By the time we hit 2025, the eCommerce industry is expected to reach a staggering $7.385 trillion in market value, mainly thanks to its ability to continually evolve in line with shifting consumer demands.
Benefiting from lower operational costs and instant access to a global audience, eCommerce companies are often far more agile than traditional brick and mortar stores, with many advantages (and value) passed on to the end consumer. By leveraging technology, digital retail businesses can now offer customers a vastly improved buying experience, with 24/7 opening times, rapid delivery, and enhanced personalization across a wide variety of product categories.
However, contrary to what many people believe, eCommerce encompasses far more than just traditional B2C (business-to-consumer) transactions. Nowadays, eCommerce technology facilitates transactions between a multitude of different parties, including B2B (business-to-business), C2C (consumer-to-business) and C2B (consumer-to-business).
According to BigCommerce, eCommerce B2B transactions are expected to reach over $63 billion by 2026 as companies look to implement an omnichannel experience with multiple touchpoints for their customers. With that said, let’s take a look at five reasons why eCommerce tech will help the industry to continue on its course of domination.
1. The Rise of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
For years now, we have all been told that AI will be the new emerging tech that will revolutionize the world. Well, the truth is that this has been going on behind the scenes for quite some time now, especially in the eCommerce industry.
Indeed, AI already empowers many businesses with the data they need to make more informed decisions. Furthermore, machine learning tools enable organizations to automate scores of tasks that previously required a considerable amount of time and human resources.
Platforms like Dialogue are driving a symbiotic relationship between AI and the eCommerce customer experience, resulting in improvements for both the business owner and the consumer. Using first-party data alone, Dialogue’s AI engine assists businesses in suggesting relevant products at every point of the customer journey, providing consumers with substantially more value and encouraging them to buy products or services they are most likely to be interested in.
The machine learning technology within Dailogue’s software recognizes, analyzes, and understands shopping patterns, enabling it to deliver the most enhanced and relevant experience in every step of the user’s online journey.
2. Digital Transformation
Once Covid-19 struck our shores, businesses were forced to drastically rethink their business operations to meet consumer demands by embracing modern digital technologies. These events sparked the beginning of the most rapid advancements in digital transformation since the dawn of the digital age.
Unsurprisingly, eCommerce was one of the industries that benefited most from the closure of physical stores and the rising demand for digital products and services. According to Forbes, in April 2020, U.S. retailers’ online year-over-year revenue growth was up 68%, and there was a 129% year-over-year growth in U.S. and Canadian eCommerce orders over the same period.
So, how will digital transformation impact the future of eCommerce?
Well, the simple answer is that it will probably continue to influence just about every aspect of eCommerce operations, particularly when it comes to how companies interact and engage with consumers across their digital channels.
3. Product Customization and Personalized Recommendations
According to a 2018 survey by Epsilon, when brands provide a personalized experience, 80% of shoppers are significantly more likely to convert. This highlights the fact that customers are looking for more than just a soulless transaction when shopping online, and thanks to advancements in technology, businesses can meet these demands more easily.
Personalized eCommerce experiences rely on technology that assists businesses in collecting, storing, and managing customer data. These tools include:
- Marketing automation platforms
- Social listening
- Web analytics
- Predictive business analytics
- Landing page optimization and personalization
- Customer data analytics
Likewise, people are increasingly interested in purchasing products that are not only surfaced specifically for them but actually created specifically for them. Using both interactive tools and customer data on a macro level, merchants can create and ship products designed for individual shoppers.
What’s more, by using design tools like Visme’s Mockup Generator module, sellers can create rich visual assets to display and market products that don’t even exist yet in the physical world. This frees sellers to take care of manufacture and order fulfillment after they receive orders.
4. Mobile Apps and eWallet Technology
In 2020, mobile eCommerce sales accounted for over 70% of all online sales, equivalent to around $2.9 trillion. In other words, mobile optimization is a crucial component of eCommerce business strategy and will continue to be so in the future.
However, mobile optimization alone is no longer enough.
These days, eCommerce stores must integrate mobile and eWallet functionality into their stores to meet customer expectations and stay ahead of the curve.
Globally, digital payments are expected to account for $6.6 trillion worth of payments in 2021, mainly due to their ease of use and increased security. This improves the buying experience for the consumer, but it also helps boost sales and conversion rates for merchants.
5. Mixed Reality for Product Visualization
Many experts believe that the next big thing in the eCommerce space will be the mass rollout of augmented reality, which has the biggest potential to radically disrupt the sector and the entire retail industry as a whole.
Until now, the physical experience provided to customers has been the primary advantage of brick-and-mortar businesses over eCommerce. However, digital stores can now counteract this advantage by allowing buyers to inspect products from the comfort of their own homes through the use of augmented reality technology.
So, isn’t this just a novelty fad that will fade away in due course? At this point, nobody knows. With that said, Google recently revealed that products advertised with VR/AR content saw 94% higher conversion rates than products without that content. Furthermore, a Deloitte study found that 40% of shoppers would even pay more for a product if they could test it through AR technology.
As they say, “money talks,” and if these sorts of numbers continue to get reported throughout the industry, you can expect to see a lot more AR/VR offerings from your digital stores.
The Final Word
It’s safe to assume that eCommerce will continue its course of dominance for the foreseeable future, further empowered by the innovative technologies that help online stores provide better experiences for their customers while streamlining their operations.
Those that implement the technology effectively can enjoy a wide variety of benefits such as higher conversion rates, reduced cart abandonment, increased average order value (AOV), and improved customer loyalty – as long as they can find a way to integrate it into their operations successfully.