ECommerce is a global industry. So undoubtedly, people would be asking about the future of eCommerce.
ECommerce sales worldwide have shown an increase of 3.5 trillion dollars worldwide in the year 2019. The stats prove that eCommerce is an increasingly lucrative option for businesses. Well, that’s a huge thing, but apparently, eCommerce is not a new trend. In fact, in the year 2014-2017, the average growth rate in eCommerce sales was 25.6%. The competition has become fierce and companies worldwide are consistently trying to keep up with trends in order to win the hearts of customers one way or the other.
And apart from them, there are other niche players in the market who are trying to win the hearts and carve their way into global eCommerce markets by providing exclusive value-added products. hence, this shows that eCommerce is thriving.Additionally, this particular industry is ever-changing. Its trends have been shifting in an attempt to transform the way that people all over the world purchase products. And these instances have made the future of eCommerce exciting.But also in the coming years, many big things are expected to change in eCommerce and We’re here to show you insights into how the future of eCommerce will look like.We’re going to break down the top trends for eCommerce that are transforming how the industry functions and also discuss what we believe the most impactful changes will be, over the next few years.
There’s a lot to cover, so let’s take a look.
1. Fast Eco-Friendly Logistics
The fast and eco-friendly logistics are the supply chain game-changers. Who wouldn’t like it when they make an online purchase and collect it on their way back from work? Yes, that’s what we are talking about and it’s not science fiction but an eCommerce reality. Nowadays the online retailers have already put effort and investment in order to improve their logistics businesses and provide the same-day delivery to their customers. The same-day delivery options are available with almost every website. But this can increase the operational cost and will create massive environmental traffic. That is why the eco-friendly delivery system has been introduced that can embrace the business.
There are stores and tiny-drop-off points for these packages that customer orders so if they are returning back from work they can simultaneously collect their order from these tiny outlets. The customer will get a notification that the package has arrived at the nearby drop off location. This will result in
- Reduction in the logistical effort
- Enhanced customer experience
The availability of these drop off points and stores that can retain area wise orders will be beneficial to the eCommerce industry to reduce their cost and become nature friendly. It is very important for an organization to pre-plan and think about the proper supply chain cluster. It is extremely fundamental especially for online businesses to have a good shipping opportunity to be offered to the customers. However, these eco-friendly services are not only beneficial for retailers and customers but to the grocery shop retailers as well. Like whenever there is a drop-off, the probability of tempting towards other available goods in the store increases with that of the delivered package. This ultimately would increase the profit portion of the grocery store retailer. Having an eco-friendly business will not only reduce the effect on the environment but will also help in preserving and optimization of human and natural resources, this is an amazing practice that could prove to be a major attraction of the customers. These eco-friendly techniques can set the logistics business apart from their competitors and increase their customer base.
2. The Adoption of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are most talked about words in today’s technological landscape. AI and ML have been incorporated to provide the business the edge they need to increase sales and better marketing. Additionally, they even help in crucial managerial functions. Let’s take a look at how the integration of AI and ML in eCommerce would be beneficial:
- AI and ML can be used for automation of almost anything
- Used to manage high computational tasks by increasing productivity
- Helps in smart and quick decision making
- Rectification of errors and removal of complexities
- Contribution to eCommerce economy
- Managing tasks in a loop
- Simplification in personalization
- Defensive towards environment
- Enhanced profits
Some of the examples of AI and ML in eCommerce are
Chatbots are the way through which the businesses get engaged with customers, as they offer personalized assistance and increase integration on eCommerce sites. Chatbots have integrated a wide variety of customer-business interaction in the following ways
- Welcoming potential customers
- Providing support and solving queries
- Reminding the customers about abandoned cars
- Extension of on-page timing and engagement of potential customers
- Content delivery
- Collection of first-party data
- Notification about discounts, deals, etc
- Humanization of the brand
Customer Relationship Management Platform (CRM)
It is an approach that combines all the necessary operations of the business together. It helps in the management of interaction between customers and organizations. It helps the organization to foster strong customer relationships and increase sales. Integration of eCommerce and CRM system will
