Ecommerce trends 2021


Ecommerce is always changing and staying on top of the latest ecommerce trends is a  huge deal for us here at bidorbuy. We love trying to predict them, learn more about them and see how they unfold as the year progresses. We feel that 2021 will be especially important for ecommerce because of the massive changes in shopping habits that began last year, in response to the ongoing pandemic and lockdowns. In this blog, we’ll unpack all the trends we’re expecting to see in the coming year, so hold on tight – things are about to get interesting!  

Image courtesy of Nataliya Vaitkevich. Uploaded 17 December 2020. Source:

Massive changes in shopping habits 

Online shopping in South Africa still has a lot of room for growth, as many people are still not entirely comfortable with making payments via online channels. Also, in many parts of South Africa (especially more rural areas), access to high-speed internet is still very limited. This can make online shopping virtually impossible. 

However, where people are connected, one consequence of the pandemic has been that more consumers have decided to give online shopping a go. Once they have (hopefully) had a pleasant initial digital shopping experience, they are likely to be more accepting of this form of shopping. Fear of contracting COVID-19 is making people reluctant to visit malls and giving them another reason to give online stores a chance to impress. 

Image courtesy of Nataliya Vaitkevich. Uploaded 17 December 2020. Source:

Everyone wants a piece of the digital marketing pie

As ecommerce continues to grow in 2021, we’ll also see increased competition in the digital marketing space as businesses jostle to get their  brands and products in front of online consumers. Traditional advertising methods might just have to take a back seat as more brick and mortar stores either migrate to ecommerce platforms or a mixed model with physical storefronts backed by an enhanced ecommerce presence. In this way, companies can lower their overheads and open up new growth and profit avenues.

Image courtesy of Mikael Blomkvist. Uploaded on 13 January 2021. Source:

Home goods are expected to surge in the online space 

As social distancing becomes an established norm for society, people are likely to spend more time than ever at home. That means an increased desire to make homes safe, comfortable and entertaining. 

Many items such as groceries, detergents and sanitation items (traditionally bought at supermarkets) will become online purchases for most consumers. There are huge opportunities in this space – something business owners and entrepreneurs should bear in mind. We recently introduced a groceries category on bidorbuy, allowing our shoppers to purchase their daily essentials at the click of a button.

Image courtesy of Gustavo Fring. Uploaded 27 April 2020. Source:

Omnichannel marketing and personalisation are the future

Multichannel marketing will be replaced by omnichannel marketing. Businesses will place their customers at the centre of their marketing strategies, rather than their brands. Each marketing channel will become adapted to consumer behaviour. 

2021 is the year that omnichannel marketing will take centrestage. Personalisation works hand in hand with omnichannel strategies and is also a big 2021 trend you need to keep an eye on. Consumers are more likely to engage with experiences that are tailored to their interests and needs. In the coming year, personalisation is expected to focus on building relationships with customers rather than merely persuading them to make a purchase. 

Image courtesy of Ivan Samkov. Uploaded on 25 April 2020. Source:

Green consumerism is still on the rise

This is a trend that has been touched on in previous years – and it isn’t going away. Being environmentally conscious is becoming increasingly important to consumers and is no longer only applicable to certain brands. More and more business owners are making sustainable products in response to  consumers only remaining loyal to brands that they perceive as being sustainable. 

Even if you don’t produce or sell environmentally friendly products, consider making your packaging sustainable in some way. For example, you can order mielie mailers via uAfrica; these are shipping mailers made from mielies and are 100% compostable. 

Image courtesy of ready made. Uploaded 3 March 2020. Source:

So there you have it, our predicted ecommerce trends for 2021. In conclusion, you’ll need to adjust to the ever-changing economic and social landscape to ensure your business continues to thrive. The consumer is king/queen (as he or she always has been), and personalisation and green consumerism will offer real potential for growth.