Mobile, video and crypto payments are set to become mainstream

While there’s been a huge expansion in general digital commerce in the past year, get ready for mobile commerce to eclipse traditional ecommerce in the coming year.

Mobile commerce revenue in 2021 will surpass, or at least match, revenue from traditional desktop-based eCommerce. More consumers are using their mobile devices for online shopping than ever before, and retailers are responding by improving and promoting their mobile platforms. Personalization is key in eCommerce, and the mobile experience is far more personal than the PC experience.

Merchants and payment companies will also need to pay attention to video and augmented reality. In 2021, video content will become an increasingly important part of the eCommerce experience. Video gives customers a much more immersive and in-depth view of products, bringing them to life by demonstrating how they actually work in the real world. In addition, video gives retailers the chance to better showcase a brand’s creativity, personality and sense of humor, which goes a long way in connecting with target demographics. We will continue to see eCommerce companies partnering with social media platforms, like Shopify collaborating with TikTok, that allow for shoppers to view videos and purchase direct through the app seamlessly.

And just as video and social media will grow in online retail, so too will augmented reality. AR enables customers to experience a product without seeing it in person. This provides a more intimate, personalized experience. This experience will be critical for shoppers to differentiate between common consumer products such as computer mouses and furniture that are difficult to evaluate in an ordinary online experience.

Additionally, more retailers will start leveraging app-aware technology for good, particularly to combat bad bots that are being used to snap up the supply of a hot new product and then sell it through secondary markets at a huge markup. NVIDIA recently made headlines when its highly anticipated Ampere GPU sold out almost immediately after its launch online, with scalpers using bots to purchase the GPUs en masse only to resell them on sites like eBay at outrageous prices. The same problem has plagued the concert and shoe industries for years. It’s terrible for customers, which also makes it bad for retailers. But these retailers are learning they can train their own bots to recognize the malicious bots that are buying their products online and prevent them from completing the transactions.

More eCommerce platforms will accept cryptocurrency payments as the technology continues to become more mainstream. PayPal, the world’s leader in online payment processing, recently announced that it will support bitcoin transactions, while Square already supports bitcoin. Online retailers will follow the lead of these payment processors and begin accepting major cryptocurrencies.

And video conferencing is here to stay. More consumers will look to purchase electronics and A/V products that support a smoother video conferencing experience, including headsets, microphones, cameras and laptops. In addition, retailers will lean heavily on popular online streamers to promote these products.

Finally, as shoppers become increasingly socially conscious, they will start to care more about where products are manufactured, guided by sustainability concerns and a desire to support local economies. eCommerce platforms can leverage these preferences to further personalize their experience and shape their recommendations.