- Imply salesforce
- Enhance customer experience
- Better marketing and promotion
- Better inventory premeditation
- Service after-sales
- Reduces costs
- Minimizing losses
- Standing out in the competition
Internet of Things (IoT)
Internet of things, also abbreviated as IoT, is a system that connects computing devices together, it includes those mechanical and digital machines that have unique identifiers that are able to transfer data to a network without a human to computer interaction. The integration of IoT with eCommerce will take it to notch-higher by
- Better management of inventories
- Keeping tracks on goods
- Increased customer experience
- Vast automation
- Minimal human intervention
- Logical operations
- Unlimited possibilities in the market
Automation means using different electronic and computer devices to ensure control of processes. The purpose of automation is to serve efficiency and reliability with that of replacing labor. There are many manufacturing plants in the eCommerce industry that have adopted for instance Robotic assembly lining functions ensuring less human interruption. eCommerce automation combines processes, software, and people together. It
- Eliminates manual data entry
- It keeps Marchant promises to consumer
- Enhances the product info
- Multilocation coverage and automation of the return process
- Displaying of onhand inventory
- Actionable data insights and audits
- Data sync and data validation
3. Augmented Reality as the NextGen interior assistant in the eCommerce industry
You have thought of buying a study table which you saw in an online store. But you have no idea how it is going to fit in the place you have decided. But now you can simply decide whether it’s going to look good or not with the help of a mobile application. This will reduce the time spent on thinking and waiting for hours. This is what AR is. For instance, IKEA and Amazon have started using AR which has provided them great results. The AR has increased customer satisfaction and there has been a decline in returning of goods resulting in low-cost operations.
It has been anticipated that the global AR market will be worth USD 90 billion in the coming years. It is estimated that the AR hardware device shipments will reach up to 68.9 million units. As compared to 45.6 million VR hardware devices. It has now become very simple to place the selected item in the desired area just by using a mobile camera. AR has made users take a picture, identify the difference and make a decision, based on their findings. All this is now possible without going anywhere sitting at home. Implementation of AR can
- Reduces risk
- identify potential customers
- Strengthen the relationships
- reduce time and cost
Hence, we can say implementing AR in your business helps you to mitigate the risk, increase your customer base, enhance relationships, all this through a mobile application and mobile camera.
4. Cryptocurrencies to revolutionize eCommerce
The concept of cryptocurrency has become a rising trend in eCommerce. Bitcoin and Ethereum are the two commonly used currencies in this industry. More eCommerce companies are now incorporating Bitcoin as it allows various purchasing options, one of which is cryptocurrency. Tech giants such as Microsoft, Newegg, Expedia have now started accepting the payments via Bitcoin platform. The acceptance of payments in such alternative ways would result in lower transactions and lower merchant fees. Presently bitcoin has a rate of 310 satoshis per transaction. In other words, the US $0.22. This makes bitcoin more effective and useful. By accepting this new trend in eCommerce the business will
- Flourish in the market
- Attract new crypto clients
- Gain brand attention
- Dynamic prices
Here are some benefits that your company will gain when you start processing bitcoin transactions:
Cryptocurrencies bear with push transactions, this is how cash is exchanged between the cardholders and the merchants. The cardholders make a decision of the amount before the purchase. Merchants are not allowed to grab more than what has been decided. The sale is completed, once the cardholders give the bitcoin to the merchants. A chargeback may occur if the payment is made via credit cards. This will imply revenue loss and paying up for costly fees. All transactions thus are protected by the crypto network reducing the chances of any threat or chargebacks.
Little to No Fee
Online money transactions have a major drawback, known as credit card fees, which can increase according to the terms and conditions applied by the bank. If the small scale businesses with the additional charges of 2-3 percent can suffer a major loss. With the absence of merchant fees to accept transactions in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and free storing of Bitcoins are the reasons for its worldwide acceptance. But a company has to invest a small amount in order to process bitcoin as they will have to hire a professional. This amount is comparatively less than the credit card processing fees via transfer. If you are for instance working with the overseas supplier who usually doesn’t possess a bank account in your country will require an international wire transaction fee every time you place an order overseas. All this could be solved by using the cryptocurrency payment method.
