It’s never easy to predict business trends – and that has never been truer than in the rollercoaster that was 2020. At the beginning of the year, no one could have foreseen the upheaval to come and its knock-on effects across industries from travel to healthcare and beyond. But now we’re in the midst of the pandemic, it’s a good time to look back on what succeeded last year and make some predictions for 2021. And unsurprisingly, e-commerce looks set to go from strength to strength.

In March last year, as restrictions began to come in across the globe, vast swathes of consumers moved online. And for the most part, they have stayed there. In fact, experts have determined that many e-commerce businesses saw their profits jump more than 50% over the course of the year.

But the story hasn’t been the same across the entire e-commerce industry. According to experts, it’s the smaller businesses that have been the biggest success stories. More able to adapt than their larger counterparts, many have come up with creative solutions to make money during the pandemic – and it’s paid off in spades. Coupled with the plentiful social media drives encouraging shoppers to support small businesses, and many of them have enjoyed their best trading years to date.

Similarly, some sectors saw more growth than others in 2020. Specifically, sellers of alcohol, collectibles, and medical supplies (such as face masks & nitrile gloves) all experienced a successful year. But will these trends continue into 2021? Well most experts certainly seem to think so. With restrictions set to continue at least into the spring, it’s predicted that these industries will continue to blossom – as will stores focusing on PPE equipment and at-home entertainment solutions.

That said, everyone is holding out hope that a vaccine might return the world to normal. If this is the case, how much can we expect that to affect e-commerce trends? Well, while many shoppers will no doubt be keen to return to stores, the overall lean towards online shopping is showing no signs of slowing down – even in regions where restrictions have mostly been lifted. Another factor is that many older shoppers tried e-commerce for the first time during the pandemic – and many have been converted.

So, as we move into 2021, we can see that the trends established during 2020 look set to continue, making e-commerce a smart choice for a variety of business ventures.