Annual Global eCommerce Trends 2021 SearchNode Survey Report

SearchNode eCommerce Trends Report

2020 proved how turbulent eCommerce is due to the pandemic. SearchNode surveyed eCommerce leaders to paint a picture of what the industry can expect in 2021.

Kaunas, Lithuania – (December 1, 2020) – SearchNode (, a global leader in eCommerce site search solutions, today released its annual Ecommerce Trends 2021 Survey Report. The research collected insightful information about the current and future trends of eCommerce and how COVID-19 impacted the industry from ~100 eCommerce decision-makers worldwide. The survey consisted of various questions, covering the 30 most important and progressive topics in the eCommerce industry. 

Most Ecommerce Companies Won From COVID-19

  • 90% of respondents said that their online revenue increased during the global lockdown in Spring 2020, compared to the pre-pandemic period;
  • After the global lockdown, 86% of respondents marked that their online revenues increased, compared to the pre-pandemic period.
  • 40% of respondents said their online profit margin increased during the global lockdown in spring 2020 compared to the pre-pandemic period, while only 15% claimed that it decreased;
  • A very similar trend can be seen after the spring global lockdown was over: 40% saw an increase, and only 14% saw a decrease in online profit margins, compared with times before Coronavirus.

Survey also explored how COVID-19 affected: workforce, physical stores & its sales performance, and overall eCommerce strategy. Moreover, it looked into the main challenges for eCommerce because of the Coronavirus and what measurements companies take for 2021.

Ecommerce Budgets Are Rising

  • 78% of respondents are planning to increase their overall eCommerce budget for 2021.

Ecommerce Strategy Trends

  • 59% of respondents claimed they will offer free returns in 2021;
  • 45% of respondents are planning to offer financing to customers in 2021;
  • 53% of respondents said they are not willing to use AR/VR in 2021;
  • 82% of respondents claimed they will not offer cryptocurrencies payments in 2021.

Other eCommerce strategy trends covered include: omnichannel, direct selling in social media, dynamic pricing, product subscription services, digital wallets, voice commerce, progressive-web-apps (PWA).

Ecommerce Technology Trends

  • 56% of respondents stated that they prefer to build their technologies in-house;
  • The respondents recognized personalization (70%), site search (54%), and forecasting (52%) as the areas most likely to receive AI assistance in 2021;
  • 74% said  they’ll improve their analytics and data insights technology next year;
  • 68% of respondents are planning to improve their site search in 2021;
  • 67% of respondents said they will invest more in personalization next year.

Other eCommerce technology trends covered include: marketing automation, product visualization, fraud prevention, payments & checkout, order management system, product feeds, PIM, and eCommerce platform choice. It also covers the most popular site search solutions, satisfaction, workforce, and features trends. 

Ecommerce Sustainability Trends

  • 75% of respondents take at least one action to address environmental challenges;
  • Among mostly mentioned practices were more sustainable packaging (58%), efficient transportation to cut emissions (36%),  improved or changed products (34%), internal changes in the organization (30%);
  • 16% said that they are not addressing environmental challenges at all.

Ecommerce Marketing Trends

  • Organic search (38%), paid search (22%), and email marketing (21%) were mostly mentioned marketing practices with the best ROI;
  • Offline marketing received only 4%, meaning that eCommerce focuses on digital efforts most.

The report can be downloaded for free here:


This is an annual global initiative created by SearchNode Inc., aiming to help retailers prepare their businesses for the upcoming years. This year, in October 2020, SearchNode conducted an online survey, where nearly 100 eCommerce decision-makers from Europe and North America participated. Full anonymity was guaranteed for all of the respondents. The survey consisted of 34 questions exploring the most progressive topics of eCommerce.

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