E-commerce is evolving by leaps and bounds every year and technological advancements are the main driver of this exponential growth. By the end of 2020, the global e-commerce market registered sales crossing $4.2 trillion. This represented 16% of the total share of global retail sales! While AI/ML continues to be one of the main impact areas, there are some more advanced technologies that are or going to influence the E-commerce dynamics in the coming years.
1. SOCIAL COMMERCE
Social media is an indispensable part of our daily activities. This effectively changes the buyer-seller landscape as well. Brands stay in touch with their clients via popular social networks to create a personal relationship. More advanced technical features are integrated into social media that are directed to shorten the buying cycle. In the future, the one-click “Buy” button will likely be adopted by most social networks. The combination of e-retail and social media has resulted in evolving P2P marketplaces. Facebook and Instagram are the greatest examples.
Using applications on smartphones and tablets to buy and sell products is known as mobile-commerce or, more simply, m-commerce. Today, the percentage of consumers using mobile devices constitutes a half of all internet traffic, meaning it is of high importance that e-commerce shops adapt to mobile screens and, in some cases, even build a separate app for the specific purpose of reaching these buyers and following mobile e-commerce trends
3. ONE CLICK CHECKOUTS & E-WALLETS
One Click Checkout offers a completely new e-commerce experience formed from an analysis of former purchases and buyer behavior. Research shows that mobile users expect to have as easy of an e-commerce shopping cart process as possible. Electronic wallets are simplifying the payment process & payment integration with personal details & bank accounts are changing the way to do the online payments.
Retailers strategically place beacons around their store. The beacons connect to a customer’s Bluetooth enabled smartphone app. It sends a signal to the phone and the app is opened. The retailer can then provide the customer with a wealth of information. This increases the chances to use the app more often and actually complete the purchase.
4. DYNAMIC PRICING
Using AI/ML, businesses now can change the price of the product based on supply and demand in real time using dynamic pricing strategy. It leverages customer data, competitive pricing data, and sales transaction data to predict when to discount, what to discount, and dynamically calculate the minimum amount of discount needed to ensure a transaction.
5. DASH BUTTONS
This appliance from Amazon offers easy order-placement of the most regularly purchased goods. These button devices are tagged to a place where these goods are often used. Then, using the Amazon app, a user can preliminarily set up the orders. This new technology trend in e-commerce will likely soon be imitated by other top players
6. OMNI CHANNEL
According to Google, around 85% percent of users begin their shopping journey on one device and continue on another. It can start with an Instagram advert and end up at a leather jacket store down the street. This message from consumers has set the trend of aligning online and offline sales channels. This approach is called omni-channel, meaning all the means of interaction with a customer should provide the feeling of one entity. Each detail of a particular company, its brand, marketing content, and ads should communicate the same concept.
E-commerce is one of the industries being changed by the revolutionary use of blockchain technology. With future of e-commerce growth, some side effects are bound to occur. There are issues with trust, slow transactions, higher fees and policies, and digital data ownership. With its concept of a distributed, genuine ledger of all digital transactions, blockchain helps to build trust in online payments. It also excludes frauds and provides a new payment method with the help of cryptocurrency (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, etc).
8. PROGRESSIVE WEB APPS (PWAS)
Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are websites accessed directly in a browser that provide the high-converting features of a native app. These apps are not downloaded from an app store platform. While websites are optimized for users to get informational content, PWAs are designed to help shoppers accomplish tasks quickly. They have fast and reliable features and functionalities that create a highly engaging shopping experience.
9. ROPO / ROBO
ROPO (Research Online, Purchase Offline) or ROBO (Research Online, Buy Offline) has been a noteworthy trend for the last few years. With ROBO or ROPO, customers find it more convenient to search for products/services at the best probable prices. On the other hand, ROPO helps e-commerce business owners to track their offline conversions.
10. DRONE DELIVERY
This is one of those things which at this moment is not live yet and mostly has been in the testing phase at the commercial scale. But its possible that in 2021 itself, several companies introduce drone delivery at a mass scale. Companies like Amazon, Dominos are in the advanced stage of their drone delivery testing.
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