Evaluate your eCommerce platform and stay on top of technological trends.
The continuous improvement within the market has resulted in a need for customers to adapt to all these changes. Together with the change in wants and the change in a customer’s psychology, has created a new customer for businesses to serve.
Trading has evolved from the barter system, to shops, to mail orders, to online shops and now eCommerce branching out with eWallet, digital currency, AR and immersive experiences to further satisfy the demanding the experiences of the consumer. Consumer buying and selling patterns have evidently taken various forms during its timeline and the business that are aware of these patterns have a high competitive advantage over the others.
Technological advancements have not only made eCommerce platforms a more attractive and a convenient option, but it has also been a right step in the direction for businesses hoping to scale, grow their revenue and to be digitally ready.
Key eCommerce technological trends that businesses should be aware of.
- The influence of Mobile Commerce on online sales: According to HubSpot, the worldwide mobile retail revenue is expected to reach $3.57 trillion in 2021. With each passing day, there is a continuous rise in smartphone users which is pivotal for eCommerce, since the number of online shoppers utilising smartphones significantly increases. With the advancement of mobile technology and rising adoption in all parts of the world, mobile devices will be the primary outlet which will be used to research, order, sell or purchase goods and services. Simply, mobile phones will be the centre of any online business operation.
- eWallet technology: The increase in online shoppers have made way to the introduction of an eWallet, also known as a Digital Wallet. An eWallet allows the user to store multiple card and bank account numbers in a secure environment, thus eliminating the hassle of entering such information each time a payment is to be made. According to Finaria, the digital payments in 2017 accounted for $3.04 trillion in payments and it is projected to reach heights of $6.6 trillion by then end of 2021. Evidently, the preference for eWallets have skyrocketed during the past few years with many shoppers choosing digital payments over traditional payment methods. With more Internet users are becoming aware of Cryptocurrencies and exchanging traditional currencies to these digital currencies like Bitcoin, Digital wallet capability will be an essential part of future businesses.
- Product customisation: As a result of the competition within the market increasing, businesses were forced to find methods to differentiate their services offered from that of their competitors. Another aspect which caused businesses to make the shopping experience more convenient is time management. It was crucial to possess the ability to provide a service which enabled shoppers to make a purchase within the shortest possible time. The ability to offer shoppers the experience of building their own product or customise to their liking will be one of the most popular technology trends of eCommerce. As a result of recognising and analysing the purchasing patterns and product preferences of customers, businesses are now able to provide their services accordingly. This has also given businesses the opportunity to connect with their customers in a more personalised manner than the traditional what-you-see-is-what-you-get method.
- Augmented reality (AR): The biggest drawback of eCommerce from the time of its commencement was the inability for customers to physically examine the products before making the purchase. The technological advancements over the years were able to provide a solution; Augmented reality and Virtual reality. With the help of Preview placement in AR, customers now gain the ability to have a much better understanding of what they’re purchasing and how the item will work for them. Marker based AR, Markerless AR, Projection based AR and Location based AR have been able to further facilitate the shopping experience. This facility is commonly utilised for household, clothing, accessories and even in cosmetic industry.
- Virtual reality (VR): According to eMarketer, 50.2 million people were forecasted to use VR technology at least once per month. This is expected to reach 60.2 million by the end of 2022. Businesses are able to use VR in a number of forms to help customers have an excellent experience. Virtual stores which enable customers to visit and browse through a store from the comfort of their home, virtual try-before-you-buy, live events and interactive education are the most popular applications for VR in eCommerce. Integrating AR and VR technologies to the shopping experience has given businesses the opportunity to help shoppers evaluate and gain a better understanding of what they want and what they’re purchasing.
Successful eCommerce companies such as eBay, Amazon, Alibaba, and Walmart have always been dominant within the market as a result of their continuous adaptation to the latest technologies. If small to medium businesses have the intention of scaling and growing revenue by being relevant in the rapidly changing market, it is important to be vigilant about the existing and upcoming technologies in order to create opportunities to thrive on.