Top 8 E-Commerce Technology Trends
E commerce is evolving in leaps and bounds today. At the end of 2019, the global e-commerce market recorded sales reaching $ 3.5 trillion. This represented 14% of the total share of global retail sales! Experts also predict that by the end of 2020, global e-commerce sales will reach $ 4.2 trillion, or 16% of total retail sales worldwide.
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- Top 8 E-Commerce Technology Trends
But what does this mean for store owners?
Online competition has certainly grown rapidly. Advertising rates are increasing and it is difficult to build a strong brand to stand out among digital noise. In addition, consumer purchasing habits are evolving with the emergence of brand new technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) or augmented / virtual reality (AR / VR).
This is why keeping up with the latest trends in ecommerce is so essential to survive in the retail landscape in the near future.
To make it easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of the most important technology solutions that ecommerce retailers will use this year and in the near future to capture new customer segments and grow them.
Top 8 E-Commerce Technology Trends
Artificial intelligence (AI)
One of the aspects that has been lost in shopping online that makes physical shopping so enjoyable is the help of an in-store assistant who knows the offer and can provide relevant recommendations and personalized advice.
The rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning will only solidify in the market, allowing retailers to find new ways to drive personalization and improve customer service.
AI can take the form of a useful virtual assistant that directs customers to the right product offerings by asking them a few questions about their needs and preferences.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Artificial intelligence can also help businesses:
- learn more about their customers and offer them a personalized experience,
- connect customer data with real-time information to boost the shopping experience,
- automate processes such as customer support through chatbots that help customers 24/7,
- generate promotions in a timely manner,
- optimize prices and discounts,
- and boost demand forecasting to make smarter choices for their digital ad spend.
Consumers love brands that care about them. Artificial Intelligence helps achieve this goal by connecting different data points into an intelligible whole, creating customer profiles that include meaningful information that retailers can use to create personalized experiences.
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Augmented reality (AR)
Augmented reality is set to be a game-changer in online shopping. This will help online shoppers visualize the products they would like to buy, whether it is furniture or clothing. Consumers using AR can see what they would look like wearing a certain item or how a sofa would fit into their home. And all without having to visit a brick and mortar store.
In this way, buyers will become more confident in purchasing products online and retailers will benefit from reduced return rates. Naturally, AR takes the whole shopping experience to a new level as it helps customers discover the product as quickly as possible.
E-commerce technology trends: augmented reality and virtual reality
Augmented Reality (AR) solutions allow customers to virtually try on a garment available in store, without leaving their homes.
Gartner predicts that 100 million consumers will buy using AR by 2020. In a recent survey, 35% of respondents said they would buy more online if they could practically try a product before they buy it. Another 22% said they would be less likely to visit a physical store if augmented reality was available on their favorite e-commerce platform.
In the future, we will see many more companies using AR for their products. Augmented reality will become the norm in social media and e-commerce platforms.
As artificial intelligence increases in e-commerce that, the number of applications it affects is virtually unlimited. Retailers are required to use AI to collect information about their visitors and tailor their on-site stores to their preferences.
Consumers value bespoke experiences and products more than ever. This is something ecommerce retailers often lose when consumers turn to online and self-service shopping.
By implementing personalized experiences onsite, retailers can increase their revenue by 25%. Some recent data also shows that personalization efforts can reduce bounce rate by 45%.
AI-based personalization will become a key trend that will lead to the adoption of this technology by the e-commerce industry. As brands capture and analyze more consistent consumer data, they can create experiences that are relevant to shoppers, fully personalized and one-of-a-kind experiences. This is exactly what buyers want today.
Ambient commerce combines the use of artificial intelligence and sensors to help customers select and pay for items without depending on cash registers or cash registers. Amazon and Alibaba have invested billions of dollars in acquiring stakes in physical retailers. Naturally, these automated stores have come under fire for discriminating against members of society who do not have bank accounts or smartphones. As a result, some cities in the United States have already banned them and forced Amazon to accept cash payments at some of their stores.
However, this trend could gain steam economies affected by Covid-19, where consumers are looking for opportunities to reduce their contact with other people.
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Online to offline (O2O)
O2O commerce is a whole new business strategy that attracts potential customers from online channels to physical stores. Retailers such as department stores or supermarkets are using O2O strategies to compete with the high tech industry.
Bigger e-commerce companies like Alibaba have already responded to this trend by turning to offline commerce themselves.
By implementing the online and offline brand experience, retailers are able to acquire more engaged customers and deliver an experience through more channels.
Naturally, offline sites are equipped with all kinds of smart solutions such as Internet of Things sensors that will allow them to combine the in-store experience with the online one.
The greatest implementation of AI capabilities is in chatbots which can provide 24/7 customer service. Chatbots allow merchants to communicate with thousands of their customers while giving them the feeling of a personalized contact and offering them relevant recommendations.
Research study found that over 60% of customers prefer having chapbooks, websites or apps to answer their questions. Experts predict that 80% of businesses will use chapbooks in 2020.
Today, retailers use chatbots primarily in the area of customer support. However, chatbots are likely to become one of the most important marketing tools in a retailer’s toolbox. For example, in the retail space, self-checkout will become the norm and personal assistants will be there to help shoppers get what they want. In addition, they will use the data collected to help anticipate new products that may appeal to customers.
One of the main benefits of ecommerce is the ability to get shoppers to buy literally from anywhere. According to Statista, by the end of 2020, 73% of e-commerce sales will be on a mobile device.
With that idea in mind, it’s critical that retailers craft a robust design response and build mobile apps to engage customers through their prepared channels.
Ecommerce businesses are already doing all they can to provide a smooth user experience on ecommerce sites with a number of different payment options, including mobile wallets.
Other trends related to this are the use of Progressive Web Apps (PWA) and other technologies that provide a native-like experience with features like push notifications. These trends will give e-commerce brands a new boost to improve the customer journey for online shoppers using mobile devices.
According to a recent study, 75% of American homes will own a smart speaker by 2025. Consumers are increasingly relying on voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa to perform a variety of actions, from checking the weather to purchasing products online.
How does this translate into e-commerce?
For example, when a customer realizes they’re running out of milk, they can order it quickly with a simple voice command through the conversational interface of their favorite online grocery store. This way, the user does not have to open their laptop, go to their browser, enter the store name, add shipping information, and then order the product.
The voice assistant will remember past purchases, making it very easy for customers to repeat their orders. It will also allow consumers to order take out food without having to touch anything on a screen. As more and more households get used to this technology, consumers will become more comfortable shopping.
This is why it holds such great potential for e-commerce businesses. One of the major technological trends of the future is voice solutions in the e-commerce space.
E-commerce is technology-driven today and it will adopt even the most advanced solutions in the near future. We hope this list of trends will help you understand where e-commerce is right now and where it will be in the next few years.
If you have any further questions about where ecommerce is going in terms of technology solutions, please feel free to contact us and keep an eye on the blog. Our experts have many years of experience working with retailers on technology projects and are more than happy to share their ideas on the potential of digital tools to reinvent the customer journey.
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