Online payment methods can give a chance to hackers to access your bank account information. The merchants have to pay additional costs for security checks to accept credit cards. Though bitcoin transactions need wallet security on both the merchant and payer side neither payer nor the merchant are not required to carry any additional fee or charges.
5.Research Online Pay Offline (ROPO) consumer behavior
ROPO is one of the newest trends prevailing in the eCommerce industry. Thrift shoppers are considered as tricksters in this field. They research and explore all the available options before purchasing. Most of the purchasers conduct detailed research before buying. Customers nowadays are price and quality sensitive and they want both the points to meet. ROPO hence has become the best tool for offline conversion tracking. It makes merchants see what searches lead to an increase in sales. You just have to
- Follow consumer behavior
- Understand the user
- Be trendy
- Be careful with thrift shoppers
6. eCommerce data insights. Annoying or helpful?
Unnecessary ads can create havoc while browsing. Almost everyone has experienced such occurrences and frankly speaking nobody likes it. Consumers have become very sensitive and want to see exactly what they are seeing right now with no outsiders interruption. All this can be achieved by a smart analysis of the browsing habits of consumers. This will enable online retailers to provide more relevant customer experience.
MineWhat.com has quoted in AdWeek that more than 80% of the purchasers do detailed research before purchasing, 60% of the customers have started using a search engine to find a product they wish for and more than 50% consumers go through product reviews prior to purchase. Tech giants like Google, Apple, etc are now working on selling your browsing history to whomsoever they see fit.
The data sold will then be analyzed and the content will be recommended based on the research, making popup ads appear in Messenger, Facebook, and Youtube. But the chances are that the customer will be annoyed. So the content recommendations should be enhanced and this type of content will become more valuable than the paid pop-up ads.
7. Voice commerce is here to help
Ordering through voice assistance via smart home devices like Amazon Echo, Alexa, Google Home is becoming quite popular these days, wherein Amazon is in the lead due to the services provided by it. Which includes shopping directly from Amazon prime. Google Home works with partnering stores. Such ordering options are not available worldwide but are quite popular in countries like the USA and Germany. The absence of equal eCommerce opportunities for other countries should be prevented which will need more time to flourish and expand.
Basically consumers don’t feel confident enough to shop like this because it is freshly introduced and influencing their preference is a slow and expensive process. But other than that voice assistance is enhancing which will definitely be successful in acquiring the attention of customers in the near future as it is rightly said that slow and steady wins the race. It has now become mandatory to keep an eye on the updates in the eCommerce industry and try to opt for the correct and the best option that proves to be beneficial over the others.
8. Security, especially GDPR
Hackers nowadays have become smarter and are going after every organization from startup to large enterprises, security thus describes the amount of protection from malware, phishing, and other harmful crimes. Security breaches make the components vulnerable, resulting in increased risks.
The introduction of GDPR. i.e, general data protection regulation was initially used in Europe with a view to regulate information holders and protect the customers’ data from unauthorized access. This phenomenon is not only confined to the companies in Europe, but also to the companies which are engaged in doing business with European companies.
GDPR compliance has
- Increased customers confidence
- Provided better security
- Reduced costs
- Quick decision making
- Up to date data inventory
- Improvements in networks, endpoint
- Offered end-users augmented products and services
- Management of third-party tools
- More consolidated organizational data
- Better returns on investments
Like every other field, even the eCommerce industry is constantly changing and would be needing quick adoption to new trends and since the technology gains advancement, even the consumer becomes pickier and their demands change. But the lot of 2020 is remaining so we are excited to witness what all new ideas will pop up in the eCommerce and retail sector as the year progresses. However, the above-mentioned eCommerce trends will definitely bring a breakthrough in the eCommerce industry in today’s digital era.
Now let’s take a quick look at what should be done to keep up the done with the latest changes:
- Premeditating and building an accurate logistics cluster
- Incorporating with AI and ML for proper communication channels
- Using augmented reality to truncate results
- To adopt cryptocurrency methods as a payment gateway
- Keeping a track of online searches and then converting them into actual purchases
- Invest less in popup advertisements that annoy users
- Try to take an advantage from the voice assistance as it is gaining popularity these days
- Adoption of GDPR as a new security guard will ensure reliability