The e-commerce industry has been steadily growing and is expected to reach $4.9 trillion in sales by 2021. Such rapid growth is justified by a number of reasons and technological advancement is one of them.
We have become used to the ubiquitous deployment of AI and ML technologies, RPA, and Big Data. All of these innovations have been shaping e-commerce into a technology-driven industry that is now able to serve its customers in a more efficient manner than ever.
Some of the e-commerce trends can already be predicted due to the penetration of the abovementioned technologies into the industry. Below you will see the most anticipated e-commerce trends for the nearest future.
New ways of product search
Due to the confident use of ML technology, e-commerce stores may now enjoy such advanced search methods as voice and visual search. Both search types are powered by Machine Learning and let customers quickly and easily look for specific products or services.
Voice shopping is expected to reach $40 billion by 2020 but for now, it has not yet gained massive popularity. Recently, Amazon introduced Alexa Shopping that can place items in the cart, remove them, and track the order status. In addition, you can set up a password to prevent unintended purchases and set up ordering certain products on a regular basis – all with voice only.
However, users are not so eager to adopt voice shopping. There are two major reasons for that: lack of visual confirmation and low level of trust towards such shopping method.
As for the visual search, it’s been gaining more popularity. Pinterest Lens is one of the most popular visual shopping methods as it combines fun and engaging experience with excellent results.
By using ML, Pinterest Lens scans the item provided by the user (either a photo taken with the camera or uploaded from the gallery) and looks for the similar items across all Pinterest boards and Pins. What’s more, Pinterest is now able to suggest the whole look that would correspond to the item in terms of style.
While voice and visual search are only starting to gain attention on the global scale, these are the trends we will 100% see in the future of online shopping..
Virtual assistants are ML-powered bots that help e-commerce retailers automate their processes and make them more efficient.
The tasks may include:
- Customer service: giving information on the products, orders, offer support.
- Inventory management: website updates according to the stock, notifications on product replenishment.
- Store maintenance: check for any broken links, data updates, images optimization.
As you see, the range of services provided by e-commerce virtual assistants is rather wide and caters for all the possible needs of an online retailer.
As for the customers, many e-commerce stores started implementing chatbots in their websites to provide customers with timely and useful assistance.
The biggest advantage of brick-and-mortar stores is that customers can touch and feel the products, which heavily impacts their buying decision. For a long time, online stores lacked this opportunity but now the AR technology seems to give e-commerce an unbeatable advantage.
One of the most well-known examples is Ikea and its app. With the help of AR, the app lets the users see how Ikea items will look in their apartment – in other words, the app lets users “try” the product before buying and this is a great advantage in terms of buying motivation.
Another e-commerce branch that uses AR heavily is the beauty industry. By using the Sephora AR app, users can see how makeup will look on their face and they can try dozens of different products without leaving their home.
AR provides brands with great competitive advantage as it helps users make buying decisions faster and with more confidence, which leads to fewer returns and increased customer satisfaction.
Rise of mobile
Today, both online retailers and customers understand the importance of mobile in our everyday lives. As for e-commerce, 79% of shoppers made an online purchase with their mobile device within the last 6 months and in 2017, mobile shoppers accounted for 19% of US e-commerce sales.
That means online retailers should pay closer attention to mobile, including optimization of the store to make it mobile-friendly and incorporation of various payment option like mobile wallets.
As well, do not forget that Google introduced mobile-first indexing, which means mobile optimization is now among top ranking factors for the online store.
The biggest advantage of Machine Learning is its ability to process huge data sets, detect patterns and identify hidden dependencies that are impossible to be found by a person. Such accurate data processing, in turn, enables ML to create precise forecasts for the future and help retails adjust their marketing strategy and much more.
With the help of ML, online retailers can learn how customers will possibly behave in the future, what products may be selling more, what possible patterns the customer journey will take.
These insights are highly valuable as they allow entrepreneurs to save time and money by knowing exactly what products will be in demand and how customers will act.
Integration of the cutting-edge technology is awesome but on condition that your store performs in a seamless manner. Otherwise, adding extra load on the store may harm it instead of benefiting your sales.
Among all e-commerce platforms, Magento is the one that combines complexity and flexibility. As well, it is the most customizable one so the integration of third-party services will flow in a hassle-free manner.
To ensure that your store can handle the load, does not have any bugs and is ready for technological level-up, contact a knowledgeable Magento development company that will help you not only with store performance optimization but will also implement any technology that you require and raise your sales in no time.
More Resource from Our Blog: