E-commerce is nothing without the internet or technology. Without technology, buyers would not be able to connect with their customers on the digital space. Websites, apps and all of that would simply not exist.
Technology allows for excellent customer service, delivery and payment for goods and services. Technology even affects areas like recruitment and marketing. The impact of technology in e-commerce cannot be underestimated.
As a business owner or someone who is just about to start a business, it is very important that you take note of technology trends that would help you to generate more sales and make your e-commerce business what it is.
Here are the 5 top technology trends that are expected to affect e-commerce now and in the future.
1. Mobile optimization
You are most likely reading this article on a mobile device. Mobile devices are now considered to be a basic amenity and people who do not have a mobile device are sometimes considered to be living under a rock. There are over 125 million users of smartphones in the United States alone.
Everything is seemingly easier and faster with a smartphone. You can literally buy a meal, a house, meet your future partner, book a movie ticket, and pay utility bills all from your smartphone. In fact more than half of smartphone users in the United States have bought a produce online in the space of 6 months.
Desktops users are still the most popular when it comes to making online purchases but smartphone users are not so far behind. Trends have indicated that smartphones and mobile devices would soon be the primary means of making an e-commerce purchase.
If you have an e-commerce site then you should consider making your site mobile friendly as it could also affect how high it ranks on Google and how your customers like your site. Google prefers to rank sites that are mobile friendly higher. Potential customers would not stay on your site if the mobile experience is not up to par.
2. Convenient payment method or services
Customers prefer e-commerce sites where they can easily pay for the product that they are buying. Most times a mobile wallet or app is a welcome idea for them. Although customers want a convenient means to pay for your product, they would not trade convenience for security.
So creating a convenient but safe method for payment is a way forward when it comes to making your e-commerce site keep up with the trends.
3. AI-Powered customization
Customers are always right and should be treated as such while they go through the journey of making a purchase from your site. Each customer should be treated as a special case with specific need instead of been regarded as part of the general market.
Although there are target audiences, it is important that customer profiles are created that treat the customer as a separate entity or part of a smaller group. Brands and companies today achieve this with the use of Artificial Intelligence.
Artificial intelligence allows for a customized or personalized targeting that advertise products to customers at the right time, to the right customer and on the precise platform.
For example, music apps recommend certain artist or songs based on the ones that you have been listening to. Food companies can also use this to make available other food options that are similar to the one kind that a certain customer consumes.
A great example of an e-commerce site that is already making sure of this feature is Amazon. After you buy a certain product on the site, you are recommended to buy similar items based on what you searched for or what other buyers bought. This helps them to create more sales without coming off as being spam because the suggestion is customized.
4. Forecast of future sales
Amazon again serves a wonderful example in this regard. The company makes a forecast of what customers would likely buy based on their shopping history and then ship the products to the nearest pick up point.
This helps to save the time and effort customers would have spent going through the different categories on the site. It is still in its early stages but the potential is really exciting and showcases the power that data analysis has.
5. Subscription based services
What do Netflix, Spotify, Amazon Prime and Hulu all have in common? They all offer subscription based services. These services are the future of e-commerce especially if you are not selling a physical product. This trend is expected to get bigger in years to come for two main reasons.
The first is that these subscription services serve as a steady stream of income for the company. Unlike with physical products companies can easily predict how much revenue and profit would be generated from the subscription services.
The second reason is for the customers. With subscriptions, customers do not have to worry about going online every time they are looking for the service that they are already subscribed to.
There you have it, 5 top technology trends in eCommerce. These are certainly exciting developments that are bound to shape the future of the eCommerce industry. Millennials contribute mainly to these trends as they are the demography that uses these technologies the most.
Without technology eCommerce would not grow to become the massive financial market that it is right now. Projections show that the industry is expected to grow up to $4 trillion in sales by 2020. If you are looking to build an eCommerce site then you should take note of these trends and implement them in your business.