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December 14, 2020 - BY Admin

The future of ecommerce in 2021

What’s the new normal for commerce? And what can you do to thrive in 2021 and beyond?

We interviewed 25+ industry leaders, investors, and commerce experts, and we discovered five global trends shaping retail and ecommerce. This in-depth report gives you an overview of each trend and practical steps you can take right now to future-proof your business.


Ecommerce is at an all-time high. Lockdowns, travel bans, and retail closures forced the consumer online, and the world’s largest retailers soon followed, in some cases selling direct to consumer (DTC) for the first time. But not all ecommerce newcomers had the infrastructure in place to deliver a world-class customer experience.

One way DTC brands are standing out in a crowded ecommerce space is through automated shipping and fulfillment. Orders must have fast, free, and sustainable shipping. And the unboxing video phenomenon has caused DTC companies to invest in custom branded packaging.

To better compete with marketplaces and retail giants, brands are also investing in richer, more personalized experiences. Humanizing their brand also aids in customer retention, now a top priority as acquisition costs rise, along with uncertainty in digital advertising.

Each of our trends was born of data, reviewed by the best minds in commerce. The insight provided is nuanced, region specific, and actionable. Our report is based on more than two dozen internal surveys of Shopify Plus merchants operating in the U.S., Canada, Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East.

Third-party data included in this report has been sourced from Statista, eMarketer, Global Web Index, Google, IBM, Deloitte, Accenture, Gartner, McKinsey, Forrester, Nielsen, and the World Trade Organization. Corporate data and consumer insights have been sourced from the quarterly earnings calls of Walmart, Target, FedEx, UPS, Home Depot, Lowes, Shopify, Salesforce, Adobe, Microsoft, PayPal, Nvidia, and The Trade Desk.

We conducted more than two dozen interviews to gather insight from industry leaders, investors, and subject matter experts. Prior to publication, the report was reviewed by third parties with expertise in ecommerce, global trade, and consumer behavior.