There should be no qualm in considering that ecommerce has become a goliath industry with a valuation of nearly 3.5 trillion dollars globally in 2019. It has seen growth in every era, from the desktop industry to the laptop industry and now on mobile. And as the world is now turning mobile, the future of ecommerce seems to be very bright. The global online retail sales figure is expected to reach 17.5% in 2021. B2B alone is expected to reach a valuation of $6.6 trillion by 2020. However, due to coronavirus pandemic, these stats can now vary.
However, ecommerce is also an industry that is continuously evolving. New trends are always coming up for shaping the way that people in every corner of the world are buying products. There are many big trends which are expected to evolve the ecommerce in upcoming years. Henceforth, in this article, we have jotted down the trends that the ecommerce may observe in the subsequent years.
There’s a lot to cover, so let’s dive in.
1. AI-Based Smart Chatbots:
Do you ever had chat with the customer care chatbot on a web application and found that in many scenarios you are getting the same reply? Then probably you may encounter an AI-based smart chatbot that is replacing human-based customer support. They are programmed to resolve any query a customer may have, and the machine learning grows the answer database with every call. Also, now the modern chatbots are capable of answering in multi-languages. The other uses of chatbots in the ecommerce are:
- Virtual Assistants: Bots with NLP are more advanced and can quickly understand natural language
- Queries Response: “Decision trees” are the thought process bots employ for knowing the intention of customer’s queries and then resolving them
- Upselling & Cross-Selling: Retargeting (remarketing) is one of the most effective marketing tools. Chatbots can display what shoppers have previously purchased and then suggest new or related items.
- Sending mass messages and continuous testing: You can also make use of chatbots for A/B test messages. Like other platforms, the previous conversations will get stored for future use. Message perform better than emails.
Like human beings, chatbots are also getting improvement over time. There are two USPs of chatbots, lower costs for long-term use, and unlimited language capabilities.
2. PWA POS with MSI:
MSI-based PWA POS could be the next big thing for the O2O approach of sales. This Point of Sales solution is quite valuable for small as well as large vendors who want to go for offline sales with an existing online website. POS solutions were quite useful for the brick and mortar physical stores. However, nowadays a retailer is using many different applications for online web applications and retail POS. Companies like Webkul are solving this problem. They have created a POS-based on MSI and PWA which works with a Magento 2 website.
Webkul is taking leverage of Magento’s MSI feature in POS for creating separate sources for POS and web application. This comes in the PWA package and can be used on desktops, mobiles, and tablets. Using this solution SMEs can also have ready to use web-based POS without any large-scale infrastructure.
3. AR Based Product Navigator:
It happens with almost every customer when he/she went to a mall and is not able to find the product in the large mall. It can also be an issue for the workers employed in a warehouse or sales representatives working in a retail store. They need to spend a lot of time in finding the products. But such problems were a thing of the past.
Now with technology advancement, using an AR-based product navigator you can easily search and navigate to find a product through product locations by a mobile app. This app is like a boon for warehouses, retail stores as well as hyperlocal stores, where the delivery time is critical. There is no need for finding products randomly one by one as it leads to time wastage, and in turn poor customer experience.
Also Read: Top eCommerce Development Trends for 2020
4. Headless Commerce:
As the name implies, headless commerce is an ecommerce solution with headless content management abilities. It is a CMS that can store, manage, and delivers the content without a front-end delivery layer. The frontend and backend, in headless commerce, are decoupled and works independently of one another. But why headless commerce can be a big thing?
There are many reasons for it. Headless commerce makes the ecommerce application lightning fast. As the backend & frontend aren’t tightly connected, you can make rapid changes and innovate quickly without impacting the ecommerce logic. It allows for more customization and personalization. Most importantly, using headless commerce, you can take leverage of any programming language or framework. There aren’t any restrictions on the developer’s choice. It also helps you in saving costs, and allows you to choose best-of-breed tools for different parts of your ecommerce project and easily glue them together and orchestrate them in a way that they work seamlessly.
5. Collaborative Shopping:
In collaborative shopping, a consumer can do shopping at an ecommerce store along with his kith or kin located remotely. Initially, online shopping was a solo experience. But as the internet became a social platform, shoppers now can expect a social experience while visiting online stores.
With collaborative social shopping, the retailers get the opportunity for providing a better experience and a deep brand engagement which can increase the brand reputation in future sales for consumers. It also helps in increasing the conversion rate. Retailers can also analyze to distinguish between influencers, advocates, and traditional shoppers.
It is hard to accept, but most of our buying decisions are influenced by friends and family. In traditional brick & mortar stores, asking for the validation or recommendation from a friend or family member is quite easy but become a hassle on an online store. Some of the needs of a shopper regarding this concern are:
- A shopper wants to invite trusted people to shop with them online
- Shopping side-by-side as if they were looking at the same products at the same time, but have the ability to roam into the store freely
- Ability to add products into the cart for narrowing down purchasing decisions
- Easily access stylists or experts during an online shopping session to ask questions, get advice, etc.
