Posted Nov 27, 2020 by Nicole

Growing Your E-commerce Store in 2021

The end of the year is approaching. And while this holiday season might look a little bit different than most, there is one thing that will very likely be the same: looking forward to the end of 2020, and hope for 2021.

The start of a new year brings with it an opportunity for change and growth. Many people will be glad to say goodbye to the challenges of 2020, but for an e-commerce seller, 2021 represents an opportunity to build on 2020’s lessons and start fresh with some great new ideas.

Did you know that 69% of Americans plan to shop online this year, including 50% mentioning they tried out new e-commerce products and stores? It seems as though the pandemic has opened the door to increased e-commerce, meaning, of course, that unlike with brick and mortar shops, it doesn’t matter where you are so much as what you are selling, and how you are selling it.

This brings us to the simplest of questions: is online shopping the future? We think the answer is yes! Keep reading to figure out how you can keep the growth coming in 2021.

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That Whole…Virus Thing

Okay, we know that the most exciting thing to most people about 2021 is the prospect of moving away from COVID-19 and the way it has impacted our lives. But it’s important to understand how the things that happened this year might affect both your regular life, and the health of your e-commerce store.

We noted that for a lot of our merchants, the pandemic actually helped grow their business, as everything moved online and many brick and mortar stores were closed. In fact, studies show it might have sped the transition to online shopping by five years. This means that, of course, things might slow down, e-commerce-wise, when the global pandemic goes away and the virus becomes less of a threat.

So, our first tip is a recommendation: study the ways in which the virus impacted your business, and think about ways in which you might use that impact to grow. Also, it’s important to keep an eye on the virus, as well as the world-wide race towards a vaccine and more effective treatments to understand when and how consumer habits might change again.

In the meantime, there are lots of other tricks to have up your sleeves as we head into 2021.

Website Revamp

There’s an old adage about brick and mortar shops: location location location. Irrelevant in the e-commerce world? Think again! Your online store is your internet location. So it’s important to do the work in optimizing your website to ensure people can find your store.

Maybe it’s time to invest in a new domain name or website host. Or give your website and shop a digital spruce with a new layout (we have some thoughts on the matter and helpful hints on choosing a new layout). Or perhaps doing a 2021 refresh is as simple as updating your product descriptions and photos so you’ll rank higher in SEO. The possibilities for getting your virtual location in tip top shape are virtually limitless, which should make you feel good!


Some website redesign inspiration from our blog post on the matter

New Marketing: Content Creation

Maybe you want to take that good old SEO talk a step further and branch out into marketing content creation. We don’t blame you, because this type of marketing can be some of the most fun and creatively rewarding. Not sure where to start? Here are a couple of ideas:

Start a blog

Maybe you have something to say about the market you’re in. Maybe you actually have a lot to say, ranging from your take on trends, to recipes and fashion tips, to some simple breakdowns on best practices for how to use your products. So, why not say it with a blog? A blog is a great way to get your creativity firing on all cylinders, as well as get your ideas out there (instead of just your products).

A blog can also help boost SEO and garner increased traffic to your site. Just make sure you work in ways to mention your products along the way.


This is our blog. But of course, you knew that

Work that social media angle

Social media is probably not “new” to you, per se, but the new year might represent the right time to do a social media overhaul, or rethink your current strategies. Your Facebook account might be the perfect place to test out a rebranded logo. Or, consider adding some content with a new feel via Instagram stories.

If you have an Ecwid shop with a Venture plan (or higher) and don’t sell directly through social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, what are you waiting for? We even have a whole guide dedicated to selling on Instagram, and another on social media selling strategies in general.

Make some videos

For those who want to take their branding to the next level — and are willing to put in the work — there are some serious gains to be made in the wonderful world of video advertising. Sure, it may require some film equipment (or at least a decent phone camera) and editing expertise. But a new year is nothing if not an opportunity to learn a new skill (or a dozen!).

Plus, these days, video marketing material doesn’t necessarily need high production value, so much as reflect the expertise of someone who has passion for their subject and can speak to it at length. Check out YouTube for some examples, and happy video making!


Even Ecwid E-Commerce has our own video platform!

Trend Forecasting

We know you don’t have a crystal ball (neither do we, or would might have played our cards a little differently this past year!) but it can be helpful to do a trend forecast for your market sector. This means research.

For example, if you work in the food industry, check out some big food, recipe, and kitchen supply websites and write down products, recipes, and ideas that seem to come up again and again. Who could have predicted the Instant Pot boom? You might have! And you can spot the next big thing coming down the pipeline and make sure your store is ready with products and theming that fits in perfectly with those trends.

This idea works in any market, whether it be apparel (2021: the year the legging trend goes away?), tech accessories, artwork or anything else.

Having a good knowledge base of your field is helpful for your business in general, but might do you some extra good as we step into the new year.

Purpose Driven Shoppers

Here’s a trend for you: more and more consumers are interested in businesses that align with their values, whether that be supporting independent small businesses owned by people of color, a B Corp Certified store, or one with other sustainability practices in place.


This little B Corporation Seal (and similar initiatives) can have a big impact for consumers

It’s worth noting, and taking stock of your morals and values and how they align with your business practices. If you care about these initiatives, is there a way to incorporate them meaningfully into your business model:

Sustainability

Probably the hottest trend of the past few years, it might help to think about ways in which you can lower your business’s carbon footprint. For example, you can invest in compostable packaging, work on changing the packing of your products from plastic to glass, or even just reduce the amount of tissue paper and wrap you package your items with.

Social initiatives

This year, many consumers have been thinking about the ways in which the products they buy are a part of a larger ecosystem of commerce and labor. It might be worth thinking about hiring more employees of color, or highlighting the ways in which your business gives back to a local community. You might also consider running a campaign where a percentage of your profits go to a charity or cause you care about.

Small is a big deal

One good thing is, a part of the purpose driven shopping equation has to do with supporting small businesses, and if you are reading this, you likely are a small business, which means people might be more encouraged than ever to shop from your store! Think about ways in which your marketing ideas and overall business brand might reflect the small, “do it yourself” aspect of your business.

No matter what steps you take, there are always ways in which our business practices can reflect our inner morals and values. And based on the data from this year, this trend isn’t going anywhere.

Commerce Revolution = E-commerce Evolution

We know that this year has represented unprecedented growth for online retailers. But might that mean that a year from now, people will go back to physical stores? Maybe. But we believe that sellers are more married to quality products they love than the idea of physical stores.

So, as long as your store stays fresh and evolves to compete with whatever consumers are flocking to, you’ll be fine. This is more a mentality than anything else. Don’t be afraid to be flexible and to evolve with the new year. The future of e-commerce is in your hands!

About the author
Nicole is a writer and Content Marketing Manager at Ecwid. As newcomer to e-commerce, it’s her goal to provide informative and user friendly articles that are accessible to all stripes of sellers. She is based in Southern California, the perfect place to chase the sun and watch old movies.
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