3 Fashion eCommerce Trends You Can Expect to See in 2021

The trends that will define the year

Jess Erdman, January 2021



In 2020, customers pushed retailers to provide superior services and retailers who did were rewarded with increased eCommerce sales. An increase in general eCommerce sales, combined with a newly sophisticated customer, created sky-high standards for retailers.

To set the stage for the fashion eCommerce trends that will define 2021, we must first take a step back and look at the big picture. What happened in 2020 that drove these trends?

Last year, eCommerce retailers were suddenly forced to provide a superior online customer experience (with some implementing fashion artificial intelligence to meet increased search volume and demand). They also quickly implemented around-the-clock support from staff and lightning-fast shipping times.

Many of the trends that emerged in 2020 were simply catalyzed by COVID--but these trends were already bubbling beneath the surface. The circumstances of COVID allowed these retail trends to break out and become apparent to everyone.

The 2020 trends that we expect to continue into 2021 are:

1) A return to the authenticity and community

2) Rethinking the search and discovery experience

3) Fashion AI product personalization


Experience one of the top trends of 2021 yourself--fashion artificial intelligence, in action. Try our free demo version of the Style Filter. 


Trend 1: A Return to the Authenticity & Community

In 2021, fashion eCommerce brands will continue to engage on a more genuine and authentic level with customers. In 2020, fashion eCommerce brands were forced to authentically engage with customers to communicate news about the pandemic. Brands that previously had tongue-in-cheek communications were suddenly asked to provide meaningful explanations about their plan for the pandemic.

Fashion eCommerce brands can learn a lesson from other retailers engaging with GenZ consumers. Jinah Oh explains that GenZ consumers do not want to be lied to, cheated, or shop from brands that appear insincere. Authenticity is key for the GenZ consumer--in fact, they’re even willing to spend more with a fashion eCommerce brand whose values resonate with them. To learn more about authenticity and GenZ, you can read the full interview here.

In 2021, the blending of culture and brand will continue, as fashion eCommerce brands look to form meaningful connections with customers who are looking for more than just a product. Customers looking for social interactions are now online, and looking for a community to support them. Retailers such as Gymshark offered a community that focused both on physical and mental well-being. 

If you’re looking to increase sales lift in 2021, check out our tips for brands selling online for easy, actionable ideas.


Trend 2: Rethinking the search and discovery experience

Nailing the search and discovery experience for customers has been key for fashion eCommerce success in 2020, and will continue into 2021. In a year where conversion was more important than ever, 2020 taught us that a good search experience could be a tipping point for sales for retailers.

In 2021, eCommerce is continuing to dominate offline sales--but translating a store from offline to online can prove to be difficult.


“Retailers are adapting and figuring out how better to integrate in store experience with online/digital as we see the changes of the consumer shopping behaviors not just what they buy.”

-Jinah Oh, Director of Fashion Merchandising, Academy of Art Institute


Fashion eCommerce are trying different technologies such as fashion artificial intelligence and virtual reality to heighten the digital in-store experience. The conversation in 2021 will specifically continue to focus around search and discovery, and how technology tools can support new search and discovery experiences.

For example, tools such as visual search, powered by fashion artificial intelligence, can make the journey from browsing to conversion much shorter. Instead of typing in a long string of text-based keywords (which may not result in accurate search results), visual search can change the way customers discover products. 

YesPlz’s fashion artificial intelligence Style Filter allows customers to discover products by showing the type of style they’re looking for, on a virtual mannequin. Then, the fashion artificial intelligence pulls relevant search results, which change based on the customer’s selection. Customers can skip inaccurate search results from text-based searches, and instead get the exact results they were mentally picturing.

Experience one of the top trends of 2021 yourself--fashion artificial intelligence, in action.
Try our free demo version of the Style Filter. 


Trend 3: Fashion AI Product Personalization

Fashion artificial intelligence personalization was already on the radar in 2019, with reported benefits for retailers such as higher rates of customer satisfaction, increased customer loyalty, and larger overall basket sizes.

In 2021, the question for fashion eCommerce isn’t whether fashion artificial intelligence personalization is beneficial (it is), but rather, how can retailers cross the bridge between intention and reality? How can retailers actually implement personalization tools?

Fashion artificial intelligence personalization is defined as utilizing user data such as browsing history, purchase data, and personal preferences to deliver dynamic experiences. When personalization is crossed with artificial intelligence, the process of delivering those experiences is streamlined.

Unsurprisingly, in 2021, retailers have access to thousands of unique data points, but the application of personalization tools can be difficult. While it may be tempting for fashion eCommerce to simply choose a personalization tool and forget about it, personalization is an ongoing and dynamic process.

In 2021, retailers (and online businesses in general) will continue to implement AI product personalization--more than we’ve seen before. As more customers move online in 2021, retailers will need technology to keep up with their increasingly sophisticated demands

To remain competitive in the next year, implementing fashion artificial intelligence will change from a “nice-to-have” feature to a “must-have”, as customers continue to expect relevant product recommendations and search results.  


The Outlook For 2021

We expect to see the fashion eCommerce trends that emerged in 2020 continue into 2021 as online retailers are continuing to take the leap and integrate new technology. Expect 2021 to be full of highly personalized, but authentic customer experiences.

With a return to authenticity and community, an amplified search and discovery experience for customers, and fashion AI product personalization, eCommerce brands can ensure their continued success in 2021. These trends will only continue to flourish as the year goes on. 


Looking to learn more about fashion artificial intelligence and retail tech? Contact us for a free 30-minute demo on our Style Filter. 

by Jess Erdman Jess Erdman
Content Marketing Lead

I'm passionate about creating cool content. The best part? I get to learn new things about fashion tech and ecommerce everyday. Have an idea or opinion about this article? Reach out at jess@yesplz.ai

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