A Collaborative shopping trend can help both the parties i.e. retailer and customer for a better shopping experience.
6. AR Based Product Sizing:
AR-based product sizing is helping in many industries where the customers can choose product size without the need of trying them or getting undress. The AR-based product sizing works in 3 stages: sizing the customer’s body, sizing clothing or footwear, and then putting the item upon a virtual video or animated model. Now the fitting rooms are coming with the augmented reality which has even data about fabric properties (stretching or colour views from different angles) creating the models standing much closer to real-life forms.
Now the virtual fitting rooms are using AR which allows customers to try clothes without a need to undress. They can be made as fitting booths, virtual mirrors, or virtual fitting applications powered by digital cameras. These booths are equipped with 3D body scanners and provide the most accurate dimensions of the body. It can also be used by other omnichannel retailers. E.g. furniture brands like IKEA is using AR by which the customers can virtually furnish their homes with different pieces of furniture. According to Ikea, the app can automatically scale products based on room dimensions with an incredible 98% accuracy.
7. Instant Purchasing:
Instant purchasing is an important driving factor of sales in brick & mortar as well as online stores. Instant buyers are quite different from the regular patrons as they purchase with no planning. An instant purchase is done within seconds and often appeals to a sense of instant gratification in the physical retail world. There are many ways you can encourage instant purchasing experience for ecommerce such as:
- Conditional Free Shipping: Free shipping has always been an attractive factor and has found to hold more relative value for online shoppers than the actual shipping cost.
- Sales and Promotions: Discounts and promo codes are also helpful in driving instant purchasing. Low-cost products are always a buying choice regardless of their importance for the shopper.
- Mobile Optimization: An instant purchaser always looks for a quick and easy shopping process in your online store. Make sure your ecommerce store works fast and highly responsive on the web application as well as on mobile.
- Captivating Web Design: The design of a web application has always been an important factor for customer retention. A trending design website can attract more users which in turn will drive more sales.
8. Voice Assistant:
Voice assistants can definitely drive ecommerce in the upcoming years. In fact, they have begun to surround us, in our living rooms, businesses, and entertainment venues getting enjoyed by millions of customers. While you are using Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Corona, or any other voice assistant. Soon, everyone everywhere will have at least limited access to a voice assistant, whether they’re in the public or private spheres of life.
In the future, voice assistants can also broadcast ads over their speakers, whether the end-customers will like this or not but thus far the digital age has guaranteed that advertisements and sponsored content will broadcast.
9. AR-based Virtual Try-On:
Augmented reality is helping the online shoppers for a better understanding of the products they are buying and how precisely the items from goods to cosmetics can work for them. There are many industries in which the augmented reality is bein employed for virtual try-on such as Footwear, Clothing, Accessories, Cosmetics, Furniture & home decor, etc.
- Footwear: Companies like Converse, Nike, and others are taking leverage of AI for providing a better customer experience. The customers can now visualize shoes on their feet. In fact, Nike is taking this concept to a new height, in which the customer can determine whether the shoe can fit in their feet.
- Fashion: In the fashion industry, the AR is very useful in providing features such as customers trying clothing virtually. The customer can select one of five body types to visualize what an outfit will look like on them.
- Accessories: Jewelry has also seen the benefits of AR. Now, industries like Kollectin let its customers try their jewellery virtually. Eyewear industry has also realized the AR potential. Now the users can even try glasses from even their computers.
- Furniture and home décor: As mentioned above, furniture industries like IKEA are coming up with AR technology by which the customers can try their furniture items virtually.
10. Pepper the Robot:
Manufactured by Softbank Robotics, Pepper is a semi-humanoid robot that is designed with the ability to read emotions. It is a robot designed for people. Built to connect with them, assist them, and share knowledge with them – while helping your business in the process. Such robots can take over the warehouse management of ecommerce. these bots can pick up entire shelves of products and deliver them to packing stations in different areas of a warehouse. Sensors prevent collisions and an algorithm determines the most popular items and the closest supply. Today there are almost 30,000 bots in operation spread across 10 massive Amazon warehouses Unlike a human labour force, robots do not require vacation time, sick days, paid leave, lunch breaks, or health insurance. Since retailers are looking for new ways to reduce both operations and logistics costs and delivery time, robots offer an attractive, cost-saving alternative to traditional human labour.
Those were some of the driving factors that can lead the ecommerce in a feature. If you are having more suggestions or any queries you can reach us by the mail. At Emizentech, we are having a dedicated ecommerce development team having profound experience in each of these technologies to serve your requirements.