Online business owners and digital marketers are constantly on the lookout for the latest digital marketing trends, finding new ways to acquire customers, grow sales, and use their marketing budgets effectively. They’re continuously optimizing and tweaking their website, adding new modern features, building progressive web applications to win over more mobile conversions, inviting influencers, and improving their social media and email strategies. But what are the major digital marketing trends in 2021?

Top 8 Digital Marketing Trends To Follow In 2021

On this page, we’ll gladly go over 8 digital marketing trends, sharing tips and specific examples of how the big brands are already doing it.

1. Virtual Try-On Features

Opening the list of current digital marketing trends and online sales trends is the functionality of try-on. Apart from the face masks that are widely used for beautification and the virtual reality “boom” that’s popular in gaming and entertainment, augmented reality can be a tool that helps to drive clients and sell more on the site.

With the help of the device’s camera, the user gets the chance to instantly visualize what this or that item looks like. Ultimately, this makes convincing customers to buy something much easier since their doubts sway away when they see the item “in action” or on them.

Numerous retail spheres are already enhancing their sites with virtual try-on: shoes, cosmetics, even furniture. The possibilities here are very broad. For example, below you can see the virtual try-on feature that’s up on the official L’Oreal Paris website. Customers can play around with various makeup and its shades, finding the needed look, and ordering exactly what suits them.

Virtual try-on feature on the L’Oreal Paris website

2. Product Builders for Customization

It’s no secret that consumers are always craving something new and one-of-a-kind. Thus, providing the chance to create a custom design of a product instead of buying one of the readily offered product variations is one more outstanding marketing move and trend.

Not only do you allow your buyers to be creative, but you may also then make conclusions regarding what your audience wants and prefers. This means that you can make conclusions about where to move with your product lines in the future and how to promote them better.

Put simply, various product constructors break down the item into those parts that can be modified. The user moves from one tab or element to another making choices from the possible options. Be it color, text, or any other material that can be changed, proper visualization and showing the changes straight away are a great deal of success here. As a result, the client receives a unique design and a price total for the assembled unique item.

To illustrate, this is a screenshot of the product constructor that’s used on the official Converse website. Over 5 shoe elements can be changed (seen on the right), and the selected variations of each of them are then displayed right away on the pair of shoes that’s on the left. Plus, the user can take a look at the item from different angles by clicking through the gallery.

Product customizer on the Converse website

3. UGC Widgets & Customer Galleries

It’s widely known that user-generated content is a very powerful tool in digital marketing. Especially when it’s in collaboration with everyone’s favorite social media. Long story short, there are many benefits of following the digital marketing trend of adding a user-generated social media content widget to the site or even to specific product pages. The same applies to giving clients the opportunity to add their photos to special “User galleries”.

The main advantages here are providing proof that the items that you’re selling a “real thing” and that people like what they’ve bought from you. On a similar note, seeing how others use the product and enjoy it can be a good “kick” that inspires your potential shoppers to buy it too. Thirdly, you connect with your customers who you’ve urged to make the posts, building stronger relationships, making them more satisfied when they see their content on your site, and if they have some sweetener or motivation to make such posts (a discount, for example), they’re likelier to return to you once again. Plus, your brand’s presence online and audience reach greatly expand (just think about how many of your customers’ followers will see your brand via such posts?). Finally, your own content base grows thanks to such user content, thus, you can reuse it, repost it, etc.

To provide an example, below you can see the “Social Skills” section on the official MAC Cosmetics website. Firstly, the widget pulls Instagram posts that were made by ordinary people and customers on Instagram. Such posts must tag the @MACCOSMETICS account and have a #MACSTYLE hashtag to make it to the gallery. Speaking of which, did you notice that users can upload their pictures of the product (or themselves with the product) directly to this gallery using the button in the bottom right corner under the photo carousel?

Social media widget on the MAC Cosmetics website

4. Personalize the User Experience

Mentioning what else you can do to strengthen the digital marketing strategy, do your best to add some personalization onto your pages.

Just as works with the personal communication and tone in the texts and call to action elements, being a marketer, you can take a step forward and show that you know the tastes and preferences of this specific buyer. How do you do that? By generating a section that’ll pull out those items that your shopper might like based on their browsing history and earlier purchases.

Check out the screenshot of a product page on the official Diesel website. The “YOU MAY ALSO LIKE” block suggests other watches and accessories that can be fancied by the shopper. Such upselling moves are proven to be a strong tactic that increases average cart sizes.

Personalization section on the Diesel website

5. Take Social Media Shopping for a Spin

Don’t forget about your social media stores. As of recent, it has become possible to multichannel by connecting your website with various shops that are provided by everyone’s favored social media channels.

