The Dot Academy

Digital marketing trends for 2021

As we are heading towards the end of 2020, we are preparing ourselves for the new year: 2021. We can’t wait to leave 2020 behind and have a fresh start of the new year. A lot has happened this year which will have an impact on 2021. Due to the pandemic, offline stores were closed. Therefore, we were forced to shop online and marketeers needed to reach out to the at-home consumer. But what other digital marketing trends will occur in the new year? We have listed the most essential ones for you: 

Privacy first:

As more and more people bought online this year, more data has been collected. Protecting all the data and the customers’ privacy became essential.  For customers, they must trust the brand so the digital ecosystem can function properly. Without trust, we are nowhere. Regulations such as GDPR and user privacy will evolve in line with the digital marketing landscape. When there is trust between a brand and its customers, people are more likely to share their personal information which can eventually help with automated services. 

Targeting the at-home consumer:

Customers spend more time at home than ever before. People have more time to look at online videos to stay informed, entertained and connected with the rest of the world. Forecasts say that more than 80% of consumer internet traffic will be driven by online video. This trend will increase due to the rise of digital adoption during the pandemic. During the pandemic, many brands started using Instagram Reels, TikTok, Live-videos to show their collections in moving formats. When we look at brands that have been using videos to show the collections in moving images for some time, we look at Asos. Asos shows its products through a virtual runway. 


Covid-19 has reinforced the customers’ need for sustainability. Consumers are considering the impact of their online shopping behaviour on the environment. People are looking for brands that are transparent and demonstrate responsibility when it comes to sustainability. Research has shown that brands who communicate sustainable attributions have a halo effect, especially with the quality and value during the decision-making process of the customer. “It is important to ensure that sustainable products won’t become a marketing gimmick and not only storytelling. Sustainability must be implemented both economically and financially in the overall merchandising of a brand. “ said Nicolaj Reffstrup, co-founder of Ganni. Any sustainable collection must have a lasting impact and should shift away from a storytelling mindset. 


Brands are forced to provide a sleek mobile experience onsite to meet the needs of every mobile shopper. Forecasts expect that 54% of all online sales will come from mobile ecom sales. A variety of payment methods, excellent checkout experience, click-and-collect pickups, etc. will become crucial. Want to know if your website is friendly enough? Check out this website

Mobile apps:

As mentioned above, the big media consumption of 2020 was on mobile. We’ve spent more than 1,6 billion hours on our phones, this only in the first half of the year!? The usage of mobile apps grew with 25% YoY. The rise in app popularity will mainly be beneficial for the food delivery industry, online learning, entertainment and shopping. Research shows that 30% of the consumers believe that our shopping behaviour will never go back to the way it was before the pandemic. This makes it very interesting for retailers to seek the opportunity to develop mobile apps. When users download an app, they already have some kind of affinity for a brand and will become more loyal customers eventually. Businesses must prioritize their app strategy in the future.  

New channels:

Customers are much more informed and empowered than before. Information is so important nowadays as it is the key to succeed in the overcrowded marketplace. Consumers focus less on looking at brands, they are now looking at social media, influencers and at their peers. They want to know what their peers think about a specific product or brand. Rae Giron from the beauty brand “Tatcha” said that brands need to experiment with different social media formats to engage more with their customers to speed up the sales cycles. In this way, we are going into the direction of social e-commerce, which we talked about earlier before

This post is also available in: Dutch