eCommerce Trends in 2021: Is Personalization a Fallacy?


Full Disclosure: Data is born out of trends. So, when we talk about eCommerce trends in 2021 about personalization vs customization, we’d like to emphasize that the insight we share is actionable and data-oriented. We have developed the personalization engine for various clients and numerous businesses. So, we have multiple touchpoints, backing our research presented below.

In this article of eCommerce trends in 2021, you will be able to find answers to the following questions.

  • What are the top eCommerce trends in 2021?
  • How do I get success in an eCommerce business?
  • How do I start an eCommerce business?
  • Which is better?–Personalization vs customization.
  • How can I grow my eCommerce business?
  • How to run a successful eCommerce store?

2020 may have been a disaster for automobile, travel and hospitality, manufacturing, and real estate, to name a few. Defying the norms, eCommerce, among the other megahit industries during COVID-19, recorded all-time high growth in 2020. Around this time, consumers began showing a penchant for online shopping, away from the in-store shopping experience and provided the required stimulus to eCommerce businesses.

The supply-demand ratio was re-evaluated by businesses running physical stores and approached TRooTech to scramble online, after going through our impressive eCommerce Development Concept expertise. Most of these requests had one aspect in common.

Personalization for eCommerce.

It may be one of the top eCommerce trends in 2021. But then there’s more to it.

That brought us to a crossroad with a question–Is personalization still among the top eCommerce trends in 2021?

  • Content Recommendation:

The AI algorithm runs the recommendation engine for prompting customized displays to users.

  • Behavioural Targeting:

Track the repeated browsing habits and draw out a pattern to predict future user behaviour to target more sales.

  • Personalized Deals:

Built the site experience to suit users’ accessibility to keep them coming back to the app and boost the engagement rate.

  • Smart Promotions:

Personalization engine offers a powerful targeting engine for users to view the relevant messages.

  • Dynamic Landing Pages:

Adapting to the users’ real-time behaviour to present them with dynamic content and landing pages to close more sales.

  • Tailored Experience:

Personalization offers users an opportunity to set up their accounts and profiles as per their choices.

All these features and budding eCommerce businesses are bound to incorporate personalization in their portals. But there’s more to it.

Why Personalization Matters?

Let’s talk about psychology. 

Customers see something on Amazon or Ali baba, and expect the same features in other eCommerce apps. So, in a way, features that Amazon launches no longer are “nice to have” ones, they are “why doesn’t this eCommerce app have that feature?” ones.

That is the typical scenario with most of the users. But the scenario is different for the eCommerce business owners or potential ones. You don’t have to follow the lead of Amazon necessarily. You have to weigh the pros and cons of personalization and then proceed with it. 

Amazon being the pioneer that it is, introduced personalization in its app and website for users for the following reasons:

  • Personalization Stimulates Impulse:

Shopping is more about emotions than it is about the mind. That’s the reason why you think you are calculative by opting to buy 3-for-2 stuff at the checkout when you might not need it in the first place.

Personalization curates data about these emotions and the engines churn out contextual marketing to stimulate more instances of impulse buying.

  • Personalization Urges Customers to Come Back:

Do you want to build a successful eCommerce business? Well, the first step is to have a substance in your business that makes customers want to come back to your website or an app. Personalization is that substance because it helps customers look at what might interest them.

Again, this recommendation is based on already bought products, ones in the cart, and the searched ones.

  • Personalization Reduces Number of Follow-Ups:

Remember how many times you need to send the push notifications to customers about products they might be interested in? Plenty of times to be precise. 

However, using personalization, the users’ feeds are already jam-packed with the content they might like, reducing the need to follow up.

Now comes a 180° shift that might shatter your perception about personalization like a piece of glass.

Is Personalization a Fallacy?

Every online business is busy implementing the personalization feature. Sadly, not many get it right. The fact sadder than this is, online app businesses are not entirely getting the point of personalization.

For instance, Kim, a 26-year-old lady, residing in New York, buys a Trench coat from an eCommerce portal. Now, the data generated out of Kim’s shopping preferences reads as follow:

LocationNew York, USA
Spent Most Time OnGreen Trench Coat

Given this data, females in their mid-twenties residing in New York will be shown more products like the ones purchased by Kim.

What does this imply?

It implies that personalization is a fallacy. It shows recommendations only for the overlapping purchases among individuals sharing the same demography. So, suppose you own an eCommerce store. You think about increasing the trench coat’s sales dramatically. In that case, you know you are in for a disappointment with the conventional personalization feature.

I wouldn’t see it as personalization. I would see it as a repeated recommendation of the same type of products. So, we are back to the square one, and this zone begs a question–

If fallacy is what personalization is, what is the right approach for eCommerce businessmen?

How to Fix the Broken Personalization Feature in Online Businesses?

They say, if it hasn’t broken, don’t fix it. So, if you followed the common eCommerce trends in 2021, this section is for your. If you don’t have the personalization feature in your mobile application, you don’t have to worry about it.

The solution is customization for both cases.

So, what is customization in eCommerce, and how is it different from personalization?

Customization empowers customers, while personalization empowers the eCommerce website and app. Unlike personalization, customization in eCommerce is a choice of users. The goal of personalization is to predict what users might prefer. On the other hand, customers choose customization in eCommerce to point exactly at what they prefer.

