What is the future of eCommerce? If you have ever pondered over this question, then you have come looking at the right place. This article goes through all the hot topics and eCommerce trends that current and future eCommerce business owners must know. Whether it be the eCommerce technology that takes center stage in the future or a key user behavior trait, you will find it all here.
Capitalizing on the right eCommerce trend can catapult your business to great heights. The learnings give one a great deal of insight into the right ways of eCommerce platform development. Amazon is one excellent example of winner-takes-all, in this ecosystem. It might be a slight exaggeration but you can’t deny Amazon’s dominance in the eCommerce ecosystem. The situation demands you to keep a note of the latest trends and stay proactive.
The global eCommerce market is estimated to reach a whopping $5879.1 billion by 2022. That’s a serious number but getting even a small chunk of this pie needs you to be on top of your game. You need to be in tune with all the technological advancements along with consumer demands.
Let’s go through the eCommerce trends that are shaping the future of this industry as we speak.
AR and VR’s immersive user experience increases product value
Do more than images and videos to get ahead of competitors: It hasn’t been long since videos got mainstream on eCommerce websites, and the trend has already started getting obsolete. AR and VR tower over most customer experience enhancing strategies. Perhaps the only way to beat these two technologies is to put the shopper in a real physical store.
Allow customers to try before they buy: Consumers feel betrayed when their orders don’t turn out to be as they expected. It could either be a misfit, a difference in shade, or a poor build-quality, etc.
AR promotes the try-before-you-buy approach, setting realistic customer expectations. This, in turn, improves a brand’s image and boosts its sales. 100 million customers are expected to use AR this year, and the time is ripe for eCommerce businesses to hop on this bandwagon.
Deliver a more immersive user experience: AR not only helps alleviate the issues mentioned but it also boosts sales because of the immersive experience. By integrating AR with your app, shoppers stay 2.7 times longer and are 11 times more likely to make a purchase. Still not convinced? Keep reading!
Smarter decisions from AI help boost sales
AI needs no advocate to signify its importance to the future of eCommerce. A lot of these eCommerce trends mentioned have a connection to AI. Be it voice search, chatbots, or even social commerce, AI enhances them all.
Improves efficiency and reduces costs: Big Data and Machine Learning (ML) are partners in crime to AI. The trio has helped countless businesses automate tasks which would’ve otherwise been impossible to do manually. How do you think Amazon manages to change product prices by 2.5 million times a day? It would have been humanly impossible for them to go through such a vast data pool, and then come up with modified pricing of products wherever necessary.
Create smarter strategies with predictive analytics: Predictive analytics is just one of the ways how AI can turn out to be a fruitful technology for eCommerce. Some of its other branches are behavioral analytics, automation, inventory management, and image recognition. It is because of a wide range of applications using it that the AI revenue is expected to reach $36.8 billion worldwide by 2025.
Personalization to improve customer experience and customer loyalty: eCommerce Strategist, Ed Kennedy, says, “The main way it’s (AI) used is personalization. Personalizing the experience that a consumer sees when they come shopping on your website is powered by machine learning and AI in many many eCommerce sites.”
Suits all sizes of businesses: eCommerce businesses, big and small, benefit greatly from the use of AI. The North Face is one of the leading outdoor recreation product retailers which makes for a great example of an organization that improved their customer experience with AI.
Their platform is powered by IBMs Watson that helps visitors find the right product from their vast catalog. It asks shoppers the right questions and then provides relevant results. Another example is Netflix: it is said they avoided a $1 billion annual loss because of AI.
Of all the old and new eCommerce technologies, AI is perhaps the most important among the trends of eCommerce.
More payment methods reduce cart abandonment
Reduce cart abandonment with more payment methods: Credit cards were synonymous with online payment for a long time However, the emergence of payment modes like e-Wallets, bank transfers, prepaid cards, cash on delivery, and others alike compelled e-Commerce platforms to integrate these methods with their platform. And as if this wasn’t enough, cryptocurrency was quick to gain popularity among internet dwellers.
With over 50% shoppers exiting an app if they don’t find their preferred payment method, it is a safe bet to add more payment modes to shrink your cart abandonment rate.
More payment methods lead to improved customer experience: If an eCommerce business wants to reach the top of the food chain, then it can’t ignore any of the available payment technologies. It can quickly turn out to be a mammoth of a task to handle since there are 140 online payment methods available on eCommerce platforms. The more payment options you provide, the easier it is for the customer to buy the product
Attract more customers with the hands-free voice search option
Get more customers with the hands-free experience: Nothing beats the convenience of interacting with a device as if you were interacting with another human being. Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri, and Cortana are getting more mainstream as we speak.
In fact, 50% online users prefer using voice assistants to buy products; what’s more, another 25% users are likely to use this technology in the future. These statistics make a good reason for you to leverage voice search to make it easier for customers to find you and your products.
Becoming voice friendly now will give you more sales in the future: It is expected that 30% of internet browsing sessions are going to happen without a screen this year. Retails and eCommerce businesses need to be voice-search ready, and it is non-negotiable. People have already started making purchases using voice search. 26% of consumers having smart speakers have already bought something using the device, and eCommerce trends suggest this share to only increase in the future.
Natural Language Processing (NLP) will help you sell more products: A lot goes into an eCommerce business becoming voice-friendly. They need to work on NLP, using ML and AI for appropriate responses and ensuring user privacy. With these measures in place, it will be easier for users to find your products. Consequently, you get to sell more products.
Leverage existing voice search tools to grow your business: Domino’s was proactive in capitalizing on this hands-free technology. They allowed people to dictate orders to their devices, making it simpler and more convenient to order pizza. They leveraged the existing voice assistant ecosystem to boost business– a move all eCommerce websites should take note of.