Six trends that will shape the future of eCommerce
Online businesses came at a time when people needed a change from the norm. As life got busier, many of us wanted processes to become easier as well. So, when eCommerce surfaced, it served as the means to this end. Most businesses jumped on the e-commerce train, without taking time to study it.
E-commerce is a business model that undergoes continuous change. Without this change, its purpose becomes defeated.
Over the years as expected, the e-commerce trend has evolved. At first, it started with getting a website. Then, pushing products or services through it and connecting with buyers offline. Today, what we have going is far more excellent. Many business now
To enjoy the full benefits of e-commerce, you need to know about its recent trends. Here they are:
#1. Automated and personalized communication channels
E-commerce started with overburdening employees. A huge number of them got saddled with the task of chasing after sales leads. They had to hunt potential customers with loads of emails or phone calls.
In those times, the process was burdensome, both to the prospect and hunter. It was more like harassing the prospect with several mails and calls. Also, there was the challenge of tracking the prospects’ purchases when they decide to buy. There was nothing to prove that their intent to buy a product was successful.
In recent times, the trend has evolved in a way that sooth these communication challenges. People now feel better knowing that they have a personalized space on such platforms. You get automated mails about every follow up process you need. You also have notifications for every intent to buy and payments made, successful or not.
Even shipping and delivery status can be well monitored today.
#2. Engaging visual display of products
Visual display of products used to be a limiting factor in e-commerce. A case in point is the look of amazon when it started about two decades ago.
Potential buyers want to view a product and its functionality before buying. This need seemed almost impossible, until people remembered cinematographs. Was it possible to display products using video clips?
Today, all over social media now, you’ll see high definition video clips of products. Cinematography enabled the display of products in very realistic ways.
This trend has made selling artistic products easier. It is now possible to buy anything online, ranging from a 300 pounds Garden Granite to a personalized limoges boxes. The small file size of cinematographs make it easy to perfectly display item in way that give people firsthand experience before hitting the buy button.
#3. Live chats
Online shopping is fun when there is a guide. At the initial stage of e-commerce, most people felt the shopping process was too complex. Many preferred walking down shopping aisles and having a sales rep attend to them.
The fact that they couldn’t get such luxury while shopping online was a complete turnoff.
With changing trends, assisted shopping became possible on e-commerce platforms. The first solution was prompt response to emails on product inquiries. Yet, there was more to do as most shoppers wouldn’t want to spend more than a minute waiting for a response.
This urgency gave birth to the live chats we have today. You can access real time help from sales reps while walking through the “e-aisle”. So, when confusion sets in about a product or service, the solution is only a keyboard tap away.
#4. Mobile optimized platforms:
It isn’t uncommon to use more than one device to shop online. There had been instances where a product search would start from the laptop. Then, the need to get moving puts a forced stop to the search.
This challenge used to amount to loss of sales in the past. Once denied access to the computer for a few minutes, a shopper would likely pop into a physical store.
Everyone with access to a laptop most likely has an internet enabled mobile phone. So, e-commerce platforms opt for mobile friendly templates as the default. With such arrangement, shopping can start, or end on either the mobile phone, or laptop. . A recent study indicates that generation X members spend about 32 hours a week consuming media information on their phone. So, optimizing ecommerce site for mobile friendliness will continue to get better with time. Further improvement in user friendliness will continue to be a secret weapon for expansion of ecommerce industry.
#5. Same day delivery
Most people choose in-store purchases over the online for one reason. They can get the items on the same day, as the need be.
But why would anyone opt to go through this stress, if he can get the same from the comfort of his home?
It sounds cool that e-commerce has stepped up to this level. A lot of online platforms have introduced “same day delivery”, and are doing it hitch-free. For instance, Amazon has continued to expand the number of cities covered by their same-day delivery service. Greg Greeler, the Vice President of Amazon Prime, hinted that ““Prime was developed to make shopping on Amazon fast and convenient, and millions of members have used Prime FREE Same-Day Delivery to make their lives even easier.” So, it is not surprising that Amazon Prime Subscribers have hit 80 million.
I think the trend would likely move up to “same hour delivery”, based on customers’ expectations. But till then, same day delivery is saving the e-commerce world. About 60% percent of online companies are still working on perfecting this new trend. It would only get better with time.
#6. Social eCommerce
A recent joint study by Twitter and analytics firm Annalect indicated that around 40 percent of purchases are made because of social media handles on platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Vine or YouTube. Several reports have shown that influencer marketing is growing faster than digitals ads. Social media sites increasingly act as points of entry to e-commerce sites. It is thus not surprising that many ecommerce are adopting social media as their lead sales medium. The integration of social network and ecommerce is a trend that is expected to rise in the coming time.
Adeyemi Adetilewa is a highly skilled and intelligent information worker who's constantly evolving everyday. His one word is #freedom and he's been helping individuals and businesses achieve freedom.Read Full Bio