In the Digital Era, new technologies enter everyday life and the same applies to shopping. E-commerce is a growing industry because of all the advantages it brings. According to Statista by 2021 global retail e-commerce revenue will amount to $4.88 trillion.
In the upcoming years we will probably see more companies on the market and more fierce competition between e-retailers. Stores that keep up-to-date with the latest trends are most likely to achieve success. Find out which technology news can we expect in 2019 for the e-commerce industry.
VR and AR are facilitating purchasing decisions.
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) can help customers with making decisions. VR makes it possible to experience almost anything. Thanks to its digital interface users can see a whole environment and even interact with it.
There can be a lot of applications of this technology, including great examples for e-commerce like virtual stores or showrooms. For example, Lowe’s Holoroom allows customers to experience an interior they’ve designed (with the use of Lowe’s products of course).
AR is blending computer-generated elements into the real world. IKEA use it to visualise to clients how their places can look with the store’s furniture and other products. Via mobile app and camera consumers can check if specific items fit their apartments and houses.
Fast delivery is one of the most significant demands when it comes to online shopping and one of the disadvantages comparing to bricks and mortar shops. It seems like merchants already do everything they can to speed up this process, but a new genuinely innovative solution is coming. Customers are willing to even pay an extra $10 for drone delivery.
It’s not going to be easy to apply drone delivery because it has to be regulated by law that moreover, is going to differ in different countries. Still, it’s worth monitoring as a solution to get your customers what they need – the best possible and accessible delivery methods. As for today, same-day delivery is a standard, even without the usage of drones or other innovations.
Image and voice search.
Concerning e-commerce, one of the challenges is to create the best catalogue that will enable customers to find the desired products in no time. What matters is also the accuracy of search results.
A new searching method will revolutionise this process! Voice search used in smartphones and smart speakers can help with finding the best products and even order them while using only voice commands.
Voice search will account for 50% of all searches by 2020 . It can be convenient for clients as they can save time on shopping. Systems (thanks to Artificial Intelligence) can remember a client’s previous choices, payment methods, delivery address and recommend other products based on preferences.
Machine learning drives this system to serve customers in the best way possible. eBay already uses image search – visitors can look for products similar to those uploaded by them or found on the the Internet. It’s essential for e-commerce as it’s an industry based on visuals. The real challenge is to optimise a website for both voice and image search.
Cryptocurrency as a payment method.
For e-commerce, a crucial thing is the customer’s trust. The younger generation has been raised amid cashless trends and an e-stores era, so they are eager to buy online and provide their sensitive data. For some people though, it still can be an issue to provide personal information on the internet.
While informing customers about their cybersecurity on your website you need to watch out for a new payment method that is just around the corner. It’s already possible to use cryptocurrencies for that purpose. For example, in 2018 CoinPayments started cooperation with Shopify to enable payments via more than 300 cryptocurrencies.
What’re the advantages of this solution? For instance, the fact that these payments are faster and there are less transaction fees. Furthermore, they can be more secure than existing online payment methods.
Consumers spend a lot of time on social media, so it’s a great place to reach them. An impressive number of 3.4 billion users were active on social media as of October 2018 . You can’t miss this potential!
The more convenient the customers’ path is, the more purchases a shop can expect. In today’s world what matters is time and comfort. Consumers want to finalise shopping in just a few clicks.
As social networks are great places for promotion, merchants should maximise the chances of purchasing. For example, by running campaigns for specific products to a precise target group and a direct possibility of purchasing.
Facebook provides a marketplace and a „buy now” button to sponsored posts, Instagram enables tagging products in posts and stories, Pinterest offers many options for promoting products and even Snapchat introduced native commerce by adding a shop button last year. Choose the best platform to reach your audience.
Everyone faces a lack of time and an overwhelming amount of responsibilities. Subscription schemes have come to save the day. Royal Mail estimates that in the UK the value of the subscription box market will grow 72% by 2022, reaching £1 billion .
This solution can lead to success with various choices and lots of personalisation options, as different customers have different needs. Some companies also work on the hybrid idea, where consumers can subscribe to particular schemes but also an immediate on-demand option, as it’s hard to predict the exact amount of products people will need.
A challenge for companies that provide subscription boxes is same-day delivery for e-commerce. On the other hand, for people who don’t like to deal with shopping so often, it can still be a desired solution to order products some time in advance and not think about it anymore.
As mentioned several times in this text – the time enormously matters when it comes to the e-commerce industry. That’s why chatbots will definitely change the future of customer service.
Thanks to automation and the usage of Artificial Intelligence, consumers can receive an immediate answer to their inquiries. Robots make fewer mistakes than humans, which is another advantage. On the other hand, they have to be programmed flawlessly and with many scenarios so that customers won’t get frustrated because of irrelevant answers.
Another trend is developing smart speakers technology. These devices (i.e. Google Home, Amazon Echo, Small Genie) provide virtual assistants who can help customers with many activities, including shopping. They collect data so again, thanks to AI, they can recommend products, and once a customer configures the system, it will have all of the other information like payment method, delivery address, etc. needed to finalise a purchase.
The challenge here is to make a user experience the most human that is possible, so inventors use natural language processing to deliver an interaction simulated to be with a real person. Conversational commerce can be very effective as it is time and cost-saving.
In this article, you’ve found read about some new trends that are probably going to grow in the upcoming year. The survey provided by Divante shows that in 2019 e-commerce Managers plan to invest in Business Intelligence, CRM, Big Data, Content Marketing, Conversational Commerce, Personalisation, Digital Content, Omnichannel, Marketplaces, and Data-Driven UX.
You don’t have to chase every trend there is. Instead, take a moment to figure out which ones are crucial for your target group and implement them for your business.
Enter the year 2019 with new ideas and inspiration!