The Future of Ecommerce 2021

Digesting Shopify’s Annual Ecommerce Report

Shopify’s ‘The Future of Ecommerce Report 2021’ has just dropped and we couldn’t be more excited. The annual report on ecommerce trends highlight the effect the global pandemic has had on ecommerce.

This is the new normal.

The report is packed full of stats, insights and actionable tips to help retailers navigate our new world. Download the full report here. In this article, we’ll highlight some of the information that spoke to us most profoundly, and share tips and real-world strategies for retailers to thrive in ecommerce in 2021.

We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.

Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO

Retail Ecommerce Sales Growth Worldwide


Central & Eastern Europe


Middle East & Africa


Latin America


North America


Western Europe




Asia Pacific

Top Tip for 2021 #1: Scale Your Omnichannel Strategy

48.8% of consumers said they would shop online more frequently after the outbreak is over (and let’s be honest – that’s not happening any time soon). As ecommerce grows, so does your competition. Brands and retailers need to ensure their omnichannel game is 👌, and give customers (old and new) an immersive omnichannel experience.

How it’s done

  • Synchronize product information and inventory

  • Integrate sales and supply data

A PIM (product Information Manager) and DOM (Distributed Order Management) System will unify your product and inventory data and sync this information across your entire ecommerce ecosystem; website, sales & marketing channels, marketplaces, etc.

Drivers of Online Purchases


Direct Delivery to my Home


Cheaper Prices


More Convenient


Available Around The Clock

Top Tip for 2021 #2: Unlock the Future of Retail with New Digital Experiences

Reinventing the traditional shopping experience for the post-pandemic world should be a top priority for retailers and DTC brands. Of the 75% of consumers who tried different online brands during the pandemic, 60% expect to integrate these new brands and stores into their post-COVID lives.

How it’s done

  • Make it fast and easy to buy from anywhere

  • Connect your online checkout to POS

  • Upgrade your checkout experience

  • Automate promotions and shipping costs

A true omnichannel experience allows consumers to buy wherever they like, while still enjoying an immersive brand experience. Retailers and brands need to ensure their systems are speaking the same language; they need to be integrated to offer complete visibility across the entire order lifecycle, and give consumers the experience they expect.

Top Tip for 2021 #3: Improve your Fulfillment Capability

More than ever, fulfillment is a competitive differentiator as consumers gravitate to brands offering fast, free, sustainable shipping. The majority of consumers in the U.S., U.K., China, Germany, France, and Japan say free shipping greatly impacts whether or not they buy from a brand. But talking about free shipping is so 2015. Consumers expect more. They should expect more; the technology required is no longer just for the top 1% of retailers. Consumers expect delivery options, click & collect, free & easy returns and much more.

How it’s done

  • Outsource your fulfillment operations

  • Automate inventory management

  • Steamline the returns process

  • Convert dark stores into mini-fulfillment locations

  • Offer local delivery

A PIM (product Information Manager) and DOM (Distributed Order Management) System will unify your product and inventory data and sync this information across your entire ecommerce ecosystem; website, sales & marketing channels, marketplaces, etc.

Turn fulfillment into a competitive advantage by placing inventory closer to customers, automating returns and offering flexible options like curbside pickup.

Top Tip for 2021 #4: Invest in the Human Touch

Consumers are searching for solutions rather than brands on marketplaces. Searches are often unbranded, meaning retailers need to ensure their brands are ripe for discovery.

“Strong brands recognize they have to get customers from a marketplace to their own properties so they can create a relationship with them that will last over time.”

Loren Padelford, General Manager
Shopify Plus

How it’s done

  • Reevaluate branding potential on marketplaces – automatically sync product creative – sync inventory, product information and digital marketing resources

  • Optimize your product pages. While you may not have the level of customer insights from a marketplace that you’d like, take learnings from your ecommerce store

Investing in your sales and marketing channels is imperative. Nearly $2 trillion is spent annually on the top 100 marketplaces – if that’s where consumers are shopping, that’s where brands and retailers need to be.

Download Shopify’s ‘The Future of Ecommerce Report 2021’ today:

Most Popular Online Marketplaces Worldwide










Where to from here? Is 2021 going to be a repeat of 2020, or are you looking to shift your business to evolve with changing consumer behavior? Take the next step – reach out to Comestri to see how we can help you succeed in 2021.