this new trend.
Producing ads that point people towards your e-commerce offering is essential. Therefore, ensure your platform is up to scratch for those who land. And have a plan in place to remind people you’re still there for their online shopping needs if they navigate off the page.
3. Mobile display e-commerce advertising
Smartphones are where many of us do everything from communicating with friends and family to completing our Christmas shopping. Not only should your brand’s e-commerce offering be mobile-friendly but your advertising needs to be too. It’s predicted that by the end of 2021, 73% of e-commerce sales will be made on a mobile device.
Optimise your e-commerce advertising with a mobile-first approach
Here are a few ways to do this in 2021:
- Focus on video. Video banner ads will become commonplace across industries, as brands look to capture the attention of those desired audiences. In 2019, the use of video in display advertising grew by 82% and people are twice as likely to take notice and share video content than any other type of content. In 2020, however, we witnessed a sharp decline in video display advertising. However, as businesses start to recover there should be a resurgence in the year ahead.
- Ensure everything is mobile friendly. Did you know that 30% of people will abandon an online cart if they discover the website isn’t friendly? This means that any content you create needs to adapt for every shape and size of mobile. Loading time is important too. Keep ads simple to ensure your consumer sees them before they get bored and click away.
- Go after voice search. Voice search optimisation is a rising star in the world of e-commerce advertising. We use voice assistants every day, from Alexa to Siri, and when we ask them questions they search Google for the most voice friendly answer to a query. If you’re targeting those between the ages of 25 and 49, it’s worth noting that 65% in this bracket use a voice-enabled device once a day.
- Don’t forget about text message marketing. Ditch the email (okay, not entirely) and consider marketing to your consumers via text. (Of course, only if they’ve consented to this form of communication). Texts are personal, unavoidable and won’t get hidden amongst the other promotions in their email inbox.
4. Personalisation across platforms
Omnichannel advertising is a dream for any advertisers and is often named as an e-commerce advertising trend. This seamless approach ensures customers enjoy the same level of care and quality of interaction however they engage with a brand.
Whether they’re shopping in the bricks and mortar store or browsing the website for inspiration, everything they need adapts and works together. Only 26% of companies currently report having channel-specific personalisation solutions in place, this is set to change in 2021. It’s a personalised approach that customers love and brands can also track purchase journeys easily, allowing them to adapt and offer customers something they need again in future to encourage more engagement and sales.
H&M is an example of a brand doing omnichannel advertising and e-commerce well. Its app is easy to navigate on mobile and when a customer signs up they join the brand’s loyalty programme.
This links all their receipts – both in-store and online – allows them to track where orders are and see what rewards they’re owed for their loyalty. It also offers consumers early access to sales and discounts on trending items.
More and more brands will be looking into how they can adopt such an approach in 2021, as consumers who perhaps hadn’t considered online shopping before feeling the need to during the current circumstances.
5. Reusing content is a key e-commerce advertising trend
In 2021, rehashing and recycling content will be the norm as brands are still navigating an advertising world where they need to spend less and get more back.
In-house marketing departments took a hit in 2020, with an estimated 40,000 creatives being made redundant or put on furlough. However, there’s no shame in adapting and reusing e-commerce advertising content and assets to make something new.
The Swedish supermarket City Gross did just this in 2020, reusing assets to create an effective video display ad that offered up recipes and ingredients around Easter time to inspire its customers. GHD is another example, sharing a Christmas advertisement created last year on its social channels.
Reusing content gives brands a breather, especially when perhaps dealing with reduced staffing and lower capacities in-house. It also relieves the issue of having to produce ad after ad in short time frames, adapting and repurposing what’s already there – and with the average person seeing 1,700 digital ads every month, it’s no wonder teams are busy. There’s also the issue of being quick to supply assets for limited time slots. Reusing assets enables brands to capitalise on opportunities. And it’s a trend we’ll likely see more of in 2021, as more users head to online stores.
6. Focus on key shopping days
In 2020, the run-up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday saw brands advertising their deals earlier than usual to tempt buyers shopping online before the days arrived.
Amazon’s Prime Day and week-long Black Friday event saw shoppers doing most of their Christmas shopping in app. While, clothing retailers such as ASOS jumped on the bandwagon early, releasing their sale the day before Black Friday.
In 2021, brands will continue to target online shoppers with earlier advertising campaigns and exclusive offers for those who engage.
While every brand’s key shopping days are different – an online flower delivery service will prep for Valentine’s and Mother’s Day over Black Friday, for example – it does suggest that the earlier you get started the better.
Display campaigns that are ready for these dates will be essential.
7. Niche e-commerce marketplaces will rise
Think Amazon is king? Well, as the need for digital e-commerce platforms and selling rises, single-brand marketplaces could become more competitive and less profitable.
Therefore, smaller more niche markets will arise selling items from a range of sellers that work better in terms of ROI and that can target consumers searching for the related products. It’s already happening in the world of handmade products. Although Amazon’s Handmade store has tried to wade into this niche too. Thus we may start to see marketplaces arising in 2021 that offer customers focused shopping experiences.
8. Shoppable TV is coming
Ever watched a TV programme and thought ‘wow, I really love that jacket’. Well, get ready the rise of shoppable TV advertising! Advertising that allows the purchasing of items we see on our screens.
For many we are talking about a futuristic e-commerce advertising trend. Yet, shoppable TV has already been rolled and tested over in the States on the NBCU channel!
Users watching a show are greeted with an ad featuring a QR code, they hold their phone up to this and it takes them through to a product that’s been shown on screen so that they can buy it! Brands such as Lacoste have already got involved, featuring advertisements offering the clothing that tennis players are wearing in the French Open.
It’s a new way of reaching more eyeballs than ever before and while it relies on tech-savvy customers to get involved. And it could become more than a gimmick if it takes off! In fact, NBCU has noted that during the testing stage conversion rates have been on average 30% higher than the traditional e-commerce benchmark and social media followings have grown by 10%.
Next year will be a test again as we continue to navigate the world of e-commerce. More and more consumers are moving online – even those who had not yet dipped their toes in the world of online shopping. Considering these e-commerce advertising trends and implement them into your strategy for 2021 to give your brand the best chance of standing out in the digital world.