There’s no doubt that 2021 will bring many new e-commerce trends into the marketplace, and you and your business should be ready to adopt at least some of them if you want to remain relevant to your audience. With the new year right around the corner, now is the perfect time to refresh your marketing strategy and identify some new techniques to help you keep up with your competitors and their expectations.

Here are seven e-commerce marketing trends to follow in 2021 and how they could help you boost your marketing ROI.

Multiple Marketing and Shopping Channels

Customers don’t just stick to a single sales channel anymore. For this holiday season, as much as 76 percent of US shoppers will use at least three channels for their shopping needs. And because they have various paths to make purchases, they’ll be using convenience, price, and buyer experience to determine their preference and priority.

Because of this, businesses in the e-commerce industry need to be ready to handle omnichannel customers who prefer to interact with brands through multiple touchpoints.

For example, more than half of buyers visit physical stores before buying online. Keep in mind, though, that this statistic will probably change in time, with only 1/5 of buyers between 18 and 24 years old needing to check out products in-store before an online purchase. But as things currently stand, giving customers a chance to see your products in person before buying them can help you to build loyalty and generate more sales.

Even if you begin your e-commerce store with one sales channel, working toward multiple channels to meet your customers’ needs and expectations will be key to increasing your reach.

Pop-up Shops

A pop-up shop is a unique way for an e-commerce business to deliver a dynamic shopping experience that feels more intimate than a traditional brick-and-mortar store. It’s also an excellent method to reach potential customers offline in their everyday environments.

Giants like Amazon and Nike have already been taking advantage of the trend, and many e-commerce businesses are already starting to follow suit. Pop-up shops aren’t just about creating an alternative source of revenue with low overhead, but implementing a fresh new concept and creating unique buying experiences as well.

For example, Amazon’s London fashion pop-up gives customers a multimedia shopping experience: they can interact with products, buy them on the spot or order them from their apps, and even browse similar items on tablets. But beyond the shopping experience, they can also participate in workshops, seminars, and other themed events that are meant to generate brand loyalty.

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

Both augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will become more prominent in 2019 as well. Advertisers will increasingly use VR to create immersive customer experiences and generate high engagement from potential clients. Need a couple of examples of VR that are already fairly ubiquitous? Think Snapchat filters or Pokemon Go.

Audi has used VR since 2017 to provide customer consultations at dealerships. As this type of technology becomes cheaper and more accessible, more brands are going to benefit from using it to capture customers’ attention.

Social Selling

If you’re not yet using social media to sell your products online, 2019 is the right time to do it. In fact, the sooner, the better.

Social selling is already beginning to establish itself as a long-term strategy to drive sales and increase customer retention. Even though the general adoption rate is still low, the integration of channels like Facebook and Instagram into other services will soon be the new retail norm in the coming years.

As a new generation of young, video-loving mobile-shoppers gets purchasing power, social selling, positive social media interactions, and personalized marketing messages will become the new black in digital marketing.

Chatbots and Messenger Apps

Chatbots have been in play for some time now, and many small businesses and retailers have adopted them to increase engagement. They’re the ideal tool for delivering personalized messages in real time, right when the customer needs them.

90 percent of consumers prefer to use chatbots and messaging to talk to a brand. It’s the era of instant communication, and chatbots have become a crucial element in marketing and self-service customer support. They’re here to stay, and you should definitely consider them as you plan next year’s marketing strategy.

Cryptocurrency as a Payment Method

Despite its growing popularity with buyers, businesses haven’t been as gung-ho as investors when it comes to accepting Bitcoin instead of the traditional credit card. At the moment, there are between 2.9 and 5.8 million people using cryptocurrency wallets and only a handful of companies that accept them as a form of payment.

This means that adopting cryptocurrencies as a payment method is more than an e-commerce marketing trend—it’s a business opportunity, especially if your target audience includes millennials and younger generations. While there are special tax implications to consider, your investment in cryptocurrency compatibility could provide considerable returns in the long run.

E-commerce Marketing Trends to Follow in 2021

The e-commerce marketing trends to follow in 2021 are all about making shopping convenient for customers. From opening multiple marketing and shopping channels to investing in pop-up stores and using technology to encourage and generate engagement, the intent of each of these concepts is to create highly-personalized shopping experiences.

Focus your marketing efforts on listening to customers and sending them the message that what they have to say is important and you’ll be well on your way to 2021 e-commerce marketing success.