As such, you can establish a Facebook Shop, Instagram Shop, or Pinterest Shop on the basis of your official business accounts. Linked directly to your site’s product catalog, these shops allow your social media followers to browse the details of the tagged products to posts and to purchase them after following a link back to your store. Obviously, this requires additional setups and verification, yet the game is really worth the trouble in the end.

To demonstrate the above, here’s how the official Nike Pinterest page with shopping functionality looks like. As you can see, the product that is shown in the pin can be browsed and the site link leading back to the product page on the official site is readily available. Of course, such a tactic drives more sales.

Product pin on the Nike Pinterest

6. Enhanced Product Review Sections

Let’s face it, when we read any description of a product or service on a website, we treat the seen “promises” with a tad of skepticism, sometimes not even just a tad. The reason for that lies in the fact that people are becoming harder and harder to convince. So, like in the case with user-generated photos within social media widgets, customers want to hear about it from other customers just like them, not from you. Therefore, having upgraded client ratings and review sections is the next trend on our list.

The more users comment or overview your products, the better. According to the statistics found by the Spiegel Research Center:

“When a product gets five reviews, the likelihood of it being purchased increases by 270%”

How do you convince customers to spend some of their precious time reviewing a product? Right, by motivating them with some perk, such as a coupon or free shipping for their next order. This works as a win-win for everyone since the client gets thanked for the feedback, you get proof and credibility, as well as a returning customer “on the hook” who’ll want to make use of your exclusive discount or promo offer.

An important thing to note here is that your reviews must be current. You have to “launch” the reviews machine to keep on getting feedback and comments from your clients to raise your trust rate and get a hold of other benefits that they bring. For example, you can use email marketing for this.

On another note, it is crucial that you reply to the reviews. At least the negative ones so as to not lose your customers. Get down to the matter, try to find out what happened, and don’t leave the situation unsolved.

What’s for the reviews block itself on the site, it should be capable of providing all the required info straight on. This is how the official Victoria’s Secret website organized their section. We can see an overview with the overall rating followed by a clear call to action, inviting users to leave a review. Then we see separate comments with all the clear data on every single customer and their personal details.

Product ratings block on the official Victoria’s Secret website

7. Combine Influencer Marketing with Gift Hunting

Looking for gifts is a tough task for most people which basically means that being a marketer you must surely take advantage of the issue and do your best to offer a solution. Helping with selecting gifts is one more trend worth noting.

As a rule, specific selections of products that’ll be a good fit for presents are placed right within the menu. Broken down by recipient, budget, and other factors, marketers take these gift guides a step up, pitching quick quizzes, questionnaires, and other fun content that can assist in finding the right presents.

But a really neat trending “move” is combining gift finders with the advice of influencers. The Ambassador Holiday Gift Picks on the official Puma website is a wonderful example of such. The brand has numerous ambassadors, each catering to different audience groups with various tastes and style preferences. As such, users are free to check out those items that the celebrities have picked out from the Puma catalog that they’re giving their friends and family for the holidays.

Gift recommendations from influencers on the Puma website

8. Image & Voice Search Functionality

The final eighth trend that we’d like to cover in this overview deals with enhanced AI-powered search functionality. The search patterns and habits of users are changing with the rise of voice assistants and the constant desire to save time. That’s why, especially in online retail, it is crucial to keep pace with the times and drive the needed traffic.

Mentioning voice search that works based on the recognition of speech, digital marketers must understand that their customary SEO should be tweaked too. After all, requests made “conversationally” differ greatly from the same inquiry that would be made via typing in text in a search bar. That said, numerous digital marketers and search engine optimization specialists are already changing around the site pages to fit the needs of users who use the microphone feature or ask Siri or Alexa for help.

Another point here deals with image search. Also aimed at saving the user’s time clicking through dozens of sites when looking for something, results based on an uploaded image highly raise user satisfaction. Instant and to-the-point results with the exact item or similar styles to the ones on the uploaded photo is what can be seen on the example of StyleSnap on the official Amazon website screenshots below.

StyleSnap image search on the Amazon website

Over to You

Summing up everything covered in this article, the current digital marketing trends aim at connecting with customers across multiple channels, providing them with all the required insights, data, and ease of navigation, as well as surprising them with enhanced search capabilities and modern technology.

Let’s go over the main points you can take away from this post:

  • Your site needs to be in step with time, offering up-to-date features and uplifted technology. This can include virtual try-on, search by voice or image, product customization, etc.
  • Connecting across multiple channels is also key, thus don’t miss out on selling via social media channels and convincing clients to generate content that features your brand.
  • The same goes for uplifting your reviews section, providing such social proof can greatly pick up sales and make your marketing efforts count.
  • Lastly, it is crucial to be helpful and inspiring, as well as to personalize each client’s experience. Offer your clients personal product picks and recommendations, as well as assist in finding gifts.

Hope you’ve found these tips helpful! If you have some more digital marketing trends for 2021 in mind, feel free to share them in the comments, and let’s discuss!

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