The global e-commerce industry sales have reached nearly 3.46 trillion US dollars last year. It’s simply a big industry and this is just really the present and future of shopping. Consumers are now more willing to buy products online and it is expected that more people will buy products online in the next few years.
Definitely, there are many competitions in this industry and what really plays an important role here is convenience. How convenient a service is for a consumer is what will bring in more customers and sales. People are just really willing to pay for convenience these days.
The demands from consumers are ever changing and online businesses just have to keep up. Luckily for them, technological advancements remain to be continuous and so it helps them easily adapt to the demands. Here are some of the technological factors that help shape up the e-commerce industry.
- Mobile technology
There are now over 4 billion people around the world with mobile devices and according to statistics, there are over 2 billion of these users who would purchase something with their mobile device. More people are also expected to do this.
Sure, there will still be people who would use their computers to purchase something online, but it’s expected that the majority of the purchases online will be made with mobile devices in the near future. It’s simply much more convenient. Shopping with your phone means being able to buy something as soon as you think of it. It makes online shops more accessible than ever.
This is important as many online shops would get their buyers from customized ads. Have you ever shopped something online and just see a bunch of ads that are similar to your purchase on different platforms after that?
This is because the ads that you see online are tailor-fitted to your liking and shopping habits. This is why shopping online can be easily tempting as it seems like the ads really know what you want. Aside from this, customization also comes in a different form when shopping online.
An example is how some e-commerce sites or platforms would only offer a certain range of products to consumers. Sites like Mercato.com is a place for people to shop for specialty food and products. This site gets specialty foods and groceries delivered to your doorstep without the hassle of visiting different stores just to find the products that you don’t usually see in a regular supermarket.
- Augmented Reality
Who would have thought the AR technology can also be used in shopping? AR allows a buyer to see how a product would look like in person. It is a struggle to shop online when you just can’t inspect it or try it for yourself, but there are now shopping platforms that allow you to try the items before getting them.
If you’re shopping for hair products that could change your hair color, there are shops that take your picture and changes the color of your hair so that you know how a color looks on you. You can also do these with clothes.
- Artificial Intelligence
This has helped many online businesses get their target audiences. AI applications can analyze data sets, patterns, and create a personalized experience for their consumers. Aside from helping sites to know what to display on their storefronts, AI tech enables these businesses to have a better way to communicate with their customers.
Chatbots and voice assistants are now big trends in the industry. This makes customer service more available to their potential buyers. Some businesses can’t afford to have representatives offer assistance 24/7 and having chatbots can be convenient. What’s good is that AI makes it possible for the system to learn more concerns and how to address them based on experience.
- Payment Options
Online transactions began with bank deposits which would sometimes take days to clear out. These days, there are so many ways to make transactions online. Sure, debit and credit card payments are still the main ways to transact online, but there are other ways too that make consumers feel safer.
Digital wallets like PayPal is a good example. It’s basically an online wallet where you can store your money and spend it with additional buyer’s protection. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are also on the rise. It functions as a digital wallet but it’s a currency of its own and it has its own value.
When using either a digital wallet or cryptocurrency to make a purchase, you no longer have to disclose your banking details and so this makes it a safer option to make a payment for many.