Biggest eCommerce Trends That Flopped in the 2010s


Biggest eCommerce Trends That Flopped in the 2010s

The 2010s was an exciting decade for eCommerce. Convergence of technologies saw eCommerce sales reach new heights year on year. And, as these technologies continue to evolve, with the new Biggest eCommerce Trends seeming to pop up every week. Some have really taken off, while others have sunk like stone.

While we usually like to focus on the positives here at CreativeMinds, we thought we’d change things up in this blog. Today, we’re looking at the predictions that went awry. Here are the so-called biggest eCommerce trends that failed to make a real impact.

The eCommerce Landscape Across the 2010s

The eCommerce Landscape Across the 2010s - Biggest eCommerce Trends That Flopped in the 2010s

Before we get into the not-so-trending trends, it’s a good time for an eCommerce recap.

It would have been hard for anyone in 2010 to predict what the eCommerce landscape would look like ten years later. Back then, eCommerce made up just 7.2% of all US retail sales. By 2018, this had almost doubled. In 2019 it accounted for 16% – that’s quite the growth!

As eCommerce has seen a boom over the last ten years, there have been lots of shifts and changes in the landscape.

The Trends That Didn’t Take Off

However, not all the trends have changed our world like the experts thought they would.

1. Bye-Bye to Bricks and Mortar

As eCommerce started to take off early on in the 2010s, lots of industry experts were predicting it was the beginning of the end for physical stores. In reality, this just hasn’t been the case.

With so much talk about shopping moving online, you might be surprised to learn that 90% of all retail sales happened in physical stores in 2019.

Stats like this clearly illustrate that bricks and mortar are far from a dying breed. In fact, historically online stores are even making the move into physical stores.

2. Drone Delivery

Drone Delivery - Biggest eCommerce Trends That Flopped in the 2010s

Put on any sci-fi movie from the 80s and you’ll probably see a very technological depiction of the future. Hoverboards, hovercrafts, robots everywhere – you know the kind of thing.

For a while, it looked like some of that might come true. Drones were poised to transform the delivery industry forever. In 2016. And 2017. And 2018. You get the idea.

We’re still waiting for drove delivery to take off. Although there’s still time for this one to fly. Amazon is still trying to make Prime Air work, so it’s a “trend” to keep an eye on over the next decade. We could be living in Back to the Future in 2030.

3. The Rise of Tablets

The Rise of Tablets - Biggest eCommerce Trends That Flopped in the 2010s

Picture this: it’s 2010. Apple has established itself as one of the biggest players in the tech industry, and they’re holding an Apple Special Event to unveil something new. That new something is the iPad.

Sitting somewhere between a laptop and a mobile, the iPad was a new breed of device: the tablet. Android OEMs followed Apple’s lead, creating their own versions of the iPad. The market was saturated with iPads, Galaxy Notes, and Amazon Fire tablets.

The tablet was set to revolutionize the way consumers shop. eCommerce experts were certainly convinced that it would.

However, tablets haven’t proved to be quite the eCommerce game changer that some thought they would. As it stands, they account for less than a quarter of all mobile eCommerce sales in the US.

4. Social Shopping

Social Shopping - Biggest eCommerce Trends That Flopped in the 2010s

On the face of it, it seems like social media and online shopping should be a match made in heaven. Time spent on social media, the number of active accounts around the world – it should all add up to a marketer’s dream. Except, it hasn’t.

For some reason, the two haven’t come together quite like you might expect. In fact, in 2018 two-thirds of shoppers said they’d never make a purchase through social media. A survey by SUMO found that a whopping 82% of shoppers had never made a purchase through any kind of social commerce channel.

This is not through a lack of trying on the part of social media giants. In 2014, Twitter launched a ‘buy’ button in the hopes of integrating eCommerce into the micro-blogging platform. It was promptly discontinued in 2017. Facebook launched a similar buy button around the same time, and killed it just as quick.

While social media may have transformed our lives over the last decade, it certainly hasn’t transformed our shopping habits.

This is not to say it never will. Instagram is doing quite well at blending social media and eCommerce together. Watch this space.

The Future of eCommerce

The Future of eCommerce - Biggest eCommerce Trends That Flopped in the 2010s

Who knows what the eCommerce industry will look like in another ten years. As technologies continue to grow and evolve, anything could happen.

What we do know is that CreativeMinds will continue to offer excellent plugins that expand the functionality of your WordPress and Magento sites.