The 15 trends that will make or break ecommerce brands

By: Aaron Rubin, Founder & CEO of ShipHero

Ecommerce websites are constantly shifting to keep up with buyer expectations. With competition from gigantic online stores such as Amazon, keeping up with ecommerce giants can be tricky. Luckily, there are a few key ecommerce trends that online retailers can look to in order to keep up with the wants of online shoppers. 

With the rise of the ecommerce industry, more customers than ever are making purchases online. While brick-and-mortar retailers aren’t dead yet, many of them are seeing their customers flock to online stores. With a rise in ecommerce sales comes ecommerce trends. 

Here are the 15 trends to keep in mind to help grow your ecommerce business. 

AI helps improve ad campaigns and messaging

Top ecommerce stores are implementing AI and automation to help boost their ad campaigns and messaging across marketing initiatives and social media platforms. Through machine learning and artificial intelligence technology, companies have been able to make hyper-personalized advertising allowing for tailored messaging to customers. Specialized messages can include content specifically targeted at the user’s interests or product recommendations that fit their previous browsing history.

On top of being able to personalize messaging to specific users, AI can track the performance of these campaigns and let marketing leads know how each initiative is performing. By carefully examining you and your competitor’s marketing success, automation can pick out trends from the complex and time-consuming data, something hard for a human to discover manually.

The customer experience must be personalized 

While AI is helping us customize our marketing experience for customers, we have to tailor the process from start to finish. For example, when searching through an online marketplace, users are more likely to purchase items they are interested in if they find them through sidebar suggestions based on their browsing habits throughout your site. Personalized product recommendations can help prevent cart abandoners and can help you sell more inventory too!

2-day shipping becomes the norm 

Retail giants like Amazon have used their significant logistics network to ensure that 2-day shipping has become the new normal. Longer shipping times, though sometimes tolerated, are not going to be seen as the usual farther into the future. Finding shipping and logistics solutions to keep up with this 2-day expectation is difficult, but it is, unfortunately, a strong trend that will separate some sellers from their competitors. For ecommerce merchants that want to leverage 2-day shipping, consider working with a 3PL

But customers will be hungry for 1-day and same-day shipping

Big ecommerce sites have made it possible for 1-day and same-day shipping, especially during the boom in online shopping during COVID-19. Customers can easily have food, snacks, household goods, or other products delivered to their homes overnight or even on the same day. 

While many smaller companies have trouble keeping up with this high bar, many people have found the convenience of it even better than visiting a brick-and-mortar store to grab an item.

Chatbots improve shopping experiences

Chatbots, often powered by automation, can help guide customers through their shopping experience. By answering frequently asked questions or directing the customer to their desired page, chatbots can help users through any confusion or concerns without taxing your customer support staff. The answers are instant, customizable depending on your preference, and work on multiple devices.

Headless commerce drives innovation

Headless commerce, where the frontend and backend of your website are separated, can help you drive innovation on your site. The flexibility of being able to customize, brand, and play with your customer-facing front end while not harming the utilities within your backend lets companies make more considerable changes without stress or danger. 

Separating your front and backend also helps improve customer experience by enhancing the website functionality and speed.

Subscriptions keep customers coming back

Subscriptions create a commitment, whether with SaaS in b2b, or monthly product boxes in b2c. Subscription models keep customers interested in your products and brand. 

Even when your subscriptions aren’t your main product line, they can help buyers get connected and familiar with your messaging and quality, making them more likely to open their wallets when looking at your other product lines. Subscriptions are also a regular reminder that your business exists, keeping you at the forefront of a customer’s mind.

Customers want sustainability

With millennials taking up much of the ecommerce buying power, it is crucial to tap into things that often sway them. A Nielsen report has shown that 73% of millennials would pay more for sustainable products. Some examples of industries that benefit from this trend include upcycled products, consignment, and local p2p transactions. Tapping into these markets will require new initiatives and green product lines to appeal to these wants.

Mobile shopping is here to stay

Mobile devices have become more and more prominently used when shopping online, so much so that Insider Intelligence stated that mobile commerce would reach $488.0 billion (44% of ecommerce) by 2024. One-click shopping and easily accessible social commerce ads on apps have driven mobile shopping. In order to tap into the mCommerce market, it will be essential to make sure your website has mobile-friendly shopping or a mobile app.