Let’s draw a line to project the difference between Customization vs Personalization in eCommerce.

Works on the user’s natural intelligenceWorks on the website/mobile apps’ artificial intelligence.
Requires users to customize their preferences and choices to have the right content in their feeds.Requires reviews to offer the right content to users.
Requires the configuration of the mobile app or the website by users.Requires the configuration of the mobile app or the website by developers during the development of the eCommerce portal.
Users’ mindset may be fickle, which means their preferences are bound to change. As a result, customers can change their preferences at any point in time.When users change their preferences, it will take some time to identify this new pattern.
When the user base is large, customization offers an autonomous response to users’ needs.When the user base is large, personalization might generate a lot of data regarding users’ behaviour. So, numerous preferences can be generated for the same demography of users.

Clearly, customization is user-driven while personalization is a technology-driven feature.

The best answer to which is better–customization or personalization would be that they both have a unique set of advantages, which means you can leverage both of them to start an eCommerce business.

Is Personalization Still the Top Trend for eCommerce in 2021?

Sadly no! 

The top trend in eCommerce is the feature that is technology-driven and yet is user-centric.

Though numerous small eCommerce business owners still rely on personalization to broaden their bottom lines, that doesn’t get the desired results every time.

So, to run a successful eCommerce business, you can opt for a combination of Customization and Personalization in eCommerce. That way, it will be the combination of AI in eCommerce and customization.

The exact solution is–Owning a different personality feature.

Allow me to explain it.

Personalization involves artificial intelligence scratching its head to identify a pattern that your user has fallen into to predict future actions. As a result, a user sees similar results in his feed–shopping, reading, binge-watching, eating, wearing, dwelling, listening to, doing, and more.

Mundanity is the necessity that calls for some change in the feed. If users would have the same kind of suggestion, they’d look for an alternative app within your industry. And you don’t want that.

So, here’s what you can do.

You can kill their boredom from the same feed recommendation by introducing–own a different personality feature.

Own a Different Personality? What’s that?

Glad you asked.

Owning a different personality is that Goldilocks zone between personalization and customization. It is a new feature to prevent the shortfalls of personalization. The fundamental working of this feature is based on the current personalization feature.

While every user has their feeds based on their repeated search and interaction with the content, there should be a share feed feature with friends. A user should be able to keep some of the preferences open for the public. As a result, when a user is bored with the repeated kind of recommendations in his feeds, he can choose to own another user’s personality, meaning getting the personalized feed of that user in one’s feed until it is switched back to one’s personality.

Such a feature can do wonders to the current eCommerce industry. Instead of asking for recommendations from a friend, your users can directly apply their friends’ feed into their feed to receive different recommendations.

Is there a Scope for Advancement in this Feature?

As a digital businessman, it is natural for you to ask this question about your business’ future. After all, the plan is to expand your business over numerous geographies. While personalization is a way to extract users’ data to serve them with more choices, owning a personality can keep them glued to their apps.

There is no dearth of online friends. Users can simply connect with their friends and explore their choices to find some of the best products/rides/watchlists/food. On the other hand, when we are talking about advancement, influencers can play a massive role.

Celebrities and influencers can opt to make their choices public to explore their profiles and own their personality while shopping online. Such a feature can even give social media a run for new engagement quotients.

Below is the roadmap to advancing an app with owning a different personality feature:

  • Develop a mobile app using artificial intelligence.
  • Get to know your users and offer them personalized feeds.
  • Introduce an add-on of owning a personality.
  • Let users connect with their friends and use the feature.
  • Create another segment within the feature to accommodate influencers and celebrities.

Addressing the “What-ifs?”: Is it Really Going to Make my eCommerce App Profitable?

All I want to say is, don’t follow the top eCommerce trends in 2021 blindly. 

The feature can do more than just engaging your users.

Since it is a new feature, it is apparent that it attracts a series of doubts about real-life implementation.

What if it doesn’t work on users as promised?

What if users don’t want to interact, the social media style, in eCommerce?

What if celebrities and influencers don’t show up in the path of advancement?

Too many what-ifs but I hold the answer.

It was hell a lot easier for users to perceive that Uber could fail, as it would have been too much of a hassle for users to open an application, add their ride details, wait for the driver, and then get to the destination.

What if the driver cancelled the ride?

What if drivers didn’t agree to the fixed-price model when they could charge as per their wish?

What if users don’t resonate to the model?

There were too many what-ifs back then, as well. Being the first one in the market often comes with a lot of risks. 

The way to eCommerce growth is only through risk and giant leaps. There is also a thrill to be a trend-setter and gain an early-mover’s advantage in the populated eCommerce industry.

So, which one are you of the two–An opportunist or an opportunist?

Tell us here

More About Author

Vishal Nakum

Vishal Nakum is a tech enthusiast with a passion for exploring the latest developments in the world of technology. He has a keen interest in emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Blockchain, and enjoys keeping up-to-date with the latest trends and advancements in these fields. Vishal is an avid learner and is always on the lookout for new ways to expand his knowledge and skills. He is also a creative thinker and enjoys experimenting with new ideas and concepts. In his free time, Vishal enjoys playing video games and reading books on technology and science.