How You Can Predict the Future of eCommerce
If you've ever shopped online or owned an eStore, you already know the eCommerce environment is evolving fast as technologies improve and businesses battle to win more sales.
Regardless of the stellar progress over the past few years, there's still room for more. This is made evident by the fact that retail eCommerce sales are expected to grow 50 percent year over year until 2025.
The future of eCommerce is bright and profitable. But what does it hold for us?
Let's find out.
eCommerce Trends That'll Reshape the World As We Know It
It's impossible to predict the future with total accuracy. But the way things are going, it's easy to envision and anticipate how eCommerce will change our lives over the next decade or so.
We’ve collected data and found patterns to help us make some educated guesses about a future where eCommerce is a way of life. Let's look at some of the ways this industry will impact our buying behaviors.
We'll Type Less and Talk More
According to recent surveys from Google, 27 percent of the online global population is using voice search on their mobile. While the voice search results are still not the best and rely on past buying history, speech processing, and user preferences to generate results, it’s quickly evolving.
Brands are already working towards making their eCommerce site speech-query friendly. This will significantly improve search results by becoming more relevant to search assistants and accommodating consumers who prefer contactless options.
With voice search improving, we can expect to shift primarily to voice search rather than typing search queries in the future. It’s only a matter of time until voice search will be optimized to offer the same efficiency.
Visual Search Will Become More Accurate
The English language has around 171,000 words, while an average person only uses 20,000-40,000 of them. So even if a person knows a particular product well, they might have trouble explaining to Google what it actually is.
This is where visual search comes into play, making it possible for users to search by image. eCommerce websites are already improving their visual search capabilities on online stores. These businesses can even parent with third-party vendors such as Google Lens to streamline the search for a specific product or its alternative.
Omnichannel Connected Experience Will Feel More Personal
Studies indicate that 98 percent of Americans switch between devices several times a day, which means customer journeys span over various devices and channels. This trend of omnichannel connectivity enables consistency across various channels, increasing trust and engagement and simplifying the customer journey.
The future is all about omnichannel retail, where experiences and personalization make it possible for marketers to meet the exacting expectations of their customers.
Brands are already partnering with services such as Magento and Shopify to provide seamless experiences to customers, which is the future of the online shopping experience.
Video Content Will Be the Preferred Medium for Marketers and Consumers
Videos are easier to digest than static images resulting in a compelling influence. Due to this trend, video format has taken a giant leap forward, and technology that captures and hosts videos has changed how organizations create business strategies.
The future will see retailers use video platforms to create compelling product videos or live stream events in minutes. These videos can then be shared across all channels with the potential to reach more than four billion internet users.
Cognitive VAs and Consultants Will Know You Better Than You Know Yourself
Since users spend more time messaging brands, businesses are switching to chatbots to create a positive customer experience. These chatbots recruit Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing to reduce operational overhead by learning customer preferences and answering questions in ways that make them seem human.
And when the questions get tough, virtual consultants can take over the conversation seamlessly.
Sixty-nine percent of consumers believe product demos can go a long way in helping make a buying decision. While live product demos have been available for a long time, this has paved the way for a virtual consultation. Virtual consultation offers human interaction by answering questions in real-time.
Virtual consultation will offer flexibility, availability, and tailored recommendations to the consumer giving virtual consultations an edge over physical stores. The future will see entire customer lifecycles be completely contactless, from purchasing to receiving the product or service, it'll all be done for you.
AI-led Hyper-Personalized Experiences Will Be the Norm
Personalization has always been held in high regard amongst consumers. That’s why many eCommerce businesses have smartly set up artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), real-time data, and predictive analytics to understand and cater to their customer's needs.
Consumers are becoming tech-savvy and want to make quick buying decisions. With the help of AI algorithms, brands can closely monitor user behavior, reactions, and preferences to marketing tactics during different times. AI will also allow businesses to offer relevant search recommendations, improve conversion rates, and capitalize on impulse buying patterns to increase sales.
This will be a game-changer for sellers as real-time journey orchestration, and 1-to-1 personalization at scale will build authentic human connections without the need for humans. These technologies will also be a critical resource for businesses that want to keep up with the digitally adept customers of the future.
Try Before You Buy with Virtual Try-On (VTO) Solutions
There are more than 1.07 billion mobile augmented reality (AR) users globally. This number will only grow over the next few decades or so. Also, factor in the quick adoption of Google's ARCore and Apple's ARKit, and it seems like we have a powerful technology at our hands. But it hasn't been commercialized adequately. Yet.
That's about to change as retailers and brands find applications of AR to make buying online easier and more accurate for their customers.
VTO solutions will remove the barriers between physical and digital realms, making it possible for buyers to be projected into their purchase and make sure it looks good on them. Shoes, makeup, clothing, sunglasses, and jewelry — could be anything at all.
This will remove the final barrier with eCommerce, reassuring and encouraging people to make online purchases without the fear of making the wrong decision.
Orders Will Fly
Drones are flying robots you can operate manually or program them to fly independently. So, how do flying robots connect to eCommerce, you may wonder?
Drones, as you might expect, are much faster than any freight, shipping or the local UPS guy. So, it’s only natural that some believe drones could deliver orders in the future, effectively replacing order clerks. This will radically reduce delivery time to benefit both businesses and customers.
Shipping costs will be substantially cheaper, and customers will get what they need in much less time. So many eCommerce companies are enthusiastic about this trend.
eCommerce Businesses Will Be Sustainable and Eco-Friendly
As customers become more environmentally conscious, their desire to support sustainable products will grow. So, how does this apply to eCommerce?
Environmentally friendly practices may be implemented in various ways, the most common of which are decreased waste packaging and more sustainable supply chains. Businesses may minimize their waste output by opting for minimalistic packaging that employs more sustainable materials or fewer materials in general. Renewable energy and waste reduction are also essential factors to consider.
Another critical component of long-term eCommerce is the compassionate treatment of employees, including adequate pay and working conditions. Keeping all these factors in mind, we can see the future much greener.
We have already seen the rise of Web 3.0 and the Metaverse. It’s only a matter of time before we are all using technology to get everything done. While eCommerce mavericks may not be able to predict the future with 100 percent accuracy, the recent trends can give you a fair idea of what life could be like in only a few decades or so.
Statistics predict that by 2040, about 95 percent of all purchases will be made online. So, the trends that are picking up traction in this sector, such as artificial intelligence or augmented reality, have a strong chance of becoming the norm.
Ready to ride the profitable eCommerce wave into the future? Get in touch with us.