Gen Z becomes more of a focus

The oldest of the Gen Z era are now in their early 20s, meaning they are quickly becoming more common customers within the ecommerce world. For a generation that has always known the conveniences of ecommerce and online ordering, a smooth customer experience will be vital. Gen Z is more partial to social commerce, meaning Facebook, Pinterest, TikTok, and Instagram are key places to garner their interest.

User-generated content remains key 

Influencers have grown in popularity within marketing, especially when selling products through social media sites. Having a trusted celebrity or influencer tout your product can immediately get thousands of eyes on your business and markets much more directly to a group of consumers than SEO or content marketing.

TikTok and Instagram shopping become major sales channels

Both TikTok and Instagram are rising as major sales channels, especially with Gen Z starting to become a larger and larger part of the ecommerce market. Pew Research Center saw that 48% of United States adults between 18-29 years old use TikTok, a number that falls dramatically to 20% in the 30-49 age range. When marketing to younger consumers, both TikTok and Instagram will be a vital piece of the puzzle.

With Instagram and TikTok investing significantly in commerce capabilities, ordering directly from these apps is going to become much easier. 

Brick-and-mortar retailers aren’t dead

Score saw that 55% of those who do online shopping prefer to buy from stores with a physical location rather than an online-only shop. Being able to do returns, try on clothes in the store, or see products in person is still valuable to consumers. You shouldn’t overlook the advantages of a brick-and-mortar location, especially in specific sectors such as apparel.

Buy Now Pay Later gains more traction

Buy Now Pay Later has become a wildly popular payment method for consumers. Services like Affirm, Sezzle, and Klarna make it easy for customers to make purchases on installment payments. Shopify has implemented the option natively with Shop Pay. 

Apple Pay is launching a similar service. Having these installment-like payment options helps those without credit cards finance payments and creates accessibility for many shoppers. Having flexibility in payment systems also means that customers can make big-ticket item purchases that they may not have entertained otherwise.

The checkout experience must be easy and simple

Many platforms such as Shopify have made the checkout experience extremely smooth. Ensuring an easy and painless checkout can prevent cart abandonment and improve the crucial last parts of the customer experience. Poor checkout experiences are also more common on mobile devices, so make sure this process is simple across all of your platforms!

How ShipHero grows ecommerce businesses

Are you worried about keeping up with these ecommerce trends? ShipHero can help. Our software connects with your warehouse, outsourced shipping processes, and 3PLs to help you deliver your ecommerce. We help you elevate your experience through:

Fast shipping speeds

ShipHero offers standard, expedited, and overnight shipping so that you can keep up with top ecommerce retailers like Amazon and Walmart. We facilitate fast shipping without the hassle and frustration. ShipHero has no hidden fees, and we help you find the cheapest overnight options to save money.

Multi-channel fulfillment

Our software can help you handle your order fulfillment through a nationwide network of warehouses. By creating distributing processes throughout these warehouses, delivery delays are minimized, and orders arrive at your customers quicker. Multi-channel fulfillment allows us to offer overnight and 2-day shipping without the worry.

Easy returns management

Returns happen. When managed correctly, they can help you grow your sales and create repeat customers. Through built-in self-service options for your customers and easy label printing through connected shipping accounts, returns become simple for customers.


Keeping up with ecommerce trends is crucial to staying on top of the competition. From AI and chatbots to a heavier social commerce presence, adapting to the new normals can help you stay relevant and bring in new audiences. To give yourself an edge, implement technology and software such as ShipHero to help facilitate faster shipping and smoother fulfillment processes.

Schedule a meeting today with our experts to learn more about our WMS software built for ecommerce brands & 3PLs looking to run their best warehouse and how ShipHero works to ensure that organizations invest in the solutions that match their needs, to improve productivity, revenue, and success.

Click HERE to Schedule a Meeting Today

Aaron Rubin, Founder & CEO


About the author:  Aaron Rubin is the Founder & CEO of ShipHero. He is responsible for planning and executing the overall vision and strategy of the organization. Rubin’s greatest strengths are leadership, change management, strategic planning and a passion for progression. He is known for having his finger on the pulse of ShipHero’s major initiatives, his entrepreneurial spirit, and keen business acumen. His leadership of ShipHero is grounded in providing excellent customer service that drives improved business operations. His passion for ShipHero comes from the culture and his ability to have an impact on the lives of employees, customers, partners, and investors.

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