Apr 15 2021 06:04:23 / By Saiyed Mehdi

Digital technologies will disrupt traditional shopping journeys, but retail won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. Both these market spaces will complement their roles in the purchasing journey, minimizing the effort and confusion for a consumer at checkout. Retail outlets will learn to react quickly to changing consumer demands using data-driven thinking, while eCommerce brands will move offline to create more value through physical experiences.  In this article, we take a look at the top trends between retail and digital in 2021.

Trend #1: Social Shopping

Ecommerce sites may have to try to get consumer attention, but social media sites have it easy. With people spending time scrolling through social media feeds, allowing them to shop from these platforms has become the new norm. Known as ‘social commerce’, shoppers don’t have to enter a third-party site to purchase a product and can directly do it from the media app or site they’re hooked onto.

Facebook Shops allow brands, big or small, to create their own themed collections and feature products of different categories. Brands can also design the look of their shop using company banners and colors. Facebook Shops is also accessible through its partner app Instagram, opening the way to more consumers. Digital marketing companies in Dubai will integrate this trend into a brand’s ecommerce experience to achieve full value of a digital presence.

Trend #2: Real influence

Consumers want profound and real experiences with a brand they associate with. Because influencer marketing can reach out and speak to a consumer on behalf of the brand, digital marketing companies in Dubai will aim to create content that is mature and honest, something that educates and entertains the viewer. During the pandemic, when consumers could not try clothes or gadgets before buying them, influencers came to the rescue with their outfit trials or un-boxing videos. As humans we consciously tend to favor videos because they teach us something and avoid cognitive stress of reading and re-reading.  Packaging authentic information into creative narrative videos will be an influencer’s go-to medium to engage and foster a digital tribe for the brand.

Trend #3: No line between Online and Offline

Brands that were primary digital are not excluding the options a brick-and-mortar setup has to offer. In September 2020, Amazon introduced its seamless in-store and online grocery shopping platform – Amazon Fresh. The online store gives consumers the option of same-day delivery, while the physical store works not only as a pick-up point for orders placed online, but as a storage point. And if that wasn’t enough, the E-giant offers the same Amazon.com pickup and returns option on groceries as well. 

According to a Mercatus/Incisiv study, almost 90% of online grocery shoppers are expected to continue shopping online post-pandemic. Going into 2021, digital marketing services in Dubai will encourage brands to converge the online and offline marketplace to remain relevant and accessible for consumers at different touch-points.

Trend #4: Augmenting Real Shopping Experiences

There’s no doubt about it - technology is on the rise and people want to discover what it can do for them. Augmented reality, machine learning and artificial intelligence are making inroads into people’s lives, especially with what wonders it can do for their retail experience. A consumer survey by Nielsen Global showed how consumers are looking for Augmented and Virtual Reality to simplify their daily lives, with 51% of them wanting to first scan products using AR technology.

Since the pandemic, digital marketing companies in Dubai saw retailers power-up AR technology on their digital platform, to bring as many consumers towards online purchasing. And it worked! IBM’s Retail Index pointed out that the shift from physical to digital has been accelerated by approximately five years owing to AR enhancements.

What’s more, AR-powered shopping isn’t just for big brands. Shopify’s easy-to-use toolkit allows businesses to create their own AR shopping journey for their customers, making it easy for all brands to catch on with the trend. According to Shopify’s statistics, AR powered experiences result in 94% more conversions for brands compared to those without it.

Trend #5:  One giant brand helps other brands

Digital marketing companies in Dubai see big potential for clients and their unique identities on shopper markets like Amazon. The ecommerce giant generated its highest revenue in the second quarter of 2020, making this a lucrative place for brands to have a strong presence.

Amazon introduced tools to support brands wanting to create differentiated brand equity on the platform. Options such as,

  • Video in Sponsored Brands,
  • Sponsored Brands Custom Image,
  • Brand Stories (A+ Content),
  • Amazon Posts,
  • And Amazon OTT,

offer brands the opportunity to create impactful advertising and tell their story on the platform. Additionally, with the help of Amazon’s New-to-Brand metrics, brands can determine how much it costs to acquire one new customer on the platform, and plan marketing strategies accordingly. Impactful advertising can arise out of such real-time data and brands will look to capitalize on the offer.

Trend #6: Ethical Consumerism

Brands are constantly being scanned for the values and ethics they display. CSR activities with glossy photos no longer satisfy the philosophical appetite of the ethical consumer. It has to reflect in the business operation too. Ethical brands are making it a point to display their supply chains and production process to convince the consumer to make a smarter choice. Sooner or later brands that remain silent about their operations will see consumers shifting towards more value-based products.

Top digital marketing companies in Dubai will help your brand showcase its moral to build enduring customer loyalty and trust.

Trend #7: Why wait?

In the age of instant gratification, consumers don’t mind paying a little extra to instantly have their orders delivered.  Same-day delivery sales are higher than ever on Amazon and naturally, big brands are following suit. Add to this the possibility of getting your product in 30 minutes or less using drone technology – Amazon’s Prime Air is leaving no stone unturned.

Trend #8: Smart Speaker Shopping

Suddenly remembered you ran out of cereal? Tell Amazon Echo or Google Home and instantly purchase it. Spending more time at home during the pandemic, almost 20% of smart speaker owners used the voice technology to conduct product research, order products and track deliveries without having to look at a screen. For brands that have their own ecommerce site, a voice assistant can direct consumers to their website and boost traffic – working like a voice-SEO.

Trend #9: Why retail is still relevant

Pure-play brands that first set out online have the advantage to succeed offline, because they aren’t simply guessing – they’re using data from all the homework they did while studying consumer behavior online. Even though brick-and-mortar sales will shift toward online platforms, the retail store can provide great opportunity to strengthen customer relationships with a brand.

What is life if not for memories? Creating in-store experiences that are Instagrammable can bring life to a brand’s digital journey. A case in point is a basketball court at Nike’s flagship Time Square store. In-store cameras are angled to record shots taken by customers, and large screens help one to mimic popular routes on the court. It has become a huge attraction for tourists and a big win for brand engagement.


Having survived the pandemic by relying on digital commerce, consumers are going to expect more innovation every time they shop, no matter if it’s online or at the retail store. At Wisoft, we create personalized experiences that drive more engagement with consumers, harnessing digital data – the direct input from consumers – to help brands develop powerful campaigns to endorse their brands. Pandemic or no pandemic, the future for all brands speak omni-channel marketplaces so a consumer can choose where they want to interact with your brand.

If your product is looking to makes big moves in either space, Wisoft Solutions offers comprehensive digital marketing services in Dubai to widen consumer interactions with your brand and help you understand your audience.